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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Kethuboth
LET [HIS DAUGHTER] REMAIN [SINGLE]1 UNTIL HER HAIR GROWS GREY.2 ADMON RULED: SHE MAY SAY,3 'HAD I MYSELF PROMISED THE SUM ON MY BEHALF I WOULD REMAIN [SINGLE]1 UNTIL MY HAIR GREW GREY, BUT NOW THAT MY FATHER HAS PROMISED IT, WHAT CAN I DO? EITHER MARRY ME OR SET ME FREE'. R. GAMALIEL SAID: ADMON'S WORDS HAVE MY APPROVAL.
GEMARA. Our Mishnah does not [uphold the same view] as that of the following Tanna. For it was taught: R. Jose son of R. Judah stated, There was no difference of opinion between Admon and the Sages that, where a man promised a sum of money to his [prospective] son-in-law and then defaulted, his daughter may say3 My father has promised on my behalf, what can I do?' They only4 differ where she herself promised a sum of money on her own behalf, in which case the Sages ruled: Let her remain [single]5 until her hair grows grey, while Admon maintained that she could say, 'I thought that my father would pay for me [the promised amount], but now that my father does not pay for me, what can I do? Either marry me or set me free'. Said R. Gamaliel: Admon's words have my approval.6
A Tanna taught: This7 applies only to a woman who is of age but in the case of a minor compulsion may be used. Who is to be compelled? If the father [be suggested], should [not the ruling. it may be retorted,] be reversed?8 — But, said Raba, compulsion is exercised against the [prospective] husband that he may give her a letter of divorce.
R. Isaac b. Eleazar laid down on the authority of Hezekiah: Wherever R. Gamaliel stated, 'Admon's words have my approval', the halachah agrees with him. Said Raba to R. Nahman, Even in the Baraitha?9 — The other replied, Did we say 'In the Mishnah?' What we said was, 'Wherever R. Gamaliel stated'.10
Said R. Zera in the name of Rabbah b. Jeremiah: As to the two rulings which Hanan has laid down, the halachah is in agreement with him who followed his view,11 but in respect of the seven rulings that were laid down by Admon, the halachah is not in agreement with him who followed his view.12 What does he13 mean? If it be suggested that he means this: As to the two rulings which Hanan has laid down, the halachah is in agreement with himself and with him who followed his view, and that in respect of the seven rulings that were laid down by Admon, the halachah is neither in agreement with himself nor with him who followed his view,12 [it may be objected:] Did not R. Isaac b. Eleazar lay down on the authority of Hezekiah that 'wherever R. Gamaliel stated, "Admon's words have my approval", the halachah agrees with him'? — What he13 meant, however, must have been this: As to the two rulings which Hanan has laid down, the halachah is in agreement with himself and with him who followed his view,14 but in respect of the seven rulings that were laid down by Admon, the halachah does not agree with him who followed his view15 but agrees with himself in all his rulings. But, surely, R. Isaac b. Eleazar laid down on the authority of Hezekiah that 'wherever R. Gamaliel stated, "Admon's words have my approval" the halachah agrees with him'. [Does not this imply:] Only16 where he stated;17 but not where he did not state? — The fact, however, is that he13 meant this; As to the two rulings which Hanan has laid down, the halachah is in agreement with himself and with him who followed him,14 but of the seven rulings that were laid down by Admon, there are some concerning which the halachah is in agreement with himself and with him who followed his view18 while there are others concerning which the halachah does not agree with him19 but with him who followed his view,15 [the rule being that] wherever R. Gamaliel stated, 'Admon's words have my approval' is the halachah in agreement with him, but not elsewhere.20
MISHNAH. IF A MAN CONTESTS [THE OWNERSHIP OF] A FIELD ON [THE DEED OF SALE OF] WHICH HE IS SIGNED AS A WITNESS,21 ADMON RULED; [HIS CLAIM IS ADMISSIBLE BECAUSE] HE CAN SAY,22 '[LITIGATION WITH] THE SECOND23 IS EASIER FOR ME, SINCE THE FIRST24 IS A MORE DIFFICULT PERSON THAN HE'.25 THE SAGES, HOWEVER, RULED THAT HE HAS LOST HIS RIGHT.26 IF [THE SELLER]27 MADE IT28 A [BOUNDARY] MARK FOR ANOTHER PERSON29 [THE CONTESTANT]30 HAS LOST HIS RIGHT.31
IF [THE SELLER] MADE IT A [BOUNDARY] MARK FOR ANOTHER PERSON. Abaye said: This was taught Only [where it was] FOR ANOTHER PERSON, but [if it was made a boundary mark] for himself3 he does not lose his right; for he can say, 'Had I not done that4 for him he would not have sold the field to me'. What [possible objection can] you have?5 That he should have made a declaration [to that effect]? Your friend [it can be retorted] has a friend, and the friend of your friend has a friend.6
A certain man once made a field7 a [boundary] mark for another person,8 [and one of the witnesses,] having contested [its ownership,]9 died, when a guardian was appointed [over his estate].10 The guardian came to Abaye11 who quoted to him: 'IF [THE SELLER] MADE IT A [BOUNDARY] MARK FOR ANOTHER PERSON [THE CONTESTANT] HAS LOST HIS RIGHT'. 'If the father of the orphans had been alive', the other retorted, 'could he not have pleaded, "l have conceded to him12 only one furrow"?'13 — 'You speak well', he said, 'for R. Johanan stated, If he submitted the plea, "l have conceded to you only one furrow", he is believed'. 'Proceed at any rate [Abaye later14 told the guardian] to give him one furrow'.15 On that [furrow, however,] there was a nursery of palm trees, and [the guardian] said to him, 'Had the father of the orphans been alive, could he not have submitted the plea, "I have re-purchased it from him"?'16 — 'You speak well', [Abaye] said to him, 'for R. Johanan ruled, If he submitted the plea, "I have re-purchased it from him" he is believed'.17 Said Abaye: Anyone who appoints a guardian should appoint one like this man who understands how to turn [the scales]18 in favour of orphans.
MISHNAH. IF A MAN WENT TO A COUNTRY BEYOND THE SEA AND [IN HIS ABSENCE] THE PATH TO HIS FIELD WAS LOST,19 ADMON RULED: LET HIM WALK [TO HIS FIELD]20 BY THE SHORTEST WAY.21 THE SAGES, HOWEVER, RULED: LET HIM EITHER PURCHASE A PATH FOR HIMSELF EVEN THOUGH IT [COST HIM] A HUNDRED MANEH OR FLY THROUGH THE AIR.
GEMARA. What is the Rabbis'22 reason? Does not Admon speak well?23 — Rab Judah replied in the name of Rab: [The ruling24 refers to a field], for instance, which [the fields of] four persons surrounded on its four sides.25 If that be so, what can be Admon's reason?26 — Raba explained: Where four persons27 succeeded28 [to the adjacent fields] by virtue of the rights of four [persons respectively]29 or where four persons succeeded28 [to them]30 by virtue of one,29 all agree that these may turn him away.31 They32 only differ where one person succeeded33 [to all the surrounding fields] by virtue of four persons.34 Admon is of the opinion that [the claimant can say to that person,] 'At all events35 my path is in your territory'; and the Rabbis hold the opinion [that the defendant might retort,] 'If you will keep quiet, well and good,36 but if not I will return the deeds to their respective original owners whom you will have no chance of calling to law'.37
A [dying man]38 once instructed [those around him] that a palm tree shall be given to his daughters but the orphans proceeded to divide the estate and gave her no palm tree. R. Joseph [in considering the case] intended to lay down that it involved the very same principle as that of our Mishnah.39 But Abaye said to him: Are [the two] alike? There,40 each one can send [the claimant to the path] away;41 but here, the palm tree is in their common possession.42 What is their way out?43 — They must give her a palm tree and divide [the estate] all over44 again.
A [dying man]45 once instructed [those around him] that a palm tree shall be given to his daughter. When he died he left46 two halves of a palm tree.47 Sat R. Ashi [discussing the case] and grappled with this difficulty; Do people call two halves of palms trees a palm tree' or not? — Said R. Mordecai to R. Ashi, Thus said Abimi of Hagronia48 in the name of Raba: People do call two halves of palm trees 'a palm tree'.49
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