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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Kethuboth
But might not one suggest that if she1 returned2 to her parental home she resumes her former status?3 — Raba replied: A Tanna of the school of R. Ishmael has long ago settled this difficulty. For a Tanna of the school of R. Ishmael taught: What need was there for Scripture to state, But the vow of a widow, or of her that is divorced, even everything wherewith she bath bound her soul, shall stand against her?4 Is she not free from the authority of her father5 and also from that of her husband?6 [The fact], however, is that where7 her father had delivered her to the agents of her husband, or where the agents of her father had delivered her to the agents of her husband and, on the way,8 she became a widow or was divorced9 [one would not know] whether she was to be described as of10 the house of her father11 or as of the house of her husband;12 hence the need for the text13 to tell you that as soon as she has left her father's authority,14 even if only for a short while, he may no longer annul her vows.15
Said R. Papa: We also learned [a similar ruling]:16 A man who has intercourse with a betrothed girl incurs no penalties17 unless she is a na'arah,18 a virgin, betrothed, and in her father's house.19 Now one can well see that 'na'arah' excludes20 one who is adolescent, 'virgin' excludes20 one with whom a man has had intercourse, and 'betrothed' excludes one who married [by entry into the bridal chamber].21 What, [however, could the expression] 'in her father's house' exclude? Obviously this:22 [The case where] her father delivered her to the agents of the husband.23
R. Nahman b. Isaac said: We also learned [a similar ruling]:24 Should one have intercourse with a 'married woman'25 the latter,26 provided she entered under the authority of her husband,27 although no intercourse had taken place, is to he punished by strangulation.28 'She entered under the authority of her husband' [implies]29 in any form whatever.30 This is conclusive proof.
MISHNAH. A FATHER31 IS UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO MAINTAIN HIS DAUGHTER. THIS EXPOSITION32 WAS MADE BY R. ELEAZAR B. AZARIAH33 IN THE PRESENCE OF THE SAGES IN THE VINEYARD OF JABNEH:34 [SINCE IT WAS ENACTED THAT] THE SONS SHALL BE HEIRS [TO THEIR MOTHER'S KETHUBAH]35 AND THE DAUGHTERS SHALL BE MAINTAINED [OUT OF THEIR FATHER'S ESTATE,35 THE TWO CASES MAY BE COMPARED:] AS THE SONS CANNOT BE HEIRS EXCEPT AFTER THE DEATH OF THEIR FATHER, SO THE DAUGHTERS CANNOT CLAIM MAINTENANCE EXCEPT AFTER THE DEATH OF THEIR FATHER.
GEMARA. [Since it has been said that] he is UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO MAINTAIN HIS DAUGHTER Only, it follows36 that he is under an obligation to maintain his son, [and in the case of] his daughter also, since he is only exempt from37 legal OBLIGATION he is, obviously, still subject38 to a moral duty; who, [then, it may be asked, is the author] of our Mishnah? [Is it] neither R. Meir nor R. Judah nor R. Johanan b. Beroka? For it was taught: It is a moral duty39 to feed one's daughters, and much more so ones sons, (since the latter are engaged in the study of the Torah);40 so R. Meir. R. Judah ruled: It is a moral duty to feed ones sons, and much more so one's daughters, (in order [to prevent their] degradation).41 R. Johanan b. Beroka ruled: It is a legal obligation to feed one's daughters42 after their father's death; but during the lifetime of their father neither sons nor daughters need be43 fed.44 Now who [could be the author of] our Mishnah? If R. Meir, he, surely, [it may be objected] ruled that [the maintenance of] sons [was only] a moral duty.45 If R. Judah, he, surely ruled that also46 [the maintenance of] sons [was only] a moral duty.45 And if R. Johanan b. Beroka [should be suggested, the objection would be: Is not his opinion that] one is not even subject to47 a moral duty?45 — If you wish I might say [that the author is] R. Meir; If you wish I might Say: R. Judah; and if you prefer I might Say: R. Johanan b. Beroka. 'If you wish I might say [that the author is] R. Meir', and it is this that he meant:48 A FATHER IS UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO MAINTAIN HIS DAUGHTER, and the same law applies to his son. [Maintenance], however, is a moral duty in the case of his daughter and, much more so, in the case of his sons; and the reason why49 HIS DAUGHTER was mentioned50 was to teach us this:
That even in the case of his daughter1 he is only exempt from a legal obligation but is nevertheless subject to a moral duty.2 'If you wish I might say: R. Judah'; and it is this that he meant: A FATHER is UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO MAINTAIN HIS DAUGHTER, and much more so3 his son.4 It is, however, a moral duty [to maintain] one's son and, much more so, ones daughters; and the only reason why HIS DAUGHTER was mentioned Was to teach us this: That even [the maintenance of] one's daughter is no5 legal obligation. 'And if you prefer I might say: R. Johanan b. Beroka', and what Was meant is this: HE IS UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO MAINTAIN HIS DAUGHTER, and the same law applies to his son; and this, furthermore, means6 that [such maintenance] is not even5 a moral duty; only because [the maintenance of daughters] after their father's death is a legal obligation, the expression, HE IS UNDER NO OBLIGATION, was used here also.7
R. Elai stated in the name of Resh Lakish who had it from R. Judah8 b. Hanina: At Usha9 it was ordained that a man must maintain his sons and daughters while they are young.10 The question was raised: Is the law in agreement with his statement or not? — Come and hear: When people came before Rab Judah,11 he used to tell them, 'A Yarod12 bears progeny and13 throws them upon [the tender mercies of] the townspeople'.14
When people came before R. Hisda,10 he used to tell them, 'Turn a mortar15 for him upside down,16 in public and let one17 stand [on it] and say: The raven cares18 for its young but that man19 does not care for his children'.20 But does a raven care18 for its young? Is it not written in Scripture,21 To the young ravens which cry?22 — This is no difficulty. The latter23 applies to white ravens24 and the former25 to black ones.26
This ruling,29 however, has been laid down only for one who is not a wealthy man, but if the man is wealthy he may be compelled30 even against his wish; as was the case with31 Raba who used compulsion against R. Nathan b. Ammi32 and extracted front him four hundred zuz33 for charity.34
R. Elai stated in the name of Resh Lakish: It was enacted at Usha35 that if a man assigned all his estate to his sons in writing, he and his wife36 may nevertheless37 be maintained out of it. R. Zera, or as some say, R. Samuel b. Nahmani, demurred: Since the Rabbis went so far as to rule38 that [in the case that follows] a widow is maintained out of her husband's estate, was there any necessity [to state that such maintenance is allowed to] the man himself and his wife? For Rabin had sent in his letter:39 If a man died and left a widow and a daughter, his widow is to receive her maintenance from his estate?40 If the daughter married,41 his widow is still to receive her maintenance from his estate. If the daughter died?42 Rab43 Judah the son of the sister of R. Jose b. Hanina said: I had such a case, and it was decided44 that his widow was to receive her maintenance from his estate.45 [In view of this ruling we ask: Was it] necessary [to give a similar ruling46 in respect of] the man himself47 and his wife? — It might have been assumed [that the law applies only] there,48 because there is no one else to provide for her,49 but here [it might well be argued:] Let him provide for himself and for her;50 hence we were taught [that here also the same ruling applies].
The question was raised: Is the law in agreement with his view51 or not? — Come and hear: R. Hanina and R. Jonathan were once standing together when a man approached them and bending down kissed R. Jonathan upon his foot. 'What [is the meaning of] this?' said R. Hanina to him.52 'This man', the other52 replied, 'assigned his estate to his sons in writing
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