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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Kethuboth
If he1 is clever he may bring her under the obligation2 of a Pentateuchal oath:3 He pays her4 the amount of her kethubah in the presence of one witness, associates the first witness5 with the second6 and then treats his first payments7 as a loan.8 R. Shisha son of R. Idi demurred: How can one associate the first witness with the second one?9 — But, said R. Shisha the son of R. Idi, [he might proceed in this manner:]10 He pays her the amount of her kethubah in the presence of the first witness and a second one, and then treats his first payments as a loan. R. Ashi demurred: Might she not still assert that there were two kethubahs?11 — But, said R. Ashi: He might inform them12 [of the facts].13
FROM ASSIGNED PROPERTY. Elsewhere we have learned; And so also orphans cannot exact payment unless they first take an oath.14 From whom?15 If it be suggested. From a borrower16 [it may be objected;] Since17 their father would have received payment without an oath18 should they require an oath?19 — It is this, however, that was meant: And so also orphans cannot exact payment from orphans unless they first take an oath.20
R. Zerika stated in the name of Rab Judah: This21 has been taught only [in the case] where the orphans22 stated, 'Father told us; I have borrowed and paid up'. If, however, they said, 'Father told us: I have never borrowed' [the others] cannot exact payment even if they take an oath. Raba demurred: On the contrary. wherever a man says. 'I have not borrowed', it is as if he had said, 'I have not paid'!23 — [The fact,] however, [is that] if such a statement24 was at all made it was made in these terms: R. Zerika stated in the name of Rab Judah. This25 has been taught only [in a case] where the orphans22 stated, 'Father told us: I have borrowed and paid up'. If, however, they said — 'Father told us: I have never borrowed', [the orphans of the creditor] may exact payment from them without an oath, because to say, 'I have not borrowed' is equivalent to saying, 'I have not paid'.
AND26 [FROM THE PROPERTY OF] AN ABSENT HUSBAND [A WOMAN] MAY NOT RECOVER [THE PAYMENT OF HER KETHUBAH] UNLESS SHE FIRST TAKES AN OATH. R. Aha, the governor of the castle,27 stated: A case28 was once brought before R. Isaac Nappaha29 at Antioch30 and he made this statement, 'This31 has been taught only in respect of the kethubah of a woman [who receives preferential treatment] in order to maintain pleasant relations32 [between her and her husband] but not [in respect of] a creditor. Raba, however, stated in the name of R. Nahman; Even a creditor [has been given the same privilege],33 in order that every person shall not take his friend's money and abscond and settle in a country beyond the sea and thus [cause the creditor's] door to be shut in the face of intending borrowers.34
R. SIMEON RULED: WHENEVER SHE CLAIMS HER KETHUBAH etc. What is R. Simeon referring to? — R. Jeremiah replied. To this; AND35 [FROM THE PROPERTY OF] AN ABSENT HUSBAND [A WOMAN] MAY NOT RECOVER [THE PAYMENT OF HER KETHUBAH] UNLESS SHE FIRST TAKES AN OATH [which implies that] there is no difference between [a claim] for maintenance and one for a kethubah,'36 and [in opposition to this ruling] R. Simeon came to lay down the rule that WHENEVER SHE CLAIMS HER KETHUBAH THE HEIRS MAY IMPOSE AN OATH UPON HER
BUT WHERE SHE DOES NOT CLAIM HER KETHUBAH THE HEIRS CANNOT IMPOSE AN OATH UPON HER. And they1 [in fact] differ on the same principles as those on which Hanan and the sons of the High Priests differed; for we learned: If a man went to a country beyond the sea and his wife claimed maintenance, she must, Hanan ruled, take an oath at the end2 but not at the beginning.3 The sons of the High Priests, however, differed from him and said that she must take an oath both at the beginning3 and at the end.4 R. Simeon [is thus of the same opinion] as Hanan while the Rabbis5 [hold the same view] as the sons of the High Priests.
R. Shesheth demurred; Then6 [instead of saying,] THE HEIRS MAY IMPOSE AN OATH UPON HER, It should have said, 'Beth din7 may impose an oath upon her'! — The fact, however, is, said R. Shesheth.[that R. Simeon referred] to this:8 If she went from her husband's grave to her father's house, or returned to her father-in-law's house but was not made administratrix, the heirs are not entitled to impose an oath upon her; but if she was made administratrix the heirs may exact an oath from her in respect of [her administration] during the subsequent period but may not exact one concerning the past;9 and [in reference to this ruling] R. Simeon came to lay down the rule that WHENEVER SHE CLAIMS HER KETHUBAH THE HEIRS MAY ENACT AN OATH FROM HER BUT WHERE SHE DOES NOT CLAIM HER KETHUBAH THE HEIRS CANNOT IMPOSE AN OATH10 UPON HER. And they11 differ on the same principles as those on which Abba Saul and the Rabbis differed; for we have learned: An administrator whom the father of the orphans had appointed must take an oath,10 but one whom the Beth din have appointed need not take an oath. Abba Saul, however, said, The rule is to be reversed: If Beth din appointed him he must take an oath but if the father of the orphans appointed him he need not take an oath.12 R. Simeon [thus holds the same view] as Abba Saul13 and the Rabbis [in our Mishnah hold the same view] as the Rabbis.14 Abaye demurred: Then15 [rather than say,] WHEREVER SHE CLAIMS HER KETHUBAH16 it should have said,15 'If17 she claims'.18 The fact, however, is, said Abaye, [that R. Simeon referred] to this: [If a husband] gave to his wife an undertaking in writing, 'I renounce my claim upon you for either vow or oath', he cannot impose an oath upon her etc. [If the written undertaking read,] 'Neither I nor my heirs nor my lawful successors will have any claim upon you. or your heirs or your lawful successors for either vow or oath', neither he nor his heirs nor his lawful successors may impose an oath either upon her or upon her heirs or upon her lawful successors;19 and [in reference to this ruling]20 R. Simeon came to lay down the rule21 that22 WHENEVER SHE CLAIMS HER KETHUBAH THE HEIRS MAY ENACT AN OATH FROM HER.22
And they23 [consequently] differ on the same principles as those on which Abba Saul the son of Imma Miriam, and the Rabbis differed.24 R. Simeon agreeing with Abba Saul and the Rabbis [of our Mishnah] with the Rabbis.25 R. Papa demurred: This would satisfactorily explain [the expression] WHENEVER SHE CLAIMS HER KETHUBAH.26 What, however, can be said [in justification of] BUT WHERE SHE DOES NOT CLAIM HER KETHUBAH?27 The fact, however, is, said R. Papa, [R. Simeon's ruling was intended] to oppose the views of both R. Eliezer and those who differed from him.28
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