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Ketubot, Daf Kuf Gimmel, Part 4
Reading for Wednesday, April 19
This sugya is based on the mishnah we learned yesterday. After this, we’re on to aggadah.
גמ’. תנו רבנן: משתמשת במדור כדרך שמשתמשת בחיי בעלה, בעבדים ושפחות – כדרך שמשתמשת בחיי בעלה, בכרים וכסתות – כדרך שמשתמשת בחיי בעלה, בכלי כסף ובכלי זהב – כדרך שמשתמשת בחיי בעלה, שכך כתב לה ואת תהא יתבת בביתי ומיתזנא מנכסי כל ימי מגר ארמלותיך.
Our Rabbis taught: [A widow] may use [her deceased husband’s] dwelling as she used it during his lifetime. [She may also use] his slaves and handmaidens, as she used them while he was alive, the cushions and the bolsters, as he used them while he was alive, and the silver and gold utensils as she used them while he was alive, for thus he wrote to her in the ketubah: “And you shall dwell in my house and be maintained from of my estate for the duration of your widowhood.”
The widow may continue living in her husband’s home at the same level of comfort she lived in while he was alive. The heirs may not in any way reduce the level of comfort to which she was accustomed. This is guaranteed in her ketubah clause (the clause was quoted in the fourth chapter).
בביתי; תני רב יוסף: בביתי – ולא בבקתי.
Joseph taught: “In my house” but not in my hovel.
Joseph makes a “midrash” on the ketubah clause. If he has a decent house, she may remain there. But if his house is very small, the inheritors may force her out.
אמר רב נחמן: יתומים שמכרו מדור אלמנה – לא עשו ולא כלום.
Nahman said: If orphans sold a widow’s dwelling their act is legally invalid.
The orphans may not sell the widow’s home. If they do, the sale is invalid.
ומ”ש מדרבי אסי א”ר יוחנן? דא”ר אסי אמר ר’ יוחנן: יתומים שקדמו ומכרו בנכסים מועטין – מה שמכרו מכרו! התם לא משתעבדי לה מחיים, הכא משתעבדי לה מחיים.
But why [should this case be] different from that of which R. Assi said in the name of R. Yohanan, who said: If the orphans got ahead of themselves and sold some property of a small estate their sale is valid?
There [the property] was not pledged to her during [her father’s] lifetime, but here [the dwelling] was pledged to the widow during [her husband’s] lifetime.
When a father dies, the sons inherit and the daughters are provided four out of the estate. If there is not enough money for them to inherit and the daughters to be provided for, the sons may not sell the assets. But if they do, the sale is valid. So why is this sale valid when the sale of the widow’s home is not?
The difference is that from the time a husband marries a woman, his estate is liable to provide for her. This is not an obligation that kicks in only when he dies. In contrast, he is not liable to provide for his daughters until he dies. Therefore, while the sons should not sell the property, if they do so their sale is valid.
אמר אביי, נקיטינן: מדור אלמנה שנפל – אין היורשין חייבין לבנותו. תניא נמי הכי: מדור אלמנה שנפל – אין היורשין חייבין לבנותו; ולא עוד, אלא אפילו היא אומרת הניחוני ואבננו משלי – אין שומעין לה. בעי אביי: שיפצה, מאי? תיקו.
Abaye said: We have a tradition that if a widow’s dwelling collapsed, it is not the duty of the heirs to rebuild it.
It was also taught: If a widow’s dwelling collapsed it is not the duty of the heirs to rebuild it. Furthermore, even if she says, “Allow me and I will rebuild it at my own expense,” she is not heeded.
Abaye asked: What if she repaired it? This is undecided.
The widow is legally permitted to live in the same house she was living in while the husband was alive. But if it falls apart, it is no longer the same dwelling place. In such a case, not only are the heirs not liable to fix it, they can prevent her from rebuilding it. This seems to be a way to force her to leave her house. It is unclear if she is even allowed to repair it.
אמרה אי אפשי. וליתבו לה כי יתבה התם! מסייע ליה לרב הונא, דאמר רב הונא: ברכת הבית ברובה.
וליתבו לה לפי ברכת הבית! ה”נ.
If she said, “I do not want” etc. But let them give her while she is there?
This supports [a statement] of R. Huna, for R. Huna said, “The blessing of a house [is proportionate] to its size.”
Why then should they not give her according to the blessing of the house? They indeed must.
The widow cannot force the heirs to provide her with food in her father’s house. This is because it is cheaper to feed her while she is living with them if she does not want to live with them. It is obviously cheaper to provide for her when she eats at their table then it is to bring her food separately in another home.
However, if she asks to be provided according to the amount it would have cost to feed her while in the heirs home, then they must. Again, as long as it does not cost them anything, they must act generously.
אמר רב הונא: לשון חכמים ברכה, לשון חכמים עושר, לשון חכמים מרפא. ברכה, הא דאמרן.
Huna said: The sayings of the sages [are a source of] blessing, wealth and healing.
[As to] “blessing,” this is what we just said.
Huna now locates sources of good advice in halakhic statements made by the sages. The first is the mishnah we are learning. This mishnah hints that it is cheaper to feed people when they are all together in one house.
עושר, דתנן: המוכר פירות לחבירו, משך ולא מדד – קנה, מדד ולא משך – לא קנה, ואם היה פקח – שוכר את מקומו.
“Wealth”? As we have learned: If one sold produce to another [and the buyer] drew them toward him, though they have not yet been measured, he has acquired. If he measured them, but did not draw them toward him, he has not acquired. But if [the buyer] is prudent he rents the place where they are kept.
A person legally acquires an object when he pulls it towards himself. He does not acquire it at the point when the seller measures it out. But if a buyer wants to acquire something without having to actually draw it towards him (for instance he is not present for the acquisition) he may rent the place in which the produce is found. In this way his property acquires the produce for him. This is how the sages teach the business acumen in order to be wealthy.
מרפא, דתנן: לא ילעוס אדם חטין ויניח על גבי מכתו בפסח, מפני שמחמיצות.
“Healing”? For we have learned: A man should not chew wheat and put it on his wound during Pesah because it ferments.
This mishnah indirectly teaches us that chewing wheat and putting it on one’s wounds can heal. Again, by reading rabbinic halakhic statements we can indirectly learn wisdom.