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Ketubot, Daf Kuf Zayin, Part 3
Reading for Tuesday
, May 16
Ketubot 107-3



Today’s sugya continues the discussion of whether the court will sell a man’s property to provide for his wife if he went abroad. Do we assume that he left provisions for her?


ת”ש: מי שהלך למדינת הים ואשתו תובעת מזונות, ואם בא ואמר צאי מעשה ידיך במזונותיך – רשאי, קדמו בית דין ופסקו – מה שפסקו פסקו! הכא נמי בששמעו בו שמת.


Come and hear: If [a husband] went to a country beyond the sea, and his wife claimed maintenance, and he returned and said [to her], “Deduct your handiwork for your maintenance,” he is permitted to say this. If the court granted the allowance before [he returned] their decision is valid.  

Here also it is a case where a report that he had died was received.


This baraita discusses a situation where a woman was left without provisions, but before she could sell her husband’s property, he came back and said that she should use her earnings to provide for herself. If her earnings were sufficient to provide for her, then the husband may make this statement.

But if the court already stipulated that his property should be sold, then what she has sold is sold. Again, this is a difficulty against Shmuel who holds that the court does not sell his property to provide for her.

Again, the Talmud resolves the difficulty by saying that this is a situation where there was a report that he died.


ת”ש מי שהלך למדינת הים ואשתו תובעת מזונות, ב”ד יורדים לנכסיו וזנין ומפרנסין לאשתו, אבל לא בניו ובנותיו ולא דבר אחר!


Come and hear: If [a husband] went to a country beyond the sea and his wife claimed maintenance, the court sells some of his estate and provides food and clothing for his wife, but not for his sons and daughters or for anything else! 


Again, this source is a difficulty on Shmuel.


אמר רב ששת: במשרה את אשתו ע”י שליש.


Sheshet said; [Here it is a case] where a husband maintained his wife at the hands of an agent.


Sheshet resolves the difficulty by saying that in this case, the husband was already providing for his wife through an agent. If the agent runs out of money by which to sustain the wife, then the court may sell the property to provide for her. But without such an arrangement, they may not.


אי הכי, בניו ובנותיו נמי! כשהשרה לזו ולא השרה לזו.


If so, they should also provide for his sons and daughters? 

[It is a case] where [a husband] made provision for the maintenance for her but not for them.


If the husband appointed an agent, then why doesn’t the court sell the property to provide for the children? Why just the wife? The simple answer seemed to be that without any instructions the court provides for his wife because he is obligated to do so. But he is not obligated to provide for his children as we learned earlier in the tractate. But if he appointed an agent, then why not sell property to provide for all of them?

The answer is that he specifically told the agent to provide for his wife but not for his children.


מאי פסקא? אלא אמר רב פפא: כששמעה בו שמת בעד אחד, היא דאי בעית אינסובי בעד אחד מצי מינסבא – מזוני נמי יהבינן לה, בניו ובנותיו דאי בעו למיחת לנכסיו בעד אחד לא מצו נחתי – מזוני נמי לא יהבינן להו.


How can we be so certain?  

Rather R. Papa said, [The case] is where she heard from one witness that [her husband] had died. To her, since she could marry on the evidence of one witness, they also grant her maintenance; to his sons and daughters, since even if they wanted to take possession of his estate on the evidence of one witness they cannot, we also do not provide for them maintenance.


The problem with the above solution is that it is random and uncertain. How do we know that the baraita refers only to a situation where he appointed an agent to provide for his wife but not his children?

Papa therefore provides a more logical answer. There is one witness that the husband has died. Now with one witness, the wife is allowed to remarry. Therefore, to her, he is dead. The court may now go sell his property to provide for her. But with only one witness, the children do not inherit. Therefore, they do not receive provisions for to him, he is not dead.


מאי דבר אחר? רב חסדא אמר: תכשיט, רב יוסף אמר: צדקה. מ”ד תכשיט, כל שכן

צדקה; מ”ד צדקה, אבל תכשיט יהבינן לה, דלא ניחא ליה דתינוול.


What [is meant by] “something else”?

Hisda said: This refers to cosmetics.

Joseph said: Charity.

The one who said, “cosmetics,” all the more so charity.  

But the one who said, “charity” would say that he does give her cosmetics, for he would not want her to be disgraced.


According to R. Hisda, in the first case the court would give her cosmetics, whereas in the second, they would not. R. Joseph says that the court would give her charity for her to divide to someone else, but not in the second case.

The Talmud now evaluates the relationship between these two opinions.

The one who said that she does not receive cosmetics (the case where he went abroad) would say that in such a case they also do not provide her with charity to give to others. But the opposite is not true—the one who said they don’t give her charity would hold that they do give her cosmetics because we can assume that the husband would want her to look nice while he is away.