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Ketubot, Daf Tzadi Het, Part 6
Reading for Friday
, March 17
Ketubot 98-6




The sugya about the agent who sells more than he is supposed to continues.


הא מדסיפא בדאוזיל, הוי רישא בדלא אוזיל! דקתני סיפא: היתה כתובתה ארבע מאות זוז, מכרה לזה במנה ולזה במנה, ולאחרון יפה מנה ודינר במנה, של אחרון – מכרה בטל, ושל כולן – מכרן קיים!


But since the final clause [deals with a case] where [she sold] at a lower price, [would not] the earlier clause [refer to one] where [she did] not [sell] at a lower price, for has [it not] been stated in the final clause, If her ketubah was four hundred zuz and she sold [land] to [three] persons, to each for one maneh, and to a fourth [she sold] what was worth a maneh and a denar for one maneh, [the sale] to the last person is void but [the sale] to all the others are valid?


The last clause of the mishnah deals with a case where she sold for less than the value. To prevent the mishnah from being repetitive, the assumption should be that the first clause is where she sold more than she was supposed to.


לא, רישא וסיפא בדאוזיל, וסיפא הא קא משמע לן, טעמא דאוזיל בדיתמי, אבל בדידה – מכרה קיים.


No, both the earlier and the final clause [refer to a sale] at a lower price, and the final clause teaches us the following: The reason [why her sale is void is] because [she sold] at a lower price [property] that belonged to the orphans, but [if she had sold] her own property, her sale is valid.


Both clauses refer to a case where she sold for too low a price and not where she sold too much property. But the second clause does teach us something new—that if a person sells their own property for too low a price, the sale is valid. Her sale was invalid in the mishnah because she was selling someone else’s property.


הא מדרישא שמעת מינה: היתה כתובתה מאתים, ומכרה שוה מנה במאתים או שוה מאתים במנה – נתקבלה כתובתה! מהו דתימא, התם הוא דאיסתלקא לה מהאי ביתא לגמרי, אבל הכא ניגזור מנה ראשון אטו מנה אחרון, קא משמע לן.


But is not this already inferred from the first clause: If a widow whose ketubah was two hundred zuz sold [land] worth a maneh for two hundred zuz or [land] worth two hundred zuz for one maneh, she has received her ketubah? 

What might I have said? There because [by her one act] she completely severed her connection with that house, but here [the sale for] the first maneh should be disqualified because the sale of the last maneh is invalid, therefore it teaches us that it is not.


The problem is that we already learned that principle in the first clause. There, the woman sold her own ketubah for less than it was worth and the sale is deemed valid.

The Talmud now resolves how both sections can be about a case where she sold the land for less than it is worth without being repetitive. The first clause refers to a case where she sells all of the property at once. But in the final clause she sells the property in pieces. We might have thought that the sale of the first piece is invalid because the sale of the last piece is invalid. We need this clause to teach us that it is not.

To clarify we have not yet answered the original question. All we have done is rejected proof from these sources.

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