Ketubot, Chapter Three, Mishnah Two

 

Introduction

This mishnah teaches those cases opposite of those mentioned in yesterday’s mishnah.

 

Mishnah Two

And in the following cases there is no fine:

1)                     If a man had intercourse with a female convert, a female captive or a slave-woman, who was redeemed, converted or freed after the age of three years and a day. 

a)                                 Rabbi Judah says:  a female captive who was redeemed is considered to be in her state of holiness (a virgin) even if she is of majority age.

2)                     A man who had intercourse with his daughter, his daughter’s daughter, his son’s daughter, his wife’s daughter, her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter does not pay the fine, because he forfeits his life, for his death is in the hands of the court, and he who forfeits his life pays no monetary fine for it is said, “And yet no other damage ensues he shall be fined” (Exodus 21:22).

 

Explanation

Section one:  In these cases the women are assumed to be non-virgins, and hence do not receive the fine.

Rabbi Judah rules that any captive who is redeemed is assumed not to have been raped and is therefore a virgin. 

Section two:  Having intercourse with these women is a capital crime.  Since the man is liable for the death penalty, he does not pay the fine, for there is a principle that one cannot be executed and pay a fine.  This is learned exegetically from the words in Exodus 21:22.  The case under discussion is when a man strikes a woman causing her to miscarry.  The Torah states that if there is no other “damage”, then he must pay the fine.  The interpretation is that if the woman herself doesn’t die, then the striker pays a fine for having caused her to miscarry.  Had she died, the striker would have been a murderer and would not have paid the fine.  Note that this is true even if the damages were caused accidentally.  Although one cannot be executed for an accidental murder, the rule of the Mishnah is that anytime a person commits a crime which is punishable by death had it been committed with intention, he is exempt from the fine.  

 

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