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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Kethuboth
but if a bastard or a nethinah1 was married to an Israelite the latter is under no obligation to ransom her, since one cannot apply to her:2 AND TAKE YOU AGAIN AS MY WIFE.3 Raba ruled: Wherever the captivity causes the woman to be forbidden4 [to her husband] it is his duty to ransom her5 but where some other circumstance causes her to be forbidden to him6 it is not his duty to ransom her.7
Must it be assumed [that they8 differ on the same principles] as the following Tannaim? [For it was taught:] If a man forbade his wife by a vow [from deriving any benefit from him] and she was taken captive, he must, said R. Eliezer, ransom her9 and give her also her kethubah. R. Joshua said: He must give her her kethubah but need not ransom her. Said R. Nathan: I asked Symmachus, 'When R. Joshua said, "He must give her her kethubah but need not ransom her" [did he refer to a case] where her husband first made his vow against her and she was then taken captive or even to a case where she was first taken captive and he made his vow against her subsequently?'10 And he told me, 'I did not hear [what he exactly said] but it seems [that he referred to] a case where [the husband] made the vow against her first and the woman was taken captive afterwards; for, should you suggest [that the ruling applied also to a woman who] was taken captive first and the man made his vow against her afterwards [the objection could be raised that in such a case] he might make use of a trick'.11 Do not they12 then differ13 in [the case of one] who made a vow against the wife of a priest,14 Abaye upholding the view of R. Eliezer15 while Raba IS maintaining that of R. Joshua?16 — No;17 here18 we are dealing [with the case of a woman] who, for instance, made the vow herself and her husband19 confirmed it,20 R. Eliezer being of the opinion that it was he21 who put his finger between her teeth22 while R. Joshua maintains that it was she herself who put her finger between her teeth.23
[But] If she herself put her finger between her teeth what claim can she have to her24 kethubah? And, furthermore, [it was stated]: Said R. Nathan: I asked Symmachus, 'When R. Joshua said, "He must give her her kethubah but need not ransom her" [did he refer to a case] where her husband first made his vow against her and she was then taken captive or even to a case where she was first taken captive and he made his vow against her subsequently?' and he told me: 'I did not hear [what he exactly said]'. Now if [this is a case] where she herself had made the vow, what difference is there [it may be asked] whether he made the vow first against her25 and she was taken captive afterwards or whether she was first taken captive and he then made the vow?26 — The fact is that [here27 it is a case where] the husband made the vow against her, but Abaye explains [the dispute]28 on the lines of his view while Raba explains it on the lines of his view. 'Abaye explains the dispute on the lines of his view', thus: If a widow [was married] to a High Priest no one29 disputes [the ruling] that it is the husband's duty to ransom her;30 if a bastard or a nethinah [was married] to an Israelite no one29 disputes the ruling that it is not his duty to ransom her,31 if also one made a vow against the wife of a priest32 no one29 disputes the ruling that it is his duty to ransom her, since [the principle in this case] is identical with that of a widow [who was married] to a High Priest.33 They34 differ only in [respect of him who] made a vow against the wife of an Israelite,35 R. Eliezer being guided by the woman's original status36 while R. Joshua is guided by her subsequent status.37 'Raba explains it on the lines of his view', thus: If a widow [was married] to a High Priest, or a bastard or a nethinah to an Israelite no one38 disputes the ruling that it is not the husband's duty to ransom her.39 They40 differ only in [the case where one] made a vow against either the wife of a priest or the wife of an Israelite,41 R. Eliezer being guided by the woman's original status36 while R. Joshua is guided by her subsequent status.37
IF SHE IS TAKEN CAPTIVE IT IS HIS DUTY TO RANSOM HER etc. Our Rabbis taught: If she was taken captive during the lifetime of her husband, and he died afterwards, and her husband was aware of her [captivity],42 it is the duty of his heirs to ransom her, but if her husband was not aware of her captivity it is not the duty of his heirs to ransom her.
Levi proposed to give a practical decision43 in agreement with this Baraitha. Said Rab to him, Thus said my uncle:44 The law is not in agreement with that Baraitha but with the following45 wherein it was taught: [If a woman] was taken captive after the death of her husband it is not the duty of his orphans to ransom her, and, furthermore,46 even if she was taken captive during the lifetime of her husband, but he died subsequently, the orphans are under no obligation to ransom her, since one cannot apply to her [the clause in her kethubah:] AND I WILL TAKE YOU AGAIN AS MY WIFE.47
Our Rabbis taught: [If a woman] was taken captive and a demand was made upon her husband for as much as ten times her value, he must ransom her the first time. Subsequently, however, he ransoms her only if he desired to do so but need not ransom her48 if he does not wish to do so. R. Simeon b. Gamaliel ruled:
Captives must not be ransomed for more than their value, in the interests of the public.1 [This then implies] that they must be ransomed for their actual value even though the cost of a captive's ransom2 exceeds the amount of her kethubah. Has not, however, the contrary been taught: [If a woman] was taken captive, and a demand was made upon her husband for as much as ten times the amount of her kethubah3 he must ransom her the first time. Subsequently, however, he ransoms her only if he desires to do so but need not ransom her if he does not wish to do so. R. Simeon b. Gamaliel ruled: If the price of her ransom corresponded to the amount of her kethubah, he must ransom her; if not, he4 need not ransom her?5 — R. Simeon b. Gamaliel upholds two lenient rules.6 IF SHE SUSTAINED AN INJURY IT IS HIS DUTY TO PROVIDE FOR HER MEDICAL TREATMENT. Our Rabbis taught: A widow is to be maintained from [her husband's] orphans' estate; and if she requires medical treatment, it is regarded7 as maintenance. R. Simeon b. Gamaliel ruled: Medical treatment of a limited liability may be deducted8 from her kethubah but one which has no limited liability9 is regarded10 as maintenance. Said R. Johanan: Blood letting in the Land of Israel11 was regarded as medical treatment of no limited liability.12 R. Johanan's relatives had [to maintain] their father's wife who required daily medical treatment. When they came to R. Johanan13 he told them: Proceed to arrange with a medical man an inclusive fee.14 [Later, however], R. Johanan remarked: 'We have put ourselves [in the unenviable position] of15 legal advisers'.16 What, however, was his opinion at first,17 and why did he change it in the end!18 At first he thought [of the Scriptural text,] And that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh,19 but ultimately he realized [that the position of] a noted personality is different [from that of the general public].20
MISHNAH. [A HUSBAND WHO] DID NOT GIVE HIS WIFE IN WRITING21 [THE FOLLOWING UNDERTAKING:] 'THE MALE CHILDREN THAT WILL BE BORN FROM OUR MARRIAGE22 SHALL INHERIT THE MONEY OF THY KETHUBAH IN ADDITION TO THEIR SHARES WITH THEIR BROTHERS',23 IS NEVERTHELESS LIABLE, BECAUSE [THIS CLAUSE] IS A CONDITION LAID DOWN BY BETH DIN. [THOUGH HE DID NOT GIVE HIS WIFE IN WRITING24 THE UNDERTAKING:] 'THE FEMALE CHILDREN THAT WILL BE BORN FROM OUR MARRIAGE25 SHALL DWELL IN MY HOUSE AND BE MAINTAINED OUT OF MY ESTATE UNTIL THEY SHALL BE TAKEN IN MAKRIAGE'26 HE IS NEVERTHELESS LIABLE, BECAUSE [THIS CLAUSE] IS A CONDITION LAID DOWN BY BETH DIN. [SIMILARLY IF HE DID NOT GIVE HIS WIFE THE WRITTEN UNDERTAKING:]27 'YOU SHALL DWELL IN MY HOUSE AND BE MAINTAINED THEREIN OUT OF MY ESTATE THROUGHOUT THE DURATION OF YOUR WIDOWHOOD', HE IS NEVERTHELESS LIABLE, BECAUSE [THIS CLAUSE ALSO] IS A CONDITION LAID DOWN BY BETH DIN. SO DID THE MEN OF JERUSALEM WRITE. THE MEN OF GALILEE WROTE IN THE SAME MANNER AS THE MEN OF JERUSALEM. THE MEN OF JUDAEA, HOWEVER, USED TO WRITE:28 'UNTIL THE HEIRS MAY CONSENT TO PAY YOU YOUR KETHUBAH'. THE HEIRS, CONSEQUENTLY, MAY, IF THEY WISH TO DO IT, PAY HER HER KETHUBAH AND DISMISS HER.
GEMARA. R. Johanan stated in the name of R. Simeon b. Yohai: Why was the kethubah for MALE CHILDREN29 instituted?30 In order that any man might thereby31 be encouraged32 to give33 to his daughter as much as to his son. But is such a regulation found anywhere else?34 Seeing that the All-Merciful ordained that a son shall be heir; a daughter shall not',35 would the Rabbis proceed to make a provision36 whereby a daughter shall be the heir? — This37 also has Scriptural sanction, for it is written, Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters,' and take wives far your sans, and give your daughters to husbands;38 [now the advice to take wives for one's] sons is quite intelligible [since such marriages are] within a father's power39 but [as to the giving of] one's daughters [the difficulty arises:] Is [such giving] within his power?39 [Consequently40 it must be] this that we were taught: That a father must provide for his daughter clothing and covering and must also give her a dowry41 so that people may be anxious to woo42 her and so proceed to marry her. And to what extent?43 Both Abaye and Raba ruled: Up to a tenth of his wealth. But might it not be suggested44 [that the sons] should inherit [what their mother received] from her father45 but not [that which was due to her] from her husband?46 — If that were so, a father also would abstain from assigning47 [a liberal dowry for his daughter].48 May it then be suggested44 that where her father had assigned a dowry49 her husband must also enter the clause50 but where her father did not assign any dowry51 her husband also need not enter the clause?52 — The Rabbis drew no distinction.53 But should not then54 a daughter55 among sons56 also be heir?57 — The Rabbis have treated [the kethubah]58 like an inheritance.59 But should not then a daughter55 among the other daughters56 be heir?60 — The Rabbis made no distinction.61 Why then62 is not [the kethubah] recoverable63 from movables also?64 — The Rabbis treated it like the [statutory] kethubah.65 Why then should not distraint be made on sold or mortgaged property?66 — [The expression] we learned [was] SHALL INHERIT.67 May it then62 be suggested [that It Is recoverable] even if there was no surplus68 of a denar?69 — The Rabbis have made no enactment where the Pentateuchal law of inheritance would thereby be uprooted. R. Papa was making arrangements for his son to be married into the house of Abba of Sura.70 He went there to write the kethubah for the bride.71 When Judah b. Meremar heard [of his arrival] he went out to welcome him.72 When, however, they reached the door [of the bride's father's house] he asked leave to depart, when [R. Papa] said to him, 'Will the Master come in with me?'
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