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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Kethuboth
'in her virginity'1 implies only one2 whose entire virginity is intact,3 irrespective of whether [previous intercourse with her was] of a natural or unnatural character.4 A certain woman5 once seized a silver cup on account of her kethubah6 and then claimed her maintenance. She appeared before Raba. He [thereupon] told the orphans, 'Proceed to provide for her maintenance; no one cares for the ruling of R. Simeon who laid down that we do not regard part of the amount as legally equal to the full amount.
Rabbah the son of Raba sent to R. Joseph [the following enquiry:] Is a woman7 who sells [of her deceased husband's estate] without [an authorization of] Beth din required to take an oath8 or is she not required to take an oath? — And [why, the other replied, do you not] enquire [as to whether] a public announcement9 [is required]? I have no need, the first retorted, to enquire concerning a public announcement because R. Zera has stated in the name of R. Nahman, 'If a widow assessed [her husband's estate] on her own behalf10 her act is invalid';11 now, how [is this statement] to be understood? If a public announcement9 has been made [the difficulty arises,] why is her act invalid? Must we not consequently assume that there was no public announcement, and [since it was stated that] Only [if the assessment was made] 'on her own behalf' is 'her act invalid' it follows, does it not, [that if she made it] on behalf of another12 her act is valid?13 — [No,] a public announcement may in fact have been made but [her act is nevertheless invalid] because she can be told, 'Who [authorized] you to make the assessment?'14 as was the case with a certain man with whom corals15 belonging to orphans had been deposited and he proceeded to assess them on his own behalf for four hundred ZUZ, and when later its price rose to six hundred zuz, he appeared before R. Ammi, who said to him, 'Who [authorized] you to make the assessment?'16 And the law is that she17 is required to take an oath,18 but there is no need to make a public announcement.19
MISHNAH.IF A WIDOW WHOSE KETHUBAH WAS FOR TWO HUNDRED ZUZ SOLD20 [A PLOT OF LAND THAT WAS] WORTH A MANEH21 FOR TWO HUNDRED ZUZ OR ONE THAT WAS WORTH TWO HUNDRED ZUZ FOR ONE MANEH, HER KETHUBAH IS DEEMED TO HAVE BEEN THEREBY SETTLED.22 IF HER KETHUBAH, HOWEVER, WAS FOR ONE MANEH, AND SHE SOLD [LAND THAT WAS] WORTH A MANEH AND A DENAR' FOR ONE MANEH, HER SALE IS VOID. EVEN THOUGH SHE DECLARED, I WILL RETURN THE DENAR TO THE HEIRS' HER SALE IS VOID.23 R. SIMEON B. GAMALIEL RULED: HER SALE22 IS ALWAYS VALID24 UNLESS THERE WAS25 [SO MUCH LAND] THERE AS WOULD HAVE ENABLED HER26 TO LEAVE27 FROM A FIELD AN AREA OF NINE KAB,28 AND FROM A GARDEN THAT OF HALF A KAB29 OR, ACCORDING TO R. AKIBA, A QUARTER OF A KAB.29 IF HER KETHUBAH WAS FOR FOUR HUNDRED ZUZ AND SHE SOLD [PLOTS OF LAND]30 TO [THREE] PERSONS, TO EACH FOR ONE MANEH,31 AND TO A FOURTH32 [SHE SOLD] WHAT WAS WORTH A MANE HAND A DENAR FOR ONE MANEH,33 [THE SALE] TO THE LAST PERSON IS VOID BUT [THE SALES] OF ALL THE OTHERS ARE VALID.
GEMARA. Wherein does [the sale of a plot of land] THAT WAS WORTH TWO HUNDRED ZUZ FOR ONE MANEH differ [from the previous case? Is it] because she34 might be told, 'You yourself have caused the loss'? [But, then, why should she not, where she SOLD A PLOT OF LAND THAT WAS] WORTH A MANEH FOR TWO HUNDRED ZUZ, also [be entitled to] say, 'It is I who have made the profit'?35 — R. Nahman replied in the name of Rabbah b. Abbuha:
Rabbi1 has taught here2 that all [profits3 belong] to the owner of the money.4 As it was taught,5 'If one unit6 was added to [the purchases made by an agent] all [the profit belongs] to the agent'; so R. Judah, but R. Jose ruled, '[The profit] is to be divided',7 [and, in reply to the objection,] But, surely, it was taught that R. Jose ruled, All [profit belongs] to the owner of the money! Rami b. Hama replied: This is no difficulty for the former refers to an object that has a fixed value8 while the latter refers to one that has no fixed9 value.10
R. Papa stated: The law is that11 [the profit made by the agent on] an object that had a fixed value must be divided,7 but if on an object that had no fixed value all [profit belongs] to the owner of the money. What does he12 teach us?13 — That the reply that was given14 is the proper one.15
The question was raised: What [is the law where a man] said to his agent,16 'Sell for me a lethek'17 and the latter presumed18 to sell a kor.19 [Is the agent deemed to be merely] adding to the owner's instructions and [the buyer, therefore,] acquires possession of a lethek, at all events, or is he rather transgressing his instructions and [the buyer, therefore,] acquires no possession of a lethek either? — Said R. Jacob of Nehar Pekod20 in the name of Rabina, Come and hear: If a householder said to his agent, 'Serve a piece [of meat]21 to the guests', and the latter said to them, 'Take two',22 and they took three,22 all of them are guilty23 of trespass.24 Now if you agree [that the agent]25 was merely adding to the host's instruction one can well understand the reason why the householder is guilty of trespass. If you should maintain, however, [that the agent]25 was transgressing his instruction [the objection could well be advanced:] Why should the householder be guilty of trespass? Have we not In fact learned: If an agent performed his mission it is the householder who is guilty of trespass but if he did not perform his mission it is the agent who is guilty of trespass?26 — Here we may be dealing with a case where the agent said to the guests, 'Take one at the desire27 of the householder28 and one at my own request's27 and they took three.
Come and hear: IF HER KETHUBAH, HOWEVER, WAS FOR A MANEH, AND SHE SOLD [LAND THAT WAS] WORTH A MANEH AND A DENAR FOR A MANEH, HER SALE IS VOID. Does29 not [this mean] that SHE SOLD [LAND THAT WAS] WORTH A MANEH AND A DENAR FOR A MANEH and a denar,30 and that by29 [the expression,] 'FOR A MANEH' the maneh that was due to her [is meant], and by29 EVEN31 [one is to understand] EVEN THOUGH SHE DECLARED, I WILL RETURN THE DENAR TO THE HEIRS [by repurchasing for them] land of the value of a denar'? And was it not nevertheless stated, HER SALE IS VOID?32 — No,33 retorted R. Huna the son of R. Nathan, [this is a case] where [she sold] at the lower price.34
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