BACKGROUND ON THE DAILY DAF
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KESUVOS 2 & 3 - Generously dedicated by Reb A. Wolfson, a sincere Ohev Torah
and Mokir Torah and himself an example of Torah u'Gedulah b'Makom Echad.
1) [line 4] TA'ANAS BESULIM
(a) When a man marries a woman who was a Besulah at the time of her Kidushin,
he must write her a Kesuvah document in which he promises that she will
receive 200 Zuzim (the value of 960 grams of silver) from him or his estate
if he divorces her or dies. The Tana'im argue whether this obligation is
mid'Oraisa or mid'Rabanan (Kesuvos 10a). When a man marries a widow or a
divorcee who had once been married in the past (i.e. she was a Nesu'ah and
was not just an Arusah), the woman is considered to be a Be'ulah and is not
given the Kesuvah of a Besulah. Instead, the husband must write her a Kesuvah
in which he promises her 100 Zuzim under the conditions specified above. The
obligation to write a Kesuvah for a widow or divorcee is mid'Rabanan (Kesuvos
10b). (The Gemara there explains that the word for widow, "Almanah," alludes
to her Kesuvah of one "Manah," or 100 Zuzim.) A woman who is less than three
at the time of her Kidushin is considered a Besulah whether or not she was
married or had relations in the past, since her Besulim return to their
(b) A Besulah differs, physically, from a Be'ulah in two ways:
1. A Besulah has a "Pesach Sasum" (the physical state of virginity) while a
Be'ulah has a "Pesach Pasu'ach" (Kesuvos 9a)
(c) If a man marries a woman who is b'Chezkas Besulah and he finds her to be
a Be'ulah, either by not finding Dam Besulim of by finding a Pesach Pasu'ach,
it is not considered a Mekach Ta'us (a mistaken transaction) that annuls the
Kidushin (see Kesuvos 11b). However, if he proves that his wife is indeed not
a Besulah, he need not give her 200 Zuzim as her Kesuvah, but only 100, like
any Be'ulah. The claim of the husband that his wife is a Be'ulah and not a
Besulah is called "Ta'anas Besulim."
2. A Besulah has "Dam Besulim" (virginal blood that emerges upon the first
instance of marital relations). The quantity of virginal blood lessens as a
girl reaches the stage of "Bagrus" (six months after the age of puberty).
(d) There is another Halachic aspect to Ta'anas Besulim, which has bearing on
matters of Isur v'Heter. If a woman who was assumed to be a Besulah is found
a Be'ulah, she can become prohibited to her husband under certain
1. The rule is that if a woman had willful relations with another man after
she became an Arusah, she is a Sotah Vadai (see Background to Yevamos 85:18d)
and becomes prohibited to her husband forever.
2. If we do not know when she became a Be'ulah, (i.e. before or after she
became an Arusah), nor how she became a Be'ulah, (i.e. b'Ones or b'Ratzon --
against her will or willfully), she is permitted to her husband because of a
Safek Sfeika (a double Safek, as follows: she may have become a Be'ulah
b'Ones. And even if she had relations b'Ratzon, it may have been before she
3. If, however, she became an Arusah before she reached the age of three, and
she is found to be a Be'ulah at the time of her Nesu'in (and she has reached
the age of 12 by then, Tosfos Kesuvos 9a DH v'Iy Ba'is), we may assume that
she must have had relations after she became an Arusah, and the only question
is whether they were b'Ones or b'Ratzon. Since it is a single Safek and
Sefeika d'Oraisa l'Chumra, she is prohibited to her husband. Similarly, if
she became an Arusah to a Kohen and was later found by her husband to be a
Be'ulah, then even if she had relations b'Ones after she became an Arusah,
she becomes prohibited to her husband forever. The only point in doubt is
whether she had relations before or after becoming an Arusah. Since there is
but a single Safek as to whether she is permitted to her husband, she becomes
Asurah to him mi'Safek.
2) [line 8] HIGI'A ZEMAN V'LO NIS'U - the time came but they did not yet get
married. After Eirusin (betrothal), the Rabanan decreed that a virgin must be
given twelve months to prepare her jewelry and her other needs for the
wedding and a widow must be given thirty days. After this time, the groom
must consummate the marriage through Nisu'in. If the groom delays the wedding
any longer, he is obligated to begin supporting his wife even though they are
not yet married (Kesuvos 57a).
3) [line 11] MAREI D'AVRAHAM! TALI TANYA BED'LO TANYA! - Master of Avraham!!
(an exclamation) Did Shmuel state that the Halachah of our Mishnah is
dependant upon a Halachah that is not written anywhere in the Mishnah?
4) [line 12] HAI TANYA, V'HAI LO TANYA? - Which is the written Mishnah and
which is the unwritten Mishnah? (i.e. they are both written!)
5) [line 20] SHAKDU CHACHAMIM - the Chachamim hastened
6) [line 33] ANA HA KA'IMNA - (lit. I am standing here) I am ready, so I need
not provide for you.
7) [line 34] NISTACHFAH SADEHU - (lit. his field was washed out) it is your
bad Mazal that caused me to be ill now, and you must provide for me.
8) [last line] BI'SHE'AS VESTAH - at the time that she regularly has her
period. On that day she is prohibited to her husband, whether she saw blood
one or two times on that calendar date (Veses she'Eino Kavu'a) or three times
in a row (Veses Kavu'a). (For a further discussion of Vestos, see Background
to Yevamos 65:1.)
9) [line 4] D'KA MESHANYA VESTAIHU - for whom the monthly cycle changes
10) [line 16] EIN ONES B'GITIN
(a) It is possible to make a condition in all Kinyanim (acquisitions; the
word Kinyan connotes a change of ownership or status, such as sales, gifts,
Gitin and Kidushin) such that the Kinyan will not take effect unless one or
both of the parties involved fulfill the specified condition. Similarly, it
is possible to make a condition as to whether a Neder (vow) will take effect.
(b) If the person with whom the condition was made did not intend to fulfill
the condition (i.e., he did not want the Kinyan to take effect), but he
fulfilled it against his will (b'Ones) due to circumstances beyond his
control, it is considered as if the condition was not fulfilled, and the
Kinyan does not take effect. For instance, Reuven stipulates that an object
of his should be given to Shimon if he (Reuven) does not pay a specified
amount to Shimon within a given time period. In the end, Reuven cannot pay
within the time period because he was held up overseas, or he was
unconscious. In such a case, the object is *not* given to Shimon.
(c) The above is true with regard to all Kinyanim other than documents of
divorce (Gitin). With regard to documents of divorce, our Gemara records
differing opinions as to whether a condition fulfilled b'Ones causes the
divorce to take effect or not. Some rule that a condition fulfilled b'Ones
does *not* cause the divorce to take effect, i.e. "Yesh Ones b'Gitin." Others
rule that the divorce takes effect despite the fact that the condition was
fulfilled b'Ones, or "Ein Ones b'Gitin."
(d) If the condition was *not fulfilled* b'Ones (that is, the person wanted
to fulfill the condition but was not able due to circumstances beyond his
control), then the Kinyan does *not* take effect. Even though he had intended
to fulfill the condition, since the condition was not actually fulfilled, the
Kinyan is not valid. This is true with regard to all Kinyanim, including
Gitin. (RITVA, but see KOVETZ SHI'URIM #2,3) For example, if Reuven divorces
his wife on the condition that he *does not* return within thirty days, and
he returns within thirty days at gunpoint, or bound and tied, the Get is not
valid, since Reuven did not fulfill the condition of "keeping away for thirty
11) [line 28] BEI DINA D'SHARU MISHCHA - the Beis Din that lifted the
prohibition against using oil that was touched by a Nochri
12) [line 36] PASKEI MAVRA - the ferry stopped him [from crossing the river,
since it was at the other side of the river at the time]
13) [line 37] CHAZU D'ASA'I! - See that I have come!
14) [line 38] LAV SHEMEI MASYA - it is not considered coming