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Kesuvos, 7

KESUVOS 6-9 - have been anonymously dedicated by a unique Ohev Torah and Marbitz Torah living in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.


OPINIONS: The Gemara discusses at length the Mishnah (2a) concerning the day of the week on which one should marry a Besulah or an Almanah. In practice, on which day should one marry a Besulah?
(a) IKRUREI DA'ATA - The primary reason why the Mishnah says that a person should marry a Besulah on Wednesday is because of "Ikrurei Da'ata;" if a man finds that his wife is not a Besulah, we want him to come to Beis Din immediately so that he does not "cool off" and decide that he prefers to live with his wife (to whom he is Asur if she indeed was Mezanah while an Arusah). By getting married on Wednesday, if he finds that his wife is not a Besulah, he will come to Beis Din immediately the next morning. (The other two reasons for getting married on Wednesday (5a) -- to receive the Berachah given to fish and because of "Shakdu," can be circumvented: the reason of "Berachah" is merely a suggestion and not an obligation, and "Shakdu" can be accomplished by preparing for three days in advance of any day of the week on which one wishes to get married (end of 3a).)

The reason of "Ikrurei Da'ata" should not apply nowadays. The Gemara (3a) says that when Beis Din convenes every day, then a person may get married on any day, because he always has the opportunity to go to Beis Din immediately.

However, TOSFOS (3a, DH Iy Ika) points out that this would not seem to be enough reason to permit a person to get married on Friday. If one performs Be'ilas Mitzvah on Friday night, he will not be able to find a Beis Din on Shabbos. (That is, even if Beis Din convenes every other day of the week, it certainly does not convene on Shabbos.)

The Rishonim, however, give a number of reasons to permit marriage even on Friday:

1. Nowadays, there is no regular day on which Beis Din convenes. Instead, whenever a person has the need for a court, he gathers together three Talmidei Chachamim to air his claims before them. A person may do that even on Shabbos if he needs to file a complaint about his newly married wife not being a Besulah.

2. Perhaps today the Takanah of "Ikrurei Da'ata" does not apply, due to the reasoning of Rashi earlier (2a, DH b'Sheni). Rashi says that the purpose of reporting in court that one's wife was not a Besulah is in order to publicize the claim in case there are witnesses who can come to testify how she became a Be'ulah. This does not apply nowadays. Since we do not have official courts and the family disputes do not attract onlookers and crowds, the word does not get out.

However, this reason applies only for the wife of a Yisrael, where it is necessary for witnesses to come to testify about the woman's status. For the wife of a Kohen, though, or for a wife who was betrothed when she was less then three years old, it is still important for him to come to Beis Din, because in those cases his wife is Asur to him out of doubt, even without witnesses. Why, then, should a Kohen be permitted nowadays to get married on any day other than Wednesday?

The answer might be that according to Rashi, the Chachamim did not institute that a person should get married on Wednesday because a person might be a Kohen and need to go to Beis Din the next day. They made the Takanah in the first place only because it benefits, to some measure, everyone (see Tosfos 2a DH she'Im). Once it no longer benefits everyone, the Takanah no longer applies at all, even for a Kohen.

3. The RAN (1b in the pages of the Rif) writes that nowadays, Kidushin and Nesu'in are done together, one right after the other (with no gap of time between the two). As such, it is not possible for the woman to be Mezanah as an Arusah, because there is no point between the Kidushin and Nesu'in at which she could have been Mezanah without her Chasan seeing her. Since there is no fear that she is Asur to him, we do not need him to come to Beis Din if he finds that she is not a Besulah, and he may get married on any day of the week. (The Gemara later, 12a, presents a similar logic "she'Kidesh u'Ba'al l'Alter.")

(b) SHEMA YISHCHOT BEN OF - Another reason to prohibit marrying on certain days of the week is the Gezeirah prohibiting Be'ilas Mitzvah on Friday night and on Motza'ei Shabbos. that is, although the Gemara here concludes that it is permitted to perform the first Be'ilah on Shabbos, the Gemara earlier (4a) cites a Beraisa that states that a person may *not* perform the first Be'ilah on Friday night or Shabbos because of the reason of "Shema Yish'chot Ben Of" -- one might slaughter a bird on Shabbos. It was customary to conduct a festive Se'udah following the Be'ilas Mitzvah, and it was feared that if the Be'ilas Mitzvah was performed on Shabbos, the preparation for the Se'udah might take place on Shabbos. Accordingly, getting married on Friday should be prohibited nowadays because of that Gezeirah!

The Rishonim discuss this question and some Rishonim maintain that the Isur will not prohibit marrying on Friday:

1. TOSFOS (7a, DH v'Hilchasa), the RAN and the ROSH point out that the Gemara rules that it is permitted for the first Be'ilah to be performed on Shabbos, and the Gemara makes no mention of the Isur lest one slaughter a bird on Shabbos. It seems that the Gemara rejects the earlier Beraisa that taught that there is an Isur to perform Be'ilas Mitzvah on Shabbos because of the Gezeirah lest one slaughter a bird on Shabbos.

The RIF does not mention the reason of "perhaps one might slaughter a young bird on Shabbos" at all. The RAMAH, quoted by the SHITAH MEKUBETZES (5a, DH Hashta), writes that according to the Rif, our Gemara rejects the Beraisa's reason of prohibiting Be'ilas Mitzvah on Friday night, and Kol she'Ken it rejects it with regard to Motza'ei Shabbos (since he is not actually involved in the Se'udah on Shabbos).

The RAMBAN (5a) adds another reason not to worry about slaughtering a bird. Nowadays, it is not the practice to make a Se'udah for the Be'ilas Mitzvah, and therefore there is no fear that one might slaughter on Shabbos. 2. The TALMIDEI RABEINU YONAH cited by the SHITAH MEKUBETZES (5a, ibid.) argue that this logic will only permit marrying on Erev Shabbos, but not on Motza'ei Shabbos. They explain that it is possible that the Gezeirah prohibiting getting married because of the fear that one might slaughter a bird on Shabbos will apply on Motza'ei Shabbos, because one prepares for a nighttime Se'udah during the preceding day. Hence, one prepares on Friday for the Se'udah conducted on Friday night, and thus there is no fear that one will slaughter on Shabbos.

However, for the Se'udah conducted on Motza'ei Shabbos, one does not prepare entirely on Friday, because he assumes that he will have time to finish the preparations on Motza'ei Shabbos. Therefore we are afraid that he might slaughter on Shabbos when he sees that there will not be enough time to prepare on Motza'ei Shabbos.

3. However, the RAMBAM (Hilchos Ishus 10:14) rules that a person "may *not* get married on Friday or on Sunday, because one might desecrate Shabbos by preparing for the Se'udah."

Even though the Gemara here says that it is permitted to perform Be'ilas Mitzvah on Shabbos, the RAN (2a in the pages of the Rif) explains that there is a difference between performing Be'ilas Mitzvah on Shabbos and *getting married* on Shabbos. That is, the Rambam maintains that the Isur of Be'ilah Rishonah on Friday or Sunday lest one slaughter a bird on Shabbos is a prohibition of *getting married* on Friday or Sunday, and not a prohibition of *Be'ilas Mitzvah* on those days. The Se'udah for which one might prepare on Shabbos is the Se'udas Nesu'in.

It is ture that TOSFOS (5b, DH Mahu) says a similar logic regarding why performing the first Be'ilah on Friday night is not a contradiction to our Mishnah. The Mishnah discusses the day for having the *wedding*, but there is no requirement to perform the first *Be'ilah* on the same day. However, the Beraisa (4a) which teaches the Gezeirah of "Shema Yishchot Ben Of" says that "one should not *do Be'ilah* on Friday night and Motza'ei Shabbos." How, then, can we say that it is teaching a Halachah about the marriage and not about the Be'ilah?

The answer is that the Rambam apparently learned that the Beraisa says that "one should not do Be'ilah" simply because the Beraisa until now was discussing Be'ilah Rishonah. The Rambam did not want to explain the Beraisa literally, because he maintained that there is no source for making a Se'udah on the occasion of the first Be'ilah (on the contrary, it seems to be a lack of Tzeni'us).

HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (EH 64:3) writes that if Beis Din convenes on Mondays and Thursdays, then a person is required to get married on Wednesday. If Beis Din does not convene on those days, then one may get married on any day of the week as long as he busies himself with preparing for the Se'udah three days in advance. As far as the concern for "Ikrurei Da'ata," Friday is considered the same as any other day.

Regarding the Isur of "Shema Yish'chot Ben Of," the Shulchan Aruch cites the view of the Rambam that one should not get married on Friday or Sunday, and he also cites the view of Tosfos and the other Rishonim who permit getting married on Friday or Sunday.

The Shulchan Aruch adds that it has become customary to get married on Friday. This is based on the RA'AVYAH (quoted by the MORDECHAI here and by the HAGAHOS MAIMONIYOS in Hilchos Ishus 10:50), who writes that it became customary to get married on Friday to benefit the poor people who could not afford to make a separate Se'udah for both their wedding and for Shabbos, and by getting married on Friday, they were able to combine both Se'udos into one.

The Ra'avyah adds that nowadays it is customary that even an Almanah gets married on Friday, even though this will mean that the husband will not have his three day vacation with his wife. The Chachamim of the generations determined that it is more beneficial to marry on Friday for the sake of the poor people than to ensure the three day vacation. The Shulchan Aruch, though, writes that an Almanah *should* get married on Thursday, like the Mishnah says.

The PNEI YEHOSHUA (in Kuntrus Acharon) points out that l'Chatchilah a person should still get married, if possible, on Wednesday or Thursday because of the Berachah to fish, since one should not take lightly the Berachah mentioned by the Gemara.


QUESTION: The Gemara describes the Berachah of Birkas Erusin recited at the time that the Erusin is performed. The Berachah mentions that Hashem prohibited us to the Arayos, and that He prohibited us to the Arusos, and that He permitted us to Nesu'os, when they become our full-fledged wives when the Chupah is performed.

There are a number of questions concerning this Berachah.

First, why does the Berachah make mention of the Isur of Arayos? The Berachah was instituted for the Mitzvah of Kidushin, and not for the Isur of Arayos!

Second, why do we mention the Chupah (the procedure of Nesu'in) in the Berachah for *Kidushin*? Moreover, why do we mention the Chupah in the Berachah *before* the Kidushin ("Chupah v'Kidushin"), when, in practice, the Kidushin precedes the Chupah?


(a) RASHI seems to learn that Birkas Erusin is not a Berachah on the Mitzvah of Erusin, but rather it is a Berachah on the Mitzvah d'Rabanan of "Perishah," separating ourselves from unmarried women. Although we usually do not recite a Berachah on a Mitzvah that involves *refraining* from an action, perhaps the Chachamim saw fit to institute a Berachah for separating from an Arusah because this "inaction" is more evident than most actions and thus it warrants a Berachah. After the betrothal, everyone expect the woman to move in with her husband, and yet they continue to stay apart. Therefore, at the time that they do Kidushin, it is appropriate to recite a Berachah on this conspicuous inaction of separation that they are practicing.

Rashi explains that the Arayos mentioned in the Berachah refer to the Isur of living with a Penuyah, an unmarried woman. The reason we mention the Chupah in the Berachah is to express that until the Chupah, the Penuyah is Asur to him. The reason we mention the Chupah before mentioning the Kidushin seems to be because the Heter to be with a woman comes at the time of the Chupah. The Berachah, which is focusing on the Heter to be with his wife only after the Chupah, metions the Kidushin only as a prerequisite to the Chupah.

(b) The ROSH (1:12) explains that there is no Mitzvah d'Oraisa fulfilled when one performs Erusin. The Mitzvah is not necessarily to get married, but rather to have children, "Piryah v'Rivyah." The Mitzvah of having children could be fulfilled with a Pilegesh, without Kidushin. Kidushin is just an option which the Torah gives if a person wants to have a wife and fulfill the Mitzvah of Piryah v'Rivyah with her.

On the one hand, this Mitzvah seems to be similar to the Shechitah, for which we do recite a Berachah even though there is no obligation to do Shechitah (but rather if one *wants* to eat meat he must first perform Shechitah). However, Shechitah is different because there is no other way to eat meat without doing Shechitah, and thus Shechitah is a necessity for one who wants to eat meat. In contrast, one who wants to have children does not necessarily have to be Mekadesh a woman to do so, but instead can take a Pilegesh. The Rosh gives additional reasons why the Chachamim did not institute a Birkas ha'Mitzvah for Erusin.

What, then, is the purpose of the Berachah according to the Rosh? It is a Berachah of praise to Hashem for giving Kedushah to the Jewish people. We praise Hashem for giving us laws of Kidushin, which include the fact that it can only be effected with certain women and not with others. The concept of Kidushin does not exist by other nations, and they lend us Kedushah. For this reason, we mention the prohibition of Arayos in the Berachah -- to praise Hashem for giving us Kedushah through the laws of Arayos.

The reason we mention that an Arusah becomes Mutar at the Chupah is so that people should not mistakenly think that the purpose of the Berachah of Kidushin is to permit the Arusah to her husband. Hence, we specifically mention in the Berachah that she becomes Mutar to him only at the Chupah. That is also why we mention the Chupah before mentioning the Kidushin. The main point that we want to express is that only at the time of the Chupah, which follows the Kidushin, does she become Mutar to her husband. (This last point is similar to what we wrote for Rashi.)

(c) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Ishus 2:23) rules that Birkas Erusin is a Birkas ha'Mitzvah for the Mitzvah of Kidushin. Like any other Berachah recited for the performance of a Mitzvah, it must be recited before the Mitzvah of Kidushin is performed. The RA'AVAD there and the RAMBAN and RASHBA here seem to agree that the Berachah is a Birkas ha'Mitzvah.

The Rambam and Rashba appear to be following their opinion elsewhere, regarding their opinion of the Pilegesh. The Rambam (Hilchos Melachim 4:4; see also Ramban in Bereishis 25:6) and Rashba (Teshuvah 4:314) both write that it is not normally permitted to take a Pilegesh, and thus there is no way to fulfill the Mitzvah of having children without Kidushin, and thus the Kidushin is a Mitzvah just like Shechitah, which warrants a Berachah.

The Rashba writes that there is a different reason why we do not make a Berachah on the Mitzvah of Kidushin, even though it is necessary for the Mitzvah of Piryah v'Rivyah. Since Kidushin is only the beginning of the Mitzvah and does not complete it, it does not warrant saying a Birkas ha'Mitzvah.

However, the Rishonim quote a Yerushalmi that says clearly that a Birkas ha'Mitzvah is recited for Kidushin. (The Yerushalmi says that the Berachah on Kidushei Be'ilah is said *after* the Kidushin and not before.) It is clear from the Yerushalmi that Kidushin is considered a separate Mitzvah. This is the view of the RABEINU YECHIEL of Paris as quoted by the RITVA, who says that since Kidushin is a separate Mitzvah apart from the Nesu'in, for it accomplishes entirely different purposes than the Nesu'in (it creates an Isur l'Olam, while the Nesu'in gives the husband a certain degree of Kinyan over her), it warrants its own Berachah. (The Rashba holds that the Bavli must be arguing with the Yerushalmi since it does not mention that Berachah.)

It is not clear from the Yerushalmi exactly what the text of the Birkas Erusin should be. The Yerushalmi, when it mentions the Berachah, might be referring to the Berachah of our Sugya (as the Ramban implies), but it might be referring to a separate Berachah entirely (such as "... Asher Kidshanu b'Mitzvosav v'Tzivanu Al Mitzvas Kidushin"), as Rabeinu Yechiel seems to interpret it.

According to this approach, that Birkas Erusin is a Berachah on the Mitzvah of Kidushin, it is not clear why we mention the Isur of Arayos and the Chupah. Perhaps these Rishonim agree to the Rosh (above, (b)), who said that the point was to remind people that Erusin does not permit the Arusah to her husband.

HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (EH 34:1) writes that Birkas Erusin should be recited before the act of Kidushin, implying that it is a Birkas ha'Mitzvah (see Beis Shmuel #4 and Chelkas Mechokek #3 there). (The Poskim do not mention the Berachah of "Al Mitzvas Kidushin," which Rabeinu Yechiel mentions, but some do bring a special Berachah for the Be'ilas Mitzvah, which is recorded in the Ge'onim, writing that it should be said without "Shem u'Malchus.")
OPINIONS: The Gemara says that all of the seven Berachos of "Birkas Chasanim" are recited each of the seven days after the wedding only when there are "Panim Chadashos" present. If no "Panim Chadashos" are present, then only one Berachah ("Asher Bara") is recited (along with "Borei Pri ha'Gafen").

Why is it necessary to have "Panim Chadashos" in order to recite all seven Berachos?

(a) TOSFOS (DH v'Hu) says that when there are "Panim Chadashos" present, the Simchah is increased. The seven Berachos are recited for that added Simchah that the "Panim Chadashos" provide.

(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Berachos 10:2) writes that we repeat the seven Berachos only when there are "Panim Chadashos" present, because the new person did not yet hear the Berachos, and since he is taking part in the Simchah, he has an obligation to say (or hear) the Berachos for the Simchah. Therefore, we recite the seven Berachos because of the new person's obligation to hear them.

The Rishonim and Acharonim point out that there are a number of practical differences between these two ways of understanding the role of "Panim Chadashos."

1. Tosfos, based on a Midrash, writes that on Shabbos it is not necessary to have "Panim Chadashos," because Shabbos itself is called "Panim Chadashos." Tosfos says that this means that since Shabbos itself causes extra Simchah, the Sheva Berachos may be recited even when there are no new persons present.

According to the Rambam, though, Shabbos is not a reason to say the seven Berachos, because Shabbos is not a person and has no Chiyuv to recite Berachos. (The RITVA, who requires a person obligated in Berachos for Panim Chadasho, suggests another reason why the practice was not to require Panim Chadashos for the Sheva Berachos of Shabbos.)

Similarly, if the presence of a woman or a child provides more Simchah to the wedding party, then the seven Berachos would be recited according to Tosfos, even though these persons are not obligated to recite the Berachos themselves. According to the Rambam they would not, and this is indeed how the Ritva rules. (Incidentally, the Ritva seems to represent a third opinion that requires *both* a person that increases the joy of the occasion, *and* a person who is required to make a Berachah.)

2. The RAMACH and the ROSH write that even if all the people at the Se'udas Nesu'in attended the Chupah and heard the seven Berachos, they can still recite the seven Berachos at the Se'udah, because there is a separate obligation for reciting the seven Berachos at the Se'udah.

The Rambam and Ritva write, though, that the seven Berachos may be recited only if someone is present who did not hear the Berachos at all, including the Berachos at the Chupah. He is apparently following his above-stated opinion in this matter.

3. If a person was not present during the meal but only by the Sheva Berachos, the Ritva considers him Panim Chadashos, and the Rambam presumably would also, whereas Tosfos might not -- and vice versa if the person was there during the meal but did not remain for the Sheva Berachos.

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