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Kesuvos, 65


The Gemara records a Machlokes between the Tana Kama and Rebbi Nasan regarding the obligation for a man to provide his wife with a Kar v'Keses -- a padded blanket and pillow upon which one rests one's head and body. The Gemara says that both agree that in a case where she is accustomed to sleeping on such fine items, he certainly is obligated to provide her with them. The Machlokes is only where she is not accustomed to such luxuries, but *he* is accustomed to them. The Tana Kama holds that he does not have to buy her a Kar v'Keses of her own. Rebbi Nasan argues and says that he must provide her with a Kar v'Keses, because she can claim that sometimes he might leave town with his own (which the two of them sleep upon, since his is large enough to be used by both of them) and return to his town as Shabbos enters. Due to the prohibition of Hotza'ah (carrying four Amos in a public place on Shabbos) he will not be able to carry his Kar v'Keses all the way home. When he arrives home without his Kar v'Keses, he will take his wife's Kar v'Keses away from her and make her sleep on the ground. Therefore, he must give her a Kar v'Keses of her own.
(a) Why doesn't the Gemara propose a simple reason to require him to buy her a Kar v'Keses? Since he is accustomed to using a Kar v'Keses, we should apply the principle that says that she rises to his degree of luxury and standard of living (Kesuvos 61a)! The very fact that he will take his Kar v'Keses away when he leaves town should be valid reason to require him to buy her a separate set.

(b) How can the Gemara say that she is afraid that he will take away "her Kar v'Keses," if he does not buy her a separate Kar v'Keses? She does not have her own Kar v'Keses for him to take away, since he did not buy her one!

(a) There are a wide variety of answers to the question of why we do not apply the principle that says that she rises to his degree of luxury in our Gemara.
1. RASHI (DH Urchei) and TOSFOS (DH v'Shakalt) seem to understand that our Gemara indeed *does* apply this principle. Nevertheless, they maintain that this principle only applies when they are actually living with each other. When the husband travels away from home, since he is not together with his wife, his wife does not need to live according to his standard of living.

It seems that the only reason we say she rises to his degree of luxury is because it is insulting for her if he denies her the luxury that she *sees* him experiencing.

2. However, most Rishonim reject this approach, and maintain that even when he is traveling, he must treat his wife (who remained at home) to his own standard of living. Why, then, does our Gemara not mention this rule?

The RIF (as explained by the Ritva and Rishonim), who does not cite the Beraisa we are discussing in his Halachic compilation, seems to have learned that the Beraisa disagrees with the rule that she rises to his level of luxury. The Beraisa is therefore not accepted as Halachah.

3. The RAMBAN explains that when the Gemara says that he is accustomed to using a Kar v'Keses, it means that only he, but not the rest of his family, is accustomed to a Kar v'Keses. Since it is not his *family's* practice, he need not treat her to that level of luxury.

4. The RASHBA explains that the Beraisa (like our Mishnah) is discussing a poverty stricken individual. Since *she* is not accustomed to living in such luxury, even though he became accustomed to it, he need not beg door to door in order to earn money so that he can treat her to his level of luxury.

5. The RA'AVAD (cited by the above Rishonim) explains that the Beraisa is discussing whether he must be her a *second* Kar v'Keses set. She already has one, but he might have to buy her a second set to be prepared for the eventuality that he will leave his own Kar v'Keses on the road and take hers.

(b) RASHI offers two answers to our second question.
1. First, he explains that the woman is not claiming that the husband will take away her *Kar v'Keses* that she sleeps on, but rather she is claiming that he will take away her simple bedspread from her.

Why, though, does the husband have to take away her bedspread? Let them both sleep on it! Apparently, the normal, simple bedspread is the size of one person, as opposed to the Kar v'Keses, which are large enough for two people. She is therefore afraid that he will take away her bedspread even though he is not entitled to do so. Even though he has his own bedspread at home (and he does not take it along on his travels, since *every* bed comes with at least a simple bedspread), since he is used to luxury, one bedspread may not suffice for him, and he will take hers as well (TOSFOS DH v'Shakalt)

. 2. In his second answer, Rashi explains that she is saying that she is going to buy her own Kar v'Keses with her own money (so that she can sleep on it when her husband goes away with his Kar v'Keses, because she has become accustomed to such luxuries), and she is afraid that her husband will unfairly take hers away from her if he finds himself without his Kar v'Keses.

Why is she afraid that he will take hers away from her, if her Kar v'Keses is large enough for both of them? The answer is that according to this answer, the Kar v'Keses is only large enough to accommodate a single person, just like a simple bedspread.

According to this, though, how does Rebbi Nasan solve the problem by requiring the husband to buy for his wife a Kar v'Keses? Even if he buys one for her, he might take it away from her if he finds himself without his linen to sleep on! The answer is that now that he buys her one set of Kar v'Keses, she can invest her own money to buy a spare Kar v'Keses for such occasions, and she does not have to buy two spare sets with her own money.

Alternatively, the only reason she is complaining is because he might take away the Kar v'Keses that she purchased with *her own money* to use when he goes away on trips. If *he* buys her the Kar v'Keses, though, it will not bother her so much when he takes it away on rare occasions and asks her to sleep on a simple bedspread like she used to do. (M. Kornfeld)

3. According to the Ra'avad (cited above, a:5) the answer to our question is obvious. The Beraisa is discussing whether or not he must buy his wife an *extra* Kar v'Keses; she already has one set! (However, the Rishonim point out that the Ra'avad's explanation is not consistent with the version of this Beraisa as it is recorded in the TOSEFTA.)


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