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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Kesuvos 26

KESUVOS 26 & 27 (6th and 7th days of Pesach) - have been generously dedicated by Dick and Beverly Horowitz of Los Angeles. May they be blessed with a life of joy and much Nachas from their very special children and grandchildren.


(a) Answer: The brother was believed because he spoke naively (i.e. without intent to testify).
1. (Rav Yehudah): A man naively said, 'I remember when I was a child ... they took me out of school, ... and immersed me to eat Terumah'; R. Chiya says that he continued 'my friends avoided touching me, and called me 'Yochanan who eats Chalah'.'.
2. Rebbi established him as a Kohen based on this.
(b) (Beraisa - R. Shimon Ben Elazar): Ma'aser Rishon establishes that a man is a Kohen, just as Terumah does; if he takes a portion in Beis Din, this does not establish him.
(c) Question: But Ma'aser Rishon is given to a Levi!
(d) Answer: Our Tana holds as R. Elazar Ben Azaryah.
1. (Beraisa): R. Akiva says, we give Terumah to a Kohen and Ma'aser Rishon to a Levi; R. Elazar Ben Azaryah says, Ma'aser Rishon is given even to a Kohen.
(e) Question: Even R. Elazar Ben Azaryah admits that Ma'aser may be given to a Levi - (how can we establish the man as a Kohen?)
(f) Answer: After Ezra fined the Levi'im, R. Elazar Ben Azaryah says that Ma'aser Rishon is given only to a Kohen.
(g) Question: Perhaps it happened to be given to a Levi!
(h) Answer (Rav Chisda): We are dealing with a man whose father is known to be a Kohen; rumor says that the son is unfit for Kehunah because his mother was divorced or had Chalitzah; the son was seen receiving Ma'aser Rishon.
1. He is certainly not a Levi! If he really was an unfit Kohen, he would not receive Ma'aser.
i. Even the opinion that says that anyone may eat Ma'aser Rishon admits that it is only distributed to a Levi or Kohen.
(i) (From Beraisa above): If he takes a portion in Beis Din, this does not establish him.
(j) Question: If distribution in Beis Din does not establish him what does?!
(k) Answer (Rav Sheshes): The Beraisa says thusly: One who receives a share of Terumah with his brothers from his father's estate is not established as a Kohen.
(l) Question: This is obvious!
(m) Answer: One might have thought, just as the others are receiving Terumah to eat, so is this one.
1. Rather, it is possible that he is receiving Terumah to sell.
(a) (Mishnah (Daf 22B) - R. Yehudah): We do not establish a man as a Kohen based on 1 witness ...
(b) Question: R. Shimon Ben Gamliel says the same thing as R. Eliezer!
1. Suggestion: Perhaps they argue on this: R. Eliezer says that protest of 1 witness is considered a protest, and R. Shimon Ben Gamliel says 2 must protest.
2. Rejection (R. Yochanan): All agree, at least 2 must protest!
(c) Answer #1: The case is, we know that the man's father is a Kohen. A rumor said that he is unfit (because of his mother), so we demoted him from the status of a Kohen. One witness came and said that he is a proper Kohen, and we re-instated him;

(d) Two witnesses came and said that he is unfit, so we demoted him from the status of a Kohen. Now, a 2nd witness came and said that he is a proper Kohen.
1. All agree that we join witnesses that did not testify together; here, the question is if we are concerned for a disgrace to Beis Din.
2. The first Tana (R. Eliezer) says that we do not allow a disgrace of Beis Din; since we demoted him, we do not reinstate him.
3. R. Shimon Ben Gamliel says that we reinstate him; we are not concerned for the disgrace of Beis Din.
(e) Question (Rav Ashi): If so, they would argue even if both witnesses that he is a Kohen came after the 2 that protested!
(f) Answer #2 (Rav Ashi): They argue whether we join witnesses that testified separately.
1. R. Nasan and Chachamim also argue over this in a Beraisa.
2. (Beraisa): Two witnesses do not join unless they saw the testimony together; R. Yehoshua Ben Karchah says that they join even if they saw the testimony at different times;
3. Two witnesses join, only if they testify together; R. Nasan says, one can testify today, and the other on another day.
(a) (Mishnah): A woman that was taken by Nachrim who intend to demand money for her is permitted to her husband; if she was taken for a capital offense, she is prohibited to her husband.
(b) (Gemara - Rav Shmuel Bar Rav Yitzchak): This only applies when Yisrael are in control; if the Nachrim are in control, even when abducted for money, she is prohibited to her husband.
(c) Version #1 - Question (Rava - Beraisa): R. Yosi haKohen and R. Zecharya Ben haKatzav testified about a girl that was taken as collateral for a loan in Ashkelon. Her family distanced themselves from her, even though witnesses say that she was never in seclusion.
(d) Chachamim: If you believe the witnesses that she was taken as collateral, believe them that she was not secluded; if you do not believe them that she was not secluded do not believe them that she was taken as collateral!
1. Suggestion: Ashkelon is a place where the Nacrim are in control, and it was only a problem because she was taken as collateral; had she merely been abducted to charge ransom, no!
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