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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Kesuvos 17

KESUVOS 16-19 - have been anonymously dedicated by a unique Ohev Torah and Marbitz Torah living in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.



(a) According to Beis Shamai in a Beraisa, one sings the praises of the Kalah the way she is. According to Beis Hillel - one sings 'Kalah Na'ah va'Chasudah' (a lovely, charming bride), irrespective of how beautiful she really is (or isn't).

(b) Beis Shamai argue with Beis Hillel - on the grounds that, if one were to sing that for a Kalah who was lame or blind, one would be contravening the Pasuk in Mishpatim "mi'D'var Sheker Tirchak".

(c) Beis Hillel's counter that - by citing the prohibition of 'Meganeh Mekach' (telling someone that he bought 'a rotten egg'). On the contrary, one is obligated to praise his purchase (either because in the eyes of the purchaser, the article is indeed a good buy, or because of 'Darkei Shalom' as we are taught in Eilu Metzi'os).

(d) We learn from Beis Hillel the important principle of 'Le'olam Tehei Da'ato shel Adam Me'ureves im ha'B'riy'os' (the obligation to remain good terms with the members of the community).

(a) When the B'nei Eretz Yisrael would sing in front of the Kalah 'Lo K'chal ve'Lo Sh'rak ve'Lo Pirchus, ve'Ya'alas Chein' - they meant that she was so charmimg that she didn't require any make-up.

(b) 'Pirchus' means - platted hair.

(c) They sang this refrain in front of Rebbi Zeira - when he received S'michah (presumably, because a Talmid-Chacham is compared to a bride - see Rashi Sh'mos 31:18).

(d) When Rebbi Ami and Rebbi Asi received their Semichah, the people sang 'Kol min Dein ve'Chol min Dein S'muchu Lana, ve'Lo min Sarmisin ... '. 'Sarmisin' are people who twist the Halachos and 'Sarmitin', rags.

  1. 'Chamisin' (from Chamishis - a fifth) are - people who give partial reasons, and ...
  2. ... 'Turmisin' - empty-headed people.
(a) When Rebbi Avahu went from the Yeshivah to the king's palace, the maidservants would go out to greet him with the words 'Rebbe of his people, leader of his nation candelabra of light - blessed be your arrival in peace'!

(b) They described him as a candelabra - because he was so good-looking (similar to Rebbi Yochanan and Ya'akov Avinu) that his face shone.

(a) When Rebbi Yehudah danced in front of a Kalah, he ...
  1. ... sang 'Kalah Na'ah va'Chasudah'.
  2. ... held a twig of myrtle.
(b) Rav Shmuel bar Yehudah followed in his footsteps. He held three Badei ha'Das - in order to juggle them (see also Agados Maharsha). Perhaps the myrtle (itself based on the number three) represents the three parts of the Soul (Nefesh, Ru'ach and Neshamah), and the three twigs, the Sh'loshah Avos (Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya'akov).

(c) Rebbi Zeira viewed Rav Shmuel bar Yehudah's behavior as degrading (like Michal viewed David's wild dancing before the Aron). He was ultimately proved wrong - when, after his death, a pillar of fire divided between him and the people.

(d) Such a miracle occurs - only to one or two people in each generation.

(a) Rav Acha would actually dance with the Kalah on his shoulders. When they asked him whether they should take their cue from him and do likewise - he replied in the affirmative, provided they considered her no more than a piece of wood (i.e. carrying her evoked no thoughts whatsoever); otherwise, not.

(b) The Halachah is not like Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan, who permitted looking at the Kalah, in order to endear her on her husband.

(a) If a Meis who is being taken to burial, a Kalah on her way to the Chupah and a king, converge upon the same spot - the king has precedence, and the other two are obligated to step aside and give him right of way. Second in order of priorities is the Kalah, and it is the Meis who must wait until the Kalah has passed.

(b) Should the first two meet - their separation is not mandatory, and it is only if they prefer not to intermingle that the Meis must give precedence to the Kalah.

(c) The Chachamim praise King Agripas for making way for a Kalah on her way to the Chupah - only because he did not really stand aside, but rather took an alternative route to his destination.

(d) This would otherwise have been unjustifiable - because of the Pasuk "Som Tasim Alecha Melech" - which teaches us that the fear of the king must be constantly on the people, placing upon him the obligation to demand honor and not to forego it.

(a) One may and (must) stop learning Torah in order to accompany a dead person and for the Mitzvah of Hachnasas Kalah. Rebbi Yehudah is actually recorded as having actually done so.

(b) One is not obligated (or even permitted) to stop learning in order to accompany a dead person - if all his needs are being catered for.

(c) Rav Shmuel bar Eini Amar Rav defines 'Kol Tzorcho' in one of two ways: either twelve thousand men plus six thousand Shofar blowers - or twelve thousand men of whom six thousand are Shofar blowers.

(d) Ula defines it as sufficient people to fill the space from the gates of the town until the grave - Rav Sheishes, as six hundred thousand (like the Torah was given, so is it taken away).

(a) The above applies to someone who *learned* Torah (see Tosfos DH 'Hani Mili'). For someone who ...
1. ... *taught* it - there is no minimum Shiur. Everyone is obligated to attend.
2. ... did not even learn it - one is only obligated to go, if there are not sufficient people even to bury him (She'iltos de'Rav Acha'i Ga'on).
(b) The Mitzvah of Hachnasas Kalah in the current Sugya - constitutes accompanying her from her father's house until the Chupah.



(a) Surchav bar Papa quoting Ze'iri, interprets 'Heinuma' as 'Tanura de'Asa' - meaning a round Chupah made of myrtle-branches.

(b) Rebbi Yochanan interprets 'Heinuma' to mean - a veil which covered the Kalah's eyes, enabling her to doze whenever she felt tired (hence it was called 'Heinumah', from the word 'Misnamnem', meaning doze).

(c) The Simanim in our Mishnah pertain to Yehudah. Rav explained that, in Bavel, the Si'man of a Besulah was 'Dardugi de'Mishcha Reisha de'Rabbanan' - meaning the oil that the women would rub on the heads of the Talmidei-Chachamim. Rav Papa thought that it meant a type of oil that was used to cure boils.

(d) Having learned earlier that an Almanah requires an independent Si'man, one would know, in Yehudah, that a woman was an Almanah when she married - by taking care not to distribute parched wheat kernels at her wedding (Tosfos DH 'Almanah').

(a) The problem we have with Rebbi Yehoshua in our Mishnah, who gives the example of 'ha'Peh she'Asar' as a man who purchased a field from his friend's father is - why does he need to say that the field had belonged to his father. Why not to the friend himself, seeing as either way, it is the 'purchaser', who volunteers the information?

(b) We answer that, had the Tana discussed a case where the purchaser claimed to have bought the field from his *friend* directly (rather than from his father), there would be a problem with the Seifa (where he is not believed because there are witnesses that the field had belonged to his father). The Tana says that in that case, he would not be believed. But surely, it would depend upon whether he made a (three-year) Chazakah on the field or not: If he did, then why should he not be believed, and if he did not, then it is obvious that he is not?

(c) A Chazakah on a field takes place - when after having bought it, one eats the fruit for three consecutive years, without the seller having made a Mecha'ah (a protest). From that time on, he is believed to say that he purchased the field even though he lost the document of purchase.

(a) Having established the Mishnah where he claims that the field was purchased from his friend's father, the Chidush in the Seifa concurs with a statement of Rav Huna - that one cannot make a Chazakah on the property of a Katan, even if he became a Gadol (and the 'purchaser' then ate three years).

(b) Rav Huna appears to be informing us what we already know from a Mishnah. On the one hand, he might just be pointing out what the Mishnah does not say explicitly, but on the other, he might be teaching us something that is not apparent in the Mishnah at all - that there is no Chazakah, even if he became a Gadol.

(a) It is possible to find a similar case of Chazakah with the owner himself, when he fled after the purchaser had eaten two years out of the three. The Mishnah cannot present such a case, in a case where the 'seller' fled for fear of his life - because then, it is obvious that the 'purchaser' would not be believed, seeing as the 'seller' was unable to make a Mecha'ah (on which the Chazakah hinges).

(b) We reject the suggestion that the Tana could have presented us with a case when the owner fled due to monetary problems, because then, he should still have made a 'Mecha'ah', failing which, the 'purchaser' will be believed. Distance is no object regarding Chazakah, because we rule 'Mecha'ah she'Lo be'Fanav, Havi Mecha'ah' (on the assumption that, once he makes a Mecha'ah in front of two people, they will pass on the message to others, who will pass it on to others, until eventually, it reaches the ears of the 'purchaser').

(c) We infer that a Mecha'ah she'Lo be'Fanav *is* a Mecha'ah from a case in the Mishnah in Bava Basra, which lists three lands as regards Chazakah: Yehudah, Eiver ha'Yarden ve'Galil, adding that a Chazakah on one is ineffective if the 'seller' is in the other (implying that as long as they in the same province, Chazakah is effective, despite the distance between the 'purchaser' and the 'seller'.

(a) In spite of the Halachah 'Mecha'ah she'Lo be'Fanav Havi Mecha'ah' (on account of travellers who go from one place to the others), there is nevertheless a difference between one province and two provinces - because we establish the case when a state of war exists between the two provinces.

(b) The same will apply within one province should a state of war exist between them - and the reason that the Tana mentions specifically the three provinces is because, due to the fact that they are constantly fighting with each other, there are no regular caravans passing between them, so that, even when they are not in a state of war, there is no Chazakah from one to the other.

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