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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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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) The Torah seems to say that Terumah is given to the Kohen, and Ma'aser Rishon to the Levi. That is indeed the opinion of Rebbi Akiva in a Beraisa. According to Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah - Ma'aser Rishon can be given to the Kohen, too (since Kohanim also belong to the tribe of Levi).

(b) When Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar says that Ma'aser Rishon is no less a Chazakah (to prove that the one who receives it is a Kasher Kohen) than Terumah - he is referring to his own times, after the Takanah of Ezra, who penalized the Levi'im, decreeing that Ma'aser was to be given to the Kohanim only.

(c) Ezra penalized the Levi'im - because most of them did not return to Eretz Yisrael from Bavel.

(d) According to Rebbi Akiva - he penalized them by permitting the Kohanim to become equal partners with the Levi'im.

(a) We conclude that the recipient's father must have been a Kohen, because otherwise, we would suspect that he was really a Levi, and that an Am ha'Aretz gave him Ma'aser in spite of Ezra's Takanah. He needs a Chazakah however - because we are speaking when a rumor began to spread that he was a ben Gerushah or a ben Chalutzah.

(b) The Chazakah is a valid one even according to those who permit a Zar to eat Ma'aser Rishon - because even *they* agree that he does not receive a portion in the granary.

(c) When the Tana of the above Beraisa says that receiving a portion in Beis-Din is not a Chazakah - he means that if a Kohen (on whom a rumor is circulating that he is a ben Gerushah or a ben Chalutzah) inherits together with his brothers in Beis-Din, he does have a Chazakah that he is Kasher.

(d) We might otherwise have thought - that just as his brothers inherit in order to eat, so too, does he.

(a) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel quoting Rebbi Shimon ben ha'S'gan concludes our Mishnah with the words 'Ma'alin li'Kehunah al Pi Eid Echad'. The problem with this statement is - that he appears to be saying the same as Rebbi Elazar.

(b) We cannot explain that Raban Shimon ben Gamliel instates a Kohen with one witness even against protesters, whereas Rebbi Elazar does not - because everyone agrees that two witnesses are required to dispel an official protest.

(c) Neither can Rebbi Elazar hold that even *one* protester necessitates proof that he is a Kasher Kohen, whereas Raban Shimon ben Gamliel requires *two* - because everyone agrees that only a protest issued by two people has any validity.




(a) We conclude that Raban Shimon ben Gamliel and Rebbi Elazar argue in a case when, although we know that his father is a Kohen, a rumor began to spread that he is a ben Gerushah or a ben Chalutzah. Two witnesses are required to dispel a rumor (as we just explained).

(b) Following the testimony of the one witness and his subsequent reinstatement, two witnesses testified that he was indeed a ben Gerushah or a ben Chalutzah - Beis-Din removed him from the Kehunah and a second witness came to testify that he was Kasher.

(c) Two individual witnesses whose testimonies tally - may normally combine.

(d) We initially think that the basis of their Machlokes is - whether we will combine them here (to counter the two witnesses who have declared him Pasul, or not). The Tana Kama (Rebbi Elazar) will not accept the testimony of the second witness in this case - because having removed the Kohen twice from the Kehunah, to reinstate him again, would be making a mockery of Beis-Din. Whereas Raban Shimon ben Gamliel holds that 'We removed him and we can return him'.

5) We accept the two witnesses who declare the Kohen to be Kasher, despite the two witnesses who declare him Pasul - because we place two against two and put the Kohen on his Chazakah (which was suitably reinstated by the first witness because the rumor that preceded his testimony, is not comparable to a protest).


(a) The problem that Rav Ashi has with the current interpretation of the Machlokes Tana'im is - that, if that is so, even if *two* witnesses were to arrive at the end to declare him Kasher, Rebbi Elazar should not reinstate him either.

(b) Rav Ashi connects it with the Machlokes between Rebbi Nasan and the Tana Kama in a Beraisa. The Tana Kama requires witnesses to testify as a pair in Beis-Din - Rebbi Nasan permits one witness to testify today, and the second one, tomorrow.

(c) According to Rav Ashi - Rebbi Elazar requires the two witnesses to testify simultaneously in Beis-Din (like the Tana Kama), whereas Raban Shimon ben Gamliel permits them to testify independently (like Rebbi Nasan).

(a) In another Machlokes in the same Beraisa, the Tana Kama requires the witnesses to see the act simultaneously - Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah accepts their testimony even if they 'see' it one after the other.

(b) It is possible for two witnesses to have seen the same act at two different times - if one witnessed the loan, and the other, the admission on the part of the borrower that the loan took place.

(a) The Tana of our Mishnah permits a woman who was captured to return to her husband (even if he is a Kohen - see Tosfos DH 'Al-yedei') - if she is being held hostage for ransom (because her captors are afraid that if they abuse her, they will lose their money); and he prohibits it (even if he is a Yisrael) - when she is being held captive under a death-threat (which will be further explained at the end of the Sugya), because we suspect her of charming her captors, to save her life).

(b) Rav Shmuel bar Rav Yitzchak qualifies our Mishnah, permitting her in the Reisha only where the Jews have jurisdiction over the Nochrim (including her captors); but in areas where the Nochrim are in power, she is forbidden even when she is being held for ransom.

(a) The family of a certain woman in Ashkelon keep away from her - because she had been given as security for a large sum of money (which was not paid on time).

(b) The same witnesses who testified that she was taken as collateral - testified that she had neither been secluded with her captors nor had she been intimate with them.

(c) Rebbi Yossi ha'Kohen and Rebbi Zecharyah ben ha'Katzav testified in the name of the Chachamim - that 'mi'Mah Nafshach', if they believed the witnesses (who seem to have been suspect in the family's eyes) that she had been taken as collateral, then they should also believe them that she had not been violated, and if, on the other hand, they did not want to believe them in the latter regard, how could they believe them in the former? (the principle of 'ha'Peh she'Asar ... ').

(d) According to the first Lashon - the significance of the fact that this episode took place in Ashkelon - is that Ashkelon was under the authority of Nochrim.

(a) The difference between 'Nechbeshah' and 'Hurhenah' is - that in the former (a plain case of kidnap for ransom) there is no time limit, so she never 'belongs' to the kidnappers, whereas in the latter, where she is being held against a loan, when the time expires, she becomes theirs.

(b) We try to infer from the above episode, which was a case of Hurhenah - 'Hurhenah, In (witnesses are required to permit her), Nechbeshah, Lo' (they are not - she is permitted even without witnesses). Considering that Ashkelon is considered a town which is governed by the Nochrim, this is a Kashya on Rav Shmuel bar Rav Yitzchak (who maintains that in such a case, even if she is being held for money, she is forbidden to her husband).

(c) We refute the proof however - by not differentiating between Hurhenah and Nechbeshah.

(d) The Tana describes a case of Hurhenah - because that happens to be the case that occurred in Ashkelon.

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