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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Kesuvos 23

KESUVOS 21-23 (Seder night, and Chol ha'Moed Pesach) - have been anonymously dedicated by a unique Ohev Torah and Marbitz Torah living in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.


(a) According to the Tana of the Beraisa, if two pairs of witnesses clash over whether a woman is betrothed or not, or as to whether she is divorced or not, she is forbidden to marry a second man.
What distinction does the Tana make between the two cases?

(b) Abaye establishes the Beraisa when it is a case of one witness against one, and not two against two.
How will that explain the distinction?

(c) What would be the Din in a case of two against two (see Tosfos DH 'Mai')?

(a) Rav Ashi retains the original version of the Beraisa (when there two against two - T'rei u'T'rei), but he switches the Halachos of the Reisha and the Seifa.
What does the Tana now hold ...
  1. ... in the Reisha by Kidushin?
  2. ... in the Seifa by Gerushin?
(b) How does Rav Ashi explain T'rei u'Trei both in the Reisha and in the Seifa?

(c) Why does the Tana need to inform us that, if two witnesses say that they saw ...

1. ... the Kidushin, and two say that they did not, she is considered betrothed and that she must leave the second man? Is this not obvious?
2. ... the Gerushin, and two say that they did not, that she is permitted to remain with her husband? Why is this not obvious, unless it is to teach us some people tend to divorce discreetly - which is the same Chidush as the Reisha)?
(d) What is the outcome of the Sugya? What do we learn from the Beraisa in this regard?
(a) The Tana of our Mishnah concludes that if witnesses came after she was already married, she may remain with her husband. According to Rebbi Oshaya, this refers to the Reisha, when the woman said that she had been married, but was now divorced.
What does Rabah bar Avin say?

(b) Why, according to Rabah bar Avin, does the statement only pertain to the Seifa and not to the Reisha?

(c) On what grounds do we reject the suggestion that Rav Oshaya and Rabah bar Avin argue over Rav Hamnuna, who says that a woman who says to her husband that he divorced her is believed (and that Rabah bar Avin disagrees with Rav Hamnuna)?

4) Still with regard to the end of our Mishnah, how does Shmuel's father interpret the words ...
  1. ... 've'Im mi'she'Niseis Ba'u Eidim'?
  2. ... 'Lo Seitzei'?
(a) What do we do if a woman claims that she was captured, but that she had not been violated and that she had witnesses to prove it?

(b) What would those witnesses have had to testify in order to be effective?

(c) What will be the Din if, after Beis-Din have permitted a woman who had a 'Peh she'Asar' to marry, witnesses arrive who testify that she was captured ...

  1. ... but they do not know whether she was violated or not?
  2. ... and that she was violated?
(a) What did Shmuel ask his father, who appointed chaperones to keep guard over some women captives who arrived in Neherda'a to be sold?

(b) His father replied by asking him whether he would not have done the same thing had it been his own daughters who were captured (not in order to permit them to marry, but to prevent further violation).
What was the result of his fateful question?

(c) What did Shmuel's daughters do when their captors took them to Eretz Yisrael to be sold?

(d) What prompted Rebbi Chanina to comment that they must be the daughters of a great Talmid-Chacham?

(a) What did Rebbi Chanina say to Rebbi Sh'man bar Aba? What is the significance of the fact that he said this specifically to *him* (beside the fact that he was a relation of Shmuel)?

(b) What objection did Rebbi Sh'man bar Aba raise to Rebbi Chanina's ruling?

(c) What did Rebbi Chanina reply?

(d) Rebbi Chanina implied that, if the witnesses had been present, Rebbi Sh'man bar Aba would have been forbidden to marry Shmuel's daughters.
But didn't Shmuel's father rule that if the witnesses arrive after Beis-Din have permitted the woman to marry, the concession to get married remains in force?

Answers to questions



(a) The Tana of our Mishnah states that if each of two women, who have witnesses who testify that they were captured, claims that she is Tahor, they are not believed.
When *are* they believed?

(b) Since when do we believe one woman to testify?

(c) If a woman testifies that she is Tamei and her friend, Tahor, she is believed, but vice-versa, she is not, says the Beraisa.
Does the latter case speak when there are witnesses that she was captured or not?

(a) The Tana continues that if she says that she and her friend are both Tamei, she is believed regarding herself but not regarding her friend, whereas if she says that they are both Tahor, she is believed regarding her friend but not regarding herself.
Why must the former case be speaking when there are no witnesses that they were captured?

(b) How do we know that 'Einah Ne'emenes al Chavertah' means that her friend is Tahor (even though the same words in the Reisha do not imply that)?

(c) And why must the latter case (where she says that they are both Tahor) be speaking when there *are* witnesses?

(d) What does Abaye say to the current contention that the Reisha and the Seifa speak when there are witnesses, and the middle case, when there are not?

(a) Rav Papa reestablishes the Beraisa to speak when there are two witnesses, but when, in each of the four cases, one witness inverts her claim.
Which two principles (besides 'Shavyah le'Nafshah Chatichah de'Isura') will now govern all four cases?

(b) How will this work in the case where she says ...

  1. ... 'Ani Temei'ah va'Chaverti Tehorah'?
  2. ... 'Ani Tehorah va'Chaverti Temei'ah'?
(c) Seeing as we already know 'Shavya le'Nafshah Chatichah de'Isura' from the first case, and that she is believed regarding her friend from the second, why does the Tana need to add the third case?

(d) And why does he need to add the fourth case, seeing as we already know that she is believed to exonerate her friend even against another witness from the first case (and the fact that she is not believed to exonerate herself when there are witnesses that she was captured, we have many sources)?

(a) Similarly, says the Mishnah, when two men arrive in town, and each one claims to be a Kohen, they are not believed.
When *are* they believed, according to the Tana Kama?

(b) In which regard are they believed?

(c) What does Rebbi Yehudah say? Why is there an additional reason for Rebbi Yehudah to say this?

(d) According to Rebbi Elazar, as long as no-one protests, one witness is believed (like the Tana Kama).
In which point does Rebbi Elazar argue with the Tana Kama?

Answers to questions

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