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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. What does Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah say?

(b) What does Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar then mean when he says that Ma'aser Rishon is no less of a Chazakah (to prove that the one who receives it is a Kasher Kohen) than Terumah?

(c) Why did Ezra penalize the Levi'im?

(d) How did he penalize them according to Rebbi Akiva?

(a) We conclude that the recipient's father must have been a Kohen, because otherwise, we would suspect that he is really a Levi, and that an Am ha'Aretz gave him Ma'aser in spite of Ezra's Takanah.
Then why does he need a Chazakah?

(b) Why is the Chazakah a valid one even according to those who permit a Zar to eat Ma'aser Rishon?

(c) What does the Tana of the above Beraisa mean when he says that receiving a portion in Beis-Din is not a Chazakah? To whom is he referring?

(d) Why would we have even thought that it is?

(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'.
What is the problem with his statement?

(b) Why can we not explain that Raban Shimon ben Gamliel instates a Kohen with one witness even against protesters, whereas Rebbi Elazar does not?

(c) And why can we not explain that, according to Rebbi Elazar, even *one* protester necessitates proof that he is a Kasher Kohen, whereas, Raban Shimon ben Gamliel requires *two*?

Answers to questions



(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.
How many witnesses are required to dispel a rumor?

(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.
What happened next?

(c) May two individual witnesses whose testimonies tally normally combine?

(d) Then what (do we initially think) is the basis of their Machlokes? Why does the Tana Kama (Rebbi Elazar) not accept the testimony of the second witness here?

5) On what grounds do we accept the two witnesses who declare the Kohen to be Kasher, seeing as there are two witnesses who declare him Pasul?


(a) What problem does Rav Ashi have with the current interpretation of the Machlokes Tana'im?

(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.
What does Rebbi Nasan say?

(c) How will Rav Ashi connect the two Machlokos? How do Rebbi Elazar and Raban Shimon ben Gamliel respectively hold?

(a) In another Machlokes in the same Beraisa, the Tana Kama requires the witnesses to see the act simultaneously.
What does Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah say?

(b) How is it possible for two witnesses to have 'seen' the same act at two different times?

(a) When does the Tana of our Mishnah permit a woman who was captured to return to her husband, and when does he prohibit it?

(b) Rav Shmuel bar Rav Yitzchak qualifies our Mishnah.
In which case is the woman forbidden to her husband even if she is being held to ransom?

(a) Why did the family of a certain woman in Ashkelon keep away from her?

(b) What did the witnesses testify about her? Which witnesses were they?

(c) What testimony did Rebbi Yossi ha'Kohen and Rebbi Zecharyah ben ha'Katzav present in the name of the Chachamim? On what grounds did they instruct the family to believe the witnesses (who seem to have been suspect in the family's eyes)?

(d) What is significant about the fact that this episode took place in Ashkelon (according to the first Lashon)?

(a) What is the difference between 'Nechbeshah' and 'Hurhenah'?

(b) What do we try to infer from the above episode, which was a case of Hurhenah? What does this inference prove?

(c) How do we refute the proof?

(d) Then why does the Tana describe a case of Hurhenah?

Answers to questions

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