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1) [line 1] HA'ISHAH NIKNEIS (KIDUSHIN AND NISU'IN: AN INTRODUCTION)
Halachically, there are many *aspects* to the Jewish marriage. The marriage
is also implemented in a number of *stages*. The various aspects of the
Jewish marriage can be divided into categories of "Ishus" (the man-wife
relationship), "Kinyan Isur" (aspects involving what a person may or may not
do, Halachically, and the consequences of acting inappropriately), and
"Kinyan Mamon" (monetary benefits or obligations). The most important stages
of the Jewish marriage are "Kidushin" and "Nisu'in." For the sake of
clarity, we will also refer to "Shiduchin" as a stage of marriage. Let us
examine each of these more closely.
[I] THREE ASPECTS OF MARRIAGE:
(a) ISHUS - Marriage creates a *mutual bond* between the husband and his
wife, which is expressed in many ways. This also implies a familial
relationship between a man and his wife, much like that between blood
relatives. (Chazal refer to this bond as "She'er" -- Yevamos 97a.) This
husband/wife relationship obligates the parties in marriage to each other
monetarily as well. In these contexts:
1. Marriage permits the man and his wife to have marital relations.
(b) KINYAN ISUR - Upon marriage, the woman becomes designated exclusively to
her husband and prohibited to all other men in the world, bearing a penalty
of Kares and Chenek for having relations with them. This Isur remains in
effect until she is released from the husband either through receiving a Get
from him, or through the husband's death. Even if she accepts a second
Kidushin from another man during her marriage, the second Kidushin is not
valid and she does not need a Get from the second man in order to remarry
upon her first husband's death.
2. If the man is a Kohen it permits and obligates him to become Tamei in
order to bury his wife when she dies.
3. The husband must provide his wife with sustenance, clothes and shelter.
4. The wife must, in turn, care for her husband as a wife normally does
(e.g. cook for him, make his bed, etc. - Kesuvos 59b).
5. If the wife makes an oath ("Neder") which infringes on her obligations to
him, or which causes her physical torment, the husband may annul it. (This
is known as "Hafaras Nedarim," see Background to Kidushin 3:17. Before the
marriage the *father* of a Ketanah or Na'arah may perform Hafaras Nedarim
for her oaths.)
(c) KINYAN MAMON - The husband acquires his wife through marriage in a
monetary sense as well.
1. If his wife dies during their marriage, he inherits her property. (The
Tana'im argue whether this is mid'Oraisa or mid'Rabanan, see Bava Basra
2. Because of this Kinyan Mamon, if the husband is a Kohen, the wife may eat
Terumah as a member of his household (Kesuvos 57b).
3. Mid'Rabanan, the husband also receives the earnings of his wife and any
items that she finds.
4. In addition, he is entitled to the usage ("Peiros") of any property she
brings into the marriage. (For this reason, such property is known as
"Nichsei Milug," "plucked" property.)
[II] STAGES OF MARRIAGE:
(a) SHIDUCHIN - In anticipation of the marriage, the man may formally agree
to marry the woman. This is known as "Shiduchei" (Kidushin 12b). None of the
Halachos of marriage apply to them at this point, although they may obligate
themselves to each other monetarily to guarantee that the marriage takes
place (see Tosfos 8b end of DH Manah). Also, the families of the bride and
the groom may promise the young couple specified sums, upon the realization
of the marriage (see Kidushin 9b and Tosfos). These written agreements are
also known as "Shetarei Pesikta" (ibid.) or, nowadays, "Tena'im."
(b) KIDUSHIN - The actual marriage begins when the man gives the woman Kesef
(money or any object or favor which is of value to the woman), Shtar (a
marriage document) or Bi'ah in order to effect Kidushin. This stage, known
as "Eirusin" in the Torah (Devarim 22:23), was given the name "Kidushin" by
the Rabanan to denote that through this act, the husband prohibits the wife
to the entire world, just as Hekdesh (a sanctified object) is prohibited for
ordinary use (Kidushin 2b; see also Tosfos 7a DH v'Nifshetu). A single
Berachah, Birkas Eirusin, is made at the time of Eirusin (Kesuvos 7b).
1. At this point, the wife is still living in her father's house and being
supported by her father. However, she is considered to be fully married with
regard to Isurim until her husband dies or divorces her with a Get. (That
is, the Kinyan Isur mentioned above applies to her.) If she has relations
with another man she is punished with Chenek, unless she is a Na'arah
Besulah who was never married in the past, in which case she is punished
with the more severe punishment of Sekilah (see Background to Sotah 24:10,
(c) NISU'IN - The Nisu'in, or completion of the marriage, is accomplished
through Chupah. The Rishonim offers various definitions for Chupah (see
Insights to Kesuvos 57:1), but in general it means that the husband brings
his wife into his house. Seven Berachos are recited, and these Berachos are
repeated during all meals made in honor of the new couple, for seven days.
(There are numerous conditions under which the seven Berachos are not
recited, or are recited for fewer days, see Kesuvos 7a, 8a.) At this stage,
the mutual obligations of Ishus and the Kinyan Mamon take effect.
2. Mid'Rabanan, she is still prohibited from having relations with her
husband until the Nisu'in (beginning of Beraisa d'Maseches Kalah).
3. Her father may no longer perform Hafaras Nedarim for her oaths, but
neither may her husband. If she is a Na'arah who was never married in the
past, her father may perform Hafaras Nedarim for her Nedarim *in
conjunction* with the husband (see Background to Kidushin 3:17:b). No
monetary obligations (except for those voluntary obligations accepted during
"Shiduchin," as mentioned above) exist between the man and his wife during
1. The husband must write his wife a Kesuvah, in which he specifies many of
his obligations to his wife mid'Oraisa and mid'Rabanan (see Tena'ei Kesuvah,
Background to Gitin 48:24).
2. If the husband is a Kohen, he is obligated to be Metamei himself in order
to bury her if she dies.
3. The husband may perform Hafaras Nedarim (by himself) for his wife's
4. Even if the wife is a Na'arah, her punishment for having extramarital
relations reverts to Chenek (rather than Sekilah). For almost all practical
purposes, the wife is no longer considered a Besulah after the Nisu'in.
2a) [line 4, 5] DINAR / PERUTAH (CURRENCY)
1 Perutah = the value of 0.018 or 0.022 grams of pure silver, depending
upon the differing Halachic opinions. (The first figure represents the
opinion of Rabeinu Gershom and Rashi; the second, the Ga'onim and the Rif.)
- 1 Sela = 4 Dinerin
- 1 Dinar = 6 Ma'in
- 1 Me'ah = 2 Pundeyonin
- 1 Pundeyon = 2 Isarin
- 1 Isar = 6-8 Perutos (based on Kidushin 12a)
Based upon the current (May 4, 01) value of $4.33/ounce or $1.70/gram, these
values are $0.03 and $0.04, respectively.
As such, the values for 1 Dinar are $4.41 and $5.38 (at 6 Perutos/Isar) or
$5.88 and $7.18 (at 8 Perutos/Isar).
b) [line 4] SHAVEH DINAR - [an object worth] the value of a Dinar
3) [line 6] ISAR HA'ITALKI - the Roman coin known as an "As," which is the
equivalent of 1/24 of a Dinar (see above, entry 2a)
4) [line 7] GET
(a) The Torah states (Devarim 24:1) that if a man wants to divorce his wife,
he must write a Sefer Kerisus (a document that cuts [the bond between them])
and hand it to her in front of two witnesses. In the language of Chazal,
this document of divorce is called a Get (pl. - Gitin.)
(b) A Get must contain the full names of the pair involved in the divorce,
the places where they are to be found at the time of the writing (or where
they live, or where they were born, according to some), and the date and
place where the Get is written. If any of these items is missing or mistaken
("Shinah Shemo u'Shemah" -- Gitin 34b, Yevamos 91b), the Get is invalid.
(c) A Get must be written Lishmah (for the sake of the woman who is to be
divorced), as is learned from the verse in the Torah, "v'Chasav *Lah* Sefer
Kerisus" - "and he must write *for her* a bill of divorce" (Devarim 24:1).
The scribe must therefore write at least: 1. the name of the wife; 2. the
name of the husband; 3. the place; and 4. the words "Harei At Muteres l'Chol
Adam" -- "You are hereby free to marry whomever you wish" -- with the
intention that this Get will be used to divorce this specific woman (see
RAMBAM Hilchos Gerushin 3:7).
5) [line 7] YEVAMAH (YIBUM)
(a) If a married man dies childless, his widow must undergo Yibum (the
marriage of a dead man's brother with his wife), as it states in Devarim
25:5-10. Chazal learn from the verses that there is a preference for the
oldest brother to perform Yibum.
(b) If the brother chooses not to marry her, he must perform Chalitzah (a
procedure in Beis Din that absolves her of the Mitzvah of Yibum - ibid.). He
appears before a Beis Din of three and states, "I do not want to marry her,"
after which his sister-in-law approaches him before the elders, takes off
his right sandal and spits in front of him. She then declares, "This is what
shall be done to the man who will not build up a family for his brother,"
and she is then free to marry whomever she wants.
(c) The *connection* of the brother to the dead man's wife, which obligates
one of the two, is called Zikah. It is comparable to the state of Eirusin
(betrothal) before a marriage. The Tana of the Mishnah from Yevamos rules
that the Zikah "connects" the Yevamah with all of the brothers, not only the
oldest. While the Yevamah is waiting for Yibum or Chalitzah, she is called a
6) [line 12] SEDEI EFRON - the field of Efron ha'Chiti that Avraham Avinu
bought as a burial plot (Bereishis 23:3-20)
7) [line 1] "SADOS BA'KESEF YIKNU..." - "Men shall buy fields for money,
[and sign deeds, and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Binyamin,
and in the places around Yerushalayim, and in the cities of Yehudah, and in
the cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in the
cities of the Negev; for I will cause their captivity to return, says
HaSh-m.]" (Yirmeyahu 32:44)
8) [line 4] HEKDESH - that which is dedicated for a sacred purpose,
especially property of the Beis ha'Mikdash
(a) KEDUSHAS HA'GUF - an object with intrinsic Kedushah, such as the
utensils used in the Beis ha'Mikdash (RAMBAM Hilchos Me'ilah 6:5) or a live
Korban that is used in the Beis ha'Mikdash "as is."
(b) KEDUSHAS DAMIM - an object the *value* of which is consecrated to
Hekdesh; e.g. an animal that a person consecrated to be sold in order to buy
another animal as a Korban with its value.
(c) KEDUSHAS BEDEK HA'BAYIS - an object the *value* of which is consecrated
to Hekdesh so that it should be used for filling the day to day needs of the
Beis ha'Mikdash and not for Korbanos.
9) [line 10] B'AL KORCHAH - against her will
10) [line 11] MAI IRYA D'TANI SHALOSH? - Why did the Tana of the Mishnah use
the feminine gender (Shalosh) when recording the number three [and not the
11) [line 15] B'SHIV'AH DERACHIM BODKIN ES HA'ZAV - A Zav is "checked" in
seven ways to determine if the emission that he experienced makes him Tamei
or not (see next entry, (b))
12) [line 15] ZAV
(a) A Zav (Vayikra 15:1-15), a man who emits Zov two or three times (see
below, entry #13b for a discussion of the Tum'ah of the Zav), whether it is
emitted in one day or in two or three consecutive days, is an Av ha'Tum'ah.
Zov is a clear discharge with the appearance of the white of a sterile or
spoiled egg, in contrast with semen, which has the consistency of fresh egg
white. Zov can also be a pus-like discharge resembling the liquid from
barley dough or soft barley batter. A man who emits Zov one time is Tamei
like a Ba'al Keri (see Background to Nazir 47:9:b) and must immerse and wait
for nightfall to become Tahor.
(b) A man who emits a discharge that may be Zov is "checked " to determine
whether or not he becomes a Zav. If this discharge came about b'Ones (due to
an external cause), he is Tahor. The seven ways are 1. eating too much; 2.
drinking too much; 3. carrying a heavy load; 4. jumping; 5. being sick; 6.
(a) seeing a frightening sight (RASHI to Nazir 65b); (b) seeing a woman,
even without having unclean thoughts (ROSH to Nazir ibid.); 7. having
(c) A Zav must count seven "clean" days (Shiv'ah Nekiyim) in which he sees
no Zov in order to start his purification process, as it states in Vayikra
15:13. On the seventh day or afterwards, he must immerse in a spring during
the day. At nightfall he becomes Tahor, if he did not emit Zov again
(d) If a Zav emits Zov only two times, he does not bring a Korban. Even if
the first time was b'Ones, as long as the second emission was not, he is
Tamei. If he emitted Zov three times, whether it is emitted in one day or in
two or three consecutive days, he has to bring a Korban after he becomes
Tahor in order to enter the Beis ha'Mikdash and to eat Kodshim and Terumah.
The Korban is two Torim (turtledoves) or two Benei Yonah (common doves), one
offered as an Olah and one as a Chatas.
(e) In the case of three emissions, however, he is only obligated in a
Korban if the *first two* were not b'Ones. The third emission may come about
b'Ones according to the Rabanan. According to Rebbi Eliezer, he is only
obligated in a Korban if *all three* emissions are not b'Ones (Nazir 65b).
However, if the Zav had an emission during Shiv'ah Nekiyim, even b'Ones, all
agree that this emission stops his count, and he must start counting again
13a) [line 28] ISHAH NAMI B'ONES MITAM'AH (ZAVAH)
(a) The eleven days that follow the seven days of Nidah (see Background to
Kesuvos 61:59) are "days of Zivah." If a woman experiences bleeding during
these days for one or two consecutive days, whether the bleeding is b'Ones
or not, she becomes a Zavah Ketanah and is Teme'ah.
(b) If she does not experience bleeding the following night and day, she may
immerse in a Mikvah during the day to become Tehorah. She may even immerse
on the morning immediately following the day on which she saw blood, but her
Tum'ah and Taharah are contingent upon whether or not she sees blood
afterwards on that day. She is called a Shomeres Yom k'Neged Yom, because
she must *watch* the following day to confirm whether or not she sees blood.
(c) If a woman has a show of blood for three consecutive days during her 11
days of Zivah, she becomes a Zavah Gedolah. In order for her to become
Tehorah, she must count seven "clean days" during which she verifies that
she has no other show of blood. On the morning of the seventh clean day she
immerses in a Mikvah. If she does not experience bleeding during the rest of
the day she is Tehorah and no longer a Zavah. A Zavah Gedolah must bring a
Korban Zavah to permit her to enter the Beis ha'Mikdash or to eat Kodshim.
The Korban is two Torim or two Benei Yonah, one offered as an Olah and one
as a Chatas (Vayikra 15:25-30).
b) [line 28] MITAM'AH (TUM'AS ZAV V'ZAVAH)
(a) A Zav (see above, entry #12), Zavah (see previous entry), Nidah (see
Background to Kesuvos 61:59) or Yoledes (see Background to Sotah 7:9), can
cause objects that are *under* them to become Avos ha'Tum'ah whether they
touch them or not. The objects become Tamei Midras (lit. an object that is
treaded upon), otherwise known as Mishkav or Moshav ha'Zav, ha'Zavah, etc.
(or the *Tachton*, of a Zav, etc.). An object (other than Klei Cheres -
earthenware objects) that is under these people becomes a Midras only if it
was made for lying, sitting, or leaning upon.
(b) A person who *touches* (Maga) or *carries* (Masa) either a Midras or a
Zav or Zavah themselves gets the status of Rishon l'Tum'ah, and so do the
clothes he is wearing and other utensils (except for earthenware utensils)
that he is touching at the time.
(c) Utensils or clothes that lie *above* the Zav or Zavah also get the
status of a Rishon l'Tum'ah, whether he touches them or not. These are
called the *Elyon* of a Zav or Zavah.
(d) A Zav or Zavah also cause Tum'ah through Heset, when they move (or
outweigh on a balance scale) a person or object that is Tahor. In all other
types of Tum'ah besides Zav, Zavah, Nidah and Yoledes, the Tamei who moves a
person or object that is Tahor does *not* Metamei the person or object. Only
Zav, etc. can Metamei people or objects in this way.
14) [line 34] L'CHAZER - to go around [searching for a wife]
15) [line 37] DARKA D'MEICHLA YESEIRA L'ASUYEI L'YDEI ZIVAH - it is usual
for excessive eating to bring on emissions of Zov
16) [line 37] MISHTEYA - drinking