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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Nedarim 91



(a) Rava was picking the brains of his Talmidim (among them, Rav Papa). He asked them whether the wife of a Kohen who has been raped is still entitled to her Kesuvah. She might have lost it, because the Torah gives an Anusah who is the wife of a Kohen the same Din as the wife of a Yisrael who committed adultery. She might nevertheless be entitled to it - because, as we explained in our Mishnah, *she* is not to blame for what happened, and it is *his* Mazel that he is a Kohen, not hers.

(b) His Talmidim replied that the answer lies in our Mishnah - 'ha'Omeres, Temei'ah Ani Lecha, Yesh Lah Kesuvah'. As we explained in our Mishnah, this can only be speaking about the wife of a Kohen who was raped ... yet she receives her Kesuvah.

(a) The B'nei Yeshivah asked - whether a woman who claims in front of her husband that he divorced her is believed or not.

(b) Rav Hamnuna maintains that she is believed. The reason that the Mishnah Acharonah does not believe a woman who says to her husband 'Temei'ah Ani Lecha' is - because there, the woman knows that her husband does not know whether she was raped or not, so Rav Hamnuna's reason for believing her, does not apply.

(c) And Rava, who holds that the woman is not believed, will ascribe the Mishnah Rishonah believing a woman who says 'Temei'ah Ani Lecha' - to the fact that she would not cause herself embarrassment by making such a claim if it was not true.


1. Rava explains that the Mishnah Rishonah believes 'ha'Shamayim Beini le'Veinecha' despite the fact that her statement is not embarrassing - because, although the statement itself may not be embarrassing, its explanation (which she will be forced to present) is.
2. And Rav Hamnuna explains that the Mishnah Acharonah does not believe 'ha'Shamayim Beini le'Veinecha' - because even though her husband knows about the Bi'ah, only she knows whether or not, his Zera shoots like an arrow, and not him.
(a) The Halachah is like Rav Hamnuna - that a woman who claims in the presence of her husband that he divorced her, is believed.

(b) We know that she also receives her Kesuvah, because we compare this case to our Mishnah, where she goes out and receives her Kesuvah - and also because it is written in the Sh'tar Kesuvah that as soon as she remarries, she will receive her Kesuvah.

(c) She only receives the main part of the Kesuvah (the part that Chazal fixed for her), but not the Tosefes (which her husband promised her of his own volition).

(d) In the opinion of Rav Hamnuna - a woman who claims that her husband is not intimate with her at all *is* believed, even according to the Mishnah Acharonah, seeing as she knows that her husband knows whether it is true or not.

4) According to the Ri, we only believe the woman if she claims a divorce - but not if she claims her Kesuvah.

5) Rav Hamnuna here (who holds that the woman is believed more when she knows that her husband knows than when she knows that he does not) will agree with Rebbi Ami in 'ha'Ba al Yevimto' (who says - regarding a case where the man places the blame for their childnessness after ten years on his wife, whilst she places it on him), that, if she claims that his Zera does not shoot like an arrow, she is believed, *because* she knows that it does, whereas he does not - because there, where her husband is coming to divorce her (as opposed to here, where it is she who is demanding the divorce), she will certainly not hesitate to resist his attempts (in spite of the Chutzpah), leaving us without grounds to believe her; whereas if she were to know and he were not, it would be unfair to permit him to divorce her.


(a) When the man's wife, who would always bring him water the morning after Tashmish, brought him water to wash one morning - he commented that they had not been intimate that night.

(b) And when she retorted that it must then have been one of the Nochri spice-merchants currently in town - Rav Nachman ruled that she was not believed, and that she had (probably) set her eyes upon another man.

(c) Her husband must have been a Kohen - because otherwise seeing as, even according to her own words, she thought that it was her husband, she was a genuine Anus, and an Anus is permitted to her husband anyway. Consequently, Rav Nachman's ruling would have been unnecessary.




(a) When her husband asked her why she seemed less jovial than usual - that woman replied that Tashmish that night had been more painful than usual.

(b) When he told her that she must have made a mistake, since there had been no Tashmish - she replied that it must then have been one of the Nochri paraffin-merchants currently in town.

(c) Rav Nachman ruled there - like he did in the previous case.

(a) When the woman's husband arrived home unexpectedly - that would-be adulterer broke down a partition, and made good his escape.

(b) Rava permitted the woman to her husband on the grounds - that had the man been guilty, he would have hidden and waited for an opportunity to sneak out of the house undetected.

(c) When that other would-be adulterer saw the husband about to eat some dates that were lying there - he shouted out to him to stop, because a snake had tasted them, and they were poisoned.

(d) Rava nevertheless permitted the woman to her husband - on the grounds that, had he committed adultery, he would have allowed the man to die, rather than to divulge his presence.

(a) If not for Rava's ruling in the previous case, we would otherwise have ruled - that, on the contrary; really he *was* guilty of adultery, and the reason that he saved the husband from death, was because of the Pasuk in Mishlei "Mayim Genuvim Yimtaku" implying that a person would prefer the challenge of living with a married woman than with one who is free.

(b) We cannot imply that, if not for Rava's lenient rulings, the woman would have become forbidden to her husband - because according to the Halachah, a woman is not forbidden to her husband without prior warning and then being alone with the man of whom her husband warned her (with witnesses).

(c) Were it not for Rava however - it would have been correct for a husband with Yir'as Shamayim to divorce his wife under such circumstances (and that is what Rava's lenient rulings prevented).

***** Hadran Alach ve'Eilu Nedarim, u'Selika Lah Maseches Nedarim *****

On to Nazir


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