THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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GITIN 43 - sponsored by Harav Ari Bergmann of Lawrence, N.Y., out of love
for Torah and those who study it.
1) A HALF-SLAVE WHO MARRIES A FREE PERSON
QUESTION: The Gemara discusses two similar cases of partial Kidushin: a case
of a man who is half-Eved and half-free who is Mekadesh a Bas Chorin (a free
woman), and a case of a Ben Chorin (a free man) who is Mekadesh a woman who
is a half-Shifchah and half-free. The question regarding whether such a
Kidushin takes effect is the same in both cases: do we say that the Kidushin
can take effect on the free part of the person even though the other part of
that person is an Eved or Shifchah?
2) AGADAH: GROWING IN TORAH THROUGH MISTAKES
The Gemara asks whether these cases are comparable to a case of a man who
says to a woman that he is Mekadesh half of her (in which case the Kidushin
does not take effect), or are these cases different from that case, because
in that case the man left over a part of the woman and was not Mekadesh that
part, while in these cases the man was Mekadesh every part that it was
possible from him to be Mekadesh?
The RAMBAM rules that the Halachah in the case of a half-Eved, half-free man
who is Mekadesh a Bas ---Chorin is that it is a Safek Kidushin. However, in
the case of a Ben Chorin who is Mekadesh a half-Shifchah, half-free woman,
the Kidushin is completely valid!
Why does the Rambam rule differently in each case, when our Gemara addresses
them as based on the same premise? (RAN in Kidushin, 3b of the pages of the
ANSWER: The AVNEI MILU'IM (44:3) proposes that there is a basic difference
between the role of the man, the "Mekadesh," and the role of the woman, the
"Mitkadeshes," in the Kidushin process. The role of the man is an *active*
role, while the role of the woman is entirely *passive*. The actual act of
Kidushin is being performed by only one party -- the man who is the
Mekadesh. The woman is just a recipient of the act of Kidushin, and she is
not actively involved in it.
Therefore, says the Avnei Milu'im, we can understand the difference between
a half-Eved, half-free man who performs an act of Kidushin, and a
half-Shifchah, half-free woman who is just the recipient of an act of
Kidushin: The Rambam assumes that a Kidushin can take effect on half a
person (the half that is free, and not the half that is a Shifchah).
However, an act of Kidushin cannot be performed by half a person. Any act
that a person done is, per force, being done by the entire person and not
just half of him. Since the Kidushin is being done by one who is partly an
Eved, it is therefore invalid. (A. Kroningold)
Rabah bar Rav Huna expounded the verse, "veha'Machshelah ha'Zos Tachas
Yadecha" -- "...and let this ruin be under your hand" (Yeshayah 3:6), to be
teaching that only through the humiliation that comes about through making
mistakes in Torah does a person merit to reach great heights in Torah
The AHAVAS EISAN in Berachos (28a) points out that even though our Gemara
maintains that the only way to achieve the truth in Halachah is by first
erring, there are some notable exceptions to this rule.
The Gemara in Sanhedrin (99a) discusses the verse, "Nefesh Amel Amlah Lo"
(Mishlei 16:26), and says that when a person toils in Torah to his fullest
potential, the Torah, so to speak, requests of Hashem to give over to that
person the secrets of the Torah.
We find also in Shabbos (63a) that "when two Talmidei Chachamim sharpen each
other in Halachah, Hashem makes them successful" in their Torah learning.
The Ahavas Eisan explains that this was the intention of Rebbi Nechunya ben
ha'Kaneh in the prayer that he authored for entering the Beis ha'Midrash to
learn: "... that I not stumble in a matter of Halachah and have my friends
laugh at me...." Rebbi Nechunya was asking of Hashem to help him use his all
of his ability in learning Torah so that he would therefore merit the
special gift of being given Torah directly, without having to endure the
pain of humiliation that comes from making an error before reaching the
truth in Halachah. (A. Kroningold)
3) THE KIDUSHIN OF A HALF-SHIFCHAH WHO WAS THEN FREED
QUESTION: The Gemara discusses a case of a man (Reuven) who was Mekadesh the
free part of a half-Shifchah, half-free woman. The woman was then given full
Shichrur and became entirely free. Another man (Shimon) was then Mekadesh
The Gemara assumes that one of two things have to happen: either the first
Kidushin is completely eliminated, or now it becomes even stronger and is
considered to be completed.
Why does the Gemara not consider the seemingly more logical possibility that
the woman remains as she was before she was freed entirely, and she is
ANSWER: RASHI explains that since the Shifchah received a full Shichrur, she
is considered an entirely new person. Therefore, the old Kidushin can no
longer work for her. It is as if the Kidushin was done with a different
TOSFOS (DH Gamru) explains that even though the Kidushin took effect when
she was half-free, since, at the time of the Kidushin, there was no
"Shiyur," no part of her that was left without Kidushin that could have
received Kidushin, nevertheless after her Shichrur the situation changes.
Now that her other half is also free, we view the Kidushin as having a
"Shiyur" and lacking, since it is now possible for all of her to receive
Kidushin. Therefore, one of two things must happen: either the Kidushin
becomes entirely invalid, or it now spreads to all of her. (A. Kroningold)