THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) THE AMOUNT OF MONEY REQUIRED TO PURCHASE AN "AMAH IVRIYAH"
QUESTION: Reish Lakish (11b) explains that the source for Beis Shamai's
ruling that a woman cannot become Mekudeshes with less than a Dinar is the
Kinyan Kesef of Amah Ivriyah. We know that an Amah Ivriyah cannot be bought
for a Perutah, because that would make it impossible to redeem her with
"Gira'on Kesef." Since the Torah tells us that an Amah Ivriyah can be bought
only with more than a Perutah, we assume that the Torah means a Dinar. This,
RASHI explains, is because of the logic of "Keivan d'Apiktei" -- since the
Torah tells us that we need more than a Perutah, it must be that a
significant amount ("Davar Chashuv") is necessary, and, therefore, instead
of ruling that an Amah can be bought for two Perutos or for a Me'ah, we rule
that she must be bought with a Dinar. Rashi writes a similar line of
reasoning earlier (end of 11a; see Insights there).
2) SHMUEL'S CONCERN FOR KIDUSHIN WITH LESS THAN A "SHAVEH PERUTAH"
With regard to the Kidushin of a woman, it is clear how the logic of "Keivan
d'Apiktei" is applied. If we find an inference in the Torah that a Perutah
is not sufficient for Kidushin, according to Beis Shamai, we must look for a
rationalization for why it is not sufficient. (This is not related to Rebbi
Shimon's view of "Dorshin Ta'ama d'Kra," that we seek a rationalization for
every Mitzvah; rather, here we are looking for a system of logic in order to
understand what the verse is teaching.) However, in the case of Amah
Ivriyah, there is no need to look for a reason for why the Torah insists
that an Amah must be sold for more than a Perutah, because the verse itself
tells us why! The verse that teaches that she must be sold for more than a
Perutah tells us that it is because she must be able to be redeemed with
What, then, is Rashi's basis for assuming that the reason more than a
Perutah is required for the purchase of an Amah Ivriyah is that the Torah
requires an amount of money that is a "Davar Chashuv?"
We find such a logic with regard to "Yi'ud," as the Gemara here mentions. An
Amah Ivriyah cannot be sold unless it is possible for the purchaser to do
Yi'ud with her. It is for this reason that she cannot be sold to a close
relative to whom she is prohibited to marry. The reason for this seems to
be, simply, the fact that the Torah wants there to remain a possibility of
Yi'ud. So, too, the Torah wants there to remain a possibility of Gira'on
Kesef. Why, then, do we need the logic of "Davar Chashuv?" (MISHNAH L'MELECH
Hilchos Avadim 4:3)
(a) The MISHNAH L'MELECH answers that the Gemara is basing itself on the
approach of "Don Minah v'Uki b'Asra" (Yevamos 78b; see Background there).
This means that when we learn something from one area of Halachah to another
area of Halachah through a Gezeirah Shavah or a Hekesh, the Halachah is
adjusted according to the logical parameters of the second area of Halachah.
That is, we do not necessarily apply the Halachah exactly the same way as it
applies in its source. In our case, this principle would be applied as
For the sale of an Amah Ivriyah, it indeed suffices to purchase her with two
Perutos in order for it to be possible to redeem her with Gira'on Kesef.
When we learn the amount necessary for Kidushin through a Hekesh from Amah
Ivriyah, we must suggest a logical basis for requiring more than a Perutah
to be Mekadesh a woman, since the reasoning of Gira'on Kesef does not apply.
Therefore, we must assume that the reason is because a significant amount of
money is required because of the honor due to the woman. Once we are working
with this rationale, it no longer can be justified to require only two
Perutos and not more. Therefore, we assume that this Hekesh teaches that an
entire Dinar is required for the Kidushin of a woman. In short, the only
thing we learn from Amah Ivriyah is that more than a Perutah is necessary.
Exactly how much is necessary depends on the particular Halachah under
According to this understanding, when the Gemara asks that "perhaps half a
Dinar or two Perutos suffice," it is not referring to the purchase of an
Amah Ivriyah; rather, it is referring to Kidushin. The Gemara is asking why
a woman must be married with a Dinar (according to Beis Shamai) while an
Amah may be purchased with only two Perutos. The Gemara answers that when
the Hekesh is applied to Kidushei Ishah, logic dictates that a Dinar must be
used and that two Perutos will not suffice, as we explained.
The Mishnah l'Melech points out that the Rambam makes no mention of the
requirement to buy an Amah with a Dinar. He writes merely that "more than a
Perutah" is necessary. According to the way the Mishnah l'Melech explains
our Gemara, the Rambam's source is clear. The Rambam only requires a Dinar
for Kidushin, but not for the purchase of an Amah Ivriyah.
However, RASHI (DH Palga d'Dinar) explains clearly that a Dinar is required
even for the purchase of an Amah Ivriyah. Hence, the answer of the Mishnah
l'Melech will not explain the Gemara according to Rashi's explanation.
(b) Perhaps the Gemara indeed means that we must seek a logical approach to
why the Torah requires that there must always be an option of Gira'on Kesef.
It is not logically sound to say that the Torah would require more than a
Perutah for no reason other than to allow for Gira'on Kesef (since it is
possible to redeem her for the same value for which she was sold).
Therefore, the Gemara assumes that the requirement of Gira'on Kesef is a
"Siman" (an indication), rather than a "Sibah" (a causative factor) of the
amount required for the sale. The Gemara concludes that the reason why more
than a Perutah is required for the purchase of an Amah Ivriyah is because of
her honor (or his honor, in the case of an Eved Ivri).
(The PNEI YEHOSHUA suggests that the Gemara maintains that Yi'ud is done
with the actual Kesef that the father received originally, at the time of
the sale of the Amah Ivriyah. If this is correct, then the money that is
given for the purchase of the Amah is actually Kesef Kidushin. Just like it
is not respectful to be Mekadesh a woman with less than a Dinar (according
to Beis Shamai), it is not respectful to purchase an Amah with less than a
Dinar. However, see Rashi (DH Dumya), who explains the Gemara according to
the dissenting opinion that Yi'ud is done with the *remainder* of the
purchase money. See RASHASH, ATZMOS YOSEF.)
What about the requirement that the Amah be sold in a manner in which Yi'ud
can be performed? What is the logical basis for this? The answer is that
this might also be for the honor of the woman -- so that it not look as
though she is being sold in disgrace as a servant. Rather, the sale has an
element of Kidushin inherent in it from the start.
Why would the Torah be more careful to protect the honor of an Amah Ivriyah
than the honor of an Eved Ivri (where there is no element of Kidushin in the
sale)? The reason is simple: an Eved Ivri is either sold by Beis Din to
compensate for his theft, in which case he deserves his disgrace, or he sold
himself because of lack of funds, in which case he willingly chose his fate.
An Amah Ivriyah, in contrast, is always sold by her father without her
consent, and therefore the Torah makes sure to protect her honor.
The RAMBAM (Hilchos Avadim 4:3 and 2:1), in fact, only cites the Halachah
that an Amah Ivriyah must be purchased with more than a Perutah, but makes
no mention of this with regard to an Eved Ivri.
QUESTION: Shmuel rules that if a man is Mekadesh a woman with an item worth
less than a Perutah, we still must be concerned that the Kidushin has taken
effect and it is considered Kidushei Safek. This is because perhaps the item
is worth a Perutah in a distant country, such as Madai. The Gemara relates
an incident in which a man was Mekadesh a woman with a bundle of rags, and
Rav Shimi bar Chiya had it appraised to determine if it was worth a Perutah.
Why, asks the Gemara, did he have it appraised? It makes no difference
whether or not it is worth less than a Perutah, since the Kidushin should be
a Safek Kidushin even if it is worth less than a Perutah! The Gemara answers
that Rav Shimi wanted to know whether the Kidushin was a Vadai Kidushin or a
The Gemara then relates an incident in which a man was Mekadesh a woman with
a piece of bluish marble. Rav Chisda had it appraised to see if it was worth
a Perutah. The Gemara again asks why he had it appraised; it should be a
Safek Kidushin even if it is worth less. The Gemara answers that Rav Chisda
argues with Shmuel and maintains that if an object is not worth a Perutah,
it is not even a Safek Kidushin.
Why does the Gemara say that Rav Chisda argues with Shmuel? Why does it not
answer like it answers for Rav Shimi, and say that Rav Chisda wanted to
determine whether the Kidushin was a Safek or Vadai Kidushin?
(a) The RITVA, TOSFOS HA'ROSH, and others say that Rav Chisda clearly held
that a Kidushin performed with less than a Perutah is not even a Safek
Kidushin. This is evident from the sequel to the incident. The Gemara
relates that the mother of the Kalah testified that the stone was worth a
Perutah on the day of the Kidushin. Others related that they knew of
witnesses abroad who could testify that the marble was worth a Perutah on
the day of the Kidushin. With these arguments, they attempted to prohibit
the woman to a second man who gave the woman more than a Perutah for the
sake of Kidushin, after the first man gave the marble to her. Rav Chisda
rejected these arguments, saying that the mother does not have
trustworthiness to prohibit her daughter to the second man, and that
witnesses who are not present cannot prohibit her to the second man.
Why did Rav Chisda have to reject these arguments if he agreed with Shmuel
that a Kidushin with less than a Perutah is a Safek Kidushin? He could have
accepted the word of the mother, accepted the rumor that witnesses existed
elsewhere, and responded that it is nevertheless a Safek Kidushin for these
reasons *and* because of Shmuel's reason! If he found it necessary to reject
these arguments, it must be because he ruled that Kidushin with less than a
Shaveh Perutah is not a Kidushin at all, and therefore if someone else gives
her Kidushin, that Kidushin does not take effect. The mother and the rumor
of witnesses were trying to prohibit the woman to anyone else mi'Safek
because the first Kidushin might have been valid.
(b) TOSFOS (DH Rav Chisda) suggests a slightly different approach. Tosfos
explains that what happened was that the *brother* of the man who gave the
piece of marble was the second man who was Mekadesh this woman. Rav Chisda
was evaluating the marble in order to permit the woman to the second man --
the brother -- in case it was not worth a Perutah. If he agreed with Shmuel,
he would not be able to permit the woman to the brother, even if the marble
was *not* worth a Perutah, because the first man would have to give a Get to
the woman mi'Safek. If we view the Kidushin with the first man as a Kidushei
Safek, she would be prohibited to marry his brother.
The MAHARSHA asks why Tosfos finds it necessary to assume that the second
man to be Mekadesh the woman was the brother of the first man. Why does
Tosfos not explain like the other Rishonim, who explain that Rav Chisda
wanted to permit her to the second man without requiring a Get from the
first man (who was still alive)? Why does Tosfos explain that the second man
was the brother of the first, who would be prohibited to the woman even
after the first man died, according to Shmuel?
The MAHARSHA explains that Tosfos maintains that Rav Chisda would not have
permitted the woman to the second man if it would be possible to remove any
shred of doubt by having the first husband give her a Get. He only argued
with Shmuel that the first Kidushin was not even a Safek Kidushin, if there
is no way to resolve the Safek. Therefore, Tosfos explains that the brother
of the first man gave Kidushin to the woman, and if the Kidushin of the
first man would be viewed as a Safek, then even a Get would not permit the
woman to the second man. (Tosfos learns this from the last line of 12a,
where Rav Chisda told the mother of the woman that she does not have the
ability to prohibit her daughter to the second man, which implies that she
was trying to prohibit her daughter to the second husband permanently. If
not, the mother would not have accomplished anything, since the daughter
obviously wanted to marry the second man, and the first man must give her a
Get in any case, because of the Safek Kidushin.)
3) BEING "MEKADESH" A WOMAN WITH AN ITEM THAT HAS NO SET VALUE
QUESTION: The Gemara relates an incident about a man who was Mekadesh a
woman with a branch of myrtle. Rav Yosef ruled that the man must give the
woman a Get, because, like Shmuel, he held that perhaps the branch was worth
a Perutah in Madai. Earlier (7b-8a), Rav Yosef was the one who maintained
that Shaveh Kesef can be used only if it has a set, known value (according
to the second version there). Hence, Rav Yosef seems to be contradicting
himself, because even if the branch was worth a Perutah in Madai, it did not
have a set value, since, in the place of Rav Yosef, there was no way of
knowing that it was worth a Perutah in Madai! Why, then, should Rav Yosef
require a Get mi'Safek? (NODA B'YEHUDAH, EH 2:74)
(a) The NODA B'YEHUDAH answers that as long as the branch has a set, known
value in Madai, it is considered to have a set value. Rav Yosef was
concerned that, first, perhaps the myrtle was worth a Perutah in a distant
country, and, second, that in that country the branch was given a set value,
because it was a commonly traded commodity there. According to this
approach, Rav Yosef would rule that *any* Kidushin with a commodity that
does not have a set value should be a Safek Kidushin, because perhaps in
another area that commodity does have a set value. He only requires that the
item that is Shaveh Kesef be evaluated before it is given in order for there
to be a *Vadai* Kidushin. (The wording of the Gemara on 7b implies that Rav
Yosef was ruling after the fact whether a Kidushin with an item that was not
pre-appraised is valid or not. According to the Noda b'Yehudah, Rav Yosef
was just discussing whether a second Kidushin was necessary, or he was
discussing a situation where another man gave the woman a Perutah
(b) It is possible to suggest that Rav Yosef maintained that when an object
whose value is not known is used for Kidushin, it creates a Safek Kidushin
for another reason, even if it needs to have a set value in *this* country.
The RITVA (8a) explains that Rav Yosef does not mean that there is a
Gezeiras ha'Kasuv that Shaveh Kesef must have the same characteristics as
Kesef, and therefore it must have a set value. Rather, Rav Yosef, even
according to the second version, holds that the Kidushin with an object that
has no set value is not valid because the woman might estimate its value
incorrectly. Even though the husband did not promise to give her a certain
minimum value, we are afraid that perhaps the woman overestimated the value
of the object and thought that she was being given a more valuable object,
when the object was actually worth less. Because of this, the Kidushin is a
Kidushei Ta'us and is not valid. Since we cannot know for sure that the
woman mis-evaluated the object's value, the Kidushin will at least be a
RASHI (8a, DH Shaveh Kesef) clearly does not learn this. Rashi learns that
the Torah is comparing the characteristics of Shaveh Kesef to those of an
Rashi and the Ritva might be following their own respective opinions as
expressed elsewhere, as follows.
TOSFOS (2a, DH b'Perutah) asks what the source is to permit a woman to
become Mekudeshes with Shaveh Kesef. The RITVA, RASHBA, and RAN answer that
we allow Shaveh Kesef on logical grounds. The word "Kesef" in the Torah does
not refer specifically to coins, but to anything that has the same value as
a coin, meaning the value of a Perutah or more. Tosfos, on the other hand,
explains that we must cite a source to show that Shaveh Kesef is valid for
Kidushin. Without any source, we would translate "Kesef" to mean a coin, and
not something that has the value of a coin. This seems to be the opinion of
RASHI earlier (11b, DH u'Tenan), who writes that the word "Kesef" refers to
a single coin. This is also why Rashi (8a, DH Shaveh Kesef) writes that we
only allow Kidushei Ishah with Shaveh Kesef because of the verse "Yashiv"
(Vayikra 25:51). Since Rashi learns that the word "Kesef" refers to a coin,
he can explain that Shaveh Kesef is compared to a coin, and thus it must
have a set, known value. The Rashba and Ritva, however, learn that the word
"Kesef" automatically means anything that has the same value as a coin.
Hence, the verse is not comparing Shaveh Kesef to anything else. Therefore,
the Ritva gives another reason why Shaveh Kesef must have a set, known value
according to Rav Yosef.