THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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KIDUSHIN 41-42 - Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored the Dafyomi
publications for these Dafim for the benefit of Klal Yisrael.
1) THE MITZVAH THAT A WOMAN PERFORMS WHEN SHE GETS MARRIED
QUESTION: The Gemara asks why the Mishnah teaches that a man himself can be
Mekadesh a woman, when it has already taught that a man's Shali'ach can be
Mekadesh a woman on his behalf. If his Shali'ach can do it, then it should
be obvious that the man himself can be Mekadesh a woman! Rav Yosef answers
that the Mishnah is teaching the principle, "Mitzvah Bo Yoser
mib'Shelucho" -- it is considered a greater Mitzvah to do the act oneself
than to do it via a Shali'ach.
2) PERSONAL INVOLVEMENT IN PREPARATIONS FOR SHABBOS
The Gemara records another version of the question on the Mishnah. The
Gemara says that it is *prohibited* to be Mekadesh a woman via a Shali'ach
without first seeing her (and thus it is understood why the Reisha of the
Mishnah adds that a man should be Mekadesh a woman by himself). Rav Yosef
derives his teaching from the Seifa of the Mishnah that says that a woman's
Shali'ach may accept Kidushin for her. If a woman's Shali'ach may accept
Kidushin for her, then why does the Mishnah have to teach that the woman
herself may accept Kidushin? The answer is that the Mishnah is teaching the
principle that "Mitzvah Bo Yosef mib'Shelucho."
The Rishonim explain that the Mitzvah which is being performed in our
Mishnah is that of "Peru u'Revu." Since it is through the act of Kidushin
that the Mitzvah of "Peru u'Revu" can be fulfilled, the Kidushin is also
regarded as a Mitzvah.
However, the Gemara in Yevamos (65b) states clearly that a woman is exempt
from the Mitzvah of Peru u'Revu! How, then, can our Gemara say that the
reason why the Mishnah adds that a woman can accept Kidushin for herself is
to teach that "Mitzvah Bo Yoser mib'Shelucho?" She is not performing any
Mitzvah by accepting the Kidushin, since she is not at all obligated to
fulfilled "Peru u'Revu!"
(a) The RAN explains that even though the woman herself is exempt from "Peru
u'Revu" and is therefore not performing her own Mitzvah, she nevertheless is
assisting her husband in performing his Mitzvah. This assistance
("Mesa'yei'a l'Devar Mitzvah") is in itself considered a Mitzvah, and we can
therefore apply the rule of "Mitzvah Bo Yoser mib'Shelucho."
(b) The SHITAH LO NODA L'MI compares the Mitzvah of "Peru u'Revu" to any
other Mitzvah from which a woman is exempt. The Halachah is that even though
she is not obligated to fulfill the Mitzvah (such as the Mitzvos of Shofar
and Sukah), she may still perform them if she wants and she may even recite
a Berachah upon performing them. That is, the fact that she is exempt from
those Mitzvos make them *voluntary* and not mandatory for her, and when she
does perform them, she is considered to be fulfilling a Mitzvah.
(c) The SEFER HA'MIKNAH suggests that since a woman who lives with a man out
of wedlock is considered to be a sin ("Lo Siheyeh Kedeishah"), the act of
marriage -- which saves her from transgression -- is considered a Mitzvah.
QUESTION: The Gemara derives from the Mishnah that "Mitzvah Bo Yoser
mib'Shelucho," it is considered a greater Mitzvah to do the act oneself than
to do it via a Shali'ach. The Gemara proves this principle from the fact
that Rava and Rav Safra personally involved themselves in the preparations
for Shabbos, rather than letting their helpers do it for them.
3) THE PREFERENCE FOR COMPANIONSHIP
The RAMBAM (Hilchos Shabbos 30:8), when writing this Halachah, adds an
interesting point. "Even though he was an Adam Chashuv b'Yoser (an extremely
important person) and it is not the manner for such a person to buy things
in the marketplace nor to be involved in the labors of the house, he is
obligated to personally perform things that are for the sake of Shabbos
because *this is his honor*." The reasoning the Rambam gives -- "for this is
his honor" -- seems to be superfluous. Our Sugya states that the reason one
should involve himself personally ("b'Gufo") in the Mitzvah of honoring
Shabbos is because "Mitzvah Bo Yoser mib'Shelucho." Why, then, does the
Rambam need to give an additional reason, that "this is his honor?"
ANSWER: The BI'UR HALACHAH (OC 250) explains that the Rambam is attempting
to reconcile our Gemara with a seemingly contradictory concept. The Gemara
in Berachos (20a) states that a Talmid Chacham is not required to do certain
Mitzvos when doing them would cause him disgrace (such as carrying a lost
sheep to fulfill Hashavas Aveidah). When, then, does our Gemara say that a
Talmid Chacham is required to take part in the kitchen work himself, even
though, normally, such work is considered below his honor? The Rambam
therefore adds "for this is his honor" -- that, on the contrary, there is no
greater honor to a Talmid Chacham than to be involved in a Mitzvah.
The PRI MEGADIM (see Bi'ur Halachah there) adds that only when the
fulfillment of the Mitzvah is not evident, such as when one carries a sheep
when no one knows why he is carrying the sheep, do we say that the honor of
the Talmid Chacham (Kavod ha'Bri'os) overrides a Mitzvas Aseh. In contrast,
when it is obvious to all that the Talmid Chacham is involved in an act of a
Mitzvah (such as preparing for Shabbos), then certainly "this is his honor."
QUESTION: The Gemara teaches that it is prohibited for a father to marry off
his daughter as a Ketanah until she grows older and consents. The Rishonim
explain that the reason for this Halachah is that we are concerned that she
might come to eventually hate her husband and transgress the Mitzvah of
"v'Ahavta l'Re'acha Kamocha" (Vayikra 19:18).
The Gemara states earlier that although there is a requirement for a man to
see the woman he wants to marry before he is Mekadesh her, a woman does not
have to see her future husband because of the assumption that every woman
prefers to have a companion than to live alone ("Tav l'Meitav Tan Du..."),
even if her husband is uncomely. Why does the same not apply when marrying
off a Ketanah? We should not be concerned that when she grows up she will be
disgusted with her husband, because we should assume instead that she, like
every woman, prefers to have a companion than to live alone, even if he is
(a) TOSFOS (DH Asur) says that the rule of "Tav l'Meitav Tan Du..." applies
only when a woman agrees to something on her own volition. We may then
assume that she is willing to bear the consequences in return for
companionship with a husband. A Ketanah, in contrast, has no Da'as, and her
opinion was not consulted when her father arranged the marriage. In such a
case, we cannot assume that the woman will be willing to suffer in order to
live with that man.
(b) The RASHBA offers a different explanation. He explains that a Gedolah
has her mind made up and is willing to put up with what she has. A Ketanah,
however, can easily be persuaded by others, and we are worried that they
will talk her into demanding a divorce from the man.