TalmuDigest

For the week ending 8 December 2007 / 28 Kislev 5768

Ketubot 100 - 105

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

  • When the court or guardians err in assessing property under their jurisdiction
  • The procedure for the court or Sanctuary trustee auctioning property
  • Which women are denied payment of ketubah and other rights of a wife
  • Taking on an obligation to support wife's daughter from a previous marriage
  • Self-incrimination in financial matters
  • The liability of the guarantor of a loan
  • Premarital financial negotiations and the use of a document in acquiring a wife
  • Who gets custody of the orphaned daughter
  • The widow's rights of residence
  • The blessing, enrichment and wisdom of the words of the Sages
  • The instructions of Rebbie (Rabbi Yehuda HaNassi) before his death and the story of his funeral
  • Rebbi Chiya's ingenious dissemination of Torah
  • How long does a widow have a right to claim ketubah payment
  • The danger of graft influencing judges

No Shame in the Name

  • Ketubot 104b

One of the judges in Yerushalayim who was known for the financial penalties he instituted for willful damages was named Chanan ben Avishalom.

The name of this Sage's father is a subject discussed by the commentaries and has ramifications for the use of a biblical name.

Tosefot cites the opinion of Rabbeinu Tam that the father's name was Avishalom and not Avshalom. Since Rabbi Meir states (Sanhedrin 103b) that the rebellious son of King David was not admitted to the World to Come, it would be improper to call a Jewish child by the name of such a wicked person. (See Yoma 38b)

In Shulchan Aruch Even Haezer, however, we do find in the list of masculine names compiled by the commentator Beit Shmuel for use in divorce documents the name Avshalom. The explanation for this is the gemara (Sotah 10b) commenting on the eight times the bereaved David referred to Avshalom as his son (Shmuel II, 19:1). One opinion is that the first seven times were prayers to raise his sinful son from the seven departments of Gehinnom and the eighth prayer was to bring him into the World to Come.

Although Rabbi Meir will abide with the other opinion mentioned there that the eighth prayer was only to rejoin his decapitatedhead to his body and not to bring him to the World to Come, we have the opinion that David's prayer did rehabilitate him and we need not be shocked if we encounter Jews bearing the name Avshalom.

What the Sages Say

"Why is graft forbidden? Once a judge accepts graft he identifies as one with the briber and no one is capable of seeing a fault in himself."

  • The Sage Rava - Ketubot 105b

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