TalmuDigest

For the week ending 15 December 2007 / 6 Tevet 5768

Ketubot 106 - 112

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
  • Eliyahu Hanavi and Rabbi Anan
  • The awesome number of disciples of Elisha Hanavi and some of the Talmudic Sages
  • Payment for Sanctuary employees and supplies
  • Court action to support woman whose husband went abroad without providing for her
  • When an individual voluntarily provided such support
  • Division between sons and daughters of the deceased's limited estate for purpose of support
  • A partial admission which does not require an oath
  • The bankrupt father of the bride
  • When a signature is inconclusive proof
  • The lost road among four surrounding fields
  • The borrower turned lender to or purchaser
  • Can wife be forced to move to new location
  • Eretz Yisrael and Yerushalayim as choice locations
  • The advantages of living in Eretz Yisrael and being buried there
  • The blessings of the Holy Land and the love for it shown by the Sages


The Bankrupt Father of the Bride

Where is bankruptcy mentioned in the Talmud?

The Hebrew term for one who bankrupts is poshet regel which literally translates as "sticking out the foot". In our mishneh we encounter this concept in regard to a man who has promised a sum of money to the one to whom his daughter is mekudeshet (betrothed but not yet married and requires a divorce to be free to marry another). He fails to keep his promise and is described as sticking out his foot to his prospective son-in-law as a declaration of his inability or unwillingness to honor his pledge.

Rashi offers two different explanations of this unusual gesture. One is that is his way of saying that he totally disregards the request and offers nothing more than "the dirt on his shoe". Another explanation is that it is his way of saying "Go hang me by my foot from a tree because I have nothing to give you."

Whether the disappointed chatan has recourse is a matter of dispute. One opinion is that he can indefinitely refuse to consummate marriage with the daughter unless he receives what he was promised. The Sage Admon, however, rules that she can claim that she is not responsible for her father's promise and can therefore insist that he either marry her or divorce her and not leave her in a state of limbo "till her hair turns gray".

Whether the father is indeed bankrupt or is only unwilling to pay is discussed by Tosefot as well as why the young man does not sue him in court for payment.

The opinion of Admon is the one favored by the halachic authorities. (Shulchan Aruch Even Haezer 52:1)

What the Sages Say

"A place where Moshe and Aharon did not merit to enter who says that I will merit to do so." (Ketubot 112a)

  • Rabbi Zeira, explaining why he was in such a hurry to cross the river and enter Eretz Yisrael

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