TalmuDigest

For the week ending 29 November 2008 / 2 Kislev 5769

Kiddushin 56 - 61

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
  • Use of ma'aser sheini (second tithe) for purchase of livestock and other forbidden items
  • Making kiddushin with items which are forbidden to have any benefit from them
  • Torah sources for the ban on any benefit
  • Using for kiddushin the funds received from sale of such forbidden items
  • Whether the option of giving tithes to whomever he wishes is considered as being of monetary value for kiddushin
  • The agent for kiddushin who marries the woman for himself
  • Kiddushin made to take effect at a later date
  • Can kiddushin be revoked by simply changing her mind before it takes effect
  • The powers of thought, word and action
  • Kiddushin made to take effect now and in thirty days
  • How it is possible for a woman to be affected by 100 acts of kiddushin
  • Kiddushin on condition of giving large sum of money or divorce on condition of receiving large sum of money
  • Kiddushin made on condition of owning large sum of money or land
  • The requirements for making a condition which limits the effectiveness of kiddushin or any transaction

Conditions for the Condition

One of the concepts we frequently encounter in this mesechta and others is that of tenai – a condition made for any transaction to be valid. The practical application mentioned by Rashi is the case of a man who agrees to give his wife a divorce on condition that she gives him a substantial sum of money. If he properly phrases the condition, the divorce will be invalidated if she fails to pay this sum. Failure to properly phrase the condition will allow the divorce to take effect even if the woman does not come up with the money.

What constitutes proper phrasing of a condition?

Rabbi Meir in the mishna refers us to the condition made by Moshe with the tribes of Gad and Reuven who asked to receive their portion of Eretz Yisrael on the eastern side of the Jordan River. He spelled out clearly that if they helped the other tribes conquer the rest of the land their wish would be granted, and that if they failed to do so they would not have that privilege. From this we learn that a condition must spell out both consequences and we cannot rely on a mere inference. Moshe also made sure to spell out the condition before mentioning the gift, and also made a point to mention the positive before the negative.

All of these rules, concludes Rabbi Meir, apply to any condition made between two parties. His position is challenged, however, by Rabbi Chanina ben Gamliel who has a different interpretation of why Moshe phrased his condition as he did and that this does not apply to general conditions.

  • Kiddushin 61a

What the Sages Say

"An agent for kiddushin who marries the woman for himself succeeds in effecting the marriage between her and himself but is considered as having acted dishonestly."

  • Tosefta (Kiddushin 58b)

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