For the week ending 7 May 2016 / 29 Nisan 5776

Kiddushin 62 - 68

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • Kiddushin made on an unexpressed assumption regarding the woman's family or economic status
  • Kiddushin or tithing made on the basis of a situation which will only later be in existence
  • Kiddushin on the condition of performing a service
  • Kiddushin made dependent on consent of a parent
  • A father who contracted kiddushin for his daughter as a minor but does not recall with whom
  • The credibility of one who claims that he was the one
  • A father's credibility in regard to establishing his minor daughter as a divorcee or ransomed captive
  • The effect on his widow's status of a dying man's declaration regarding having children or brothers
  • Confusion caused by a father with many daughters who declares that he contracted kiddushin for an unspecified one
  • When man and woman dispute whether kiddushin took place
  • Credibility of a single witness in regard to kiddushin and other matters
  • King Yannai's confrontation with the Sages
  • The validity of the service of a kohen who is later discovered as being ineligible
  • The status of a child born from a forbidden marriage
  • Patrilineal descent for Jews and others

The Surviving Sages

A spiritual holocaust descended on the Jewish people and it was Jewish king who was responsible.

King Yannai was instigated by a wicked follow named Elazar ben Poira to slay the Sages who opposed his attempt to serve as kohen gadol because of a doubt regarding his legitimacy as a kohen. When the king asked what would happen to Torah study, this villain countered that the Torah would remain in its corner and would be accessible to all who wished to study.

Accepting this argument was heresy because even though the Written Law would still be accessible, the understanding of the Oral Law depended on the Sages. The tragic result was the murder of all the Sages, which left the world desolate.

One Sage, however, survived. Rabbi Shimon ben Shatach was the brother of the queen and she managed to hide him when the slaughter took place. This lone survivor succeeded in restoring Torah study to its former glory.

  • Kiddushin 66a

What the Sages Say

"A person will not pass up the opportunity to fulfill a mitzvah incumbent upon him in order to do a mitzvah not incumbent upon him."

  • Gemara (Kiddushin 64b)

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