סקר
כמה זמן אתה כבר גולש בפורטל הדף היומי






 

Steinsaltz

The practical difference between them is in a case where he initiated the quarrel. In this situation there is no concern that she might knowingly lie, as she loves him. However, due to the quarrel between them she might not be meticulous in her investigations.

§ A dilemma was raised before the Sages: If there was one witness who testified that the husband died, in a case that involved a quarrel between them, what is the halakha? The Gemara explains the different sides of this dilemma: What is the reason that one witness is deemed credible? Is it because it is a matter that is likely to be revealed, and one does not lie in a case of this kind? Here too, one witness would not lie. Or perhaps the reason that one witness is deemed credible is because she herself is exacting in her investigation before she marries again. And here, since there is a quarrel between them, she is not exacting in her investigation before she marries again, despite the testimony of the witness. The Gemara comments: The question shall stand unresolved.

§ The mishna taught that Rabbi Yehuda says that a wife is never deemed credible when she testifies that her husband died, unless she came crying and her clothing was torn, while the Rabbis say she may remarry in any case. It is taught in a baraita: The Rabbis said to Rabbi Yehuda: According to your statement, a crafty woman who knows how to deceive will come with torn clothes crying, and it will be permitted for her to marry. However, a foolish woman who does not know how to deceive will not be permitted to marry. Is this a fair outcome? Rather, both this woman and that woman may marry.

The Gemara relates: There was a certain woman who came to the court of Rabbi Yehuda. The people sitting there said to her: Lament your husband, tear your clothing, unbind your hair, so that you have the appearance of a mourner, and the court will believe you. The Gemara asks: Did they instruct her to lie? The Gemara answers: They thought, in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, that it is permitted for her to marry in any case. However, they were concerned that Rabbi Yehuda would rule that she may not remarry if she did not display her grief, in accordance with his opinion. Therefore, they said that she should do this, so that Rabbi Yehuda would also permit her to marry, and she would avoid any complications.

MISHNA: Beit Hillel say: We heard that one may accept the testimony of a woman concerning the death of her husband only when she comes from the grain harvest, and when she testified in the same country where he died, and in circumstances similar to the incident that occurred, in which a lenient ruling was issued, as will be explained.

Beit Shammai said to Beit Hillel: The same halakha applies to a wife who comes from the grain harvest, and one who comes from the olive harvest, and also one who comes from the grape harvest, and even one who comes from one country to another country. Although the incident in question took place during the grain harvest, the Sages spoke of the grain harvest only because it was the present occurrence, i.e., that is what happened in practice, but this is no proof that she is deemed credible only when she arrived specifically from the grain harvest. The mishna comments: Beit Hillel retracted their opinion, and decided to teach in accordance with the opinion of Beit Shammai on this issue.

GEMARA: It is taught in a baraita that Beit Shammai said to Beit Hillel: According to your statement that this halakha applies solely in circumstances similar to the incident that occurred, if so, I have derived only that it applies in the wheat harvest. From where do I derive that the same applies in the barley harvest? And I have derived only that it applies to one who reaps grain. From where do I derive that this halakha includes someone who harvests grapes, or harvests olives, or harvests dates, or harvests figs?

Rather, that incident which occurred during the grain harvest, and the same is true of all these other circumstances. Here too, concerning a woman who comes from another country, and other, similar cases, the incident that occurred took place in that country, but the same is true of all these other cases.

And Beit Hillel, how did they respond to this argument? In that same country, where people are commonly found moving from place to place, she is scared to lie, lest her account be contradicted. However, between one country and another country, where people are not commonly found moving back and forth, she is not scared, and therefore she might be lying when she says he died. And Beit Shammai reason: Here too caravans are found, and if he was alive the truth would eventually be revealed.

The Gemara asks: What was this incident that occurred? As Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: It was at the end [shilfei] of the wheat harvest, and ten people went to harvest wheat. A snake bit one of them and he died, and his wife came and told the court that her husband died. And they sent messengers, who discovered that it happened in accordance with her statement. At that time they said: The woman who says: My husband died, may marry on the basis of this testimony. Furthermore, if she says: My husband died without children, and he has a brother, she enters into levirate marriage. This is the case to which Beit Hillel referred.

§ The Gemara analyzes this dispute. Let us say that Rabbi Ḥananya ben Akiva and the Rabbis, who argued in this case, disagree with regard to the issue that is the subject of the dispute between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel. As it is taught in a baraita: A person may not carry the waters of purification, i.e., the water containing the ashes of the red heifer for the ritual purification of one who became impure through contact with a corpse, and the ashes of purification, of the red heifer, and transport them on the Jordan River. And one may not transfer them across the river in a boat.

And one may not stand on one side of the river and throw the ashes to the other side, nor float them upon the water as he crosses, nor ride with them across the river, neither on the back of an animal nor on the back of another person, as this is similar to a boat that passes over the water, unless the legs of the rider were touching the ground. However, one may transport them across the water over a bridge. This prohibition applies to both the Jordan River and all other rivers. Rabbi Ḥananya ben Akiva says: They said this prohibition only with regard to the Jordan, and transporting in a boat, and in circumstances similar to the incident that occurred, when ritual impurity was found in a boat on the Jordan River.

Let us say that the Rabbis say in accordance with the opinion of Beit Shammai, that when a decree is enacted due to a specific case that occurred, this halakha applies to all similar circumstances. And Rabbi Ḥananya ben Akiva says in accordance with the opinion of Beit Hillel, that the decree applies only in the exact circumstances as the precedent case.

The Gemara rejects this suggestion. The Rabbis could say to you: We stated our ruling even in accordance with the opinion of Beit Hillel, as there is a difference between the two cases. Beit Hillel state their opinion, that she is not deemed credible when she comes from one country to another, only in that case there, because she is scared. In a nearby place she is scared to give false testimony, as her lie can easily be discovered, whereas in a distant place she is not scared. However, here, concerning the ashes of the red heifer, what difference does it make to me if it is the Jordan River, and what difference does it make to me if it is one of the many other rivers?

Meanwhile, Rabbi Ḥananya ben Akiva could have said to you: I stated my ruling even in accordance with the opinion of Beit Shammai, as Beit Shammai state their opinion only there, because she herself is exacting in her investigation before she marries again. Since this is the decisive consideration, what difference does it make to me if the place is near, and what difference does it make to me if the place is far? Here, however, the Sages issued their decree due to a specific incident that occurred. And therefore the Sages issued their decree with regard to the Jordan River and in a boat, the circumstances in which the incident occurred. Conversely, the Sages did not issue the decree with regard to other rivers, where the incident did not occur.

The Gemara explains: What is this incident that occurred, involving the ashes of the red heifer? As Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: An incident occurred involving a person who was transporting waters of purification and ashes of purification on the Jordan River, and in a boat, and an olive-bulk of a corpse was found stuck to the bottom of the boat, which rendered the waters and ashes ritually impure. At that time they said: A person may not carry waters of purification and ashes of purification and transport them on the Jordan River, and in a boat. Later Sages dispute whether this decree applies to similar cases, or only to the exact circumstances of this specific incident.

MISHNA: Beit Shammai say: A woman who testifies that her husband died may marry, and take the money guaranteed in her marriage contract. Beit Hillel say: She may marry, but she may not take her marriage contract, as qualified witnesses are required for monetary matters. Beit Shammai said to them: If you have permitted a woman potentially forbidden to him, which is a relatively stringent prohibition, based merely upon her own testimony, will we not permit a monetary matter, which is more lenient, as the money can be returned and this sin does not entail such a severe punishment? Beit Hillel said to them: This is no proof, as we find

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
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