Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 2a
MISHNAH. A WOMAN IS ACQUIRED [IN MARRIAGE] IN THREE WAYS AND
ACQUIRES HER FREEDOM(1)
IN TWO. SHE IS ACQUIRED BY MONEY, BY DEED, OR BY
INTERCOURSE. ‘BY MONEY’: BETH SHAMMAI MAINTAIN, A DENAR(2)
|(1) Lit., 'acquires herself.'|
OR THE WORTH
OF A DENAR; BETH HILLEL RULE, A PERUTAH OR THE WORTH OF A PERUTAH.(3)
|(2) Denar - Denarius, a silver or gold coin, the former being worth one twenty-fourth (according to others one twenty-fifth) of the latter. |
HOW MUCH IS A PERUTAH? AN EIGHTH OF AN ITALIAN ISSAR.(4)
|(3) I.e., goods to its value. |
AND SHE ACQUIRES
HER FREEDOM BY DIVORCE OR BY HER HUSBAND'S DEATH. A YEBAMAH(5)
|(4) Issar - A small Roman coin. The ordinary issar = 1124th of a denar (denarius); the Italian issar = 1116th. |
ACQUIRED BY INTERCOURSE, AND ACQUIRES HER FREEDOM BY HALIZAH(6)
|(5) Yebamah - A brother's childless widow. V. Deut 25:5-10.
When brothers dwell together and one of them dies and leaves no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married to a stranger, outside the family. Her husband's brother shall unite with her: he shall take her as his wife and perform the levir's duty. The first son that she bears shall be accounted to the dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out in Israel. But if the man does not want to marry his brother's widow, his brother's widow shall appear before the elders in the gate and declare, "My husband's brother refuses to establish a name in Israel for his brother; he will not perform the duty of a levir." The elders of his town shall then summon him and talk to him. If he insists, saying, "I do not want to marry her," his brother's widow shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, pull the sandal off his foot, spit in his face, and make this declaration: Thus shall be done to the man who will not build up his brother's house! And he shall go in Israel by the name of "the family of the unsandaled one."
THE YABAM'S DEATH.(7)
|(6) Halizah - (Lit. 'drawing off'); the ceremony of taking off the shoe of the brother of a husband who has died childless. (v. Deut 25:5-9, please see footnote #5 above.)|
|(7) Yabam - The brother of a married man who dies childless; the widow is called YEBAMAH, v. HALIZAH. |
GEMARA. A WOMAN IS ACQUIRED. Why does he [the Tanna] state here, ‘A WOMAN IS
ACQUIRED,’ Whilst elsewhere(8)
he teaches ‘A man may betroth’ [etc.]?(9)
|(8) At the beginning of Chapter II, infra 41a. |
— Because he wishes to
state ‘MONEY’; and how do we know that money effects betrothal? By deriving the meaning of
‘taking’ from the field of Ephron:(10)
|(9) Thus here too he should have stated: 'A woman is betrothed.' 'Betroth' in this sense, and as it is generally used in the
Talmud, is the first stage of marriage. A betrothed woman could not be freed without a divorce, though cohabitation was
still forbidden. V. Glos. s.v. erusin. As far as practicable in this translation, 'betrothed' is employed to denote this first
stage, and 'marriage' to denote the second (nissu'in), after which the couple may live together.
Erusin - (Lit., 'betrothal'); a formal betrothal, which cannot be annulled without a bill of divorce.
Here it is written: If any man take a wife;(11)
|(10) Lit., 'taking,' 'taking' is deduced from the field of Ephron. This method of exegesis is designated 'gezerah shawah,'
whereby the use of the same word in two passages indicates that their laws or connotations are similar. |
whilst there it is
written: I will give thee money for the field: take it of me.(12)
|(11) Deut 22:13 A man marries a woman and cohabits with her...|
Moreover, ‘taking’ is designated acquisition, for it is written, the field which Abraham acquired;(13)
|(12) Gen 23:13. Just as 'take' in the latter verse refers to money, so in the former too: the wife is 'taken,' i.e., betrothed by money.
Gen 23:13 and spoke to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, saying, If only you would hear me out! Let me pay the price of the land; accept it from me, that I may bury my dead there.
|(13) Gen 49:30. The quotation is not exact in the Talmud.
Gen 49:30 the cave which is in the field of Machpelah, facing Mamre, in the land of Canaan, the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for a burial site
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 2b
alternatively, men shall acquire fields for money;(1)
therefore, he teaches: A WOMAN IS
ACQUIRED. Then let him state there,(2)
‘A man acquires’? — He [the Tanna] first employs Biblical
phraseology, but subsequently, the Rabbinical idiom. Now what does the Rabbinical term connote?(3)
|(1) Jer 32:44 Fields shall be purchased, and deeds written and sealed, and witnesses called in the land of Benjamin and in the environs of Jerusalem, and in the towns of Judah; the towns of the hill country, the towns of the Shephelah, and the towns of the Negeb. For I will restore their fortunes - declares the LORD. |
— That he [the husband] interdicts her to all [men] as hekdesh.(4)
|(3) The Heb. mekaddesh literally means 'consecrates.' Why is this employed by the Rabbis for betrothal? |
But, why not teach here, ‘A man
|(4) Hekdesh - Any object consecrated to the Sanctuary; hekdesh is forbidden for secular use. |
— Because he desires to teach the second clause, AND ACQUIRES HER FREEDOM,
which refers to her [the woman], he therefore teaches the first clause likewise with reference to her.
Then let him state, ‘A man acquires . . . and makes [her] acquire’?(6)
|(5) Granted that Biblical usage demands a verb of acquisition, yet just as the Mishnah on 41a states: 'a man betroths,' so
here too it should have been, 'a man acquires.' |
— Because there is the husband's
death where it is not he who frees her, but it is Heaven who confers [her freedom] on her.(7)
|(6) Both clauses referring to his action. |
Alternatively, were it taught ‘he acquires.’ I might have thought, even against her will, hence it is
stated ‘A WOMAN IS ACQUIRED,’ implying only with her consent, but not without.(8)
|(7) Hence this could not be referred to as his (voluntary) action. |
does he [the Tanna] choose to teach shalosh? Let him teach sheloshah?(9)
|(8) By referring it to her, the Tanna shews that the validity of acquisition is dependent on her consent. |
— Because he desires to
state derek [way], which is feminine, as it is written, and thou shalt shew them the way wherein
[bah] they must walk.(10)
|(9) Shalosh (three) is used with fem. substantives; sheloshah with masc. ones, which is the more usual. |
‘If so, when we learnt, a zab(11)
|(10) Exo 18:20: bah is feminine (in her), the masc. being bo.
Exo 18:20 and enjoin upon them the laws and the teachings, and make known to them the way they are to go and the practices they are to follow.
is examined in seven [shiv'ah] ways
let him [the Tanna] employ sheva’?(13)
|(11) Zab - (fem. ZABAH). The biblical term for a person who has experienced seminal emission (Lev 15:2), cf. p. 3, n. 1. |
— Because he desires to state derek, which we
find designated as masculine, as it is written, they shall come out against thee in one way [be-derek
ehad], and flee before thee seven ways [shiv'ah derakim].(14)
|(13) Shiv'ah with masc., sheva' with fem. substantives. |
If so, the verses are contradictory, and
the Mishnahs likewise? — The verses are not contradictory: here [the first verse quoted], the
reference being to the Torah,(15)
|(14) Deut 28:7: in both clauses the numerals are masculine.
Deut 28:7 The LORD will put to rout before you the enemies who attack you; they will march out against you by a single road, but flee from you by many* roads.
* Literally "seven."
which is a feminine noun, as it is written: The law [torah] of the Lord
is perfect [temimah], restoring [meshibath] the soul:(16)
|(15) When Jethro said to Moses, and thou shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, by 'way' he meant the
the feminine form is employed. There,
however, the reference is to war, and it is the practice of man to wage war, not of woman —
therefore the masculine is employed. The Mishnahs are [likewise] not contradictory: here, since the
reference is to a woman, it is couched in the feminine form. There, the reference being to a man,
since it is the nature of a man to be examined, but not of a woman, for a woman becomes unclean
even through an accident,(17)
|(16) Psa 19:8; both the adjective and the participle are feminine.
Psa 19:8 The teaching of the LORD is perfect, renewing life; the decrees of the LORD are enduring, making the simple wise;
the masculine form is employed.
|(17) A man is unclean as a zab only if the discharge comes of itself, without being caused by external factors (technically
called accidents); e.g., the eating of certain foods, physical overstrain, etc.; seven such factors might have caused the discharge, and consequently he had to be examined in respect of these. But a woman is unclean even then; hence there is no purpose in examining her. |
Now, why does he employ shalosh? on account of derakim [ways]! Then let him teach debarim
[things] and sheloshah?(18)
— Because he wishes to mention INTERCOURSE, which is designated
‘way’, as it is written, and the way of a man with a maid. . . Such is the way of an adulterous
|(18) A woman is acquired by three things; debarim is masc. |
Now, that answers for intercourse; but what can you say of MONEY AND DEED? —
[They are] on account of INTERCOURSE.(20)
|(19) Prov 30:19 f
How an eagle makes its way over the sky;
How a snake makes its way over a rock;
How a ship makes its way through the high seas;
How a man has his way with a maiden.
And are two taught on account of one?(21)
|(20) Since derek is required for cohabitation, it is also used for the others. |
— These too
are adjuncts of intercourse.(22)
|(21) Surely the idiom should be primarily adapted to the majority? |
|(22) They are not separate and complete acts, but preliminaries to cohabitation. |
Alternatively I can say: The author of this [Mishnah] is R. Simeon. For it was taught: R. Simeon
said: Why did the Torah state, If any man take a wife,(23)
and not ‘if a woman be taken to a man’?
Because it is the way of a man to go in search of a woman, but it is not the way of a woman to go in
search of a man. This may be compared to a man who lost an article: who goes in search of whom?
The loser goes in search of the lost article.(24)
|(23) Deut 22:13 A man marries a woman and cohabits with her... |
Now, as to what we learnt: ‘a zab is examined in seven
ways’: let it state [seven] ‘things’?(25)
|(24) But the lost article does not seek the loser. Thus, man having lost his rib, he seeks to recover it. - Since R. Simeon says 'It is the way of a man, etc.' he also teaches: 'A WOMAN IS ACQUIRED IN THREE WAYS. 'Derek' (way) is
applicable to something that happens in conformity with nature or normal practice. |
— There we are informed this: it is the nature [way] of
excessive eating to cause gonorrhoea, and it is the nature [way] of excessive drinking to cause
gonorrhoea. Further, as to what we learnt: ‘The citron is comparable to a tree in three ways’(26)
|(25) Because generally speaking the masculine is preferable. |
him state [in three] things? — Because he wishes to teach the second clause: and to vegetables in
|(26) Viz., in respect of 'orlah (q.v. Glos.), fourth year fruits, and the year of release. The fruit gathered in the fourth year of a tree's planting was to be eaten in Jerusalem, like the second tithe (v. note 4). Special laws governed the produce of every seventh year (v. Lev 25:1-7), but the definitions of 'seventh year' varied. In respect to trees it meant the fruit
that grew in the seventh year, even if not harvested until the eighth; while in speaking of vegetables it applies to the time
of gathering: the citron is assimilated to trees in this matter.
'Orlah - ('uncircumcised'); applied to newly-planted trees for a period of three years during which their fruits must not be eaten (v. Lev 19:23ff).
Lev 19:23 When you enter the land and plant any tree for food, you shall regard its fruit as forbidden.* Three years it shall be forbidden for you, not to be eaten.
* Heb. root 'rl, commonly "to be uncircumcised."
The LORD spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai: Speak to the Israelite people and say to them: When you enter the land that I assign to you, the land shall observe a sabbath of the LORD. Six years you may sow your field and six years you may prune your vineyard and gather in the yield. But in the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath of complete rest, a sabbath of the LORD: you shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard. You shall not reap the aftergrowth of your harvest or gather the grapes of your untrimmed vines; it shall be a year of complete rest for the land. But you may eat whatever the land during its sabbath will produceyou, your male and female slaves, the hired and bound laborers who live with you, and your cattle and the beasts in your land may eat all its yield.
Then in the second clause too’ let him state, [and to vegetables in one] ‘thing’?
|(27) Viz., in respect of tithing. In the first, second, fourth, and fifth years after the 'year of release', the first and second
tithe were separated, the first being given to the Levite and the second eaten by its owners in Jerusalem; in the third and
sixth years the first and third tithes were due, the latter being given to the poor. Here too, trees were determined by the
time when their fruit grew; vegetables by their gathering; the citron was assimilated to vegetables in this matter. |
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 3a
— There we are informed this: that the nature [way] of a citron is like that of vegetables. Just as it is
the nature of vegetables to grow by means of all waters,(1)
and its tithing is determined by the time
when it is gathered;(2)
so is it the nature of the citron to grow by means of all waters, and [therefore]
its tithing is determined by its gathering.(3)
|(1) I.e., artificial irrigation, which is normally impossible in the case of wheat and the vine. |
Again, when we learnt: A koy(4)
|(3) Thus by employing 'way,' the Tanna teaches the reason of its similarity in tithing, viz., because it is also similar in
the nature (way) of its growth. |
is, in some ways, similar to
beasts of chase;(5)
|(4) [Generally taken as a cross between a goat and some species of gazelle; v. Lewysohn, Zoologie, p. 115.]
and in other ways to cattle; and [again], in some ways to both beasts of chase and
cattle, and in other ways to neither beasts of chase nor cattle(6)
|(5) Heb. hayyah, beast of chase, opposed to behemah, cattle. The Rabbis were uncertain whether the koy should be
considered of the genus of cattle or a beast of chase. |
— let it be taught, [in some] ‘things’?
Moreover, when we learnt: This is one of the ways wherein women's divorce deeds are similar to
slaves’ writs of liberation(7)
|(6) Its heleb (hindquarter fat) is forbidden like that of cattle, its blood must be covered after slaughter, like that of a beast
of chase, it must be ritually killed before it is fit for food, like both, it must not be made to copulate with either. - Since
its status is undetermined, we impose the stringencies of both beasts of chase and cattle. |
— let him state, [this is one of the] ‘things’ etc.? — But [answer thus]:
wherever a distinction is drawn, ‘ways’ is employed: wherever there is no distinction, ‘things’
[respects] is taught.(8)
|(7) Viz., if one is brought from overseas, the messenger must declare, 'It was written and attested in my presence.' |
This may be proved too, for the second clause teaches: R. Eliezer maintained:
The citron is equal to trees in all things.(9)
|(8) E.g., in some respects the citron is similar to trees; in others to vegetables: hence a distinction is drawn. The same
applies to the other passages quoted. But if one thing is entirely like another, we employ 'things' (dabar). |
This proves it.
|(9) Thus 'way' is not used here, since no distinction is drawn. |
What does the number of the first clause exclude, and what does the number of the second
— The number of the first clause excludes huppah.(11)
|(10) It is unnecessary to state, A WOMAN . . . THREE WAYS . . . TWO, since these are actually enumerated. The
explicit statement of the number must therefore emphasize that only three ways are valid, not more. |
But according to R. Huna, who
maintained: Huppah [as an act of betrothal] acquires [a woman], by inferring it a minori,(12)
it exclude? — It excludes barter.(13)
|(11) If a father delivers his daughter to huppah as an act of betrothal (kiddushin), it is not valid as such. (Rashi). [The
word חופה from the root חפף, denotes the baldachin or canopy wherein the bridegroom received the bride at the
nuptials. A good deal of uncertainty exists as to the signification of this ceremony; (v. Shulhan 'Aruk, Eben ha-'Ezer, I,
XV, 1). Rashi, it appears, regards huppah as a mere symbol of traditio puellae, a handing over of the maiden by the
father to the husband into whose control she now passes, (cf. Keth. 48a), in contradistinction to Maim., (Yad, Ishuth, X,
1), who saw in it a symbol of the marital union, copula carnalis, cf. Neubauer J. pp. 57 and 226ff.] |
I might have thought, since we learn the meaning of ‘taking’ from
then just as a field may be acquired by barter, so may a woman too be acquired by
barter: hence we are informed [otherwise]. And let us say: That indeed is so? — Barter is possible
with less than a perutah's worth;(15)
whilst a woman will not cede herself [in marriage] for less than a
|(13) A woman cannot be bartered, i.e., become betrothed in exchange for an article. - On 'barter' v. infra 28a,
|(16) Because it is derogatory to her dignity. |
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 3b
The number of the second clause excludes halizah.(1)
For I might have thought, this may be inferred a
minori from a yebamah: if a yebamah, who is not freed by divorce, is freed by halizah; then this one
[a married woman], who is freed by divorce, is surely freed by halizah. Therefore we are informed
[otherwise]. And let us say: That indeed is so? — Scripture states, [then he shall write her] a writ of
|(1) Halizah - (Lit., 'drawing off'); the ceremony of taking off the shoe of the brother of a husband who has died childless. (v. Deut 25:5-9.) The marriage bond cannot be dissolved by halizah.
When brothers dwell together and one of them dies and leaves no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married to a stranger, outside the family. Her husband's brother shall unite with her: he shall take her as his wife and perform the levir's duty. The first son that she bears shall be accounted to the dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out in Israel. But if the man does not want to marry his brother's widow, his brother's widow shall appear before the elders in the gate and declare, "My husband's brother refuses to establish a name in Israel for his brother; he will not perform the duty of a levir." The elders of his town shall then summon him and talk to him. If he insists, saying, "I do not want to marry her," his brother's widow shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, pull the sandal off his foot, spit in his face, and make this declaration: Thus shall be done to the man who will not build up his brother's house!
Thus, a ‘writ’ may divorce her, but nothing else may divorce her.
|(2) Deut 24:1 A man takes a wife and possesses her. She fails to please him because he finds something obnoxious about her, and he writes her a bill of divorcement, hands it to her, and sends her away from his house; |
BY MONEY. Whence do we know this? Moreover, when we learned, A father has a privilege
over his daughter [if a minor] in respect of her kiddushin(3)
by money, deed, or intercourse:(4)
|(3) Kiddushin - (Lit., 'sanctification'); (a) the act of affiancing or betrothal; (b) the money or article given to effect the betrothal. |
we know that she can be acquired by money and that the money belongs to her father? — Said Rab
Judah in Rab's name, Because Scripture saith, then she shall go out for nothing, without money:(5)
|(4) He can accept money or a deed as her kiddushin, the former belonging to him, or deliver her to intercourse, v. Keth. 46b. |
money is due to this master [when she leaves his control], but money is due to another master, viz.,
|(5) Exo 21:11: this refers to a Hebrew maidservant.
Exo 21:11 If he fails her in these three ways, she shall go free, without payment.
Yet perhaps it belongs to her?(7)
|(6) When she leaves him on marriage. Hence her father has a right to the money given as kiddushin. |
— How now! her father receives her kiddushin [on her
behalf], for it is written, [and the damsel's father shall say. . .] I gave my daughter unto this man;(8)
|(7) The verse merely implying that no money is payable when she leaves this master, but it is when she leaves another
master, viz., her father. But nothing shews that the money belongs to her father, which would follow only if Scripture
had written: 'without money to him'. |
shall she take the money? [Surely not!] But perhaps this applies only to a minor [ketannah], who has
no power to accept kiddushin; but as for a na'arah,(9)
|(8) Deut 22:16; thus shewing that the privilege rests entirely with him.
Deut 22:16 And the girl's father shall say to the elders, "I gave this man my daughter to wife, but he has taken an aversion to her;
who is empowered to accept kiddushin — let her
betroth herself and take the money!(10)
|(9) Na'arah - A girl between the ages of twelve years and one day and twelve and a half years plus one day. |
— The Writ saith, in her youth(11)
|(10) A minor cannot enter into a legal contract; hence it is but equitable that her father has full power over her in respect
to marriage. But a na'arah can make valid transactions and acquire property; the father therefore should have no rights in
respect to her kiddushin. - Though the verse quoted, dealing with the slandering of a woman's honour, explicitly refers
to a na'arah - Then shall the father of the na'arah (E.V. damsel) etc., - she may have been betrothed while a minor. |
in her father's house:(12)
|(11) I.e., when a na'arah, to which the Heb. term bi-ne'ureha corresponds. |
teaching, all the profit of youth belongs to her father.
|(12) Num 30:17 Those are the laws that the LORD enjoined upon Moses between a man and his wife, and as between a father and his daughter while in her father's household by reason of her youth. |
If so, when R. Huna said in Rab's name: Whence do we know that a daughter's labour belongs to
her father? — From the verse: And if a man shall sell his daughter to be a maidservant:(13)
just as a
maidservant's labour belongs to her master, so does a daughter's labour belong to her father; learn it
rather from, ‘in her youth, in her father's house’? But [you must answer], that refers to the annulment
|(13) Exo 21:7 When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not be freed as male slaves are. |
So here too, [you must admit] that it is written in reference to annulment of vows!(15)
should you argue, We may learn therefrom(16)
|(14) Teaching that the father can annul his unmarried daughter's vows, if a na'arah; but it has no bearing on her labour. |
— but civil law(17)
cannot be deduced from ritual law.(18)
|(16) Just as a father can annul his daughter's vows, so has he a title to her betrothal money. |
And should you say, we may learn it from kenas(19)
|(18) Lit., 'prohibition'. The title to betrothal money is purely a question of civil law, whereas the binding character of
vows and their annulment belong to ritual law. |
— but civil law cannot be deduced from kenas?(20)
|(19) Lit., 'fine'; kenas - A fine or penalty (as distinct from actual monetary loss caused), to be paid by certain classes of wrongdoers, e.g., a seducer.. If a man seduces, violates, or slanders a na'arah, he must pay a fixed fine to her father: Exo 22:15f; Deut 22:13-19; 28f. Hence in the case of kiddushin too the money belongs to her father.
Exo 22:15 If a man seduces a virgin for whom the bride-price has not been paid, * and lies with her, he must make her his wife by payment of a bride-price.
* So that she is unmarried; cf. Deut 20:7; 22:23ff.
Deut 20:7 Is there anyone who has paid the bride-price for a wife,* but who has not yet married her? Let him go back to his home, lest he die in battle and another marry her."
* Thereby making her his wife legally, even though the marriage has not yet taken place.
Deut 22:23 In the case of a virgin who is *engaged to a man*if a man comes upon her in town and lies with her,
* I. e., for whom a bride-price has been paid; see 20:7.
A man marries a woman and cohabits with her. Then he takes an aversion to her and makes up charges against her and defames her, saying, "I married this woman; but when I approached her, I found that she was not a virgin." In such a case, the girl's father and mother shall produce the evidence of the girl's virginity before the elders of the town at the gate. And the girl's father shall say to the elders, "I gave this man my daughter to wife, but he has taken an aversion to her; so he has made up charges, saying, 'I did not find your daughter a virgin.' But here is the evidence of my daughter's virginity!" And they shall spread out the cloth before the elders of the town. The elders of that town shall then take the man and flog him, and they shall fine him a hundred [shekels of] silver and give it to the girl's father; for the man has defamed a virgin in Israel. Moreover, she shall remain his wife; he shall never have the right to divorce her.
Deut 22:28, 29 If a man comes upon a virgin who is not engaged and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are discovered, the man who lay with her shall pay the girl's father fifty [shekels of] silver, and she shall be his wife. Because he has violated her, he can never have the right to divorce her.
And should you say: We may learn it from [the indemnity payable for her] shame and depreciation(21)
|(20) This is a general principle. Kenas is not regarded as equitable indemnification for loss sustained, for then the
amounts would vary, but as a Biblical decree. As such, it stands in a category by itself, and ordinary civil law cannot be
compared with it. |
— yet shame and depreciation are different, since her father has an interest therein.(22)
|(21) Besides the fixed kenas, the seducer must pay her father for the shame she sustained and her loss in social standing,
which has a monetary value. These are ordinary payments for injury inflicted and therefore provide a basis for analogy. |
— But [answer
thus:] it is logical that when a limitation is made,
|(22) For her father could inflict these on her by marrying her to a man suffering from repulsive disfigurement. |
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 4a
it applies to an analogous going forth.(1)
But the one departure is dissimilar to the other: there [sc. a
maidservant] she passes from her master's authority completely; whereas here she yet wants being
given over for huppah?(2)
|(1) After all, the matter is deduced from 'and she shall go out for nothing' without money, the reasoning being as
follows: The verse teaches that only for a maidservant is no payment due for gaining her freedom. Now, if it were due, it
would obviously be her master's; hence when we learn that elsewhere, sc. marriage, payment is due, it is likewise due to
the master whom she leaves, viz., her father. |
— Nevertheless, she passes out of his control in respect of annulment of
vows; for we learnt: A betrothed maiden — her father and husband [together] may annul her vows.(3)
|(2) Before which her father is still entitled to her labour, and acts as her heir. |
|(3) But the father no longer enjoys undivided control. |
Now, this verse: ‘and she shall go out for nothing’ — does it come to teach this? Surely it is
needed for what was taught, viz., ‘And she shall go out for nothing’ — this refers to the days of
without money — to the days of na'aruth!(5)
|(4) Bagruth/bogereth - Age of majority; a girl from the age of twelve and a half years plus one day onwards. |
— Said Rabina: If so, Scripture should have
written, en kesef [without money]; why write, eyn kesef(6)
|(5) Na'aruth - The state of being a na'arah, q.v. |
Na'arah - A girl between the ages of twelve years and one day and twelve and a half years plus one day. Thus the verse merely teaches that something else, not money, frees her, but implies no other exclusion.
— [To teach:] no money is due to this
master, but money is due to another, viz., her father.
And how do you know that such exegesis is
|(6) Rabina assumes that 'without money' could be written, אן (en); the inserted yod אין) י eyn) is superfluous, so
expresses a further limitation. |
— Because it was taught: [If a priest's daughter also be married unto a stranger, she
may not eat of an offering of the holy things. But if the priest's daughter be a widow, or divorced,]
and have no [eyn] child [. . . she shall eat of her father's meat].(8)
|(7) I.e., that the yod (י) may be regarded as superfluous? |
I only know [that] her own child
[disqualifies her]; whence do I know [the same of] her child's child?(9)
From the verse: ‘and have no
[eyn] child’, [teaching] examine her [for issue].(10)
|(8) Lev 22:12, 13f If a priest's daughter marries a layman, she may not eat of the sacred gifts; but if the priest's daughter is widowed or divorced and without offspring, and is back in her father's house as in her youth, she may eat of her father's food... |
Again, I only know [that] legitimate seed
[disqualifies her]: whence do I know it of illegitimate [pasul] seed?(11)
|(10) [עײן לה, a play on the word אין or an interchange of the א with the ע , as is frequent in Semitic languages].
See if she has any descendants. This is deduced from the superfluous yod. |
From the verse, and have no
[eyn] child: examine her [for any issue whatsoever]. But you have employed this for her child's
child? — For her child's child no verse is required, because grand-children are as children;(12)
the verse is required only for her illegitimate seed.
|(11) 'Illegitimate' not in the modern sense, but e.g., a child born of adultery. |
Now, how does the Tanna(13)
himself know that such exegesis is permissible? — I will tell you. It
is written: Baalam doth not consent [me'en],(14)
|(13) Tanna - (Lit., 'one who repeats' or 'teaches') (a) a Rabbi quoted in the Mishnah or Baraitha (q.v.); (b) in the Amoraic period, a scholar whose special task was to memorize and recite Baraithas in the presence of expounding teachers. |
and my husband's brother doth not consent [me'en](15)
|(14) Num 22:14 The Moabite dignitaries left, and they came to Balak and said, "Balaam refused to come with us." |
neither of which contain a yod, whereas here [in the verses under discussion] a yod is written:(16)
|(15) Deut 25:7 But if the man does not want to marry his brother's widow, his brother's widow shall appear before the elders in the gate and declare, "My husband's brother refuses to establish a name in Israel for his brother; he will not perform the duty of a levir." |
proves that it [sc. the yod] comes for exegesis. Now, it is necessary to state that in the case of a
na'arah, both her kiddushin and her labour belong to her father.(17)
|(16) It is assumed that me'en is derived from en. |
For had Scripture written that her
kiddushin belongs to her father, I might have thought, that is because she takes no pains with it; but
her labour, for which she toils, I would say is her own. And if we were told about her labour, that is
because she lives thereby;(18)
|(17) These were deduced from two separate verses on 3b. |
but her kiddushin, which comes from elsewhere, I would think is hers:
thus both are necessary.
|(18) She must work for her keep, hence her earnings belong to her father, who keeps her. - Tosaf. in Git. 47b s.v. צולביתך. |
The [above] text [says:] ‘And she shall go out for nothing — this refers to the days of bagruth;
without money — to the days of na'aruth.’ Then Scripture should have written na'aruth, which
renders bagruth superfluous?(19)
— Said Rabbah: One comes and illumines the other.(20)
|(19) If she is freed at na'aruth, which is earlier, surely she is freed at bagruth! |
For this may
be compared to the case of toshab and sakir,(21)
|(20) The two phrases must refer to two ages, na'aruth and bagruth. But if only one were written - and she shall go out
for nothing - I would apply it to bagruth only. |
as was taught: Toshab means one [a Hebrew slave]
acquired in perpetuity;(22)
|(21) The reference is to Lev 22:10: a toshab (E.V. sojourner) of the priest, or a sakir (E.V. hired servant), shall not
eat of the holy thing.
Lev 22:10 No lay person shall eat of the sacred donations. No bound or hired laborer of a priest shall eat of the sacred donations;
sakir, one purchased for a period of [six] years.(23)
Now, let toshab be stated,
but not sakir, and I would reason: if one acquired in perpetuity may not eat, how much more so one
purchased only for a period of [six] years?(24)
|(22) I.e., until Jubilee; v. Exo 21:5f But if the slave declares, "I love my master, and my wife and children: I do not wish to go free," |
Were it so, I would say, toshab is one purchased for a
limited period, but one acquired in perpetuity may eat. Therefore sakir comes and illumines [the
meaning of] toshab, [teaching] that though he is purchased for ever, he may not eat. Said Abaye to
him: How compare! There they are two persons, and even had Scripture [explicitly] written, a toshab
whose ear was bored,(25)
and then added the other, sakir would be something which might be inferred
a minori; and a thing which is derived a minori Scripture [often] takes the trouble to write. But here
[in the case of a maidservant] she is only one person: having departed in na'aruth, what business has
she with him in bagruth? — But, said Abaye, it is necessary only for the majority of a
[constitutionally] barren woman:(26)
|(24) For the former is more of the priest's chattel (v. Lev 22:11) than the latter.
Lev 22:11 but a person who is a priest's property by purchase may eat of them; and those that are born into his household may eat of his food.
I might have thought, she [a Hebrew maidservant] is freed only
by na'aruth, but not by bagruth: hence we are informed [otherwise]. Mar, son of R. Ashi, demurred:
But does this not follow a minori? If symptoms [of na'aruth], which do not free her from parental
free her from her master's authority: then bagruth, which liberates from parental
authority, surely liberates her from her master's authority! — But, said Mar, son of R. Ashi: This is
necessary only in respect of the sale itself of a barren woman:(28)
|(26) She has no symptoms of na'aruth, and attains her majority (bagruth) at the age of twenty. |
I might have thought, with one who
will [subsequently] produce evidence of na'aruth, the sale is valid: but with one who will not produce
the sale is altogether invalid:
|(28) I.e., a minor who shews symptoms of constitutional barrenness. |
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 4b
therefore the verse: ‘and she shall go out for nothing etc.’, teaches us [otherwise]. Now, according to
Mar, son of R. Ashi, who objected, does this not follow a minori, but we have said: Scripture takes
pains to write something which could be inferred a minori? — That is only if no other answer is
possible; but if it is, we answer.1
But this Tanna adduces it2 from the following. For it was taught: When a man taketh a wife, and
hath intercourse with her, then it shall be, if she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found
some unseemly thing in her, etc.;3 ‘taking’ is only by means of money, and thus it is written: I will
give the money for the field: take it of me.4 But does this not follow a minori: if a Hebrew
maidservant, who cannot be acquired by intercourse, can be acquired by money; this one [a wife],
who may be acquired [in marriage] by intercourse, can surely be acquired by money? Let a yebamah
prove [the contrary:] she may be acquired by intercourse, yet she is not acquired by money. As for a
yebamah, that may be because she cannot be acquired by deed: will you say the same of this one [a
wife], who can be acquired by deed? Therefore Scripture teaches: ‘when a man taketh, etc.’5 But
what need of a verse for this: it has been inferred!6 — Said R. Ashi: Because one can argue, The
deduction is vitiated ab initio:7 whence do you adduce it? From a Hebrew maidservant! As for a
Hebrew maidservant, that [her acquisition is by money] is because she is freed by money: will you
say the same of this one [a wife], who is not freed by money? Therefore Scripture teaches: ‘when a
man taketh a wife’.
Now, both ‘and she shall go out for nothing’8 and ‘when a man taketh’ must be written. For had
Scripture written: ‘when a man taketh’, I would have thought, the kiddushin given to her by the
husband is her own: therefore Scripture [also] writes, ‘and she shall go out for nothing.’ And had
Scripture written: ‘and she shall go out for nothing,’ I would have thought, if she [the wife] gives
him [the husband] money and betroths him,9 it is valid kiddushin:10 therefore Scripture wrote, ‘when
a man taketh’, but not, ‘when a woman taketh’.11 ‘And hath intercourse with her’: this teaches that
she may be acquired by intercourse. But does this not follow a minori? If a yebamah, who cannot be
acquired by money, is acquired by intercourse; then this one [a wife], who is acquired by money, can
surely be acquired by intercourse! — Let a Hebrew maidservant prove [the contrary], for she may be
acquired by money, yet she is not acquired by intercourse. As for a Hebrew maidservant, that is
because her acquisition is not for conjugal purposes; will you say the same of this one, who is
acquired for conjugal purposes? Therefore it is stated: ‘and has intercourse with her’. But what need
of a verse: it has been inferred? — Said R. Ashi: Because one can argue, the deduction is vitiated ab
initio: whence do you adduce it? From a yebamah! As for a yebamah, that is because she already
stands tied;12 can you say [the same] of this one, who does not stand tied? Therefore it is taught: ‘and
hath intercourse with her’.
(1) By making the verse apply to something else.
(2) Sc. that kiddushin is effected by money.
(3) Deut. XXIV, 1.
(4) Gen. XXIII, 13.
(5) That ‘taking’ means by money.
(6) A minori, the refutation from yebamah being refuted itself.
(7) Without referring to a yebamah.
(8) V. supra 3b and 4a.
(9) Saying to him, ‘I am betrothed unto thee in virtue of the money I give thee.’
(10) Since that verse does not shew who must give the money.
(11) Hence he must give the money.
(12) To the yabam (q.v. Glos.), on account of her deceased husband, hence cohabitation merely completes the bond.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 5a
And whence do we know that [a woman may be acquired] by deed too? But may it not be inferred a
minori: if money, which cannot free, effects betrothal;1 then deed, which frees,2 can surely tie? —
[No.] As for money, that is because hekdesh and second tithe3 can be redeemed therewith;4 can you
say likewise of a deed, by which hekdesh and second tithe cannot be redeemed, for it is written, [and
if he that sanctified the field will in any wise redeem it,] then he shall add the fifth part of the money
of thy estimation, and it shall be assured to him.5 Therefore Scripture saith, And when she is
departed [out of his house, she may go] and be [another man's wife]:6 thus ‘be — coming’
[betrothed] is assimilated to ‘departure’ [divorce]; just as the ‘departure’ is by deed, so is ‘becoming’
too. Then let ‘departure be assimilated to ‘becoming’: just as the ‘becoming’ may be by money, so
the ‘departure’ too may be effected by money? — Abaye replied: Then it will be said: Money unites
and money sunders:7 shall the defender become the prosecutor!8 If so, of deed too it will be said:
Deed sunders and deed unites: shall the prosecutor become the defender! — The contents9 of each
deed are distinct.10 Then here too, [the purpose of] this money is distinct and that of the other is
distinct? — Nevertheless, the impress [of the coin] is the same.
Raba said: Scripture saith, then he shall write her [a writ of divorcement]:11 [hence], she can be
divorced by writing, not by money. Say rather, she can be divorced by ‘writing’, but not betrothed by
writing? — But it is written, and when she is departed, she may go and be, etc., assimilating etc.12
And why do you choose thus?13 — It is logical: when treating of divorce, one excludes [a particular
method of] divorce; but when dealing with divorce, shall one exclude [a form of] marriage? [Surely
Now, according to R. Jose the Galilean, who utilises this verse [‘then he shall write, etc.’], for a
different purpose,14 how do we know that she cannot be divorced by money? — The Writ saith, ‘a
writ of divorcement’ — a deed can divorce her, but nothing else can divorce her. Now, how do the
Rabbis employ this word ‘divorcement’?15 — They employ it [to shew] that it must be an instrument
which [completely] sunders them from each other. Even as it was taught: [If the husband says,]
‘Behold, here is your divorce, on condition that you drink no wine or do not visit your father's house
for ever,’ that is no ‘divorcement’:16 ‘for thirty days,’ that is a ‘divorcement’.17 And R. Jose the
Galilean?18 — He deduces it from the use of kerithuth instead of koreth.19 And the Rabbis?20 — In
their opinion, the use of kerithuth instead of koreth has no particular significance.
Now, one could not be inferred from another; yet let one be inferred from two others?21 — Which
could be inferred: should Scripture omit deed, that it might be inferred from the others? But as for
the others, that is because their pleasure is great!22 Should Scripture omit intercourse, that it might be
inferred from the others? But as for the others, that is because their powers of acquisition are great!23
Should Scripture omit money, that it might be inferred from the others? But as for the others, that is
because they have compulsory powers!24 And should you argue, money too has compulsory powers
over a Hebrew maidservant25 — nevertheless, we do not find this in respect to conjugal
relationship.26 R. Huna said: Huppah acquires [a woman], a minori. If money, which does not
authorize one to eat terumah,27 effects possession;28 then huppah, which authorizes one to eat
terumah, surely effects possession!29 Yet does not money authorize the eating [of terumah]? But
‘Ulla said: By Biblical law, an arusah30 may eat of terumah, for it is said: And if a priest acquire any
soul, the purchase of his money, [he shall eat out],31 and this one [a betrothed woman] too is the
purchase of his money. Why then did they [the Sages] say that she may not eat [thereof]? For fear
lest a cup [of wine of terumah] be mixed for her32 in her father's house,33 and she give it to drink to
her brothers and sisters. But argue thus: if money, which does not complete [marriage],34 acquires
[in marriage],35 then huppah, which completes [marriage], surely acquires! As for money, [it may be
asked,] that is because hekdeshoth36 and second tithe are redeemed therewith!37 Let then intercourse
prove it.38 As for intercourse, that is because it acquires in the case of a yebamah! Then let money
prove it.39 And thus the argument revolves: the distinguishing feature of one is not that of the other,
nor is the distinguishing of this one that of the other; the feature common to both is that they acquire
elsewhere, and acquire here [in marriage]; so do I adduce huppah, which acquires elsewhere40 and
acquires here too.41 [No.]
(1) Lit., ‘brings in’ — a woman, into the bond of matrimony.
(2) I.e., the deed of divorce, which frees a woman from marriage.
(3) v. p. 4, n. 4.
(4) When an article of hekdesh cannot itself be used in the Temple service, it is redeemed, reverts to a secular status, and
the redemption money is dedicated to the Temple. Similarly, if the second tithe cannot be carried to Jerusalem, it is
redeemed, becomes secular, and the redemption money is consumed in Jerusalem. — Since then money is potent in
respect of these, it may also effect marriage.
(5) Lev. XXVII, 19. The text gives only a paraphrase of this, then he shall give the money and it shall be assured to him;
v. Tosaf. Shab. 128a s.v. i,bu also p. 276, n. 4.
(6) Deut. XXIV, 2.
(7) Lit., ‘money leads in and money leads out.’
(8) It is illogical that the same thing should have two opposing effects.
(9) Lit., ‘words’.
(10) Hence it is not the same instrument in both cases.
(11) Deut. XXIV, 1.
(12) Supra, proving that she can be married by writing.
(13) To exclude money for divorce and include deed for marriage; perhaps one should reverse it?
(14) Git. 21b.
(15) Lit., ‘cutting off.
(16) Since she remains bound in a particular respect to her husband all her life.
(17) Fur after that she is completely cut off from him.
(18) How does he know this?
(19) He regards the longer form as more emphatic; hence it teaches that the cutting apart must be absolute, as in the
(20) Why state the whole phrase, when the word keritkuth itself is sufficient?
(21) It was proved above that no one method of acquisition may be inferred from another a minori, hence a verse is
necessary for each. Now the Talmud asks, Only two are required then the third follows by analogy: just as the two are
methods of acquisition elsewhere, and also in marriage, so is the third. For each effects possession elsewhere, money and
deed in ordinary purchases, and cohabitation in the case of a yebamah.
(22) Both money and cohabitation confer pleasure upon the recipient, but a deed does not.
(23) Both give a title to land and slaves, which cohabitation does not.
(24) Cohabitation acquires a yebamah even against her will, and a deed divorces a woman likewise even against her
(25) A father can sell his daughter, the transaction being effected by money, against her will (Rashi). Tosaf.: Having
bought a Hebrew maidservant, her master can declare that the money paid was for betrothal, even against her will and
that of her father.
(26) According to Rashi's interpretation, the sense is obvious. Tosaf.: Money has no power of matrimonial compulsion at
the outset, for in the first place the money is given for a maidservant, not a wife.
(27) V. Glos. If a priest betroths an Israelite's daughter with money, she may not eat terumah until the huppah.
(28) Of a woman in marriage, and she becomes an arusah (q.v. Glos.).
(29) To make a woman an arusah.
(30) V. Glos.
(31) Lev. XXII, 11.
(32) Wine was diluted before drinking.
(33) Cohabitation being forbidden until huppah, the arusah naturally lived in her father's house until then.
(34) The money makes her an arusah only, and her father is still her heir, and entitled to her labour; v. supra.
(35) Effecting betrothal, which is marriage in so far as divorce is required to free her.
(36) V. Glos. hekdesh, pi. hekdeshoth.
(37) V. p. 12, n. 5.
(38) Which acquires a woman though lacking this power.
(39) Which cannot acquire a yebamah, yet effects betrothal.
(40) After betrothal.
(41) I.e., it can effect the first stage of marriage, sc. betrothal.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 5b
The feature common to both is that they confer much pleasure!1 Let deed then prove it.2 As for deed,
that is because it frees an Israelitish daughter!3 Then let money and cohabitation prove it. And thus
the argument revolves: the distinguishing feature of one is not that of another, nor is the
distinguishing feature of this one that of the other:4 the feature common to all is that they acquire in
general and here too; so do I adduce huppah, that it acquires in general and here too. [No.] As for the
common feature, it is that they have powers of compulsion.5 And R. Huna?6 — Money at least has
no compulsory powers in matrimonial relationships.
Raba said: There are two refutations of the matter:7 firstly, we learnt THREE, not ‘four’; and
secondly, can then huppah complete [marriage] but through [prior] kiddushin; are we then to deduce
huppah, when not as a result of kiddushin, from the same when preceded by kiddushin? — Abaye
answered him: As for your objection, we learnt THREE, not ‘four’: [only] what is explicitly stated
[in Scripture] is taught, but not what is not explicitly stated.8 And as to your objection; can then
huppah complete [marriage] but through [prior] kiddushin — that indeed is R. Huna's argument: if
money_ which cannot complete [marriage] after money,9 nevertheless acquires; then huppah, which
completes [marriage] after money, can surely acquire.10
Our Rabbis taught: How [is a woman acquired] by money? If a man gives her [a woman] money
or its equivalent and declares to her, ‘Behold, thou art consecrated unto me,’ [or] ‘thou art betrothed
unto me’, [or] ‘Behold, thou art a wife unto me’ — then she is betrothed.11 But if she gives him
[money or its equivalent] and says ‘Behold, I am consecrated unto thee,’ ‘I am betrothed unto thee,’
‘I am a wife unto thee,’ she is not betrothed. R. Papa demurred: Thus it is only when he both gives
[the money] and makes the declaration [that the betrothal is valid]; but if he gives [it] and she speaks,
she is not betrothed. Then consider the second clause: But if she gives [it] to him, and she makes the
declaration, the kiddushin is not valid. [Hence,] it is only when she both gives [the money] and
speaks, but if he gives the money and she speaks, the kiddushin is valid? — The first clause is exact,
while the second is mentioned incidentally.12 But may a statement be made in the second clause
contradictory to the first?13 — But this is its meaning: If he gives [the money] and he speaks, the
kiddushin is obviously valid; [but] if he gives, and she speaks, it is accounted as though she both
gives and speaks, so that the kiddushin is not valid. Alternatively, if he gives and speaks, she is
betrothed; if she gives and speaks, she is [certainly] not betrothed; but if he gives and she speaks, it
is doubtful, and as a Rabbinical measure we fear [the validity of the kiddushin].14
Samuel said: In respect to kiddushin, if he gave her money or its equivalent and declares, ‘Behold,
thou art consecrated,’ ‘Behold, thou art betrothed,’[or] ‘Behold, thou art a wife,’ — then she is
betrothed. [If he declares,] ‘Behold, I am thy husband,’ ‘Behold, I am thy master,’15 ‘Behold, I am
thy arus,’16 — there are no grounds for fear.17 The same applies to divorce: If he gives her [the
document of divorce] and declares, ‘Behold, thou art sent forth,’ ‘Behold, thou art divorced,’18 [or]
‘Thou art [henceforth] permitted to any man, — then she is divorced. [But if he declares,] ‘I am not
thy husband,’ ‘I am not thy master,’ ‘I am not thy arus,’ there are no grounds for fear.19
R. Papa said to Abaye: Shall we say that in Samuel's opinion inexplicit abbreviations are [valid]
abbreviations?20 But we learnt: If one declares, ‘I will be,’ he becomes a nazir. Now we pondered
thereon: but perhaps he meant, ‘I will fast’?21 And Samuel answer — ed: That is only if a nazir was
passing before him.22 Thus, it is only because a nazir was passing before him, but not otherwise.23
— The circumstances here are that he said ‘unto me.’ If so, what does he inform us?24 — His
teaching is with respect to these
(1) Cf. p. 14, n. 5; no pleasure however, is derived from huppah.
(2) Which gives us pleasure, yet effects betrothal.
(3) I.e., it effects divorce.
(4) Regarding money and cohabitation as one proposition, and deed as another.
(5) V. supra p. 14, nn. 7, 8.
(6) How does he dispose of this?
(7) Sc. R. Huna's statement.
(8) Money and deed, though deduced by exegesis, are regarded as explicit, since they are intimated in Scripture. But
huppah is only inferred a minori.
(9) I.e., when betrothal (erusin) is effected by money, the marriage cannot he completed by giving money a second time.
(10) A woman in the first stage of marriage — kiddushin.
(11) Lit., ‘consecrated,’ i.e., she becomes an arusah.
(12) In contrast to the first, but its implication is not to be stressed.
(13) Even if mentioned incidentally, it must be essentially, and in its implications, correct.
(14) She is neither married nor unmarried, and if another man betroths her she must be divorced by both, since we do not
know her rightful husband.
(15) Heb.kgc = husband.
(16) V. Glos.
(17) It is definitely not valid betrothal, as below. Consequently, if another betroths her, the second kiddushin is valid.
(18) The Heb. verb ard, garesh, literally means ‘to expel’, ‘drive forth’.
(19) The divorce is definitely invalid.
(20) Lit., ‘handles’. In the above, the formulas are abbreviations, since he declares ‘Behold, thou art betrothed,’ omitting
‘unto me. Moreover, their purport is not explicit and beyond doubt, for he may have been speaking and acting on another
man's behalf, yet Samuel rules that since he was the speaker, she is betrothed to him, thus shewing that he holds these to
(21) Lit., ‘I will be in a fast’.
(22) Then it is obvious that he meant, ‘I will be like him.’
(23) Which proves that Samuel holds that abbreviations must be beyond doubt.
(24) It is obvious.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 6a
latter expressions.1 [For] here it is written, when any man taketh [a woman],2 but not that he taketh
himself [as a husband], and there it is written, and when he send her away,3 but not that he sends
Our Rabbis taught: [if one declares,] ‘Behold, thou art my wife,’ ‘Behold, thou art my arusah,’
‘Behold, thou art acquired to me,’ she is betrothed; ‘Behold, thou art mine,’ ‘Behold, thou art under
my authority,’ ‘Thou art tied unto me,’ she is betrothed. Then let them all be combined and taught in
one clause?4 — The tanna5 heard each three separately, and memorized them [in that order]. The
scholars propounded: [What if one declares,] ‘Thou art singled out for me,’6 ‘Thou art designated
unto me,’7 ‘Thou art my help,’8 ‘Thou art meet for me,’9 ‘Thou art gathered in to me,’ ‘Thou art my
rib,’10 ‘Thou art closed in to me,’11 ‘Thou art my replacement,’12 ‘Thou art kept [seized] unto me,’
[or,] ‘Thou art taken by me’? — One at least you may solve. For it was taught: If one declares,
‘Thou art taken by me,’ she is betrothed, for it is written, when a man taketh a wife.13
The Scholars propounded: What of ‘Thou art my harufah [betrothed]?14 — Come and hear: For it
was taught: If a man declares, ‘Be thou my harufah,’ she is betrothed,for in Judea an arusah is called
harufah. Is Judea then the greater part of the world?15 — It is meant thus: If he declares, ‘Be thou my
harufah,’ she is betrothed, for it is said: ‘that is a bondmaid, neherefeth [betrothed] to a man’;
moreover, in Judea an arusah is called harufah. Is [the practice in] Judea to support Scripture!16 —
But it means thus: If he says in Judea, ‘Be thou my harufah,’ she is betrothed, because in Judea an
arusah is called harufah.
What are the circumstances:17 shall we say, that he was not speaking to her about her divorce or
kiddushin,18 how does she know what he means?19 But if he was speaking to her about her divorce
or kiddushin, then even if he said nothing at all [but gave her money], she is also [betrothed]. For we
learnt: If a man was speaking to a woman on matters concerning her divorce or betrothal, and gave
her her divorce or kiddushin, but made no explicit declaration — R. Jose said: It is sufficient; R.
Judah maintained: He must make an explicit declaration. Whereon R. Huna said in Samuel's name:
The halachah20 agrees with R. Jose! — I will tell you: after all, it refers to a case where he was
speaking to her about her divorce or betrothal; now, had he given her [the money or the deed of
divorce] and remained silent, that indeed would be so.21 But the circumstances here are that he gave
[them] to her and made one of these declarations. And this is the problem: did he employ these
expressions in the sense of kiddushin, or perhaps he meant them in reference to work?22 The
questions stand over.
The [above] text [stated]: ‘If a man was speaking to a woman on matters concerning her divorce
or betrothal, and gave her her divorce or kiddushin, but made no explicit declaration — R. Jose said:
It is sufficient; R. Judah maintained: He must make an explicit declaration’. Said Rab Judah in
Samuel's name: Providing that they were engaged on that topic [when the divorce or kiddushin was
given]. R. Eliezer said likewise in R. Oshaia's name: Providing that they were engaged on that
This is disputed by Tannaim; Rabbi said: Providing that they were engaged on that topic; R.
Eleazar son of R. Simeon said: Even if they were not engaged on that topic. But if they were not
engaged on that topic, how does she know what he meant? — Abaye answered: [They travelled]
from one matter to another in the same topic.24 R. Huna said in Samuel's name: The halachah agrees
with R. Jose. R. Yemar asked R. Ashi: Then when Rab Judah said in Samuel's name: He who does
not know the peculiar nature of divorce and betrothal25 should have no business with them26 —
[does it hold good] even if he is ignorant of this ruling of R. Huna in Samuel's name? — Even so, he
‘The same applies to divorce: If he gives her [the document of divorce,] and declares, "Behold,
thou art sent forth," "Behold, thou art divorced," [or] "Thou art permitted to any man," — then she is
divorced.’27 Now it is obvious, if he gives a divorce to his wife and says to her, ‘Behold, thou art a
(1) Sc. ‘I am thy husband,’ etc., that these are certainly invalid.
(2) Deut. XXIV, 5.
(3) Ibid. 2.
(4) Instead of stating ‘she is betrothed’ twice.
(5) V. Glos. s.v. (b.).
(6) Rashi translates: ‘Thou art one with me’; cf. Gen. II, 24: and they shall be one flesh.
(7) Heb.,sguhn. meyu'edeth, cf. Ex. XXI, 8: if she please not her master who hath designated her (ye'adah, E.V.
betrothed her) for himself
(8) Cf. Gen. II, 18; It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for (sdb, neged) him.
(9) h,sdb, negdathi from neged; preceding note. [Or, ‘my counterpart’ — another possible rendering of neged
(against), v. Yeb. 63a.]
(10) Cf. Gen. II, 21: and he took one of his ribs.
(11) h,rudx Cf. ibid.: . . . and closed up the flesh rudxhu.
(12) h,j,, tahti; cf. ibid.: instead thereof vbh,j,.
(13) Deut. XXIV, 1.
(14) Cf. Lev. XIX, 20: That is a bondmaid, betrothed (,prjb neherefeth=harufah); this really applies to a bondmaid
designated for her master.
(15) Surely local practice cannot settle the law for all places.
(16) Its validity being derived from Scripture, surely no local practice is required as further proof!
(17) Of the above expressions, concerning which the scholars were in doubt.
(18) [‘Divorce’ is mentioned here merely incidentally as part of a current phrase ‘ashggarath lashon’. The text of Tosaf.
Ri did not seem to have it.]
(19) Even if these terms imply kiddushin, she may not know that he intends them in that sense: consequently her consent
(20) V. Glos.
(21) She would certainly be betrothed or divorced.
(22) E.g., ‘thou art one with me,’ to cooperate with me in work; similarly the rest.
(23) But if they had passed on to some other topic, all agree that she is not betrothed or divorced. [Although the woman's
consent is not necessary by law in the case of divorce, she must nevertheless be aware of the character of the document
that is being given to her, Tosaf. Ri; v. Git.78a.]
(24) E.g., they were no longer speaking of marriage, but about dowry, means of livelihood, etc.
(25) I.e., the laws by which they are governed.
(26) To celebrate a marriage or function as a Rabbi in divorce proceedings.
(27) Supra 5b; Samuel's dictum.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 6b
his words are null.1 If he says to his female slave, ‘Thou art permitted to all men,’ his words are
[likewise] null.2 [But] what if he says to his wife, ‘Behold, thou art for thyself,’ do we say, he meant
it in respect of labour; or perhaps he meant it absolutely?3 — Said Rabina to R. Ashi: Come and
hear: For we learnt: The essential part of a deed of manumission is, ‘Behold, thou art a free man,’
‘Behold, thou art for thyself.’ Now if a heathen4 slave, whose body belongs to him [his master], yet
when he says to him, ‘Behold, thou art for thyself,’ he means it absolutely; how much more so in the
case of a wife, who does not belong bodily to him.
Rabina asked R. Ashi: What if he says to his slave, ‘I have no concern with you’? Do we say, he
means, ‘I have absolutely no concern with you;’5 or perhaps he says it to him in reference to work?
— R. Nahman observed to R. Ashi-others state, R. Huna of Hoza'ah6 to R. Ashi: Come and hear: If
one sells his [heathen] slave to a heathen, he is emancipated,7 and requires a deed of manumission
from his first master.8 Said R. Simeon b. R. Gamaliel: When does this hold good? If he [the vendor]
did not make out for him an oni;9 but if he did, that is his [deed of] emancipation.10 What is meant by
‘oni’? — Said R. Shesheth: If he wrote for him, ‘When you escape from him [the heathen buyer], I
have no concern with you.’11
Abaye said: If a man betroths [a woman] with a debt,12 she is not betrothed;13 with the benefit of a
debt,14 she is betrothed; yet this may not be done, as it constitutes an evasion of usury.15 This
‘benefit of a debt,’ how is it meant? Shall we say, that he fixed [the interest] as a loan, he having
said, [I am lending you] four [zuz] for five.16 — but that is real usury!17 Moreover, it is, in point of
fact, a debt!18 — This holds good only if he extended the term [for repayment].19 Raba said: [If he
says,] ‘Take this maneh20 on condition that you return it to me,’ — in respect to purchase, he
acquires no title;21 in the case of a woman,22 she is not betrothed; in the matter of a redemption of
the firstborn,23 the firstborn is not redeemed: in respect of terumah,24 he fulfils the duty of ‘giving’,
yet it is forbidden to act thus, as it looks like a priest who assists in the threshing floor.25 What is
Raba's opinion: if he holds that a gift on condition that it be returned is a valid gift, then even the
others too [are valid]; whilst if he holds that it is not a valid gift, then even in the case of terumah it
is not [valid]? Furthermore, It was Raba who ruled: A gift on condition that it is returned is valid.
For Raba said: [If one says to another,] ‘Here you have this citron, on condition that you return it to
me,’ if [the other] takes and [then] returns it, he fulfils his duty; if not, he does not fulfil [it]!26 —
But said R. Ashi: in the case of all it [the conditional gift] is valid, with the exception in that of a
woman, because a woman cannot be acquired by barter.27 R. Huna Mar, son of R. Nehemiah, said to
R. Ashi: We teach in Raba's name even as you [have stated].
Raba said: [If a woman says,] ‘Give a maneh to So-and-so,
(1) Because this expression applies only to liberation from bondage.
(2) Because this applies to divorce.
(3) In the sense of divorce.
(4) Lit., ‘Canaanite.’
(5) I.e., you are free.
(6) [Be Hozai, the modern Khusiztan, S.W. of Bagdad. V. Git. (Sonc. ed.) p. 413, n. 1.]
(7) A Gentile slave in a Jewish household was practically a semi-Jew, being obliged to fulfil those precepts which are
incumbent on women. The master who sold him to a Gentile, thus freeing him from that obligation, was punished by
being forced to buy him back, even at a greatly enhanced price, and the slave then became free.
(8) To be accounted a free man and a Jew — as a slave he was circumcised-that he might marry a free Jewess.
(9) Prob. = Gr. ‘**.
(10) And nothing else is needed.
(11) This proves that the expression connotes freedom.
(12) Saying, ‘Thou art betrothed unto me by the debt you owe me.
(13) Because something must be actually given as kiddushin or betrothal, whereas money formerly lent had already
passed into her possession before then.
(14) The meaning of this is discussed below.
(15) Since the lender thereby benefits from the loan.
(16) And he now offers the remission of the fifth zuz for kiddushin.
(17) Not merely an evasion.
(18) [Since she owes him the zuz which he offers to remit as kiddushin.]
(19) Rashi and others: If the creditor extended the period of repayment to the woman, and said to her, ‘You might have
given money to a third party, or to myself, to persuade me to this extension; hence by this extension I, on my own
accord, am saving you this expenditure and thus confer a financial benefit upon you here and now, and by that benefit I
betroth you.’ Similarly, if he remits the entire debt and says to her, ‘I betroth you by the benefit that has now accrued to
you by this remission,’ his declaration is valid. But when he betroths her with money owing, he is offering a past benefit,
hence the betrothal is invalid. R. Tam: If a woman owes money, and a third party gives the creditor a sum of money for
an extension, and betroths her with that benefit which he has conferred upon her, for which he has actually given
(20) V. Glos.
(21) V. infra 26a; real estate is acquired by money, but not if it is stipulated that the money shall be returned.
(22) If it was offered as kiddushin.
(23) Lit., ‘son,’ v. Ex. XIII, 13.
(24) V. Glos. If terumah is given to the priest on this condition.
(25) Of an Israelite, in order to receive the terumah. The Rabbis considered this undignified, and enacted that such a
priest should not receive terumah. Now, if a priest accepts terumah on this condition, he offers an inducement to the
Israelite to give it to him in the future too, and therefore Raba forbade the practice, though valid if done.
(26) The reference is to Lev. XXIII, 40: And ye shall take you on the first day (of the Feast of Tabernacles) the fruit of
goodly trees (interpreted by the Rabbis as referring to the citron), branches of palm trees etc. The Rabbis ruled that this
‘taking’ requires one's own fruit, and to this Raba alludes. If the recipient carries out the stipulation, it was his for the
period of ‘taking’, and so he fulfils his duty; otherwise, it was not his even then, and his duty is not fulfilled. Thus Raba
holds a conditional gift valid.
(27) V. infra 28a; the article given as barter was generally returned, and so when money is thus given as kiddushin, it
looks like barter.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 7a
and I will become betrothed to thee,’1 she is betrothed by the law of a surety:2 a surety, though he
personally derives no benefit [from the loan], yet obligates himself [to repayment]; so this woman
too, though she personally derives no benefit [from the money], obligates and cedes herself [in
betrothal]. [If a man says,] ‘Take this maneh and be betrothed to So-and-so,’3 she is betrothed by the
law of a Canaanite slave:4 a Canaanite slave, though he himself loses nothing,5 yet acquires himself
[his freedom]; so this man too though he personally loses nothing, acquires this woman. [If the
woman declares,] ‘Give a maneh to So-and-so, and I will become betrothed to him,’ she is betrothed
by the laws of both: a surety, though he personally derives no benefit, obligates himself, so this
woman too’ though she personally derives no benefit, cedes herself. [And should you object:] How
compare: as for a surety, he who acquires a title6 loses money,7 — but shall this man acquire the
woman at no cost to himself? Then let a Canaanite slave prove it, who loses no money5 and yet
acquires himself. [And if you demur:] How compare: there, he who gives possession8 acquires [the
money given for the slave's freedom]; but here, shall this woman cede herself though she acquires
nothing whatsoever? Then let a surety prove it: though he personally receives no benefit, he
Raba propounded: What [if a woman declares,] ‘Here is a maneh and I will become betrothed unto
thee?’9 Mar Zutra ruled in R. Papa's name: She is betrothed. R. Ashi objected to Mar Zutra: If so,
property which ranks as security [real estate] is acquired as an adjunct to property which does not
rank as security [movables];10 whereas we learnt the reverse: Property which does not rank as
security may be acquired in conjunction with property which ranks as security by money, deed, or
hazakah?11 — Said he to him: Do you think that she said to him, ‘Along with’?12 Here the reference
is to an important personage: in return for the pleasure [she derives] from his accepting a gift from
her, she completely cedes herself.13 It has been stated likewise in Raba's name: The same applies to
monetary matters.14 Now, both are necessary: had we been informed this of kiddushin [only], that is
because a woman is pleased [even] with very little, in accordance with Resh Lakish's dictum, for
Resh Lakish said: It is better to dwell in grief with a load15 than to dwell in widowhood;16 but as for
money, I would say it is not so. And if we were informed this of monetary matters, that is because it
is subject to remission;17 but as for kiddushin, I would say it is not so.18 Hence both are necessary.
Raba said: [If a man declares,] ‘Be thou betrothed to half of me,’ she is betrothed: ‘half of thee be
betrothed to me,’ she is not betrothed. Abaye demurred before Raba: Why does ‘half of thee be
betrothed to me’ differ, that she is not betrothed? Because Scripture said, [when a man take] a
wife,19 but not half a wife? Then here too Scripture saith, ‘a man’, but not half a man? — How now!
he rejoined. There, a woman is not eligible to two [men]; but is not a man eligible to two [women]?
Hence this is what he said to her: ‘Should I desire to marry another, I may do so.’ Mar Zutra, son of
R. Mari, said to Rabina: Yet let the kiddushin spread through the whole of her.20 Has it not been
taught: If one declares, ‘Let the foot of this [animal] be a burnt-offering,’ the whole of it is a
burnt-offering? And even on the view that it is not all a burnt-offering, that is only if one dedicates a
limb21 upon which life is not dependent; but if he dedicates a limb upon which life is dependent
[e.g., the heart], it is all a burnt-offering!22 — How compare? There it is an animal, whereas here we
have an independent23 mind.24 This can only be compared with R. Johanan's dictum: An animal
belonging to two partners: — if one [of them] dedicates half, and then purchases it [the other half]
and dedicates it, it is holy, yet cannot be offered up;25 and it establishes [the sanctity of] a
substitute,26 and the substitute is as itself.27 This proves three things:
(1) And he does, and says to her, ‘Thou art betrothed unto me by the maneh I gave to So-and-so.’
(2) One who stands surety for the repayment of a debt by the debtor.
(3) Who had deputed him, but that the agent gave his own money instead of that of the principal.
(4) V. infra 22b.
(5) When another gives his master money for his freedom.
(6) Viz., the creditor, to the obligation of the surety.
(7) I.e., he first gives money to the debtor.
(8) Sc. the master, who cedes the slave to himself.
(9) And the man accepted it, saying: ‘Be thou betrothed unto me therewith’.
(10) A creditor could collect his debt out of the debtor's real estate, even if sold after the debt was contracted, but not out
of movables, if sold; hence the former is termed property which ranks as security, the latter, property which does not
rank as security. Human beings are on a par with the former, and R. Ashi assumed that the woman is acquired in
conjunction with the maneh.
(11) V. infra 26a for explanatory notes.
(12) ‘Here is this maneh and acquire me along with it.’
(13) Though normally the man must give the money (supra 5b), yet if he is eminent his acceptance confers pleasure,
which in turn is considered of financial value.
(14) If A says to B, ‘Give money to C, in return for which my field is sold to you,’ the sale is valid, by the law of surety:
‘Take a maneh, and let your field be sold to C,’ C acquires it by the law of a Canaanite slave; ‘Give money to C and let
him thereby acquire my field,’ he acquires it by the laws of both — all as explained with reference to kiddushin.
(15) So Jast.; Rashi, ‘two bodies’.
(16) I.e., a woman prefers an unhappy married life to a happy single life.
(17) The purchase price can be altogether remitted, as in the case of a gift.
(18) A woman cannot forego the money of kiddushin. Since it is such a strong obligation, I would think that it must pass
from the man who betroths to the woman who is betrothed.
(19) Deut. XXIV, 1.
(20) When he says: ‘half of thee betrothed to me.’
(21) Lit., ‘thing’.
(22) And surely life is dependent on half a woman's body.
(23) Lit., ‘another’.
(24) The woman refuses to let the kiddushin spread through the whole of her.
(25) Since it was not fit for offering originally, as the half belonging to the other partner was yet secular. Hence it must
now be sold, and an animal purchased with the proceeds and sacrificed. Thus the sanctity of the half does not spread
over the whole, since the partner does not wish it.
(26) The reference is to Lev. XXVII, 33: neither shall he change it (sc. a consecrated animal): and if he changed it at all,
then both it and the change thereof shall be holy. Thus here too, if one substituted another animal for this one, the
substitute also is holy.
(27) It may not be sacrificed, but must be sold, as in n. 7.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 7b
[i] Live animals may be rendered [permanently] rejected;1 [ii] that which is rejected ab initio is
rejected;2 [iii] rejection applies to monetary sanctity.3
Raba propounded: What [if one declares,] ‘Thy half [be betrothed to me] for half a perutah, and
thy [other] half for half a perutah’? Since he says to her, ‘for half a perutah,’ he divided it;4 or
perhaps, he was proceeding with his enumeration?5 Should you rule, he was proceeding with his
enumeration: what [if he declares,] ‘Thy half [be betrothed unto me] for a peru!ah, and thy [other]
half for a perutah’? Since he said to her, ‘for a perutah’ ‘and a perutah’, he divided his proposal;6 or
perhaps, providing it was on the same day, he was proceeding with his enumeration? Should you
answer: Providing it was on the same day, he was proceeding with his enumeration: What [if he
declares,] ‘Thy half [be betrothed to me] for a perutah to-day, and thy [other] half for a perutah
tomorrow’? Since he said to her, ‘To-morrow,’ he divided it; or perhaps he meant thus: the
kiddushin commence immediately, but shall not be completed until to-morrow? [Further,] what [if he
says], ‘Thy two halves for a perutah’: here he certainly proposed to her in once; or perhaps a woman
cannot be betrothed at all by halves? The questions stand over.
Raba propounded: What [if he declares,] ‘Thy two daughters [be betrothed] to my two sons for a
perutah’? Do we consider the giver and the receiver, so that there is money;7 or perhaps, we consider
them [who betroth and are betrothed], and there is not? The question stands over.
R. Papa propounded: What [if he declares,] ‘Thy daughter and thy cow [be mine] for a perutah’?
Do we say [it means,] thy daughter for half a perutah, and thy cow for half a perutah:8 or perhaps [he
meant,] ‘Thy daughter by a perutah, and thy cow by meshika’?9 The question stands over.
R. Ashi propounded: What [if one declares,] ‘Thy daughter and thy land [be mine] for a perutah’?
Does he mean, ‘Thy daughter for half a perutah and thy land for half a perutah’; or perhaps, ‘Thy
daughter for a perutah, and thy land by hazakah’?10 The question stands over.
A certain man betrothed [a woman] with silk.11 Rabbah ruled: No valuation is necessary;12 R.
Joseph maintained: It must be valued. Now, if he declared to her, ‘[Be thou betrothed to me] for
whatever it is worth,’ all agree that valuation is unnecessary.13 If he declared to her, ‘[Be thou
betrothed to me] for fifty [zuz],’ and this [the silk] is not worth fifty: then of course it is not worth
it!14 They differ only if he stipulated fifty and it was worth fifty. Rabbah maintained: [Prior]
valuation is unnecessary, since it is worth fifty: R. Joseph said: [Prior] valuation is required: Since
the woman has no expert knowledge of its value, she does not rely thereon.15 Others state: They
disagree in the case of ‘for whatever it is worth’ too. R. Joseph maintained: The equivalent of money
must be as money itself: just as the latter is definite,
(1) As here: the animal having been rendered ineligible when dedicated, since half remained secular, it remains so even
when the other half too is dedicated. There is an opposing view that only a dead animal can be rendered permanently
ineligible, v. Yoma 64a.
(2) This animal was not eligible to be dedicated by a single partner from the very outset. There is an opposing view that
an animal can be rendered unfit only if it was originally rejected permanently.
(3) This animal was sanctified from the very outset only for its value, i.e., that the money which its sale would furnish
should be expended for a sacrifice; nevertheless it becomes permanently ineligible for the altar. This excludes the view
that might have been held that only an animal that was fit in the first place to be dedicated to the altar can be rendered
(4) I.e., he betrothed her as two separate halves, and neither is valid.
(5) He meant that as he was betrothing her entirely for a perutah, he was thereby betrothing each half for half a perutah.
(6) For it is less plausible here to assume that he was proceeding with his enumeration, since he could have betrothed her
entirely for the first perutah.
(7) A perutah is given and received by one person; less than a perutah is not money.
(8) And therefore the kiddushin is invalid.
(9) V. Glos. and infra 25b.
(10) V. Glos. and infra 26a.
(11) In accordance with the Mishnah on 2a: ‘OR THE WORTH OF A PERUTAH.’
(12) The silk need not be valued beforehand so that the woman might know how much it is worth.
(13) Since they are obviously worth at least a perutah.
(14) And the kiddushin is invalid.
(15) That it is worth so much, unless it is assessed by experts.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 8a
so must the equivalent be definite.1
R. Joseph said: Whence do I know it? For it was taught: [If there be yet many years, according
unto them he shall give back the price of his redemption] out of the money with which he was
acquired:2 thus he3 may be acquired by money, but not by produce or utensils. Now, what is meant
by ‘produce or utensils’? Shall we say, that he cannot be acquired through these at all? But Scripture
saith, ‘he shall return the price of his redemption,’ to include the equivalent of money as money?4
Whilst if they are worth less than a perutah, why specify ‘produce and utensil’? The same applies to
money too? Hence it must surely mean that they are worth a perutah, but since they are not definite,
they cannot [acquire the slave].5 And the other?6 — This is its meaning: he can be acquired in virtue
of money, but not in virtue of produce or utensils. And what is that? Barter.7 But according to R.
Nahman, who ruled: produce cannot effect a barter,8 what can be said? — But after all it means that
they are not worth a perutah: and as to your objection, why specify ‘produce and utensils’? The same
applies to money? He [the Tanna] proceeds to a climax.9 [Thus:] It is unnecessary [to state] that
money, only if worth a perutah is it valid,10 not otherwise. But as for produce and utensils, I might
argue, Since the benefit derived is immediate,11 he resolves and lets himself be acquired. Therefore
we are informed [otherwise].
R. Joseph said: How do I know it? For it was taught: [If one declares,] ‘This calf be for my son's
redemption,’12 ‘this garment be for my son's redemption,’ his declaration is invalid.13 ‘This calf,
worth five sela's,14 be for my son's redemption,’ or ‘this garment, worth five sela's, be for my son's
redemption,’ — his son is redeemed. Now, how is this redemption meant? Shall we say that it [the
calf or the garment] is not worth [five sela's]? does it rest with him!15 Hence it must surely mean
even if it is worth [it]; yet since it was not defined, it is not valid!16 — No. After all, it means that it
was not worth [it], but, we suppose the priest accepted it [for the full value], as in the case of R.
Kahana, who accepted a scarf for a son's redemption,17 observing to him,18 ‘To me it is worth five
sela's’ R. Ashi said: This holds good only of, e.g., [a man like] R. Kahana, who is a great man and
needs a scarf19 for his head; but not of people in general.20 Thus it happened that Mar, son of R.
Ashi, bought a scarf from the mother of Rabbah of Kubi21 worth ten for thirteen.
R. Eleazar said: [If a man declares,] ‘Be betrothed to me with a maneh,’ and he gives her a denar,
she is betrothed, and he must complete [the amount]. Why? Since he stipulated a maneh but gave her
a denar, it is as though he had said to her ‘on condition’ [that I give you a maneh], and R. Huna said
in Rab's name: He who says on condition,’ is as though he says ‘from now’.22 An objection is raised:
[If a man declares,] ‘Be betrothed to me with a maneh,’ and is proceeding with the counting out [of
the money], and either party wishes to retract, even at the last denar he [or she] can do so!23 — The
reference here is to one who declares, ‘With this maneh.’24 But since the second clause refers to ‘this
maneh,’ the first treats of an unspecified maneh? For the second clause teaches: If he declares to her,
‘Be thou betrothed unto me by this maneh,’ and it is found to be a maneh short of a denar or
containing a copper denar,25 she is not betrothed: [if it contained] a debased denar,26 she is
betrothed, but he must change it. — No: the first and the second clauses [both] refer to ‘with this
maneh,’ ‘the second [being] explanatory of the first. [Thus:] if either party wishes to retract, even at
the last denar, he [or she] can do so. How so? E.g., if he said to her, ‘for this maneh.’ Reason too
supports this view, for should you think that the first clause refers to an unspecified maneh: seeing
that it is not kiddushin in the case of an unspecified maneh: is it necessary [to teach it] in the case of
‘for this maneh?’ — As for that,it does not prove it: the second clause may be stated in order to
illumine the first, that you should not say: The first clause deals with ‘this maneh,’ but in the case of
an unspecified maneh it is valid kiddushin: therefore the second clause is taught with reference to
‘this maneh,’ whence it follows that the first refers to an unspecified maneh, yet even so, the
kiddushin is null. R. Ashi said:27 If he is proceeding with the counting it is different, because [then
we assume] her mind is set on the whole sum.
This ‘copper denar,’ how is it meant? If she knew thereof, then she understood and accepted? —
This is only if he gave it to her at night, or she found it among the other zuz. How is this ‘debased
denar’ meant? If it has no currency, is it not the same as a copper denar?28 — Said R. Papa, E.g.,it
circulates with difficulty.29
Raba said in R. Nahman's name: If he says to her, ‘Be thou betrothed to me with a maneh,’ and
gives her a pledge on it, she is not betrothed:
(1) Its value must be exactly known.
(2) Lev. XXV, 51; this refers to the redemption of a Hebrew slave.
(3) The Hebrew slave.
(4) ‘He shall return’ implies that a return may be made in any way desired, i.e., by goods of monetary value; obviously
then he can be purchased on the same terms.
(5) And the same holds good of a woman.
(6) Rabbah: How does he refute this proof?
(7) Whatever is given for a slave, be it money or property, must be given as money. Produce and utensils too can be
given under that designation, but not in the nature of barter, in exchange for the slave: for barter can acquire only
movables, whereas human beings rank as real estate.
(8) An article must be given, but not produce.
(9) Lit., ‘he says, it is unnecessary.’
(10) Lit., ‘yes’.
(11) They can be put to immediate use, unlike money, which must first be expended.
(12) V. infra p. 138.
(13) Lit., ‘he has said nothing.’
(14) Sela’ — Biblical Shekel.
(15) To assign to it an artificial valuation — surely not!
(16) For the only possible difference between the two clauses is that in the first it was not formally valued, whereas in
the second it was.
(17) Although it was certainly not worth five sela's.
(18) The father who redeemed his son.
(19) [A sudarium, which served as a distinctive head-gear for scholars. V. Krauss, T.A., I, 167.] Hence he would be
willing to pay an enhanced price for it when necessary.
(20) I.e., a priest cannot place a fictitious price upon an article unless it may conceivably be worth it for him.
(21) Neubauer, Geographie, p. 397, is unable to identify this. [MS.M.: Raba b. Kahana.]
(22) Thus here it is as though he said: ‘Be betrothed to me immediately for a denar, on condition that I give you a maneh
(23) The kiddushin being invalid until the whole sum is given. This contradicts the view that the first denar immediately
(24) Therefore the woman desires the whole of that maneh before she consents.
(25) A maneh — a hundred silver denarii.
(26) E.g., underweight.
(27) Answering the objection against R. Eleazer.
(28) Why then is she betrothed?
(29) Only few people accept it.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 8b
here is neither a maneh nor a pledge.1 Raba raised an objection against R. Nahman: ‘If he betroths
her with a pledge she is betrothed’? — There the reference is to a pledge belonging to others, and it
is in accordance with R. Isaac. For R. Isaac said: How do we know that a creditor has a title to a
pledge? Because it is written, [And if the man be poor, thou shalt not sleep with his pledge: thou
shalt surely restore to him the pledge when the sun goeth down . . .] and it shall be accounted unto
thee a charitable deed:2 if he has no title thereto, whence is his charity? This proves that the creditor
has a title to the pledge.3
The sons of R. Huna b. Abin bought a female slave for copper coins. Not having them [the coins]
at hand, they gave a silver ingot in pledge. Subsequently the slave's value increased,4 so they came
before R. Ammi. Said he to them: There are neither coins nor an ingot.5
Our Rabbis taught: [If a man says to a woman,] ‘Be thou betrothed unto me with a maneh,’ and
she takes and throws it into the sea, the fire, or into anything where it is lost, she is not betrothed.
Then if she throws it down before him — it is valid kiddushin? But she [thereby] declares to him,
‘Take it: I do not want it!’ — He [the Tanna] proceeds to a climax.6 [Thus:] It is unnecessary [to
state that] if she throws it down before him it is not kiddushin; but if she throws it into the sea or the
fire, I might argue, Since she is now liable for it, she has certainly permitted herself to be betrothed:
and the reason that she acted thus was because she thought, ‘I will test this man, whether he is
hot-tempered or not.’ Therefore we are informed [otherwise].
Our Rabbis taught: [If a man says to a woman,] ‘Be thou betrothed unto me with a maneh,’ [and
she replies,] ‘Give it to my father’ or ‘thy father,’ she is not betrothed; ‘on condition that they accept
it for me,’ she is betrothed. ‘My father’ is mentioned to shew you how far-reaching is the first
clause;7 ‘your father,’ to shew how far-reaching is the second.8 [If he says] ‘Be thou betrothed unto
me with a maneh’, [and she replies] ‘Give it to So-and-so’, she is not betrothed. ‘On condition that
So-and-so accepts it for me’, she is betrothed. And both these cases are necessary. For if we were
taught the law with respect to ‘my father’ and ‘thy father’, [I might have thought that] only there is
she betrothed when she replies, on condition that they accept it for me,’ because she relies upon
them, thinking, ‘They will [certainly] act as agents for me’; but in the case of ‘So-and-so,’ it is not
thus. While if we were taught the case of ‘So-and-so’, [I might have thought that] only there is the
kiddushin invalid when she says: ‘Give it to So-and-so,’ because she Is not sufficiently intimate with
him to present it [the maneh] to him as a gift.9 But as for ‘my father’ or ‘thy father,’ with whom she
is intimate, I might think that she was making a gift of it to them. Thus both are necessary.
Our Rabbis taught: [If he says,] ‘Be thou betrothed unto me with a maneh,’ [and she replies,]
‘Place it on a rock’, she is not betrothed; but if the rock was hers, she is betrothed. R. Bibi asked:
What if the rock belonged to both of them? The question stands over. [If he says,] ‘Be thou betrothed
unto me for a loaf of bread’, [and she replies,] ‘Give it to the dog’, she is not betrothed; but if it was
her dog, she is betrothed. R. Mari asked: What if the dog was pursuing her? [Do we say that] in
return for the benefit of saving herself from it she resolves and cedes herself to him; or perhaps she
can say to him, ‘By Biblical law you were indeed bound to save me’? The question stands over. [If
he says,] ‘Be thou betrothed unto me with a loaf,’ [and she replies,] ‘Give it to the poor man’: she is
not betrothed, even if he was a poor man who relies on her. Why? — She can say to him, ‘Just as I
have a duty towards him, so hast thou a duty to him’.
A man was selling
(1) I.e., she neither received the maneh nor did he actually give her a pledge, since that must be returned. [V. Tosaf.;
Asheri: Where there is no liability there can be no pledge, for no man can pledge himself for something which he does
not owe. Similarly here, since he does not owe her the maneh, for he may retract if he wishes to do so, the pledge is no
(2) Deut. XXIV, 12f.
(3) It is legally his whilst in his possession. Therefore he may validly offer it as kiddushin.
(4) And the vendor wished to withdraw from the bargain.
(5) As on p. 30, n. 6: the coins have not been received, whilst the ingot was not given to effect the purchase. Therefore it
can be cancelled.
(6) V. p. 28, n. 7.
(7) Even then, she is not betrothed.
(8) Even then, she is betrothed.
(9) Therefore her reply was a contemptuous rejection of the proposal.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 9a
glass beads, when a woman came and said to him, ‘Give me a string [of these].’ ‘If I give it you,’ he
replied: ‘will you become betrothed to me?’ ‘Oh, indeed do give it to me,’ she retorted. Said R.
Hama: Every [such expression,] ‘Oh, indeed do give it to me’ means nothing.1 A man was drinking
wine in a tavern, when a woman came and said to him, ‘Give me a cup.’ ‘If I give you,’ he replied:
‘will you become betrothed to me?’ ‘Oh, indeed do let me have a drink,’ she retorted. Said R. Hama:
Every [such expression,] ‘Oh, indeed do let me have a drink’ means nothing.
A man was throwing down dates from a palm tree, when a woman came and said to him, ‘Throw
me down two’. ‘If I throw them down to you, he replied: ‘will you become betrothed to me?’ ‘Oh,
indeed do throw them down,’ she retorted. Said R. Zebid: Every [such expression,] ‘Oh, indeed, do
throw them down’ means nothing.
The scholars propounded: What [if she replies,] ‘Give me,’ ‘let me drink,’ or ‘throw them down?’2
— Rabina ruled: She is betrothed;3 R. Sammia b. Raktha said: By the royal crown, she is not
betrothed. And the law is: She is not betrothed. The law is also: the silk needs no valuation;4 and the
law agrees with R. Eleazar;5 and the law agrees with Raba's dictum in R. Nahman's name.6
Our Rabbis taught: By deed: how so? If A writes for B on a paper or a shard, even if not
intrinsically worth a perutah, ‘Thy daughter be consecrated unto me,’ ‘thy daughter be betrothed
unto me,’ [or] ‘thy daughter be my wife,’ she is betrothed. R. Zera b. Mammel demurred: But this
deed is dissimilar from a deed of purchase: there the vendor writes, ‘My field is sold to thee,’
whereas here the husband writes, ‘Thy daughter be consecrated unto me!’7 — Raba replied: There
[the form is determined] by Scriptural context, and here [likewise] by Scriptural context. There it is
written, and he sell some of his possessions:8 thus Scripture made it dependent on the vendor:
whereas here it is written, when a man [taketh a woman],9 thus making it dependent upon the
husband. But there too it is written, men shall buy fields for money?10 — Read: Men shall transmit
[i.e., sell].11 Now, why do you read ‘transmit’? because it is written: ‘and he sell’! Then here too
read: If a man be taken, for it is written: I gave my daughter unto this man for wife?12 — But said
Raba: These are traditional laws, which the Rabbis supported by Scriptural verses.13 Alternatively,
there too it is written, so I took the deed of the purchase.14
Raba said in R. Nahman's name: If one writes on a paper or shard, even if not intrinsically worth a
perutah, ‘Thy daughter be consecrated unto me,’ ‘thy daughter be betrothed unto me,’ [or] ‘thy
daughter be my wife,’ whether [she accepts it] through her father or herself, she is betrothed by his
[sc. her father's] consent,15 providing that she has not attained her majority.16 If he writes on a paper
or a shard, even if not intrinsically worth a perutah, ‘Behold, thou art consecrated unto me,’ ‘Behold,
thou art my wife,’ ‘Behold, thou art betrothed unto me,’ she is betrothed, whether [it is accepted] by
her father or herself, with her consent, providing that she is of age.
R. Simeon b. Lakish propounded: What if a deed of betrothal was not written expressly for her
sake?17 Do we assimilate modes of betrothal18 to divorce:19 just as
(1) She merely emphasized her request, but did not consent. In this and the following stories, the answer was expressed
by the repetition of the verb, — an expression of impatience.
(2) Without repeating the verb; v. p. 32, n. 2.
(3) These answers denote assent.
(4) V. supra 8b.
(5) Who rules on 8a: If a man says: ‘Be thou betrothed unto me with a maneh’, and gives her a denar, she is betrothed,
and he must complete the amount.
(6) Who ruled, here is neither a maneh nor a pledge; v. supra 8a bottom and 8b.
(7) And he is in the position of the vendor; how then do we know that such a deed is valid?
(8) Lev, XXV, 25.
(9) Deut. XXIV, 2.
(10) Jer. XXXII, 44.
(11) This requires a mere change of punctuation, the letters remaining the same.
(12) Deut. XXII, 16.
(13) But they are not actually deduced from them.
(14) Jer. ibid. 11; this shews that Jeremiah, the purchaser, received the deed, which must have been drawn up by the
(15) I.e., if she accepts it herself, she must have had her father's authority.
(16) I.e., she is not yet a bogereth (q.v. Glos.), and so still under her father's control,
(17) It was originally written for another woman. In the case of divorce, such a document is invalid. E.g., if a husband
indites a divorce for his wife and does not use it, the same may not be used by another man to divorce his wife, even if
all the relevant particulars, viz., names and places and date, coincide.
(18) Lit., ‘becoming’ (a wife).
(19) Lit., ‘goings forth’ (from the married state).
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 9b
divorce must be expressly for her sake,1 So must betrothal be too; or perhaps, different modes of
betrothal are assimilated to each other: just as betrothal by money need not be for her sake,2 so
betrothal by deed need not be for her sake? — After putting the question he, himself, decided it:
betrothal is assimilated to divorce, for Scripture writes, and when she is departed [i.e., divorced] . . .
she may be [another man's wife].3
It has been stated: If it [the deed of betrothal] is written for her sake, but without her knowledge:
Raba and Rabina rule: She is betrothed; R. Papa and R. Sherabia say: She is not betrothed. Said R.
Papa: I will explain their reason and I will explain mine. I will explain their reason: Because It is
written, and when she is departed. . . she may be [another man's wife], assimilating betrothal to
divorce: just as divorce must be [written] for her sake yet without her consent,4 so must betrothal be
for her sake, yet without her consent. And I will explain my reason: And when she departeth . . . then
she shall be [etc.]: this assimilates betrothal to divorce: as in divorce, the giver's knowledge is
required,5 so in betrothal, the giver's knowledge is required.6
An objection is raised: Deeds of erusin and nissu'in7 may only be written with the knowledge of
both. Surely actual deeds of erusin and nissu'in are meant? — No: [the reference is to] deeds of
apportionment,8 and it is in accordance with R. Giddal's dictum in Rab's name, viz., How much do
you give your son? — So much. How much do you give your daughter? — So much. If they
[thereupon] arose and made a betrothal, they acquire a title [to the promised sums], and these are the
things which are acquired by a verbal undertaking.9
OR BY INTERCOURSE. Whence do we know this? — R. Abbahu said in R. Johanan's name:
Because Scripture saith, If a man be found lying with a woman] who had intercourse with a
husband,10 thus teaching that he became her husband through intercourse. R. Zera said to R.
Abbahu-others state, Resh Lakish said to R. Johanan: Is this what Rabbi taught unsatisfactory, [viz.,]
[When a man taketh a wife] and hath intercourse with her:11 this teaches that she is acquired by
intercourse? — If from there, I might have thought: He must first betroth her [e.g., by money] and
then cohabit with her:12 [therefore] we are informed [otherwise]. R. Abba b. Mammel objected: If
so,13 when Scripture decrees stoning in the case of a betrothed maiden,14 how is it conceivable? If he
[first] betrothed and then cohabited with her, she is a be'ulah;15 if he betrothed but did not cohabit
with her, it is nothing.16 The Rabbis answered this before Abaye; It is possible if the arus cohabited
with her unnaturally.17 Thereupon Abaye observed to them: Even Rabbi and the Rabbis dispute [this
matter] only in reference to a stranger: but as for the husband, all agree that if he cohabits with her
unnaturally he renders her a be'ulah! (What is this?18 For it was taught: If ten men cohabited
[unnaturally] with her [sc. a betrothed maiden] and she is still a virgin, all are stoned. Rabbi said: I
maintain, the first is stoned, but the rest are strangled.)19 R. Nahman b. Isaac said: It would be
possible if he betrothed her by deed: since it completely sunders,20 it completely unites.21
And R. Johanan: How does he utilize this, and hath intercourse with her? — He needs that [to
shew]: she [a wife] is acquired by cohabitation, but not a Hebrew bondmaid. For I might have
thought, it may be inferred a minori from a yebamah: if a yebamah, who cannot be acquired by
money, is acquired by cohabitation; this one [Hebrew bondmaid] who can be acquired by money,
may surely be acquired by cohabitation. [No.] As for a yebamah, that is because she is already
tied!22 — I might have argued, since it is written: If he take him another [wife],23 Scripture
compared her [the bondsmaid] to the ‘other’ [the wife]: just as the other is acquired by intercourse,
so is a Hebrew bondsmaid acquired thus; therefore we are informed [otherwise].24
And Rabbi: how does he know this conclusion? — If so,25 Scripture should have written; and hath
intercourse: why [state] ‘and hath intercourse with her?’ Thus both are deduced.26 But according to
Raba, who said: Bar Ahina explained it to me: ‘When a man taketh a woman and hath intercourse
with her’: [this teaches:] kiddushin27 that can be followed by28 intercourse is [valid] kiddushin, that
which cannot be followed by intercourse is not [valid] kiddushin;29 what can one say?30 — If so,31
Scripture should have written, or ‘hath intercourse with her’: why [state], ‘and hath intercourse with
her?’32 Thus all are inferred.
And Rabbi: how does he employ this phrase,’ who had intercourse [be'ulath] with a husband?’ —
He utilizes it [to teach:] her husband renders her a be'ulah unnaturally,33 but not a stranger.34 But
does Rabbi hold this view? Has it not been taught: If ten men cohabited [unnaturally] with her [sc. a
betrothed maiden] and she is still a virgin, all are stoned. Rabbi said: I maintain, the first is stoned,
but the rest are strangled.35
(1) Deduced from, then he shall write her a bill of divorcement (Deut. XXIV, 2).
(2) I.e., the money is not minted expressly to betroth that woman.
(3) Thus, betrothal and divorce are stated in proximity to each other, shewing that they are compared.
(4) In ancient Jewish law a wife's consent to divorce was not required. In the Middle Ages this was amended, and her
consent became necessary.
(5) I.e., the husband's, who gives the woman her freedom.
(6) I.e., the woman's, who gives herself in marriage.
(7) v. Glos. for both.
(8) I.e., the amounts which the parents promise to settle on their son or daughter on marriage,
(9) Normally, a promise is binding only if the recipient performs an act of acquisition. i.e., he takes an article, not
necessarily the thing promised, from the promisor. Here, however, the promise itself is binding. And the Baraitha quoted
teaches that the witnesses may not draw up bonds to that effect unless both parties consent.
(10) Deut. XXII, 22.
(11) Ibid. XXIV, 1.
(12) But that cohabitation alone is not betrothal.
(13) That this verse might be interpreted as meaning that both betrothal and cohabitation are necessary, but that without
the latter she is not even betrothed.
(14) Who commits adultery.
(15) I.e., no longer a virgin, whereas stoning is only for a virgin; v. Deut. XXII, 23f.
(16) She is not betrothed on this hypothesis.
(17) Leaving her a virgin.
(18) Concerning which Rabbi and the Rabbis are in dispute.
(19) Which is the punishment for committing adultery with a be'ulah. Thus the Rabbis regard her as a virgin all the time,
whereas Rabbi maintains that she is a be'ulah after the first. This dispute, however, applies only to strangers.
(20) I.e., a deed is the only thing required for divorce.
(21) Lit., ‘brings in.’ Yet it might be that money betrothal must be followed by cohabitation.
(22) To the yabam, v. Deut. XXV, 5.
(23) Ex. XXI, 10: ‘another’ i.e., in addition to the Hebrew bondsmaid.
(24) By ‘and he hath intercourse with her’, as above.
(25) That the verse teaches only that intercourse is one of the methods of betrothal.
(26) (i) that a woman may be acquired by intercourse and (ii) a Hebrew bondsmaid cannot be so acquired.
(27) Implied by, when a man taketh.
(28) Lit., ‘that is given over to.’
(29) V. infra 51a.
(30) For the verse is needed for this purpose.
(31) That the only purpose of the verse is to shew that a bondsmaid cannot be acquired by intercourse.
(32) ‘And’ implies that the taking — i.e., kiddushin — and the cohabitation are interdependent.
(33) I.e., by unnatural cohabitation.
(34) Because ‘be'ulah’ is connected with ‘a husband’: if she had cohabited with her husband, no matter how, she is a
(35) V. supra.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 10a
— Said R. Zera: Rabbi admits in respect to the fine, that they must all pay.1 Wherein does it differ
from the death penalty?2 — There it is different, because Scripture writes, then the man alone that
lay with her shall die.3 And the Rabbis: how do they employ this word ‘alone’? — They need it even
as it was taught: [If a man be found lying with a woman married to a husband], then they shall both
of them die:4 [this implies,] they must both be equal as one:5 this is R. Josiah's view. R. Jonathan
maintained: ‘then the man alone that lay with her shall die’.6 And R. Johanan: how does he know
this ruling?7 — If so,8 Scripture should have written, who had intercourse with a man; why [state],
‘who had intercourse with a husband’? Hence both are inferred.9
The scholars propounded: Does the beginning of intercourse acquire [the woman] or the end of
intercourse? The practical difference is, e.g., if he performed the first stage of intercourse, and then
she stretched out her hand and accepted kiddushin from another man;10 or whether a High Priest may
acquire a virgin by intercourse.11 What then [is our ruling]? — Said Amemar in Raba's name: The
mind of him who has intercourse is set on the completion of intercourse.12 The scholars propounded:
Does intercourse effect nissuin or erusin? The practical difference is in respect of his being her heir,
defiling himself on her account and annulling her vows. If you say it effects nissu'in, he [the
husband] succeeds her as heir, must13 defile himself for her,14 and can annul her vows.15 But if you
say that it effects only erusin, he does not succeed her as heir, may not defile himself on her account,
and cannot annul her vows. What is our ruling? — Said Abaye: Come and hear: A father has a
privilege over his daughter [if a minor] in respect of her kiddushin by money, deed or intercourse.
And he is entitled to her findings, her labour, and the annulment of her vows; he can accept her
divorce;16 but he does not enjoy usufruct during her lifetime.17 If she was married,18 her husband's
rights exceeds his,19 in that he enjoys the usufruct during her lifetime. Now, intercourse is taught,
and yet he [the Tanna] also teaches: If she was married!20 — ‘If she married’ may have been taught
in reference to the other [privileges]. Raba said: Come and hear: A maiden aged three years and a
day may be betrothed by intercourse, and if the yabam has intercourse with her, he acquires her. The
penalty of adultery may be incurred through her: [if a menstruant,] she defiles him who has
connections with her,
(1) If a man violates an unbetrothed virgin he must pay a fine of fifty shekels: (Deut. XXII, 28f.) if a number of men
violate her unnaturally, leaving her a virgin, they must all pay the same, as for a virgin.
(2) That there Rabbi regards her a be'ulah.
(3) Ibid. 25; now, this is superfluous. since the next verse states: But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; hence it
teaches that only the first man is stoned, but after he seduces her, even unnaturally, she is a be'ulah, and her ravishers are
(4) Ibid. 22.
(5) Rashi: both must have attained their majority and be liable to punishment, thus excluding an adult who violates a
minor. Tosaf.: they must both be liable to the same death penalty; the reference is to R. Meir's view on this matter, q.v.
(6) I.e., the man stands in a separate category, and need not be equal to the woman.
(7) That only the husband renders her a be'ulah by unnatural intercourse etc.
(8) That the verse teaches only that cohabitation acquires a woman.
(9) The emphasis on ‘husband’ shews that only he renders her a be'ulah etc.
(10) If the beginning acquires, she belongs to the first; if not, to the second.
(11) A High Priest must marry a virgin; Lev. XXI, 13. Now, if the first stage acquires, he may betroth her by intercourse;
but if the last stage, he may not, because immediately after the first stage she ceases to be a virgin, yet does not belong to
(12) Hence the last stage is necessary.
(13) Or ‘may’, v. Sotah, 3a.
(14) Even if he is a priest.
(15) Alone, without her father.
(16) Even without her authority, if she was divorced whilst an arusah, and a na'arah.
(17) If she inherit property through her maternal relations, her father has no claim to its usufruct while she is alive.
(18) Lit., ‘became a nesu'ah’.
(19) The husband's rights over his wife after nissu'in are greater than the father's over his daughter before nissu'in.
(20) Subsequent to intercourse; this proves that intercourse only effects erusin.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 10b
so that he in turn defiles that upon which he lies, as a garment which has lain upon [a zab].1 If she
married2 a priest, she may partake of terumah;3 if any of the forbidden degrees4 interdicted by
Scripture cohabited with her, they are executed on her account,5 but she is exempt;6 if an unfit
person7 cohabits with her, he disqualifies her from priesthood.8 Thus [here too] intercourse is
taught,9 and also ‘if she married’! — This may be its meaning: If this marriage10 was with a priest,
she may partake of terumah.
Come and hear: Johanan b. Bag Bag had already sent [word] to R. Judah b. Bathyra at Nisibis:11 I
have heard of you that you maintain, An arusah, the daughter of an Israelite [betrothed to a priest],
may eat terumah. He sent back: And do you not rule likewise? I am certain of you that you are well
versed in the profundities12 of the Torah [and able] to infer a minori. Do you not know: if a Gentile
bondmaid, whose intercourse does not permit her to eat of terumah,13 yet her money14 permits her to
eat of terumah; then this one [an arusah], whose intercourse [with a priest] permits her to eat of
terumah, surely her money15 permits her to eat terumah. But what can I do, seeing that the Sages
ruled: An arusah, the daughter of an Israelite, may not eat terumah until she enters huppah?16 How
so? If [the reference is to] intercourse following huppah, and money followed by huppah, in both
cases she may certainly eat. But if to intercourse with huppah, and money without huppah: here there
are two, while there is only one,17 Hence it must surely refer to both intercourse and money without
huppah. Now, if you say that it [intercourse] effects nissu'in, it is well: hence it is obvious to him that
Intercourse is stronger than money.18 But if you say that it effects only kiddushin [i.e., erusin], why
is he certain in the one case and doubtful in the other? — Said R. Nahman b. Isaac: After all, I can
tell you that [the reference is to] intercourse with huppah and money without huppah. And as to your
objection, here there are two, while there is only one: nevertheless the a minori proposition holds
good, and it was thus he sent word to him: If a Gentile bondmaid, whose intercourse does not permit
her to eat of terumah even after huppah, yet her money even without huppah authorizes her to eat
terumah,’ then this one, whose intercourse when accompanied by huppah permits her to eat terumah,
Surely her money even without intercourse permits her to eat terumah. But what can I do, seeing that
the Sages ruled: An arusah, the daughter of an Israelite, may not partake of terumah until she enters
huppah, on account of ‘Ulla's statement.19 And [Johanan] b. Bag Bag?20 — In the case of a Gentile
bondmaid he omits nothing of her acquisition;21 but here he has left undone part of her acquisition.22
Rabina said: By Biblical law he was quite certain that she may eat, and it was only by Rabbinical
law that he [R. Johanan b. Bag Bag] sent word to him [that she is forbidden], and he sent thus to him:
I have heard of you that you rule: An arusah, the daughter of an Israelite, may eat of terumah, and
you disregard the possibility of nullification.23 He sent back: And do you not rule likewise? I am
certain that you are well versed in the profundities of the Torah, [and able] to infer a minori. Do you
not know: if a Gentile bondmaid, whose intercourse does not permit her to eat terumah, yet her
money does, and we do not fear the possibility of nullification;24 then this one [sc. an arusah], whose
intercourse permits her to eat terumah,25 surely her money does, and we may disregard the
possibility of nullification. But what can I do, seeing that the Sages ruled: An arusah, the daughter of
an Israelite, may not partake of terumah
(1) A man who has sexual connections with a menstruant woman defiles that upon which he lies, even if he does not
actually touch it. But the degree of uncleanliness it thereby acquires is not the same as that of the bedding upon which
she herself or a zab (v. Glos.) lies. For in the latter case, the bedding in turn defiles any person or utensil with which it
comes into contact; whereas in the former, it can only defile foodstuffs and liquids. This is the same degree of
uncleanliness possessed by a garment which has lain upon or been borne by a zab, v. Nid. 44b.
(2) V. n. 8.
(3) As an Israelite's adult daughter who married a priest. But if she is less than three years old, she is sexually immature,
so that the marriage cannot be consummated, and hence she may not eat terumah.
(4) E.g., her father or brother.
(5) If they are of those forbidden on pain of death.
(6) Being a minor.
(7) E.g., a heathen or bastard.
(8) I.e., she may not marry a priest.
(9) Proving that intercourse only effects erusin.
(10) Sc. the intercourse mentioned in the first clause.
(11) A city in N.E. Mesopotamia; its Jewish population was already of importance during the second Temple. J.E. s.v.;
Obermeyer, p. 229.
(12) Lit., ‘chambers’.
(13) If a priest cohabits with her without having previously acquired her with money.
(14) I.e., the money given for her by a priest.
(15) Whereby she is acquired as an arusah.
(16) I.e., becomes a nesu'ah.
(17) How can money without huppah be deduced from intercourse and huppah?
(18) And it certainly authorises her to eat terumah, and he proceeds to deduce that money has the same power.
(19) V. supra 5a bottom.
(20) Does he not accept this a minori deduction?
(21) Once he gives the money, she is absolutely his.
(22) After intercourse she still lacks huppah before he ranks as her heir and may defile himself on her account.
(23) Through a bodily defect discovered in the woman, which may invalidate the betrothal. Hence this has no bearing on
the question of the status conferred by intercourse, since all admit that even an arusah may, Biblically speaking, eat
(24) A bodily defect which may entitle the priest to cancel the purchase.
(25) [Since the arus would not have had intercourse with her without first making enquiries concerning her (Tosaf.).]
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 11a
until she enters huppah, on account of ‘Ulla's statement. And the son of Bag Bag?1 — He disregards
the possibility of nullification in the case of slaves: if there are open bodily defects — then he has
seen them.2 If on account of concealed bodily defects, what does it matter to him? He needs him for
work, and so does not care. If he [the slave] is found to be a thief or a rogue,3 he is his.4 What can
you say: he was discovered to be an armed robber or proscribed by the State5 — these are well
known.6 Let us see: both agree that she [an arusah] may not eat:7 wherein then do they differ? —
They differ where he [the husband] accepted [bodily defects],8 or he [the father] delivered [her to the
husband's messengers to be taken to her husband's home],9 or if they [the father's messengers] were
on the way with [the husband's messengers to escort the bride to her new home].10
‘BY MONEY: BETH SHAMMAI MAINTAIN, BY A DENAR etc. What is Beth Shammai's
reason? — Said R. Zera: Because a woman is particular about herself and will not [permit herself to]
become betrothed with less than a denar. Abaye objected to him: If so, then e.g., R. Jannai's
daughters, who are particular about themselves and will not become betrothed with less than a
tarkabful11 of denarii, if she stretches out her hand and accepts a zuz from a stranger [as kiddushin],
is the kiddushin indeed invalid?12 — He replied: If she stretches out her hand and accepts. I do not
say thus: I refer to a case where he betroths her at night,13 or if she appoints an agent.14 R. Joseph
said: Beth Shammai's reason is in accordance with Rab Judah's dictum in R. Assi's name, viz.,
Wherever ‘money’15 is mentioned in Scripture: Tyrian coinage is meant; whereas the Rabbinical
usage16 refers to provincial coinage.17
It was stated above: Rab Judah said in R. Assi's name: Whenever ‘money’ is mentioned in
Scripture: Tyrian coinage is meant; whereas the Rabbinical usage refers to provincial coinage. Now,
is this a universal rule?
(1) Does he not admit the force of this argument?
(2) And the purchaser cannot invalidate the transaction.
(3) Jast.: a swindler; Tosaf.: a gambler; Rashi: a kidnapper. The last might suit the context here, but not elsewhere.
(4) The purchaser's: he cannot annul the purchase, because the average slave is one of these.
(5) I.e., under sentence of death. fast.: levied for royal service.
(6) And the purchaser would not buy him in ignorance.
(7) For R. Judah b. Bathyra also admits that she may not eat, in accordance with ‘Ulla.
(8) According to Johanan b. Bag Bag, she may then eat terumah, since there is no fear of nullification; in the opinion of
R. Judah b. Bathyra she is forbidden, since ‘Ulla's reason holds good here.
(9) ‘Ulla's reason no longer holds good since her brothers and sisters are not then with her, but there is still the
possibility of nullification.
(10) V. preceding note, which applies here too.
(11) Tarkab — two kabs (later = three kabs): 1 kab = 1/6th of a se'ah.
(12) Surely not!
(13) And she does not see what is given her.
(14) To accept kiddushin on her behalf, without telling him what is the minimum which he shall accept.
(15) Lit., ‘silver’.
(16) Lit., ‘that — sc. money of their (sc. the Rabbis’) words.’
(17) Viz., current coinage. The latter is an eighth of the former; i.e., a provincial shekel = 1/8th of a Tyrian shekel, a
provincial denar = 1/8th of a Tyrian, etc.; v. J.E. IX, 351, and Zuckermann, Tal. Mun. pp. 15-33. Tyrian is further to be
identified with Jerusalem (coins). Krauss, T.A., 11-405 and n. 639 a.l., v. B.K. (Sonc. ed.) p. 204, n. 11. Now, since
kiddushin by money is Biblical (supra 2a), it cannot be a copper perutah, for there were no copper coins in the Tyrian
system: hence, the perutah being excluded, it is evident that a coin of considerable value is required, and this was fixed at
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 11b
But what of a claim, concerning which it is written: If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money
or utensils to keep etc.1 yet we learnt: ‘The oath taken before judges [is imposed] for a [minimum]
claim of two silver [ma'ahs] and an admission of a perutah’?2 — There it is similar to ‘utensils’: just
as ‘utensils’ implies [at least] two, so must ‘money’ refer to two [coins],3 and just as ‘money’ implies
something of worth,4 so does ‘utensils’ mean something of worth.5 But [what of the second] tithe, in
regard to which it is written, [Then thou shalt turn it into money] and bind up the money in thine
hand,6 yet we learnt: ‘If one changes a sela’ of second tithe [copper] coins . . .’?7 — ‘The money’ is
an extension,8 But what of hekdesh,9 concerning which it is written, then he shall give the money,
and it shall be assured to him,10 yet Samuel said: If hekdesh worth a maneh is redeemed with the
equivalent of a perutah, it is redeemed?11 — There too, we deduce the meaning of ‘money’ from
But what of a woman's kiddushin, concerning which it is written: When a man taketh a wife, and
marry her,13 and we deduce the meaning of ‘taking’ from the field of Ephron,14 yet we learnt: BETH
HILLEL RULE, BY A PERUTAH OR THE WORTH OF A PERUTAH; shall we say [then] that R.
Assi ruled in accordance with Beth Shammai?15 — But if stated, it was stated thus: Rab Judah said
in R. Assi's name: Whenever a fixed sum of money is mentioned in the Torah, Tyrian coinage is
meant; whereas the Rabbinical usage refers to provincial currency.16 Then what does he teach us?
We have already learnt it: The five sela's mentioned in connection with a firstborn,17 the thirty of a
slave,18 the fifty of a ravisher and a seducer,19 and the hundred of a slanderer20 — all these are
[computed] by the holy shekel according to the Tyrian maneh!21 — He wishes to state, ‘whereas the
Rabbinical term refers to provincial currency,’ which we did not learn. For we learnt: If one boxes
his neighbour's ears,22 he must pay him a sela’. Now, you should not say, what is a sela’? Four
zuz,’23 but what is a sela’? Half a zuz, for it happens that people call half a zuz ‘istira’.24
R. Simeon b. Lakish said: Beth Shammai's reason is in accordance with Hezekiah. For Hezekiah
said: Scripture saith, then shall he let her be redeemed25 — this teaches that she deducts from her
redemption [money] and goes out [free]. Now, if you say that he [the master] gave her a denar,26 it is
well: hence she can go on deducting until a perutah. But if you say that he gave her a perutah: what
can be deducted from a perutah?27 But perhaps Scripture ordered thus: if he gave her a denar, she
can go on deducting until a perutah; [but] if he gave her a perutah, she cannot deduct at all?
(1) Ex. XXII, 6; in B.K. 107a it is deduced from this verse that an oath is imposed upon a defendant only if he admits
part of the claim and denies part.
(2) Rashi: This proves that no particular sum is meant by the term ‘money,’ but that in all cases it was left for the Rabbis
to determine. For if a particular sum is meant, granted that a ma'ah is the smallest Tyrian coin, why two? Tosaf. and
others: the smallest Tyrian coin is a denar, whereas a ma'ah = 1/6th of a denar. (Though the actual coin is not mentioned
in the quotation, ma'ah is assumed, because ‘two’ is in the fem. form, agreeing with ma'ah, whereas denar is masc.).
(3) So that the claim must be at least for two silver pieces, i.e., ma'ahs.
(4) I.e., two ma'ahs.
(5) So that if a man claimed two needles, one of which was admitted, no oath is imposed, since these are not worth two
ma'ahs (Rashi). Tosaf. and others with different reading of the text: just as ‘utensils’ implies something of value, so does
‘money’ apply to that likewise, and a ma'ah is a coin of value; whilst ‘two’ is likewise deduced from the plural,
‘utensils’. [Whereas according to Rashi's reading the minimum value required in the case of ‘utensils’ is determined by
the significance attached to the word ‘money’, according to that of Tosaf., the value of ‘utensils’ is judged by their own
merits, so that even a couple of needles are to be treated as things of worth in view of the use to which they can be put].
(6) Deut. XIV, 25, q.v.
(7) A dispute follows as to how many of the coins should be changed. Now, this shews that in the first place the tithe
was redeemed with copper coins, though Scripture mentions ‘money’ in this connection.
(8) Shewing that even copper coins may be used.
(9) V. Glos.
(10) V. B.M. (Sonc. ed.) p. 321, n. 1.
(11) V. n. 2; the same applies here.
(12) Since in the latter instance the money extends the law to copper coins, these are valid for the redemption of hekdesh
(13) Deut. XXIV, 1.
(14) V. p. 1, n. 12. Thus it is as though ‘money’ were written in this passage.
(15) It is a fixed principle that in all disputes between these two schools the halachah agrees with Beth Hillel.
(16) But no fixed sum is mentioned for kiddushin.
(17) V. Num. XVIII, 15f: Nevertheless the firstborn of man thou shalt surely redeem . . . for the money of five shekels.
— ‘Shekels’ is the Biblical term for sela’.
(18) Ex. XXI, 32: If the ox gore a manservant or a maidservant he (the owner) shall give unto their master thirty shekels
(19) Deut. XXII, 28f: If a man find a damsel that is a virgin which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her,
and they be found; then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver.
(20) Ibid. 13 et seqq.: If a man take a wife . . . and hate her . . . and bring an evil name upon (i.e., slander) her, and say: I
took this woman, and . . . I found not in her tokens of virginity . . . then the elders of that city shall amerce him in a
hundred shekels of silver.
(21) 1 Tyrian maneh = 25 holy shekels.
(22) Others: shouts into his neighbour's ear.
(23) I.e., the Tyrian currency.
(24) A silver coin, equal to the provincial sela’ = 1/2 zuz.
(25) Ex. XXI, 8; v. infra 14b, 15a for the full reference.
(26) In buying her. The money given for a Hebrew maidservant may also be regarded as kiddushin, since in virtue
thereof he can take her to wife; v. Ex. ibid.
(27) Seeing that it is the smallest coin.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 12a
— You cannot think so, [for] it is similar to designation:1 just as designation, though he [the master]
can designate her or not, as he will, yet where he may not designate her, the sale is invalid;2 so here
too, where he cannot deduct, the sale is invalid.3 And a woman's kiddushin, according to Beth
Shammai, is deduced from a Hebrew maidservant: just as a Hebrew maidservant cannot be acquired
for a perutah,4 so a woman cannot be betrothed by a perutah.5 Then say half a denar, or two
perutahs? — Since a perutah was excluded, it was fixed at a denar.6 Raba said: This is Beth
Shammai's reason, [viz.,] that the daughters of Israel should not be treated as hefker.7 AND BETH
HILLEL RULE, BY A PERUTAH. R. Joseph thought to rule, A perutah, whatever it is.8 Said Abaye
to him: But thereon we learnt: AND HOW MUCH IS A PERUTAH? AN EIGHTH OF AN
ITALIAN ISSAR. And should you answer: That was only in the time of Moses, but nowadays it is
as generally estimated — but when R. Dimi came,9 he said: R. Simai computed in his time: how
much is the perutah? An eighth of an Italian issar.10 And when Rabin came, he said: R. Dosethai, R.
Jannai and R. Oshiah estimated: how much is a perutah? A sixth of an Italian issar! — R. Joseph
answered him: If so,11 when we learnt,12 Go out and estimate: how many perutahs are there in two
sela's? More than two thousand. Seeing that there are not even two thousand, can he [the Tanna] call
it more than two thousand?13 Thereupon a certain old man said to him, I learnt it, close on two
thousand. But even so, it is only one-thousand-five-hundred-thirty-six! — Since it passes beyond
half [a thousand], it is called close on two thousand.
It was just stated: When R. Dimi came, he said: R. Simai computed in his time, How much is a
perutah? An eighth of an Italian issar. And when Rabin came, he said: R. Dosethai, R. Jannai, and R.
Oshiah estimated: How much is the perutah? A sixth of an Italian issar. Said Abaye to R. Dimi: Shall
we say that you and Rabin differ in the dispute of the following Tannaim? For it was taught: The
perutah which the Sages mentioned is an eighth of an Italian issar. [Thus:] one denar =six silver
ma'ahs; one ma'ah =two pundion, one pundion = two issars, one issar = two musmis, one musmis =
two kuntrunk, one kuntrunk =two perutahs.14 Hence the perutah is an eighth of an Italian [Roman]
issar. R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: three hadrisin = one ma'ah, two hanzin = one hadris, two shamnin
= one hanez, two peutahs = one shamin:15 hence a perutah equals one sixth of an Italian issar.16 Shall
we say that you agree with the first Tanna, whilst Rabin holds with R. Simeon b. Gamaliel? — He
replied: Both Rabin and I agree with the first Tanna, yet there is no difficulty: here the issar bears its
full value; there, it had depreciated. Here the issar bears its full value, twenty-four going to the zuz;
there it had depreciated, thirty-two going to the zuz.17
Samuel said: If a man betrothed a woman18 with a date, even if a kor19 stood at a denar,20 she is
nevertheless betrothed: we fear that it may be worth a perutah in Media.21 But we learnt: BETH
HILLEL RULE, BY A PERUTAH OR THE WORTH OF A PERUTAH?22 — There is no difficulty:
the one refers to certain kiddushin; the other to doubtful kiddushin.23
A certain man betrothed [a woman] with a bundle of tow cotton. Now, R. Simi b. Hiyya sat before
Rab and examined it: if worth a perutah, it is well:24 if not, not. Now, if not worth a perutah, it is not
well? But Samuel said: ‘We fear [etc.]’! — There is no difficulty: in the former case it is certain
kiddushin; in the latter doubtful kiddushin. A certain man betrothed [a woman] with a black marble
stone. Now, R. Hisda was sitting and appraising it: if worth a perutah, it is well;25 if not, not. Now, if
not worth a perutah, it is not well? But Samuel said: ‘We fear [etc.]’! — R. Hisda did not accept
Samuel's [view]. Said his mother to him: But on the day he betrothed her it was worth a perutah!26 It
does not rest entirely with you, replied he, to render her forbidden to the other man.27
(1) sugh or sughh, the betrothal of a Hebrew handmaid to her master or his son in virtue of having been bought, no other
than the purchase money being necessary.
(2) I.e., she cannot be sold, e.g., to her brother, since she may not be designated to him.
(3) Since Scripture teaches that a deduction is made, the sale must be capable of one.
(4) As just proved.
(5) V. Glos.
(6) For the exclusion of a perutah shews that a sum of considerable value is required.
(7) V. Glos., which is acquired without much trouble; thus to acquire a woman by merely a perutah would be derogatory
to her status.
(8) No matter how it is debased in the course of time, providing that it is called a perutah.
(9) To Babylon. R. Dimi was a fourth century Amora of Palestine, who settled in Babylon on account of Constantine's
decree of banishment against the Jewish teachers of Palestine. But even before this scholars regularly travelled to and fro
between the Palestine and the Babylonian academies, and R. Dimi and Rabin (i.e., R. Abin) were specially designated
for this task, to provide a cultural link between the two. I. Halevy, Doroth, II, 467-473.
(10) A woman having been betrothed for a perutah, he stated that it must be equal to an eighth of an Italian issar, and
was not satisfied with the mere designation of a perutah.
(11) That the perutah must not be less than this.
(12) In the Sifra, a Midrashic commentary on Leviticus, also called ‘The Law of the priests.’
(13) The table is given below.
(14) These are Roman coins, the names being corrupted. Kuntrunk. < quadrans (**), a Roman value equal to three
Roman ounces, also called terunicius; musmis or messimis < semissis = 1/2 as; pundion < dupundium = two ases.
(15) Hadris is perhaps a corruption of darosah = 1 3/4 as; hanez < nez (blossom); shamnim < shamin (Heb. hbhna,
shemini — an eighth) 1/8 of an Italian issar. [For a full discussion of these terms, v. Krauss, TA, pp. 408ff.]
(16) For the issar = 1/2 4th denar; now one denar = six ma'ahs = a hundred and forty-four perutahs, according to his
table; therefore one perutah — 1/6th issar.
(17) Thus one denar = a hundred and ninety-two perutahs, in accordance with the first Tanna. The perutah remained
stable, but the issar fluctuated. In R. Simai's age the issar was at par, i.e., twenty-four =one denar: therefore one perutah
= 1/8th issar. But in the age of R. Dosethai etc., it had slumped to 1/3 2nd of a denar, therefore one perutah =1/6th of an
(18) Lit., ‘her’.
(19) A measure of capacity; v. J.E. XII, 489, Table 3.
(20) So that one date is worth far less than a perutah.
(21) Where dates were very dear. Or perhaps Media is mentioned as an example of elsewhere.
(22) And in Samuel's view anything may be worth a perutah somewhere.
(23) If the article is worth a perutah where it is given, the woman is certainly betrothed, and another man's betrothal is
invalid. But if it is not worth a perutah there, she is in a position of doubt: she cannot be free without a divorce, yet
should another betroth her before she is divorced, his act may be valid, and she then requires a divorce from both, being
in the meantime forbidden to both and to everyone else.
(24) The betrothal is valid.
(25) The kiddushin is valid.
(26) Though by the time you came to value it, it had depreciated.
(27) To whom one had, in the meantime, become betrothed. I.e., your evidence cannot be accepted.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 12b
For is this not comparable to the case of Judith, R. Hiyya's wife, who had severe travail in
childbirth.1 Said she to him: My mother told me: ‘Your father accepted kiddushin on your behalf
[from another man] when you were a child.’2 He replied to her: It does not rest entirely with your
mother to forbid you to me. The Rabbis protested to R. Hisda: Why so? But there are3 witnesses In
Idith4 who know that on that day it was worth a perutah! — Nevertheless, at present they are not
before us. Is this not analogous to R. Hanina's dictum, For R. Hanina said: Her witnesses are in the
north,5 yet she is to be forbidden!6 Abaye and Raba, [however], do not agree with this ruling of R.
Hisda: if they [the Rabbis] were lenient in respect of a captive woman,7 who suffered disgrace under
her captors,8 shall we be [equally] lenient in the case of a married woman?9 Some of that family
remained in Sura,10 and the Rabbis held aloof from them;11 not because they agreed with Samuel,
but because they agreed with Abaye and Raba.12
A certain man betrothed [a woman] with a myrtle branch in a market place. Thereupon R. Aha b.
Huna sent [a question] to R. Joseph: How is it in such a case? — He sent back: Have him flagellated,
in accordance with Rab; and demand a divorce, in accordance with Samuel.13 For Rab punished any
man who betrothed [a woman] in a market place, or by intercourse,14 or without [previous]
shiddukin,15 or who annulled a divorce,16 or who lodged a protest against a divorce,17 or harassed a
messenger of the Rabbis,18 or per — mitted a ban to remain upon him thirty days,19 and a son-in-law
who dwelt in his mother-in-law's house thirty days.20 Only him who dwelt, but not him who merely
passed by [his mother-in-law's house]? But a certain son-in-law passed by his mother-in-law's door,
for which R. Shesheth chastised him? — There his mother-in-law was [already] under suspicion
through him. The Nehardeans maintained: For all these Rab inflicted no punishment, excepting for
betrothing [a woman] by intercourse without shiddukin — others state, even with shiddukin, on
account of licentiousness.21
A certain man betrothed [a woman] with a mat of myrtle twigs. Said they to him, ‘But it is not
worth a perutah!’22 ‘Then let her be betrothed for the four zuz it contains,’ replied he.23 Having
taken it, she remained silent. Said Raba: It is silence after receipt24 of the money, and such silence
has no significance.25 Raba said: Whence do I know26 this? For it was taught: If he says to her,
‘Take this sela’ as a bailment ,’ and then he says to her, ‘Be thou betrothed unto me therewith’, [if he
made the declaration] when giving the money [and she accepted it without protest], she is betrothed;
after giving the money: if she consented, she is betrothed; if not, she is not betrothed. What is meant
by ‘she consented,’ ‘she did not consent’? Shall we say: ‘she consented’ means that she said ‘yes’,
and ‘she did not consent,’ that she said: ‘no’? Then it follows that the first clause means
(1) [She used to give birth to twins, v. Yeb. 65b.]
(2) And therefore I am forbidden to you.
(3) So cur. edd. Ri, Bah and Tosaf. read: but people say that there are; v. also Tosaf. a.I. s.v. tv.
(4) So cur. edd. Tosaf. reads: in Arith, i.e., in the west, sc. in Palestine, which lies to the west of Babylon. Levy,
Worterbuch, s.v. , hrut , mentions a conjecture that the word may mean ‘north’, and denotes generally a distant,
(5) Heb. Istan, v. B.B. (Sonc. cd.) p. 568, n. 9.
(6) Surely not! for the allusion v. Keth. 23a.
(7) To whom R. Hanina's dictum applied.
(8) [Or, ‘who makes herself look repulsive in the presence of her captors’ so as to keep them away from her.]
(9) Tosaf. explains thus (on a reading which omits the phrase ‘who... captors’): Even if witnesses attest her captivity, a
priestly marriage is forbidden her only by Rabbinical law, for fear that she was outraged by her captors; hence we are
lenient where the existence of such witnesses is only alleged. But in the case under discussion, should witnesses attest
that the stone was worth a perutah when given, she is certainly a married woman and forbidden to others; therefore
regard must be paid to the allegation that such witnesses exist elsewhere.
(10) The woman married another, and her descendants were in Sura. — Sura was a town in Southern Babylon between
the canals, and seat of the famous academy founded by Rab. V. Obermeyer 283 et seqq.
(11) From contracting a marriage with them.
(12) That the alleged existence of witnesses could not be disregarded; hence these were tainted with the suspicion of
(13) For the myrtle branch may be worth a perutah elsewhere.
(14) Notwithstanding the Mishnah.
(15) V. Glos. He regarded these as licentiousness.
(16) After sending it to his wife, but before she received it, in which case it is annulled. But the messenger may not know
of this and deliver the divorce, and the wife contract another marriage.
(17) A divorce had to be given of the husband's free will. Even when he was forced (e.g., for refusal of conjugal rights,
Keth. V. 6; impotence, Ned. XI, 12), he had to declare that he was giving it voluntarily. Yet he might secretly lodge a
protest before witnesses that he was giving it under compulsion, in which case it was invalid.
(18) Sent to summon him to court.
(19) Without seeking its remission by expressing his regret at the offence which had occasioned it and undertaking to
amend his ways. Buchler in MGWJ 1934 (Festschrift) p. 129, observes that as far as known the ban, during the days of
Jamnia and Usha (first century) was imposed only on scholars, but that in the early amoraic period all were subject to it,
as here (v. note 3, a.l.).
(20) Contrary to modern belief, the love between these two was regarded as so strong as to endanger their morals; cf.
(21) Tosaf.: this view is relied upon nowadays, in that sons-in-law live with their mothers-in-law.
(22) Matting must have been extremely cheap. Tosaf. Ri, however, translates: a bundle of myrtle twigs.
(23) The money was wrapped up in the mat or bundle.
(24) Lit., ‘the giving’.
(25) Though normally silence gives consent. For when she took the matting, she knew that it was not worth a perutah,
and therefore it was unnecessary for her to reject the proposal. Her subsequent silence makes no difference.
(26) Lit., ‘say’.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 13a
that even if she said ‘no,’ it is [valid] kiddushin. But why, seeing that she said ‘no’? Hence surely,
‘she consented’ means that she said ‘yes’, whilst ‘she did not consent, that she kept silence; thus
proving that silence after receipt of money has no significance. A difficulty was raised thereon at
Pum Nehara1 in the name of R. Huna, son of R. Joshua. How compare? There it was given her as a
deposit: [therefore] she thought, ‘If I throw it away and it is broken, I am liable for it.’ But here he
gave it to her as kiddushin: if she did not want it [as such], she should have thrown it away! — R.
Ahai retorted: Do then all women know the law? Here too she might have thought, ‘If I throw it
away and it is broken, I will be held responsible for it.’ R. Aha b. Rab sent [an inquiry]2 to Rabina:
What is the ruling in such a case? He sent back: We have not heard this [objection] of R. Huna, son
of R. Joshua;3 but you, who have heard it,4 must have regard to it.5 A certain woman was selling silk
skeins,6 when a man came and snatched one away from her. ‘Give it back to me,’ she exclaimed. ‘If
I give it to you,’ he queried, ‘will you become betrothed to me?’ She took it and was silent.
Thereupon R. Nahman ruled: She can say: ‘Indeed, I took it, and ‘twas my own I took’.7 Raba
objected before R. Nahman: If he betroths her with [an article] of robbery, violence, or theft,8 or if he
snatches a sela’ from her hand and betroths her, she is [validly] betrothed? — There it means that he
had discussed the preliminaries [of marriage].9 And how do you know that we draw a distinction
between one who discussed the preliminaries and one who did not? — Because it was taught: If one
says to a woman,10 ‘Take this sela’ which I owe thee,’ and then he says: ‘Be thou betrothed unto me
therewith’: [if he said this] when giving the money and she consented, she is betrothed; if she did not
consent , she is not betrothed; after giving the money, even if she consented, she is not betrothed.
Now, what is the meaning of ‘she consented,’ ‘she did not consent’? Shall we say: ‘she consented’
means that she said ‘yes’, ‘she did not consent’, that she said ‘no’: but if she remained silent, the
kiddushin is valid? Then it should simply have been taught: ‘she is betrothed’,just as there.11 But [we
must say,] ‘she consented’ means that she said ‘yes,’ whilst ‘she did not consent,’ that she was silent,
and it was taught that she is not betrothed. What is the reason? Because she can say: ‘Indeed, I took
it, and ‘twas mine I took.’ But in that case, this [Baraitha], ‘If he betroths her with robbery, violence,
or theft, or if he snatches a sela’ from her hand and betroths her, she is betrothed,’ presents a
difficulty. Hence it must surely be inferred that in the one case he had discussed the preliminaries,12
whereas in the other he had not.
When R. Assi died, the Rabbis went up to assemble his legal traditions. Said one of the Rabbis, R.
Jacob by name, to them: Thus did R. Assi say in R. Mani's name: Just as a woman cannot be
acquired by less than a perutah's worth, so can real estate not be acquired with less than a perutah's
worth. But, they protested to him, it was taught: Although a woman cannot be acquired for less than
a perutah's worth, land can be acquired for less than a perutah's worth? — That was taught only in
respect to barter, he answered them. For it was taught: Acquisition can be effected through an article,
even if it is not worth a perutah.13 Again they sat and related: In reference to Rab Judah's statement
in Rab's name, [that] one who does not know the peculiar nature of divorce and betrothal should
have no business with them,14 R. Assi said in R. Johanan's name: And they15 are more harmful to the
world than the generation of the flood, for it is written: By swearing, and lying, and killing, and
stealing, and committing adultery, they spread forth, and blood toucheth blood.16 How does this
imply [it]? — As R. Joseph translated:17 They beget children by their neighbour's wives,18 thus
piling evil upon evil.19 And it is written: Therefore shall the land mourn and everyone that dwelleth
therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field and the fowls of heaven: yea, the fishes of the sea
also shall be taken away.20 Whereas in the case of the generation of the flood nought was decreed
against the fish of the sea, for it is written, of all that was in the dry land, died:21 [implying] but not
the fish in the sea, whilst here even the fish of the sea [are to be destroyed]. But perhaps that is only
when all these are perpetrated?22 — You cannot think so, for it is written, for because of swearing
the land mourneth.23 Yet perhaps swearing stands alone, and these others [combined] alone?
(1) A town lying. as its name signifies, at the mouth of a canal (Nehar Sura = ‘the Sura canal’), where it debouches into
another, not far from Humanya on the Tigris. It had an all-Jewish population. Obermeyer, pp. 194 et seqq.
(2) MS.M. reads: Such an occurrence happened, (and) R. Ahab. Rab sent etc.
(3) Rashi: we have heard it neither from him nor from anyone else in his name — which is not very satisfactory, seeing
that they were evidently aware of it, whoever their informant was. Kaplan, Redaction of the Talmud, p. 138 translates:
We have not found the view of R. Huna the son of R. Joshua as logically correct.
(4) I.e., agree with the force of the objection; v. preceding note.
(5) Therefore the kiddushin has at least doubtful validity (v. p. 47, n.10); Tosaf. Ri the Elder. — Kaplan. loc. cit.,
assumes that R. Aha b. Rab, Rabina and R. Ahai, otherwise known as the Sabora R. Ahai of Hatim, appear here as
contemporaries. On the strength of this he identifies Rabina with Rabina b. R. Huna, the last president of Sura, and not
Rabina, the colleague of R. Ashi. Actually however, there is nothing here to indicate that they were contemporaries, the
reply of R. Ahai possibly having been made at a later date.
(6) Others: beads, silk fillets.
(7) Hence she is not betrothed.
(8) v. p. 263, n. 3.
(9) Then her silence is consent.
(10) Lit., ‘her’.
(11) Sc. in the Baraitha quoted at the bottom of 12b.
(12) Then she is betrothed.
(13) Barter (Heb. halifin) is a system of symbolic exchange, the article with which it is effected symbolically
representing the larger article or the money which is actually the purchase price: consequently it may be worth less than
a perutah. But when acquisition is effected through money itself, or an article valued as money, what is not worth a
perutah does not rank as such.
(14) V. supra 6a for notes.
(15) Who take part in these matters without sufficient knowledge.
(16) Hos. IV, 2.
(17) So Targum, Pseudo.Jonathan, v. B.K. (Sonc. ed.) p. 9, n. 9.
(18) Understanding ‘spread forth’ in that sense; cf. Ex. I, 12: But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied
and spread forth.
(19) So interpreting ‘blood toucheth blood.’ — Men of insufficient knowledge who take part in the solemnising of
marriage and divorce likewise cause this, married women often being declared free illegally.
(20) Ibid. 3.
(21) Gen. VII, 22.
(22) Viz., those enumerated in the first verse quoted, but not for adultery alone.
(23) Jer. XXIII, 10. This shews that a single crime is sufficient.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 13b
— Is it then written ‘and they spread forth’:1 ‘they spread forth is written.2
Again they sat and related: In reference to what we learnt: If a woman brought her sin-offering
[after childbirth] and then died, her heirs must bring her burnt-offering,3 Rab Judah said in Samuel's
name: Providing that she had separated it4 during her lifetime, but not otherwise; thus proving that in
his opinion the hypothecary obligation5 is not Biblical.6 [But] R. Assi said in R. Johanan's name:
Even if she did not separate it during her lifetime, thus proving that he holds that hypothecary
obligation is Biblical.7 But they have already disputed this matter once. For Rab and Samuel both
maintained: A debt [contracted] by word of mouth cannot be collected from heirs or purchasers;8
while R. Johanan and Resh Lakish both rule: A debt [contracted] by word of mouth can be collected
both from heirs and purchasers? — Both are necessary. For if it were stated in the latter case [alone]:
Only there [I would say] did Samuel rule [thus] because it is not a debt decreed in Scripture; but in
the former instance I might say that he agrees with R. Johanan and Resh Lakish.9 And if we were
taught this [dispute] in the former instance: only there, [I would say,] did R. Johanan rule [thus],
because a debt decreed in Scripture is as one indited in a bond; but in the latter case, I might say that
he agrees with Samuel. Hence both are necessary.
R. Papa said: The law is: A debt [contracted] by word of mouth can be collected from heirs, but
not from purchasers. It can be collected from heirs: because the hypothecary obligation involved is
Biblical. And it cannot be collected from the purchasers: because it [the debt] is not generally
AND SHE ACQUIRES HER FREEDOM BY DIVORCE OR HER HUSBAND'S DEATH. As for
divorce, It is well, since it is written, then he shall write her a bill of divorcement;11 but whence do
we know [that she is freed by] her husband's death? — It is logic: he [the husband] bound her; hence
he frees her. But what of consanguineous relations, whom he binds, and nevertheless does not
free?12 — But since Scripture decreed that a yebamah without children is forbidden [to the outside
world], it follows that if she has children she is permitted. Yet perhaps, if she has no children she is
forbidden to the world but permitted to the yabam, whereas if she has children she is forbidden to
all? — But since Scripture states that a widow is forbidden to a High Priest,13 it follows that she is
permitted to an ordinary priest.14 Yet perhaps [she is forbidden] to a High Priest by a negative
injunction, and to all others by an affirmative precept?15 — What business has this [alleged]
affirmative precept? If her husband's death has effect, let her be entirely free; and if not, let her
remain in her original status!16 Why not? It [sc. her husband's death] withdraws her from [the penalty
of] death and places her under [the interdict of] an affirmative precept. For this may be analogous to
consecrated animals rendered unfit [for sacrifice], which originally [before they became unfit]
involved a trespass-offering17 and might not be sheared or worked with; yet when they are
redeemed, they no longer involve a trespass-offering, but may still not be sheared or worked with?18
— But [it is known] since Scripture said, [And what man is there . . . his house,] lest he die in the
battle and another man take her.19 To this R. Shisha son of R. Idi demurred: Perhaps who is meant
by ‘another man: the yabam?20 — Said R. Ashi, There are two answers to this: firstly, the yabam is
not designated ‘another man’: and furthermore, it is written. And if the latter husband hate her, and
write her a bill of divorcement . . . or if the latter husband die:21 thus death is compared to divorce:
just as divorce completely frees22 her, so does death completely free her.
A YEBAMAH IS ACQUIRED BY INTERCOURSE. Whence do we know [that she is acquired]
by intercourse? — Scripture saith,
(1) The conjunction would denote that they must be combined.
(2) Without a conjunction, shewing that that itself merits the punishment stated in the following verse.
(3) These two sacrifices were due after childbirth; v. Lev. XII, 8.
(4) Sc. an animal, for a burnt-offering.
(5) Involved by debt.
(6) E.g., if a man borrows money, we do not say that his property is automatically mortgaged for its repayment, so that in
the event of his death his heirs are Biblically liable, since they inherit mortgaged property, unless the debtor explicitly
mortgages his goods in a bond, v. B.B. 175b. For here too, the woman is under an obligation to God to bring a sacrifice,
yet since she did not separate an animal for it, no obligation lies on the heirs.
(7) I.e., every debt carries with it a pledge of the debtor's property in favour of the creditor.
(8) If the debtor's land was sold, the property not having been mortgaged for repayment, the creditor cannot collect from
(9) The sacrifice being a Scriptural precept, the liability is stronger than that of an ordinary debt.
(10) Lit., ‘has no voice.’ Therefore to safe-guard the vendee's interests, the Rabbis deprived the creditor of his rights.
(11) Deut. XXIV, 1.
(12) A woman may not marry her father-in-law even after her husband's death; thus the interdict which he imposed on
her by marriage remains even when he dies.
(13) Lev. XXI, 14.
(14) And by the same reasoning, to all other men.
(15) Lev. XXI, 24 is in the form of a negative injunction, the violation of which is punished by flagellation (malkoth),
whereas that of an affirmative precept goes unpunished by Biblical law. Tosaf.: the affirmative precept may be the verse:
Therefore shall a man . . . cleave to his wife (Gen. II, 24). implying, but not to his neighbour's wife (cf. Sanh. 58a). —
An interdict implied by an affirmative precept is itself regarded as such, and not as a negative command.
(16) As a married woman she is forbidden to others by a negative precept under pain of death (Lev. XVIII, 20: XX, 10;
Deut. XXII, 22); there are no grounds for supposing that her husband's death leaves the interdict but changes its nature.
(17) For secular use, e.g., ploughing with them.
(18) V. Bek. 15a. This proves that a certain fact may leave the interdict but change its penalty, and the same may apply
to the husband's death.
(19) Deut. XX, 7.
(20) But not others.
(21) Ibid. XXIV, 3.
(22) Lit., ‘permits.’
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 14a
Her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife.1 Then perhaps she is like a
wife in all respects?2 — You may not think so. For it was taught: I might think that money or deed
can complete her acquisition, just as intercourse does; therefore it is written, and perform the duty of
an husband's brother unto her:3 teaching, intercourse alone completes the acquisition of her, but
money or deed does not complete the acquisition of her. Yet perhaps what is the purpose of ‘and
perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her’? It is that he can take her by force?4 — If so,
Scripture should have stated: ‘and perform the duty of a husband's brother’,5 why [add] ‘unto her’?
Hence both are learnt from it.6
[AND ACQUIRES HER FREEDOM] BY HALIZAH. Whence do we know it?7 — From the
verse: And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed:8 once there
has been the loosening of the shoe in her case, she is permitted to all Israel. Does then this [word]
‘Israel’ come to teach this? But it is necessary for what R. Samuel b. Judah learnt: [Halizah must be
performed] at a Beth din of [naturally born] Israelites, but not at a Beth din of proselytes. — ‘In
Israel’ is written twice.9 Yet it is still required for what was taught: R. Judah said: We were once
sitting before R. Tarfon, when a woman came to perform halizah. Thereupon he instructed us, Do all
of you respond and say: ‘He that hath his shoe loosed, he that hath his shoe loosed’?10 — That is
derived from, and his name shall be called.11
OR THE YABAM'S DEATH. How do we know it? — A fortiori: if a married woman, who is
[forbidden to others] on pain of strangulation, is freed12 by her husband's death; then a yebamah,
who is [forbidden only] by a negative precept,13 is surely [freed by the yabam's death]. As for a
married woman, [it may be asked] that is because she is freed14 by divorce! Will you say [the same]
of this one a yebamah], who is not freed [from the Levirate tie] by divorce? — She too is freed by
halizah.15 But [refute it thus]: as for a married woman, that is because he who binds her frees her!16
— Said R. Ashi: In her case too, he who binds her frees her: the yabam binds her, the yabam frees
Now, let a married woman be freed by halizah, a minori: if a yebamah, who is not freed by
divorce, is freed by halizah; then this one [a married woman], who is freed by divorce, is certainly
freed by halizah! — Scripture saith, [then he shall write her] a deed of divorcement,18 thus, a deed
may divorce her, but nothing else can divorce her. Now, let a yebamah be freed by divorce, a minori:
if a married woman, who is not freed by halizah, is freed by divorce: then this one [a yebamah], who
is freed by halizah, is surely freed by divorce! — Scripture states: Thus [shall it be done, etc.]19 and
‘thus’ intimates indispensableness.20 Now, wherever there is an intimation of indispensableness, do
we not infer a minori? But what of the Day of Atonement, where ‘lot’ and ‘statute’ are written,21 yet
it was taught: [And Aaron shall present the goat upon which the lot fell for the Lord,] and offer him
for a sin-offering:22 the lot renders it a sin-offering, but designation does not render it a
sin-offering.23 For I might have thought, Does not [the reverse] follow a minori: if designation
sanctifies where lot does not,24 how much the more would designation satisfy where lot does!
Therefore it is said: ‘and offer him for a sin-offering,’ teaching, the lot renders it a sin-offering, but
designation does not render it a sin-offering. Thus, it is only because Scripture excluded it
[designation]; but otherwise we would infer a minori, notwithstanding that statute is written!25 —
Scripture saith, ‘[then he shall write] her [a deed of divorcement]’: for ‘her’, but not for a yebamah.
Yet perhaps ‘her’ teaches that it must be for her sake?26 — ‘Her’ is written twice.27 Yet even so they
are needed: one ‘her’ [intimating that it must be] for her sake; and the other ‘her’ teaching, but not
for her and her companion?28 — But Scripture saith, ‘[the house of him that hath a] shoe [loosed]:’
only a shoe [can set her free], but nothing else can.29 Does ‘shoe’ come to teach this? But it is
necessary for what was taught: ‘And she shall loose his shoe:30 I know only [that she must loosen]
his shoe; whence do I know [that it may be] any man's shoe?31 From the verse: ‘[the house of him
that hath] the shoe [loosed]:’ ‘shoe’ is an extension.32 ‘If so, who state, ‘his shoe’? — ‘His shoe’
[intimates that it must fit him, [thus] excluding one [too] large, in which he cannot walk, and one
[too] small, which does not cover the greater part of his foot, excluding
(1) Ibid. XXV, 5.
(2) To be acquired by money or deed too?
(3) I.e., have intercourse with her. Ibid. This is really a repetition of the first part of the verse, and therefore emphasizes
(4) That being taught by the repetition.
(5) This would have sufficed to emphasize intercourse alone as a means of acquisition.
(6) ‘unto her’ implying even against her will.
(7) The passage a.I. does not state that halizah frees her, but merely that it must be performed if the yabam refuses her.
(8) Ibid. 10.
(9) In Deut. XXV, 7 and 10.
(10) Heb. haluz ha-na'al, haluz ha-na'al — i.e., those present must actually say these words as part of the ceremony.
(11) Leaving ‘in Israel’ free for another purpose.
(12) Lit., ‘permitted’.
(13) Ibid. 5: the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger.
(14) Lit., ‘goes out’.
(15) Thus another means of freedom being found for each, the a fortiori argument holds good.
(16) But a yebamah is forbidden to others on account of her dead husband, whereas it is to be proved that the yabam's
death frees her.
(17) But for the existence of the yabam, her husband's death would have freed her. Hence it is really he who is
(18) Deut XXIV, 1.
(19) Ibid. XXV, 9.
(20) The emphatic ‘thus’ indicates that the ceremony prescribed is indispensable. and that nothing else can achieve the
(21) And it is a principle that ‘statute’ likewise indicates indispensableness.
(22) Lev. XVI, 9.
(23) If he merely designates it a sin-offering, without having previously chosen it by lot, it is invalid.
(24) Sc. in the case of the two pigeons, one a sin-offering and the other a burnt-offering. brought for the offences
enumerated in Lev. V, 1-4. If he designates each for a particular sacrifice, the designation stands and cannot be revoked.
But if he casts lots, it is of no avail, and he can then sacrifice each as he wishes.
(25) And this shall be a statute for ever unto you; Lev. XVI, 29.
(26) V. p. 34. n. 8.
(27) In Deut. XXIV. 1 and 3.
(28) If a man has two wives of the same name, he cannot divorce both with the same document, even though it is
expressly written for them, v. Git.87a.
(29) Rashi: because ‘shoe’ is superfluous, as the verse could have read: ‘the house of him that was loosed’.
(30) Deut. XXV, 9.
(31) Which the yabam is wearing.
(32) Shewing that any person's may be used. The E.V. has ‘his shoe’ here too, but ‘his’ is not in the original.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 14b
a sandal consisting of a mere sole, which has no heel! — If so,1 Scripture should have written ‘shoe’;
why ‘the shoe’? That both may be inferred therefrom.2
MISHNAH. A HEBREW SLAVE IS ACQUIRED BY MONEY AND BY DEED; AND
ACQUIRES HIMSELF BY YEARS,3 BY JUBILEE,4 AND BY DEDUCTION FROM THE
PURCHASE PRICE.5 A HEBREW MAIDSERVANT IS MORE [PRIVILEGED] IN THAT SHE
ACQUIRES HERSELF BY ‘SIGNS’.6 HE WHOSE EAR IS BORED7 IS ACQUIRED BY
BORING, AND ACQUIRES HIMSELF BY JUBILEE OR HIS MASTER'S DEATH.
GEMARA. A HEBREW SLAVE IS ACQUIRED BY MONEY. How do we know this? —
Scripture states, [he shall give back the price of his redemption] out of the money that he was bought
for:8 this teaches that he was acquired by money. We have [thus] learnt9 it in the case of a Hebrew
slave sold to a heathen, since his sole method of acquisition is by money:’10 how do we know it of
one sold to an Israelite?11 — Scripture states: Then shall he let her be redeemed:12 this teaches that
she deducts [part] of her redemption money and goes out [free].13 We have thus learned it in the case
of a Hebrew bondmaid: since she is betrothed with money,14 she is acquired with money; how do we
know it of a Hebrew Slave? — The Writ saith, If thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman
be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years:15 thus a Hebrew manservant is assimilated to a Hebrew
maidservant. We have now learnt it of one sold by Beth din,16 since he was sold against his will;17
how do we know it of one who sells himself? — We learn [identity of law from] the repeated use of
‘sakir’.18 Now, that is well according to him who accepts the deduction of the repeated use of
‘sakir’;19 but according to him who does not , what can be said? — Scripture states, and if a stranger
or sojourner with thee be waxen rich,20 thus continuing21 the preceding section,22 so that [the
subject] above may be deduced from [that] below.23
And which Tanna does not admit the deduction from the repeated use of sakir? — The following
Tanna. For it was taught: He who sells himself may be sold for six years or more than six years; if
sold by Beth din, he may be sold for six years only. He who sells himself may not be bored;24 if sold
by Beth din, he may be bored. He who sells himself, has no gift made to him;25 if sold by Beth din, a
gift is made to him.26 To him who sells himself, his master cannot give a Canaanite bondmaid;27 if
sold by Beth din, his master can give him a Canaanite bondmaid. R. Eleazar28 said: Neither may be
sold for more than six years; both may be bored; to both a gift is made; and to both the master may
give a Canaanite bondmaid. Surely they differ on this point: the first Tanna does not admit the
deduction of the repeated use of sakir, while R. Eleazar does?29 Said R. Tabyomi in Abaye's name:
All admit the deduction of the repeated use of sakir, but here they differ on the following: What is
the reason of the first Tanna, who maintained, He who sells himself may be sold for six years or
more than six years? [Because] Scripture expressed a limitation In connection with one sold by Beth
din: and he shall serve thee six years:30 ‘he,’ but not one who sells himself. And the other?31 — ‘And
he shall serve thee’ [intimates] ‘thee’, but not thine heir.32 And the other?33 — Another ‘served thee’
is written.34 And the other?35 — That comes [to teach] that the master must be willing [to make a
What is the reason of the first Tanna who maintained that one who sells himself is not bored?
Because Scripture expressed a limitation in connection with one sold by Beth din: and his master
shall bore his ear through with an awl,37 [implying] his ear, but not the ear of him who sold
(1) That its only purpose is to shew that any persons shoe may be used.
(2) The def. art. shews that a shoe is the means of freeing her, and nothing else can.
(3) I.e., when he has served six years. Ex. XXI, 2.
(4) If this intervened before he had completed his six years of servitude.
(5) At any time by a pro rata repayment, taking into account the time he still has to serve.
(6) Of puberty.
(7) I.e., a slave who refuses his freedom at the expiration of six years; v. Ex. XXI, 5f.
(8) Lev. XXV, 51.
(9) Lit., ‘found’.
(10) It is stated infra 26a, that movables are acquired by meshikah (v. Glos.); this, however, holds good only of a Jewish
purchaser, not a Gentile, who can acquire them only by giving the money.
(11) The whole discussion turns on the question which act formally consummates the transaction. Though a purchase is
naturally effected by money, in the case of some property the delivery of money does not consummate the transaction,
and both sides may retract. On the other hand, meshikah (q.v. Glos.) in the case of movables completes the transaction
even before the delivery of the purchase price, which ranks as an ordinary loan. Hence the question here: how do we
know that the delivery of money consummates the purchase of a Hebrew slave?
(12) Ex. XXI, 8.
(13) [R. Tam: Just as she acquires herself by money so is she acquired by money.] Rashi: Since Scripture writes, ‘then
shall he let (or cause) her to be redeemed’, not, then shall she be redeemed, it shews that the master must help her
redemption by accepting less than he paid for her, on a pro rata basis, as explained on p. 59, n. 6; hence she must have
been bought with money — otherwise, from what is a deduction to be made? Of course, as pointed out on p. 59, n. 12, it
is understood that money was paid. But the point is this: This exegesis shews that immediately on repaying the money
she becomes free and no other formality is necessary. But if the purchase itself required some form of acquisition apart
from the payment of the purchase price, e.g., deed, she would require the same on buying herself back (Maharam).
(14) Which is also a form of acquisition.
(15) Deut. XV, 12.
(16) For ‘if thy brother be sold’ implies by someone else, viz., Beth din, for theft: v. Ex. XXII, 2.
(17) Therefore, a strong form of acquisition, e.g., the symbolical act of hazakah (v. infra 26a and Glos.) is unnecessary,
and the delivery of money suffices.
(18) Hired servant; this word is used in connection with both. One who sells himself, Lev. XXV, 39f: And if thy brother
. . . sell himself unto thee . . . as an hired servant (sakir) he shall be with thee. One sold by Beth din, Deut. XV, 12-18: If
thy brother . . . be sold unto thee . . . it shall not seem hard unto thee, when thou lettest him go free from thee; for to the
double of the hire of a hired servant (sakir, E.V. ‘hireling’) hath he served thee six years. The use of ‘sakir’ in both cases
teaches that the same method of purchase holds good in both cases.
(19) Lit., ‘who infers ‘sakir’ from ‘sakir’.
(20) Lev. XXV, 47.
(21) Lit., ‘adding to’.
(22) Lit., ‘subject’.
(23) It is an exegetical principle that when a passage commences with ‘and’, this conjunction links it to the previous
portion, and a law stated in one applies to the other too. Thus this ‘and’ links vv. 39-46, dealing with a Hebrew slave
who sells himself to a Jew, with vv.47-55, treating of one who sells himself to a non-Jew. Just as the purchase of the
latter is consummated by money, so is that of the former too.
(24) He must accept his freedom at the end of six years, and the provisions of Ex. XXI, 5f (q.v.) do not apply to him.
(25) By his master, on attaining his freedom.
(26) Deut. XV, 13f: And when thou lettest him go free from thee, . . . thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock etc.
(27) To beget slaves for him.
(28) This is the reading of most editions: Tosaf. (15a s.v.Ishtu) gives another reading, R. Eliezer, which will refer to R.
Eliezer b. Hyrcanus. There were several Tannaim of the first name, and the halachah may agree with them; but if
Tosaf.’s reading is correct, the halachah is definitely not so, for it is a principle that the halachah never agrees with R.
Eliezer b. Hyrcanus when he is in dispute with others (v. B.M. 59b, (Sonc. ed.) pp. 352f, for reason).
(29) Hence they are alike in all respects.
(30) Deut. XV, 12: this refers to a person sold by Beth din; v. p. 60, n. 4.
(31) R. Eleazar: does he not admit the force of this limitation?
(32) Other than a son; v. infra 17b.
(33) The first Tanna: does he not admit that the word is required for the latter purpose.
(34) Ibid. 18, quoted p. 60, n. 6; in Heb. the same word is used here for both tenses, the difference being indicated by the
so-called waw conversive; v. Davidson, Heb. Grammar, ** 23, 3.
(35) R. Eleazar: how does he utilize the second ‘served thee?’
(36) ‘Served thee’ in v. 18 is written in connection with this.
(37) Ex. XXI, 6; the whole passage a.l. refers to one sold by Beth din; v. pp. 64ff.
(38) Rashi: Because ‘his ear’ is superfluous, as it is written in Deut. XV,17: then thou shalt take on owl, and thrust it
through his ear unto the door.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 15a
And the other?1 — That comes for the purpose of a gezerah shawah.2 For it was taught: R. Eliezer
said: How do we know that the boring must be through the right ear? Here is said: ‘ear’: and
elsewhere is said, [and the priest shall take some of the blood . . . and put it upon the tip of the right]
ear etc.,:3 just as there the right is meant, so here too, the right is meant. And the other?4 — If so,5
Scripture should have written ‘ear’; why ‘his ear’?6 And the other?7 — That is needed: ‘his ear’, but
not her ear.8 And the other? — He deduces that from, but if the bondsman shall plainly say:9 the
bondsman, but not the bondmaid. And the other? — He needs that [to teach]: he must say it while
yet a slave.10 And the other? — That is derived from ‘the bondsman’ [instead of] bondsman.11 —
And the other? — [The difference between] the bondsman and bondsman affords no basis for
What is the reason of the first Tanna who maintained, He who sells himself, no gift is made to
him? — Scripture expressed a limitation in connection with one sold by Beth din: thou shalt furnish
him liberally;12 ‘him’, but not one who sells himself. And the other?13 — He needs that: ‘him’, but
not his heirs.14 (‘His heirs’: why not? The All-Merciful designated him a hired servant [sakir]: just as
the wages of a hired servant belong to his heirs,15 So here too, his wages16 belong to his heirs? —
But [say thus:]) ‘him’, but not his creditor.17 [This is necessary,] because elsewhere we agree with R.
Nathan, as it was taught: R. Nathan said: How do we know that if a man claims from another and
then one claims [the same amount] from a third, that we collect from the last named and give it to the
first [creditor]? From the verse, and he shall give it unto him to whom he is indebted.18 Therefore
‘him’ comes to exclude that [from the case of a slave]. And the other? — Elsewhere we do in fact
disagree with R.Nathan.19
What is the reason of the first Tanna who maintained, To him who sells himself, his master cannot
give a Canaanite bondsmaid? Scripture expressed a limitation in connection with one sold by Beth
din: If his master give him a wife,20 [implying], him, but not one who sells himself. And the other?
— ‘Him’ [intimates] even against his will. And the other?21 — That is deduced from, for to the
double of the hire of a hired servant [hath he served thee].22 For it was taught: ‘For to the double of
the hire of a hired servant hath he served thee:’ a hired servant works by day only, whereas a Hebrew
slave works by day and night. Yet can you really imagine that a Hebrew slave works by day and
night: is it not written, because he is well with thee,23 [teaching] that he must be [on a par] with thee
in food and drink? and R. Isaac answered thus: From this follows that his master can give him a
Canaanite bondmaid.24 And the other?25 — If from there, I might have said: That is only with his
consent, but not against his will; therefore we are told [otherwise].
Then which Tanna does not accept the deduction from the repetition of ‘sakir’? — It is this Tanna.
For it was taught: And if thy brother sell himself unto thee . . . he shall serve thee unto the years of
jubilee. And then . . . he shall returns unto his family, etc.:26 R. Eliezer b. Jacob said: Of whom does
Scripture speak? If of him who sells himself — then it was already stated.27 If of him whose ear was
bored — that too was already stated.28 Hence Scripture refers [here] only to him whom Beth din sold
two or three years before jubilee, [thus teaching] that jubilee liberates him. Now, should you think
that he [R. Eliezer b. Jacob] accepts the deduction of the repeated use of ‘sakir’, why is it [the verse
cited] necessary; let him make the aforementioned deduction?29 — Said R. Nahman b. Isaac: After
all, he does make this deduction; nevertheless it [the verse quoted] is necessary. I might have
thought, only he who sells himself,30 because he committed no offence; but as for one sold by Beth
din, who committed an offence, I might say: Let him be punished; therefore we are informed [that it
is not so].
The Master said: ‘If of him whose ear was bored — that too was already stated.’ What is this?31
— For it was taught: [It shall be a jubilee unto you;] and ye shall return every man unto his
possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.32 To what does Scripture refer? If to one
who sells himself — it was already stated;33 if to one sold by Beth din — that [too] was already
stated.34 Hence the Writ can only refer to one whose ear was bored two or three years before jubilee,
[teaching] that jubilee liberates him. How is this implied?35 — Said Raba b. Shila: Scripture saith,
[and ye shall return every] man: now, what thing is practised in the case of a man but not of a
woman? Say: boring. Now, [both cases,] one sold by Beth din, and one who was bored,36 must be
written. For had we been informed [this] of him whom Beth din sold, [I might say] that is because
his term had not expired;37 but as for him whose ear was bored, seeing that his term had already
expired, I might have said: let him be punished!38 And if we were informed [this] of him whose ear
was bored, [I might say] that is because he had already served six years; but as for him who has been
sold by Beth din, who had not yet served six years, I might have argued: he is not [liberated]. Thus
both are necessary.
Now, both ‘and ye shall return’ and ‘[and he shall serve him] for ever’39 must be written .40 For
had the All-Merciful written ‘for ever’ [only], I would have thought, literally for ever; therefore the
All-Merciful wrote ‘and ye shall return’. And had the All-Merciful written ‘and ye shall return’
[only], I would have thought: when is that?41 If he had not served six years [after being bored]; but if
he had already served six years, his last phase should not be more stringent than his first: just as his
first phase42 was for six years, so should his last be for six years [only]; hence ‘for ever’ teaches us,
for the eternity of jubilee.43
Then [the question again arises,] which Tanna does not accept the deduction of ‘sakir’, ‘sakir’? —
It is Rabbi. For it was taught:
(1) R. Eleazar: What does ‘his ear’ teach, on his view?
(2) V. Glos.
(3) Lev. XIV, 25, also in v. 28. This refers to a poor leper, and the whole section on the sprinkling etc., is superfluous,
since is stated in vv. 14ff., in connection with a leper of means: hence it is for the purpose of exegesis (Rashi).
(4) The first Tanna: whence does he know this?
(5) That its only purpose is the gezerah shawah.
(6) Surely to intimate the limitation stated above.
(7) R. Eleazar: why state, ‘his’?
(8) Teaching that a Hebrew bondsmaid cannot be bored.
(9) Ex. XXI, 5f., q.v.
(10) I.e., before the expiration of his six years.
(11) The def. art. emphasizes that he must still be a slave when he refuses his freedom. Hence the substantive itself
excludes a bondsmaid.
(12) Deut. XV, 14.
(13) R. Eleazar: how does he utilize ‘him’?
(14) If the slave dies before his master makes him the gift.
(15) If he dies before receiving them.
(16) Of which this gift is part.
(17) If the slave owes money, the gift is not to be given to his creditor. — The Wilna Gaon substitutes the following for
the bracketed passage: And the other? (The first Tanna: whence does he exclude the heirs?) — ‘Him’ is written twice,
(of that wherewith the Lord thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him). And the other? — That is needed:
‘him’, but not his creditor.
(18) Num. V, 7: translating, and he (the last debtor) shall give it unto him (the first creditor), to whom he (the second
creditor) is indebted. By analogy, the master ought to deliver the gift direct to the slave's creditor.
(19) Hence no particular verse is needed for a slave.
(20) Ex. XXI, 4.
(21) The first Tanna: how does he know this?
(22) Deut. XV, 18.
(23) Ibid. 16.
(24) This must be the night service referred to.
(25) Why deduce it from ‘him’?
(26) Lev. XXV, 39f: the word translated ‘sell himself may also mean ‘be sold.’
(27) ‘He shall serve thee unto the year of Jubilee’, when he obviously returns to his family.
(28) The Talmud asks below, where?
(29) From which the same follows.
(30) Is thus prematurely liberated by jubilee.
(31) I.e., where was it stated?
(32) Lev. XXV, 10.
(33) As mentioned in the passage above. — It should be observed that the Talmud refers to a law as ‘already stated,’
even when it occurs further on in the chapter or book, as here; thus it is the equivalent of ‘stated elsewhere.’
(34) Then he shall return unto his family (Ibid. 41), interpreted above as referring to this case.
(35) In the verse.
(36) Each two or three years before jubilee.
(37) Lit., ‘his time (for freedom) had not come,’ and it was his good fortune that the jubilee supervened.
(38) For voluntarily choosing servitude when he might have been free. — This hypothetical reasoning may appear
curious: but it arises out of the Jewish insistence on the fundamental freedom of man.
(39) Ex. XXI, 6.
(40) Both refer to one whose ear was bored: the first, by inference; the second, explicitly (vv. 5, 6). On the surface, they
(41) That he must wait for jubilee.
(42) I.e., when first sold.
(43) I.e., , he is a slave until then, no matter how long.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 15b
And if he be not redeemed by these, etc.:1 Rabbi said: He may be redeemed by these, but not by Six
[years].2 For I might have argued, Does it not follow a minori: if he3 who cannot be redeemed by
these4 is redeemed by six [years], then this one, who may be redeemed by these, is surely redeemed
by six years? Therefore it is written: ‘by these’: teaching, he may be redeemed by these, but not by
six years. Now, should you think that he [Rabbi] accepts the deduction from ‘sakir’, used twice, why
does he Say, ‘if he who cannot be redeemed by these’: let us deduce [similarity of law from] the
repetition of sakir?5 — Said R. Nahman b. Isaac: After all, he does accept the deduction of ‘sakir’,
‘sakir’; yet here it is different, because Scripture saith, [one of his brethren] shall redeem him.6
[implying] him, but not another.7
And what Tanna disagrees with Rabbi? — R. Jose the Galilean and R. Akiba. For it was taught:
‘And if he be not redeemed by these’ — R. Jose the Galilean said: If ‘by these’, it is for freedom, if
by strangers,8 it is for servitude.9 R. Akiba said: If ‘by these’,it is for servitude: if by strangers, it is
for freedom. What is the reason of R. Jose the Galilean? — Scripture saith, ‘And if he be not
redeemed by these’ — but by a stranger — ‘then he shall go out in the year of jubilee’.10 While R.
Akiba interprets: ‘And if he be not redeemed by any but these, then he shall go out in the year of
jubilee’. And R. Jose the Galilean?11 — Is it then written: ‘by any but these’?12 But they differ in
respect of the following verse: Or his uncle, or his uncle's son may redeem him:13 this is redemption
by relations; or if he be waxen rich:13 this is self redemption: and he shall be redeemed:13 this is
redemption by strangers. Now, R. Jose the Galilean holds: a verse is interpreted with what precedes
it. [Hence] link14 redemption by relations with self-redemption: just as self-redemption is for
freedom, so is that by relatives. While R. Akiba maintains: a verse is interpreted with what follows:
[hence] link redemption by strangers with self redemption: just as the latter is for freedom, so is the
former. If so, why state ‘by these’?15 — But for ‘by these’, I would have said: the verse is interpreted
with what precedes and what follows it, so that [the redemption of] all is for freedom. If so, the
difficulty remains in16 its place?17 — But they differ on a matter of logic. R. Jose the Galilean holds:
It is logical that redemption by strangers is for servitude; for should you say it is for freedom, they
will refrain from redeeming him. While R. Akiba holds: It is logical that redemption by kinsmen is
for servitude: for should you say that it is for freedom, he will go every day and sell himself!18 R.
Hiyya b. Abba said: These are the views of R. Jose the Galilean and R. Akiba: but the Sages
maintain, [The redemption of] all is for freedom. Who are the Sages? — Rabbi, who employs this
‘by these’ for a different exegesis,19 while the verse is interpreted with both what precedes and what
And Rabbi, how does he utilize this [verse] ‘then he shall go out in the year of jubilee’? — He
needs it for what was taught: ‘Then he shall go out in the year of jubilee’:
(1) Lev. XXV, 54: the section deals with the Hebrew slave of a Gentile, and ‘these’ refers to his relatives, mentioned in
(2) I.e., he is not set free after six years of service.
(3) Sc. a Hebrew slave sold to a Jew.
(4) Redemption by relatives is not mentioned in his case.
(5) V. p. 60, n. 6.
(6) Ibid. 48.
(7) Sc. a slave sold to a Jew.
(8) Lit., ‘the rest of people.’
(9) If a relation redeems him, he goes free; if a stranger, he becomes his slave.
(10) And until then he is the stranger's slave.
(11) How does he refute R. Akiba?
(12) Surely not! This is the reading in the curr. edd. Other versions, more plausibly: And R. Akiba: is it then written,
etc.? This is both more logical and in keeping with what follows.
(13) Lev. XXV, 49.
(14) Lit., ‘cast.’
(15) Which implies: if he is not redeemed by these, but by relatives, then he shall go out etc.; this contradicts R. Akiba.
(16) Lit., ‘reverts to.’
(17) Since this verse may mean that he is free no matter who redeems him, how can R. Akiba interpret v. 54 as meaning
that if redeemed by relatives it is for servitude?
(18) And it is unfair to saddle his relations with the duty of redeeming him.
(19) As stated supra.
(20) Hence contrari-wise, R. Jose the Galilean and R. Akiba reject Rabbi's deduction.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 16a
this refers to a heathen who is under your rule.1 Yet perhaps it is not so, the reference being to a
heathen who is not under your rule? — You can answer; [if so,] what can be done to him?2 Hence
Scripture speaks only of a heathen who is under your rule.
AND BY DEED. Whence do we know it? — Said ‘Ulla, Scripture saith, If he take him another
[wife]:3 thus the Writ assimilated her [the Hebrew bondmaid] to another [wife]: just as the other [sc.
the wife] is acquired by deed, so is a Hebrew maidservant acquired by deed. Now, that is well on the
view that the deed of a Hebrew bondmaid is written by her master;4 but on the view that her father
writes it, what can be said? For it has been stated: As to the deed of a Hebrew bondmaid, who writes
it? R. Huna maintained: The master writes it; R. Hisda said: Her father writes it. [Hence] it is well
according to R. Huna; but on R. Hisda's view, what can be said? — R. Aha b. Jacob answered:
Scripture saith, she shall not go out as the menservants do:5 [implying,] but she may be acquired as
[heathen] menservants are;6 and what is that? By deed. Then say: but she may be acquired as
[heathen] menservants are, and what is that? Hazakah!7 — Scripture saith, And ye shall make them
[the heathen slaves] an inheritance for your children after you:8 only they [are acquired] by hazakah,
but not another.9 Then say: Only they [are acquired] by deed, but not another? — But it is written,
she shall not go out as menservants do.10 And why do you prefer it so?11 — It is logical that ‘deed’ is
included [as a means of acquisition], since it divorces an Israelite daughter.12 On the contrary, one
should rather include hazakah, since it acquires the property of a proselyte?13 — Still we do not find
it in marriage relationship.14 Alternatively, if ‘he take another’ serves that very purpose.15 And R.
Huna: how does he expound this [verse,] She shall not go out as the menservants do?16 — He
employs that as intimating that she does not go out [free] through [the loss of her] outstanding limbs,
as a [heathen] slave.17 And R. Hisda?18 — If so, Scripture should have written: ‘she shall not go out
as menservants’; why, as the going out of menservants?19 That both may be inferred.20
AND ACQUIRES HIMSELF BY YEARS. For it is written, six years he shall serve: and in the
seventh he shall go out free for nothing.21 AND BY JUBILEE. For it is written, he shall serve with
thee unto the year of jubilee.22
AND BY DEDUCTION FROM THE PURCHASE PRICE. Hezekiah said: Because Scripture
saith, Then shall he let her be redeemed:23 this teaches that she makes a deduction from her
redemption money and goes out [free].24
A Tanna taught: And he may acquire himself by money, its equivalent, and by deed. Now, as for
money, ‘tis well, for it is written, [he shall give back the price of his redemption] out of the money
he was bought for.25 As for its equivalent too — Scripture wrote, ‘he shall give back the price of his
redemption,’ to include the equivalent of money as being equal to money.26 But this deed, how is it
meant? Shall we say that he [the slave] indites a bond for the [redemption] money? Then it is money!
But if it is [a deed of] manumission, why is a deed necessary? Let him say to him in the presence of
two, or in the presence of a Beth din, ‘Go’? — Said Raba: This proves that a Hebrew slave belongs
bodily [to his master]:27 hence if the master remits his deduction,28 the deduction is not remitted.29
A HEBREW MAIDSERVANT IS MORE [PRIVILEGED] THAN HE. Resh Lakish said: A
Hebrew bondmaid is freed30 from her master's authority by her father's death, a minori: if signs,31
which do not free her from her father's authority, free her from the authority of her master;32 then
how much the more death, which frees her from her father's authority, should free33 her from her
master's authority! R. Hoshea raised an objection: A HEBREW MAIDSERVANT IS MORE
[PRIVILEGED] THAN HE, IN THAT SHE ACQUIRES HERSELF BY ‘SIGNS’; but if this [Resh
Lakish's dictum] be so, let her father's death also be stated? — He [the Tanna] teaches [some ways,]
and omits34 [others]. But what else does he omit, that he omits this?35 — He omits her master's
death.36 If it is on account of her master's death37 — that is no omission; since that applies to a male
[slave] too, it is not taught. Then let it be taught!38 — That which may be fixed is taught;39 that
which can not be fixed is not taught. But ‘SIGNS’, which are not fixed,40 are nevertheless taught? —
Said R. Safra: They are not fixed above, yet are fixed
(1) Lit., ‘hand.’ Even then, the Jew must remain his slave until jubilee.
(2) How can he be forced to provide facilities for redemption?
(3) Ex. XXI, 10; i.e., in addition to the Hebrew bondmaid.
(4) I.e., he who acquires her, just as the husband writes the deed to acquire his wife.
(5) Ibid. 7; the comparison is with heathen slaves, who go free if their master blinds them or knocks out their teeth (vv.
26f). Hebrew slaves, however, are not freed, but merely compensated.
(6) Lit., ‘as the acquisition of menservants.’
(7) Glos. and V. infra 22b.
(8) Lev. XXV, 46.
(9) Sc. Hebrew slaves. The Heb. o,kjb,vu we-hithnahaltem, is really applicable to land, and intimates that
heathen slaves are transmitted and acquired like land, viz. , by hazakah.
(10) From which it was deduced that she can be acquired by deed.
(11) Lit., ‘what (reason) do you see’ (for interpreting it thus)? Perhaps Lev. XXV, 46 teaches, only they are acquired by
deed, but not another, while Ex. XXI, 7 intimates, she shall not go out . . . but may he acquired as menservants, viz., by
(12) Hence, just as it is effective in one instance, so also in another, viz., the acquisition of a slave. — Tosaf.: he could
also have said: Because it brings a Jewish daughter into the married state, which is more appropriate, both then referring
to acquisition, but a ‘deed’ is explicitly stated in connection with divorce. A proselyte who dies without Jewish issue has
no legal heirs and his property after death falls to the first occupier by means of hazakah.
(13) And since it can acquire in one case, it can do so in another.
(14) And the purchase of a Hebrew bondmaid is also this: v. p. 45, nn. 7, 9.
(15) To shew that ‘she shall not go out etc.’, teaches that she may be acquired by deed, as is implied by the analogy of
(16) Since on his view, ‘if he take another’ is sufficient to shew that she is acquired by deed.
(17) V. p. 68, n. 4, which is extended to outstanding limbs.
(18) Surely that is the purpose of the verse!
(19) Lit., translation.
(20) The law itself, as stated by R. Huna; while the emphasis on going out’ shews that she may, however, come in, i.e.,
be acquired as they are.
(21) Ex. XXI, 2.
(22) Lev. XXV, 40.
(23) Ex. XXI, 8.
(24) V. p. 60, n. 1, and the same applies to a bondman.
(25) Lev. XXV, 51.
(26) He shall return implies that a return may be made in any way desired.
(27) [In so far as the master could assign to him a Canaanite maidservant for procreation. Nahmanides, quoted by S.
Adreth, Kiddushin, a.l.]
(28) I.e., the sum due for the remainder of the term of bondage.
(29) And the master can reclaim him whenever he wishes. Therefore it is insufficient merely to dismiss him, but he must
give him a deed.
(30) Lit., ‘acquires herself.’
(31) I.e., evidence of puberty.
(32) As stated in the Mishnah, 14b.
(33) In that he does not transmit his rights to her earnings to his heirs.
(34) Lit., ‘leaves over.’
(35) It is reasonable that several items are omitted, but not just one.
(36) For his heirs do not inherit her; infra 17b.
(37) That you say the Tanna also omits her father's death.
(38) That the maid is freed by her father's death, since nothing else is omitted.
(39) The term of six years and the proportionate repayment of the purchase price and the Jubilee are all fixed and
(40) Not all women receive the evidences of puberty at the same age.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 16b
below.1 For ii was taught: If a male, aged nine years, grew two hairs,2 it is a mole;3 from nine years
and a day until twelve years and a day, remaining in him,4 they are a mole. R. Jose son of R. Judah
said: They are a ‘sign’.5 At thirteen years and one day, all admit that they are a ‘sign’.6
R. Shesheth objected: R. Simeon said: Four are presented with gifts [on becoming free], three in
the case of a man, and three in the case of a woman. And you cannot say four in the case of either,
because ‘signs’ do not apply to a man, nor boring to a woman.7 Now if this8 be correct, the father's
death should also be taught? And if you answer: Here too he teaches [some] and omits [others] —
but he states ‘four’?9 And if you answer: He teaches [only] that which is fixed, but not that which is
not fixed — but what of ‘signs’, which are not fixed and which he nevertheless teaches? And if you
reply: Here too it is as R. Safra — but there is the master's death, which is likewise not fixed, and yet
taught? — The master's death too is not taught. Then what are the four? — [i] Years, [ii] jubilee,10
[iii] jubilee for him whose ear was bored, and [iv] a Hebrew bondmaid [freed] by ‘signs’. Reason too
supports this view. For the second part teaches: ‘And you cannot say four in the case of either,
because "signs" do not apply to a man, nor boring to a woman. Now if it be so,11 then in the case of a
woman at least four may be found.12 This proves it.
R. ‘Amram objected: Now, the following are furnished with gifts: He who is freed by [six] years,
by jubilee, and by his master's death, and a Hebrew bondsmaid [freed] by ‘signs’. But if this be
correct, the father's death too should be taught. And should you answer: He teaches and leaves
over-but he states ‘the following’?13 And should you reply: He teaches that which is fixed, but not
that which is not fixed — but what of ‘signs’, which are not fixed, and which he nevertheless
teaches? And should you answer: Here too, it is as R. Safra — but there is the master's death! This
refutation of Resh Lakish is indeed a refutation. But Resh Lakish reasoned a minori! — It is an a
minori which can be refuted. For one can refute it [thus]: as for ‘signs’, that is because there is a
physical change [in her];14 will you say [the same] of her father's death, seeing that there is no
One [Baraitha] taught: The outfit of a Hebrew male slave16 belongs to himself, and that of a
Hebrew female slave to herself. While another [Baraitha] taught: the outfit of a Hebrew female
slave, and her findings, belong to her father, and the master can claim only for loss of time.17 Now
surely one [Baraitha] refers to where she was liberated by ‘signs’,18 while the other means that she
was liberated by her father's death?19 — No: both [Baraithas] refer to liberation by ‘signs’, yet there
is no difficulty. In the one case she has a father, in the other she has not.
Now, as for [teaching,] ‘The outfit of a female slave belongs to herself,’ that is well, [for] it is to
exclude her brothers,20 For it was taught: And ye shall make them [the heathen slaves] an inheritance
for your sons after you21 — ‘them’ for your sons, but not your daughters for your sons. Hence we
learn that one cannot transmit his rights in his daughters to his sons. But as for ‘the outfit of a male
slave belongs to himself — that is obvious! to whom else should it belong? — Said R. Joseph: I see
here a yod [turned into a] town.22 Abaye said: Thus did R. Shesheth say: Who is the authority for
this? Totai. For it was taught: Totai said: [Thou shalt furnish] him [liberally]23 — him, but not his
[To turn to] the main text [above:] ‘Now, the following are furnished with gifts: — He who is
freed by years, jubilee, and his master's death, and a Hebrew bondmaid [freed] by "signs". But no
gift is made to a runaway, or him who is freed by a deduction from his purchase price. R. Meir said:
No gift is made to a runaway; but he who is freed by a deduction from the purchase price is
furnished with a gift. R. Simeon said: Four are presented with gifts, three in the case of a man, and
three in the case of a woman. And you cannot say four in the case of either, because "signs" do not
apply to a man, nor boring to a woman’. How do we know this? — For our Rabbis taught: I might
think that only he who is freed by six [years] is furnished with a gift; how do I know to include one
who is freed by jubilee or by his master's death, and a Hebrew bondmaid [freed] by signs? From the
verses, thou shalt let hint go free from thee. And when thou lettest him go free from thee.25 [Again] I
might think that I include a runaway and one who goes out through a deduction from the purchase
price — therefore it is stated: ‘and when thou lettest hint go free from thee,’ teaching, only he whose
dismissal is from thee,26 thus excluding a runaway and one who is freed by deduction from the
purchase price, whose dismissal is not from thee.27 R. Meir said: A runaway is not furnished with a
gift, since his dismissal is not from thee: but one who is freed by deduction from the purchase price,
whose dismissal is from thee,28 [is presented with a gift]. A runaway? But he must complete [his
term]?29 For it was taught: How do we know that a runaway is bound to complete [his term]? From
the verse, six years he shall serve.30
(1) [They serve as evidence whenever they appear after a certain age, but not if they appear before.]
(2) The normal evidence of puberty.
(3) But not signs of puberty; hair grows out of a mole.
(4) All the time, and not falling out.
(5) Of puberty. But had they fallen out, he too admits that it is only a mole.
(6) Even if they subsequently fall out.
(7) R. Shesheth assumes that the four are: (i) one who is freed on the expiration of six years; (ii) by jubilee; (iii) he
whose ear was bored, freed by his master's death; and (iv) a Hebrew bondmaid freed by ‘signs.’
(8) Resh Lakish's ruling.
(9) Which shews that the number is exact.
(10) If it comes before the end of six years.
(11) That the master's death is taught, as originally assumed.
(12) (i) Her master's death; (ii) six years; (iii) jubilee, and (iv) ‘signs.’
(13) Which indicates only those.
(14) Having attained puberty, she is not really the same person who was sold.
(15) Surely not.
(16) I.e., the gifts with which he is sent away at the end of six years.
(17) Involved in her finding.
(18) Her father still being alive — then the gift belongs to her father.
(19) Which supports Resh Lakish.
(20) Though it would have belonged to her father, had he lived, he does not transmit it as a legacy to his sons, her
(21) Lev. XXV, 46.
(22) ‘A mountain out of a molehill’: the yod, being only a small letter, has grown into a whole town! The Tanna has
swelled his Baraitha by the inclusion of superfluous matter.
(23) Deut. XV, 14.
(24) The gift must not be passed on to the slave's creditor, and that is the Baraitha's teaching.
(25) Ibid. 12, 13 ; the repetition teaches that whatever the cause of his freedom, he must be furnished with a gift.
(26) I.e., with the master's good will.
(27) Since the master is bound to accept a refund, even against his will.
(28) So he regards it.
(29) After which he should certainly receive a present.
(30) Ex. XXI, 2; he must complete the period.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 17a
I might think, even if he fell sick,1 therefore, it is stated, and in the ‘seventh he shall go outfree’! —
R. Shesheth answered: The reference here is to one who escaped, and then jubilee supervened:2 I
might have thought, since jubilee would have emancipated him, we apply to him, ‘his dismissal is
from thee,’ and do not punish but furnish him with a gift. Therefore we are informed [that it is not
The Master said: ‘I might think, even if he fell sick, therefore it is stated: "and in the seventh he
shall go out free ". ‘Even if he was sick the whole of the six [years]? But it was taught: If he was sick
three years and served three years , he is not bound to complete [his term]; but if he was ill the whole
of the six years, he is bound to make it up! — R. Shesheth replied: This means that he was able to
This is self-contradictory. You say: ‘If he was sick three years and served three years, he is not
bound to complete [his term]’: which implies, if four years he must complete [it]. Then consider the
second clause: ‘but if he was ill the whole of the six years, he is bound to make it up’ — implying, if
[only] four, he is not? — This is its meaning:4 if he was four years ill, it is accounted as though he
were indisposed the whole of the six years, and he must make it up.
Our Rabbis taught : With how much is he [the freed slave] presented? With five sela's [worth] of
each kind,5 which is fifteen sela's in all: this is R. Meir s view. R. Judah maintained: Thirty, as the
thirty [paid] for a [heathen] slave.6 R. Simeon said: Fifty, as the fifty of ‘arakin.7
The master said: ‘With five sela's [worth] of each kind, which is fifteen sela's: this is R. Meir's
view.’ Does then R. Meir come to teach us arithmetic? — He tells us this: He may not indeed
diminish his total, but if he gives him less of one kind and more of another, we have no objection.
What is R. Meir's reason? — He learns the meaning of ‘empty’ from a firstborn:8 just as there, five
sela's is meant , so here too five sela's is meant. Then perhaps five sela's in all? — Were ‘empty’
written at the end [of the verse],9 [it would be] as you say. Now, however, that ‘empty’ is written at
the beginning,10 apply [the word] ‘empty’ to ‘flock’, ‘threshing-floor,’ and ‘wine-press’ individually.
But let us learn the meaning of ‘empty’ from the pilgrimage burnt-offering?11 — Scripture saith, as
the Lord thy God hath blessed thee [thou shalt give unto him].12
‘R. Judah maintained: Thirty, as the thirty [paid] for a [heathen] slave.’ What is R. Judah's reason?
— He learns the meaning of ‘giving’ from a slave:13 just as there, thirty is meant, so here too, thirty
is meant. But let us learn the meaning of ‘giving’, from ‘arakin:14 just as there, fifty, so here too,
fifty? — Firstly, because if you seize much, you cannot hold; if you seize little, you can hold;15
moreover, one should rather deduce slave from slave. ‘R. Simeon said: Fifty, as the fifty of ‘arakin.’
What is R. Simeon's reason? — He learns the meaning of ‘giving’ from ‘arakin: just as there, fifty,
so here too, fifty. But perhaps [the comparison is] with the least [sum] of ‘arakin?16 — It is written,
as the Lord thy God hath blessed thee.17 But let us learn the meaning of ‘giving’ from a slave: just as
there, thirty, so here too thirty: [for] firstly, if you seize much, you cannot hold; if you seize little,
you can hold; and moreover, one should rather deduce slave from slave? — R. Simeon deduces
‘poverty’ from ‘poverty’.18
Now, as for R. Meir, it is well: for that reason19 ‘flocks, threshing floor’ and ‘wine.press’ are
[specifically] stated. But on the views of R. Judah and R. Simeon, why are these necessary?20 —
They are necessary, even as it was taught: I might think that the gift can be made only of flocks, the
threshing-floor, and the wine-press: how do I know that all things are included? From the verse: ‘as
[i.e., with whatever] the Lord thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him’. If so, why state
‘flocks, threshing-floor, and wine-press’? To inform you: just as these are distinguished in that they
fall within the scope of ‘blessing’, so must everything [given to the slave] fall within the scope of
‘blessing’, thus excluding cash money:21 this is R. Simeon's view. R. Eliezer b. Jacob said: excluding
mules.22 And R. Simeon?23 — Mules are themselves capable of improvement. And R. Eliezer b.
Jacob?24 — One can engage in business with money.25 Now, they are [all] necessary. For had
Scripture mentioned ‘flocks’, I would have thought, only livestock [may be given], but not
agricultural produce: [therefore] Scripture wrote ‘threshing.floor’. And had it written
‘threshing-floor’, I would have said, only agricultural produce; [therefore] Scripture wrote
‘threshing-floor’. And had it written ‘threshing-floor’, I would have said, only agricultural produce,
but not livestock: hence Scripture wrote ‘flocks’. Why do I need ‘wine-press’?
(1) During the period, he is bound to make up for it after the six years.
(2) Immediately — say, a day after.
(3) I.e., light work — then he is not bound to complete his term. — Krauss, T.A. 1, 159 translates: Schneiderhandwerk,
(4) Of the second clause.
(5) Viz., ‘out of thy flock, and out of thy threshing floor (i.e., grain), and out of thy winepress’ — Deut. XV, 14.
(6) Killed by an ox, v. Ex. XXI, 32.
(7) V. Glos. If one vows his own worth to the Temple. he must pay according to a fixed scale, which in the case of an
adult man is fifty sela's; Lev. XXVII, 3.
(8) Here: thou shalt not let him go empty — Deut. XV, 13 ; firstborn; All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem.
And none shall appear before me empty — Ex. XXXIV, 20. A firstborn is redeemed with five shekels — Num. XVIII,
(9) ‘Thou shalt furnish . . . thy wine-press; and thou shalt not let him go empty.
(10) Before the enumeration of the three kinds.
(11) Lit., ‘the burnt offering of appearing’ cf. Ex. XXIII, 14, 15: Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year .
. . and none shall appear before me empty. This is interpreted in Hag. 2a and 6a that a burnt-offering must be brought,
the minimum value of which must be either two silver ma'ahs or one silver ma'ah according to Beth Shammai and Beth
Hillel respectively. Why then not assume the same here?
(12) Deut. XV, 14; hence the deduction of the larger sum from the firstborn.
(13) Here: thou shalt give unto him; slave: If the ox gore a manservant or a maidservant, he shall give unto that master
thirty shekels of silver — Ex. XXI, 32.
(14) Actually, ‘giving’ is not mentioned in the whole passage on ‘arakin (Lev. XXVII, 1-8). It is probable, however, that
the Talmud here relies on a Baraitha in Hul. 139a, which states that the verse, then he shall give thine estimation in that
day, as a holy thing unto the Lord (v. 23) refers to the valuation of man, notwithstanding that the section as a whole (vv.
22f) deals with the sanctification of fields (S. Strashun).
(15) I.e., given a choice of two deductions, select that which gives the smaller number.
(16) Five shekels, Lev. XXVII, 6.
(17) V. p. 75, n. 5.
(18) [Or, ‘he learnt on tradition (from his teacher; the deduction of) ‘arakin ‘poverty" (from) ‘poverty" ‘it being the rule
that no one may draw a conclusion from a qezerah shawah on one's own authority, v. Pes. 66a and Rashi.] Not ‘giving’
from ‘giving’. — Slave: and if thy brother be waxen poor with thee, and sell himself unto thee — Lev. XXV, 39:
‘arakin: but if he be poorer than thy estimation etc., — ibid. XXVII, 8. Hence the two passages illumine each other, and
shew that a slave's gift is fifty sela's.
(19) Sc. the deduction of ‘empty’ should be applied to each kind separately.
(20) Since the sum is learnt from elsewhere, while the gift need not be of these three in particular, as stated in the
(21) These may be blessed by God in respect of natural increase. But money has no natural increase.
(22) Which were considered unproductive; cf. Meg. 13 b, Gen. Rab.41 ; the mule was held to be a hybrid. cf. Pes. 54a:
Adam took two animals (of different kinds) . . . and from them ‘came forth a mule’: v. Lewysohn, Zoologie, p. 144.
(23) Why does he not exclude mules?
(24) Why does he not exclude money?
(25) And it is thus capable of a blessing.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 17b
— According to one Master, to exclude money; according to the other, to exclude mules.
Our Rabbis taught : ‘As the Lord thy God hath blessed thee’: I might think, if the house was
blessed on his account ‘a gift is made to him; but if the house was not blessed on his account, no gift
is made to him; therefore Scripture states, thou shalt surely furnish him [etc.], teaching, in all cases.1
If so, what is intimated by ‘as [the Lord thy God] hath blessed thee’? Give him according to thy
blessing.2 R. Eleazar b. Azariah said: The matter is as it is written: if the house was blessed on his
account, a gift is made to him; if the house was not blessed on his account, no gift is made to him. If
so, what is intimated by ‘thou shalt surely furnish him’? The Torah employed human idiom.3
Our Rabbis taught: A Hebrew male slave serves [his master's] son, but does not serve [his]
daughter;4 a Hebrew female slave serves neither son nor daughter; one who was bored, or is sold to a
heathen, serves neither son nor daughter. The Master said: ‘A Hebrew male slave serves [his
master's] son, but not [his] daughter.’ How do we know this? — For our Rabbis taught: [If thy
brother . . . be sold unto thee,] he shall serve thee six years5 — thee, but not thine heir’.6 You say:
‘thee, but not thine heir’: yet perhaps it is not so, but ‘thee, but not thy son’? When it is said, six
years he shall serve,7 the son is included;8 then how am I to interpret,9 he shall serve thee six years?
Thee, but not thine heir. Why do you choose10 to include the son and exclude the brother? I include
the son, because he arises in his father's place to designate her,11 and in respect of an ancestral
field.12 On the contrary, I should include the brother, since he takes his brother's place for yibum?13
Is there yibum excepting in the absence of a son? but if there is a son, there is no yibum. Now it is
only because there is this refutation; but otherwise, the brother would be preferable? Yet it [the
reverse] may be inferred from the fact that here [in the case of a son] there are two [points in his
favour], whereas there, only one? — [The preference for a son in respect of] an ancestral field is
likewise inferred from this same refutation: is there yibum excepting in the absence of a son?14
‘A Hebrew female slave serves neither son nor daughter.’ Whence do we know this? — Said R.
Papa, Because Scripture writes, [And . . . if he say unto thee, I will not go out from thee . . . then
thou shalt take an awl, and thrust it through his ear . . . ] and also unto thy bondwoman thou shalt do
likewise:15 thus Scripture assimilated her to one who is bored. Just as the latter serves neither son nor
daughter, so the former too serves neither son nor daughter. Now this [verse,] ‘and also unto thy
bondwoman thou shalt do likewise’ — does it come to teach this? But it is required for what was
taught: And also unto thy bondwoman thou shalt do likewise — i.e., furnish [her with] a gift. You
say, furnish a gift; yet perhaps it is not so, but in respect to boring? When it is stated: But if the
manservant shall plainly say,16 boring is already dealt with:17 how then do I interpret18 and also unto
thy bondwoman thou shalt do likewise? In respect of a gift! If so,19 Scripture should write, ‘and also
to thy bondwoman likewise;20 why state, ‘thou shalt do’? [Hence] both may be inferred.
‘One who was bored, or is sold to a heathen, serves neither son nor daughter.’ One who was
bored, for it is written, and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl: and he shall serve him
for ever,21 — but neither son nor daughter. Whence do we know it of one who is sold to a heathen?
— Said Hezekiah, because Scripture writes, And he shall reckon with his purchaser22 — but not with
his purchaser's heirs. Raba said: By Biblical law, a heathen is his father's heir, for it is said: ‘and he
shall reckon with his purchaser’, [implying,] but not with his purchaser's heirs, whence it follows
that he has heirs. [But the succession of] a proselyte [to the estate of] a heathen is not in accordance
with Biblical law but by the law of the Soferim.23 For we learnt: If a proselyte and a heathen succeed
their father, a heathen: the proselyte may say to the heathen, ‘You take the idols, I [will take]
money’; ‘you take the wine of libation24 and I will take fruit.’ But once they25 have come into the
proselyte's possession, this [exchange] is forbidden.26 Now, should you think that [the proselyte
succeeds] by Biblical law, even if they have not yet come into his possession, when he takes [the
money or the produce], he takes something in exchange for an idol!27 Hence it [his succession] is
[only] by Rabbinical law, the Rabbis having enacted a preventive measure, lest he return to his evil
ways.28 It has been taught likewise: When was this said? If they inherited [the property]. But if they
went into partnership,29 it is forbidden.30 A heathen [succeeds] a proselyte, or a proselyte [succeeds]
a proselyte, neither by Biblical law nor by the law of the Soferim. For we learnt:31 If a man borrows
money from a proselyte whose children were converted together with him, he must not return it to
his children,32 and if he does, the spirit of the Sages is not pleased with him. But it was taught:33 The
spirit of the Sages is pleased with him? — There is no difficulty. The former refers to where his [sc.
the child's] conception and birth were not In sanctity:34
(1) Expressed by the emphasis in the doubling of the verb (translated here, ‘surely’; E.V. ‘liberally’).
(2) Rashi: the amounts stated above are the minimum, but should be increased proportionately to the blessing received.
(3) Where this repetition of the verb is quite common, and has no particular significance, v. B.M. 31b.
(4) If the master died within the six years, leaving one of these as his heir.
(5) Deut. XV, 12.
(6) Other than the son.
(7) Ex. XXI, 2.
(8) Lit., ‘stated,’ since ‘thee’ is not mentioned.
(9) Lit., ‘fulfil’.
(10) Lit., ‘see’.
(11) Sc. a female slave, as his wife; v. p. 45, n. 9.
(12) If one sanctifies an ancestral field, he can redeem it at a fixed rate, proportionate to its area, after which it belongs to
him for good. If he does not redeem it, the Temple treasurer sells it, and it belongs to the purchaser until jubilee, when it
becomes the property of the priests. But if the sanctifier's son redeems it, it is as though he himself does so, and it
remains his for good.
(13) V. Glos.
(14) But it is not explicitly stated. For fuller notes, v. B.B. (Sonc. ed.) pp. 449ff.
(15) Deut. XV, 16f.
(16) Ex. XXI, 5.
(17) I.e., manservant excludes maidservant.
(18) Lit., ‘fulfil’.
(19) That the only purpose of the verse is as stated before.
(20) Which would suffice for the analogy.
(21) Ex. XXI, 6.
(22) Lev. XXV,50; the verse treats of redeeming a Jewish slave from a heathen owner.
(23) Lit., ‘scribes,’ the designation of the early body of teachers beginning with Ezra and ending with Simeon the Just,
though sometimes it would appear to apply to later Talmudists too; e.g., in R.H. 19a. The Rabbis derive the word from
safar, to count: hence the body who counted the letters of the Torah or grouped subjects by number; e.g., four chief
causes of damage, thirty-nine principal modes of labour forbidden on the Sabbath (infra 30a; Sanh. 106b). Weiss, Dor, I,
50, maintains that they were so called on account of their skilled calligraphy; and also, because they taught from a scroll
(sefer). This body has been identified with the Men of the Great Synagogue (Z. Frankel, Darke ha-Mishnah, p. 8; N.
Krochmal, More Nebuke ha-Zeman, ch. X, 186). Weiss op. cit. p. 58 maintains that they were separate bodies, though
their objects were alike. The Soferim were the theoretical scholars who interpreted the law; the Men of the Great
Synagogue were the practical legislators.
(24) Wine handled by a Gentile, so called as he might have dedicated the wine for a libation to a heathen deity.
(25) Sc. the idols or the wine.
(26) Because one may not benefit from these in any way.
(27) For if he inherits by Biblical law, he automatically has a half-share in everything, whether he has taken possession
(28) For the sake of the estate. — The reason that he cannot succeed by Biblical law is that ‘a proselyte is as a new-born
babe,’ who has no kinsmanship whatsoever with any of his pre-conversion relations.
(29) In a business, or in property, among which were idols and forbidden wine.
(30) Which proves that he does not inherit by Biblical law, for in that case it would be partnership.
(31) [This is no Mishnah, hence Var. lec. ‘it has been taught’.]
(32) Because they are not his heirs.
(33) [This is a Mishnah, Sheb. X, 9, hence Var. lec., ‘we learnt’.]
(34) I.e., before the father's conversion. If the debtor returns the money to his child, he ipso facto recognises him as heir
against the desire of the Rabbis, who held that there is absolutely no relationship between them.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 18a
the latter to where his conception was not In sanctity, but his birth was.1 R. Hiyya b. Abin said in R.
Johanan's name: A heathen succeeds his father by Biblical law, since it is written, because I have
given Mount Seir unto Esau for an inheritance.2 Yet perhaps an apostate Israelite is different?3 —
But [it follows] from this: Because I have given Are unto the children of Lot as a heritage.4 Now, R.
Hiyya b. Abin, why does he not agree with Raba? — Is it then written: ‘And he shall reckon with his
purchaser’ but not with his purchaser's heirs! And Raba, why does he not agree with R. Hiyya b.
Abin? — There it is different, [it being] on account of Abraham's honour.5
Our Rabbis taught: A Hebrew bondman has features which a Hebrew bondwoman lacks, and there
are features in a Hebrew bondwoman which a Hebrew bondman lacks. A Hebrew bondman has
[these] features, viz.: he goes out [free] through [the passage of six] years, by jubilee, and by his
master's death, which is not so in the case of a Hebrew bondwoman. And a Hebrew bondwoman has
[these] features, viz.: a Hebrew bondwoman goes out by ‘signs’, she cannot be sold and re-sold, and
is redeemed against her will, which is not so in the case of a Hebrew bondman.
The Master said: ‘A Hebrew bondman has features which a Hebrew bondwoman lacks.’ But the
following contradicts this: A HEBREW MAIDSERVANT IS MORE [PRIVILEGED] THAN HE,
IN THAT SHE ACQUIRES HERSELF BY ‘SIGNS’!6 — Said R. Shesheth: E.g., if he designated
her [as his wife].7 ‘He designated her?’ But that is obvious: she needs a divorce! — I might have
thought, The regulations8 are not annulled in her case. Hence we are informed otherwise. If so, why
does she go out free by ‘signs’? — This is its meaning: If he [her master] did not designate her, she
goes out free by ‘signs’ too.
‘And she cannot be sold and re-sold.’ Hence it follows that a Hebrew male slave may be sold and
re-sold. But it was taught: [If he have nothing, then he shall be sold] for his theft,9 but not for his
double repayment;10 ‘for his theft,’ but not for his refuted testimony;11 for his theft’: having been
sold once, he may not be sold again! — Said Raba: There is no difficulty: the latter refers to one
theft, the former to two thefts. Abaye demurred: ‘for his theft’ may imply even many thefts!12 But,
said Abaye, there is no difficulty; the latter refers to one man, the former to two men.13
Our Rabbis taught: If his theft was thousand [zuz], and he was [only] worth five hundred, he is
sold and then sold again.14 If his theft was five hundred, whereas he is worth thousand, he is not sold
at all. R. Eliezer said: If his theft corresponded to his purchase price,15 he is sold; if not, he is not
sold. Raba said: In this matter R. Eliezer triumphed over the Rabbis. For why is it different if his
theft was five hundred and he was worth thousand, that he is not sold: because Scripture said: ‘then
he shall be sold’ — all of him, but not half? Then here too,16 Scripture ordered, ‘he shall be sold for
his theft,’ but not for half his theft.
‘And is redeemed against his will.’ Raba thought to interpret: against the master's will. Said Abaye
to him: How so — that a bond is drawn up for him for her value? But why:17 he holds a pearl in his
hand — shall we give him a shard?18 But, said Abaye, against her father's will,19 on account of the
family disgrace. If so, in the case of a Hebrew bondman too, let the members of his family [be forced
to redeem him] on account of the family disgrace? — Then he will go and sell himself again. Then
here too, he [the father] will go and sell her again? — Was it not taught: She cannot be sold and then
sold again? And this agrees with R. Simeon. For it was taught: A man may sell his daughter for
marital relationship, and then repeat it;20 for servitude, and then repeat it,21 for marriage after
servitude,22 but not for servitude after marriage. R. Simeon said: Just as a man cannot sell his
daughter for servitude after marriage, so a man cannot sell his daughter for servitude after servitude.
Now this enters into the dispute of the following Tannaim. For it was taught: [To sell her unto a
strange people he shall have no power], seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her [be-bigedo bah]:23
(1) Then the Rabbis are pleased that he returns it (Rashi).
(2) Deut. II, 5.
(3) Esau having been such. — Though all people, including Abraham and his descendants, were accounted as Noachides
until the Revelation, and thus not subject to Jewish law (cf. Sanh. p. 384, n. 6), it would appear that this was not held to
apply to inheritance, probably because Palestine itself was given to the Jews as a heritage from Abraham.
(4) Deut. II, 9.
(5) For that reason the descendants of Lot, Abraham's nephew, were given the privilege of inheritance.
(6) ‘More privileged’ implies that ‘signs’ are additional.
(7) Then she is not freed by these.
(8) Relating to a Hebrew bondwoman.
(9) Ex. XXII, 2.
(10) A convicted thief had to repay double; ibid. 3.
(11) Lit., ‘his scheming.’ If one preferred a false charge, he was punished with the same penalty that he had sought to
impose; v. Deut. XIX, 19. But if he falsely testified to theft, though he thereby sought to have the accused sold as a
slave, if he could not make restitution, he is nevertheless not sold himself.
(12) ‘Theft’ being understood generically.
(13) If he robs one man, even twice, and is charged with both thefts simultaneously, he can only be sold once. But if he
robs two men, each of whom sues him at court at different times, he may be sold twice. Tosaf. reverses it.
(14) This is the reading of curr. edd. The Wilna Gaon and Maim. read: he is sold but not sold again. This is preferable,
and agrees with the previous statements.
(15) Being neither more nor less.
(16) If his theft was thousand and he is worth five hundred.
(17) Must he accept it?
(18) With a double meaning: he holds something of value, must he accept something valueless; also, must he accept the
shard on which such a bond may be written?
(19) If he can afford it, he is forced to redeem her (Rashi). Tosaf.: the family is compelled to redeem her against her
father's desire, who may not wish to have her back at home and to keep her.
(20) One may accept kiddushin on behalf of his daughter, a minor: and if she is widowed or divorced while an arusah
(q.v. Glos.) he can do so again, on each occasion the money of kiddushin belonging to himself.
(21) If she became free through six years, jubilee, or her master's death, and is still a minor (ketannah).
(22) Having been freed from servitude, she can then be given in marriage.
(23) Ex. XXI, 8.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 18b
once he spread his cloak over her,1 he can no longer sell her: this is R. Akiba's view.2 R. Eliezer said:
seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her — having dealt deceitfully with her,3 he may not sell her
[again]. Wherein do they differ? R. Eliezer maintains: the traditional text [i.e., letters without
vowels] is authoritative;4 R. Akiba maintains: the text as read is authoritative; whereas R. Simeon
holds: both the traditional text and the vocalization are authoritative.5
Rabbah b. Abbuhah propounded: Does designation6 effect nissu'in or erusin? The difference is in
respect of inheriting her property, defiling himself on her account, and annulling her vows.7 What is
the law? — Come and hear: ‘Seeing that he hath dealt deceitfully with her [be-bigedo bah]: once he
spread his cloak over her, he can no longer sell her’. Thus, he merely may not sell her, yet may
indeed designate her.8 But if you say, it effects nissu'in, once she was married,9 her father has no
more authority over her. Hence we may surely infer that it effects erusin. R. Nahman b. Isaac said:
The reference here is to kiddushin in general,10 and this is its meaning: Once her father delivers her
to one who becomes responsible for ‘her food, raiment and conjugal rights,’11 he may no longer sell
Come and hear: He [the father] may not sell her to relations.12 On the authority of R. Eliezer it
was said: He may sell her to relations. And both agree that he may sell her, if a widow, to a High
Priest, and if divorced, or a haluzah,13 to a common priest.14 Now [as to] this widow, how is it
meant? Shall we say, that she accepted kiddushin for herself: can she be called a widow!15 Then It
means that her father betrothed her — but a man cannot sell his daughter for servitude after
marriage! And thereon R. Amram said in R. Isaac's name: The reference here is to the kiddushin of
designation,16 and [was taught] according to R. Jose son of R. Judah, who maintained: The original
money was not given as kiddushin.17 But if you say: It effects nissu'in: once she is married, her
father no longer has any authority over her! — What then: it effects erusin? [Then how say,] ‘and
both agree’ etc.; surely a man cannot sell his daughter to servitude after marriage! Then what can
you answer: her own erusin differs from her father's?18 Then even if you say that it effects nissu'in:
her own nissu'in differs from her father's. How now? As for erusin differing from erusin, that is
well;19 but can nissu'in differ from nissu'in?20
(1) I.e., given her in marriage; for this idiom cf. Ruth III, 9: spread therefore thy skirt over thy handmaid (i.e., take me in
(2) Deriving be-bigedo fr. beged, a garment.
(3) I.e., disgracefully, by selling her into slavery.
(4) V. Sanh. (Sonc. ed.) p. 4, n. 4.
(5) The traditional text is be-bagedo, seeing that he hath deceived, i.e., sold her; it is vocalised be-bigedo, with his
garment, i.e., having married her.
(6) V. p. 45, n. 9.
(7) The heir of an arusah is her father; of a nesu'ah, her husband. A priest must (or may, v. Sotah 3a) defile himself on
account of his deceased wife, if a nesu'ah, but not if an arusah. The vows of an arusah, if a na'arah (q.v. Glos.) can only
be annulled by her husband and father jointly; those of a nesu'ah, by her husband alone.
(8) I.e., give her in marriage.
(9) I.e., with nissu'in.
(10) I.e., not a bondmaid's designation by her master.
(11) The phrasing is Biblical; cf. Ex. XXI, 10. I.e., once he accepted. kiddushin on her behalf.
(12) Who cannot designate her on account of consanguinity.
(13) V. Glos.
(14) Though these too may not designate her: v. Lev. XXI, 7 (this was extended to a haluzah too) and 14. The betrothal
of consanguineous relations is forbidden, and if performed, invalid; that of a High Priest to a widow, or a common priest
to a divorced woman or a haluzah, is likewise forbidden, but if performed, valid. Hence the difference.
(15) Surely not, since her actions have no validity. — The reference in the whole passage is necessarily to a minor, for
only then can he sell her.
(16) I.e., her father sold her, then her master designated her and died, leaving her a widow.
(17) When one buys a bondmaid, the money he pays is not for the purpose of betrothal; and when he designates her, it is
by the labour she owes him, not by the money he has given. Therefore her father can resell her after her master's death,
and it is not regarded as servitude after betrothal, since he himself did not accept the original money as kiddushin.
(18) When her father receives kiddushin on her behalf, he loses his authority to sell her subsequently. But when she
herself receives it (as explained p. 84, n. 10, that she is betrothed in virtue of the labour she owes her master), and thus
receive the kiddushin — viz., the renunciation of her labour — herself, her father retains the right to sell her.
(19) For she does not altogether pass out of her father's control after erusin, e.g., in respect of inheritance and annulment
of vows (p. 83, n. 1). Therefore it may be said that he loses the right to sell her only after he himself accepts kiddushin,
but not after she does so by means of designation.
(20) Since nissu'in completely frees her from her father's authority, it does not matter at whose instance it is effected.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 19a
Now, according to R. Nahman b. Isaac, who maintained: Even on the view of R. Jose son of R.
Judah, the original money was given for kiddushin,1 how can he explain it? — He explains it as
agreeing with R. Eliezer, who held: It is only for servitude after servitude that he may not sell her,
but he can sell her to servitude after marriage.
Resh Lakish propounded: Can a man designate [his bondmaid] for his son, a minor? The
All-Merciful said, his son,2 — his son, whatever his state; or perhaps, ‘his son’ must be similar to
himself: just as he is an adult, so must his son be an adult?3 — Said R. Zera, Come and hear: [And a
man that committeth adultery with another man's wife]:4 ‘a man’ excludes a minor; ‘that committeth
adultery with another man's wife’ excludes the wife of a minor. But if you say that he can designate,
if so, we find matrimonial relationship in the case of a minor.5 What then: he cannot designate? Why
does Scripture exclude it?6 [Then on the contrary] solve [the problem] from this that he can
designate!7 — Said R. Ashi: The reference here is to a yabam, aged nine years and a day, who had
intercourse with his yebamah, who is tied8 to him by Scriptural law.9 I might have thought, since she
is tied to him by Biblical law and his intercourse is intercourse,10 he who has intercourse with her
incurs the penalty for [adultery with] a married woman: hence we are informed [that it is not so].
What is our decision on the matter? — Come and hear: For R. Aibu said in R. Jannaiðs name:
Designation can be performed only by an adult; designation is only by consent.11 [Are these] two
[statements]?12 — He states the reason: What is the reason that designation can be performed only
by an adult? Because designation is only by consent. Alternatively, what is the meaning of, ‘by
consent’? ‘By her consent.’ For Abaye son of R. Abbahu13 recited: [If she please not her master,]
who hath not espoused her [ye'adah]: this teaches that he must inform her [that he intends to
designate her.]14 He recited it and he explained it: This refers to betrothal by designation, and is in
accordance with R. Jose son of R. Judah, who maintained, The original money was not given as
kiddushin.15 R. Nahman b. Isaac said: Even if you say that it was given as kiddushin,16 here it is
different, because Scripture expressed [betrothal by the word] ye'adah.17
What is the reference to R. Jose son of R. Judah? — For it was taught: ‘[If she please not her
master,] who hath espoused her to himself,18 then he shall let her be redeemed’: [this teaches,] there
must be sufficient time [left] of the day to necessitate redemption.19 Hence R. Jose son of R. Judah
ruled: If there is sufficient time in that day for her to do work to the value of a perutah, she is
betrothed. This proves that in his opinion the original money was not given as kiddushin.20 R.
Nahman b. Isaac said: You may even say that it was given as kiddushin, yet here it is different, since
Scripture said: ‘then he shall let her be redeemed.’21
Raba said in R. Nahman's name: A man can say to his daughter, a minor, ‘Go forth and receive thy
kiddushin.’ [This follows] from R. Jose son of R. Judah[‘s dictum]. Did he not say: The original
money was not given as kiddushin? Yet when he [the master] leaves her a perutah's worth [of her
labour] it is kiddushin;22 [hence] here too It is not different.
Raba also said in R. Nahman's name, If a man betroths [a woman] with a debt upon which there is
a pledge,23 she is betrothed. [This follows] from R. Jose son of R. Judah[‘s dictum]: did he not say:
The original money was not given as kiddushin? [Hence] this [her labour] is a loan,24 and she herself
is a pledge,
(1) So that when her master designates her, her father is deemed to have received the kiddushin.
(2) And if he espouse her unto his son — Ex. XXI, 9.
(3) I.e., thirteen years and a day.
(4) Lev. XX, 10.
(5) Why then should the penalty for adultery — execution — not apply?
(6) Since a minor cannot have a wife.
(7) For that is the only way in which it is conceivable that a minor shall be married.
(8) Lit., ‘fit’.
(9) And therefore he acquires her by intercourse, though normally a minor's action has no force. Nine years and a day is
the minimum age at which a male's intercourse counts, i.e., can engender.
(10) V. preceding note.
(11) Of the man; the first half solves Resh Lakish's problem.
(12) Actually, it is only one law: since the man's consent is necessary, it follows that he must be an adult, for a minor's
consent is not recognised in law.
(13) [The name occurs nowhere else. MS.M. has ‘Abimi’ in the place of ‘Abaye’].
(14) Connecting ye'adah with de'ah, knowledge, information. [MS.M. reads: vgshk instead of vsghk cf. cur. edd.]
(15) V. p. 84, n. 10; consequently, her father's consent is absent, and therefore he must inform her to obtain her consent
(16) So that the father's consent is automatically given when he sells her; nevertheless she too must be informed, and her
(17) Which has an affinity. with de'ah; v. n. 5.
(18) The written text is lo tk, ‘not’; but it is also read lo uk, ‘to himself.’
(19) If her master wishes to designate her on the very last day of her servitude, her labour still owing must be worth at
least a perutah, so that she could be redeemed therefrom. Otherwise he cannot designate her.
(20) For if it were, he could betroth her at any time within the six years.
(21) Which shews that espousal and redemption are interdependent.
(22) Thus, it is she, a minor, who actually receives the kiddushin, and it is valid because in the first place her father, by
selling her, authorized her ipso facto to receive it.
(23) And he betroths her by her pleasure at his remission of the debt, even if he does not actually return the pledge. The
pledge referred to is one voluntarily given when the debt was contracted (Tosaf.). [Asheri: He betroths her with the debt
itself (cf. supra p. 21, n. 9) and nevertheless where it is secured by a pledge it is not regarded as spent, and the betrothal
(24) I.e., she owes it to her master, as any other debt.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 19b
yet when he [the master] leaves her a perutah's worth [of her labour] and designates [her therewith],
it is kiddushin; so here too, It is not different.
Our Rabbis taught: How is the law of designation [carried out]? He [her master] declares to her in
the presence of two people, ‘Behold, thou art designated unto me,’1 [or] ‘Behold, thou art betrothed
unto me,’[or] ‘Behold, thou art become an arusah unto me: even at the end of the six [years] ,2 even
just before sunset. He must then treat her as a wife, not as a bondmaid. R. Jose son of R. Judah said:
If there is sufficient time In that day for her to do work to the value of a perutah, she is betrothed; if
not, she is not betrothed. This may be compared to a man who says to a woman, ‘Be thou betrothed
unto me from now and after thirty days,’3 and then another man comes and betroths her within the
thirty days: [the law of designation teaches] that she is betrothed to the first. On whose view is this
analogous? Shall we say, on R. Jose son of R. Judah's? But [he maintained:] If there is sufficient
time in that day for her to do work to the value of a perutah, she is betrothed; if not, she is not
betrothed!4 — Said R. Aha the son of Raba: It is analogous on the view of the Rabbis.5 But that is
obvious?6 — I might have thought, But he [her master] did not say ‘from now’;7 hence we are
informed [that it is not so].8
Another [Baraitha] taught: If a man sells his daughter and then goes and betroths her to another
man, her master is powerless,9 and she is betrothed to the second: this is R. Jose son of R. Judah's
view. But the Sages maintain: If he wishes to designate her, he can do so. This may be compared to a
man who declares to a woman, ‘Behold, thou art betrothed unto me after thirty days,’ and another
man comes and betroths her within the thirty days, then she is betrothed to the second.10 On whose
view is this analogous? Shall we say, on the Rabbis’? But they maintain: If he wishes to designate
her, he can do so! — But, said R. Aha the son of Raba, it is analogous on the view of R. Jose son of
R. Judah.11 But that is obvious? — I might have argued, But he did not say to her, ‘After thirty
days’;12 hence we are informed otherwise.13
Another [Baraitha] taught: If a man sells his daughter and stipulates,’ on condition that he [her
master] shall not designate [her],’ the condition is binding:14 this is R. Meir's opinion. But the Sages
maintain: If he wishes to designate her, he can do so, because he [her father] has stipulated contrary
to what is written in the Torah, and he who makes a stipulation contrary to what is decreed in the
Torah, his stipulation is null. Does then R. Meir hold that this stipulation is valid? But it was taught:
If a man says to a woman, ‘Behold, thou art betrothed unto me on condition that thou hast no claims
upon me of sustenance, raiment, and conjugal rights’ — she is betrothed, but the condition is null:
this is R. Meir ðs view. R. Judah said: In respect of financial matters,15 his condition is binding. —
Said Hezekiah: Here it is different, because the Writ saith, [and if a man sell his daughter] to be a
bondwoman:16 sometimes he can sell her to be only a bondwoman.17 And the Rabbis? How do they
utilize this, ‘to be a bondwoman’! — They employ it, even as was taught: ‘To be a bondwoman’: this
teaches that he can sell her to unfit persons.18 But does this not follow a fortiori: if he can betroth her
to unfit persons,19 shall he not sell her to unfit persons?20 — As for betrothing her to unfit persons,
that may be because a man can betroth his daughter as a na'arah: shall he then sell her to unfit
persons, seeing that a man cannot sell his daughter as a na'arah?21 Therefore Scripture states: ‘to be a
bondmaid’, teaching that he can sell her to unfit persons. R. Eliezer said: If it is to teach that he can
sell her to unfit persons — behold, it was already said: ‘if she displease her master [so that he hath
not espoused her],’ which means, she was displeasing in respect of marriage.22 What then is taught
by, ‘to be a bondwoman’? It teaches that he may sell her
(1) So Bah.
(2) On the very last day, but before she actually completes it.
(3) I.e., kiddushin begin at this moment, but are not completed until thirty days, as though it were a long ceremony
requiring all this time.
(4) Which proves that kiddushin do not commence at the beginning of her servitude, but only at the last moment. Hence
here too, kiddushin commence at the end of the thirty days, and therefore if another man betroths her in the meantime,
she is betrothed to the second.
(5) Since they maintain that the designation takes effect even when she can no longer do a perutah's worth of work, it
must have commenced as soon as she was sold: otherwise, what effects her betrothal now? Hence the same applies to
(6) That this analogy may be drawn, the cases being so alike.
(7) Therefore in the analogous case, even if he says: ‘Thou art betrothed unto me after thirty days,’ and another man
betroths her within the thirty days, she is betrothed to the first.
(8) The above explanation follows Rashi. Tosaf. explains it quite differently: This may be compared etc. Hence here too,
if another man betroths her before her master designates her, she is not betrothed to the second, and the subsequent
designation of her master takes effect, because the original money was given for kiddushin. ‘On whose . . . she is not
betrothed’: which proves that he must actually give her something (sc. her labour, which is worth a perutah) at the end,
when he designates her; therefore another man's intervention is valid, and she is betrothed to the second. ‘Said R. Aha . .
. the Rabbis:’ just as there, so here too, and the intervention of another man before the master's designation is not valid.
The rest is similar to Rashi's explanation.
(9) Lit., ‘he has laughed at the master.’
(10) Rashi and Tosaf. differ here as in the preceding passage.
(11) Rashi: just as her betrothal to the second is valid because her master did not designate her from the time he bought
her, so here too. Tosaf. reverses the premise and the conclusion.
(12) Rashi: Her master did not state that he would designate her after a certain period, therefore the second man's
betrothal is valid. But if one says: ‘Be betrothed to me after thirty days,’ I might have thought that she is betrothed to
him, and the second man's betrothal is invalid. Tosaf.: her master did not state that he would designate her only after a
certain period, and therefore I would have thought that the designation commences immediately, and the second man's
betrothal is invalid.
(13) Rashi: Since Scripture empowered him to designate her as a result of the purchase, it is as though he had said that
he would subsequently designate her; therefore the cases are entirely analogous. Tosaf.: Since he did not explicitly state,
‘from now,’ the designation commences only later; hence she is betrothed to the second.
(14) Lit., ‘fulfilled’.
(15) Viz., sustenance and raiment.
(16) Ex. XXI, 7.
(17) Hence the stipulation is not contrary to Scripture.
(18) I.e., who are forbidden to intermarry with Jews of unblemished birth, e.g.. a bastard, to whom he can sell her only
for servitude and not designation.
(19) I.e., if he betroths her to a bastard, though it is forbidden, the betrothal is valid.
(20) Surely he can; then why deduce it from Scripture? It might be argued that whereas such betrothal is valid only if
performed, we desire to prove now that one may at the very outset sell his daughter to an unfit person, and this vitiates
the argument. But this rebuttal is fallacious: it is logical to distinguish in marriage between what is permitted at the very
outset and what is valid only if done in defiance of the law; but there are no grounds for drawing this distinction in
respect to a sale, and if the sale is valid when done, there is no reason for saying that it is not permitted in the first place
(Maharsha). S. Strashun explains it differently.
(21) But only as a ketannah (q.v. Glos.). Hence his power of betrothal is greater than that of sale.
(22) I.e., forbidden to her master.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 20a
to [consanguineous] relations.1 But does this not follow a fortiori: If he can sell her to unfit persons,2
shall he not sell her to relations?3 As for selling her to unfit persons, that may be because if he4
wishes to designate her [in spite of the interdict] he can do so;5 shall he then sell her to
[consanguineous] relations, seeing that if he wishes to designate her, he cannot? Therefore the Writ
saith, ‘to be a bondwoman,’ teaching that he can sell her to relations. And R. Meir?6 — [That he can
sell her] to unfit persons he deduces from the same verse from which R. Eliezer deduces it; and in
the matter of relations he agrees with the Rabbis, who maintain: He may not sell her to relations.
One [Baraitha] taught: He may sell her to his father, but may not sell her to his son. Another
[Baraitha] taught: He may sell her neither to his father nor to his son. As for saying: ‘He may sell her
neither to his father nor to his son,’ that is well, agreeing with the Rabbis. But ‘he may sell her to his
father but may not sell her to his son’ — with whom does this agree; neither with the Rabbis nor
with R. Eliezer? — After all, it agrees with the Rabbis: they admit [that he can sell her] where there
is a possibility7 of designation.8
Our Rabbis taught: If he come in by himself [be-gapo], he shall go out by himself [be-gappo]9 —
he comes in with his [whole] body [be-gufo] and goes out with his [whole] body.10 R. Eliezer b.
Jacob said: Having come in single, he goes out single. What is meant by ‘he comes in with his
[whole] body and goes out with his [whole] body’? — Said Raba: It means that he is not freed
through [the loss of his] outstanding limbs, as a [heathen] slave. Abaye protested: But that is
deduced from, ‘she shall not go out as the bondmen do’?11 — If from there, I would have thought,
He must pay for his eye, and then he goes free;12 hence we are informed [otherwise]. ‘R. Eliezer b.
Jacob said: Having come in single, he goes out single.’ What is meant by ‘he goes out single’? —
Said R. Nahman b. Isaac: This is meant: If he has a wife and children [when entering service], his
master may give him a heathen13 bondmaid;14 if he has no wife and children, his master may not
give him a heathen bondmaid.
Our Rabbis taught: If he was sold for a maneh, and appreciated [in value] and stood at two
hundred [zuz], how do we know that he is assessed only at a maneh?15 — Because it is written, [He
shall give back the price of his redemption] out of the money that he was bought for.16 If he was sold
for two hundred and depreciated and stood at a maneh, how do we know that he is assessed only at a
maneh? — Because it is written, according unto his years [shall he give back the price of his
redemption].17 Now, I know this only of a slave sold to a heathen: since he may be redeemed by his
kinsmen, his [the master's] hand is nethermost.18 How do we know it of one who is sold to a
Israelite! — Because sakir [an hired servant] is stated twice, for the purpose of a gezerah shawah.19
Abaye said: Behold I am like Ben ‘Azzai in the streets of Tiberias.20 One of the scholars said to
Abaye: Consider: these verses may be interpreted leniently and stringently: why do you choose to
interpret them leniently [to the slave's advantage]; let us interpret them stringently?21 — You cannot
think so, since the All-Merciful favoured22 him. For it was taught: Because he is well with thee:23 he
must be with [i.e., equal to] thee in food and drink, that thou shouldst not eat white bread and he
black bread, thou drink old wine and he new wine, thou sleep on a feather bed and he on straw.
Hence it was said: Whoever buys a Hebrew slave is like buying a master for himself. Yet perhaps
that is only in respect to food and drink, that he should not be grieved, but in the matter of
redemption, let us be stringent with him, [as follows] from R. Jose son of R. Hanina. For R. Jose son
of R. Hanina said: Come and see how hard are the results24 of [violating the provisions of] the
seventh year. A man who trades in seventh year produce must eventually sell his movables, for it is
said: In this year of jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession,25 and in juxtaposition
thereto, and if thou sell aught ‘into thy neighbour, or buy of thy neighbour's hand,26 [which refers to]
what is acquired from hand to hand.27 If he disregards this,28 he eventually sells his estates, for it is
said: If thy brother be waxen poor, and sell some of his possession.29 He has no opportunity [of
amending his ways]30 until he sells his house, for it is said: And if a man sell a dwelling house in a
walled city.31 (Why state there ‘if he disregards this,’ but here, ‘He has no opportunity’? — In
accordance with R. Huna. For R. Huna said: Once a man has committed a transgression and repeated
it, it is permitted to him. ‘Permitted to him!’ — can you think so? But say, it becomes to him as
permitted.)32 It is not brought home to him33 until he sells his daughter, for it is said, and if a man
sell his daughter to be a bondwoman;34 (and though [the sale of] his daughter is not mentioned in
this section, yet he teaches us that one should [even] sell his daughter and not borrow on usury. What
is the reason? — His daughter makes a deduction and goes free,35 whereas this [his debt] waxes ever
larger.)36 it is not brought home to him until he borrows on interest, as it is written, and if thy brother
be waxen poor, and his hand fail with thee,37 in proximity to which [is stated,] Take thou no usury of
him or increase.38 It is not brought home to him until he sells himself, as it is said, and if thy brother
be waxen poor with thee and sells himself unto thee.39 And not even to thee, but to a proselyte, as it
is said [and sell him — self] unto the proselyte.40 And not even to a righteous proselyte,41 but to a
resident alien,42 as it is said, or to the resident alien.43 The family of a proselyte44 means a heathen.
When it is said: To the stock,45
(1) Though designation is altogether impossible, for even if performed it is invalid.
(2) I.e., who are forbidden to all.
(3) Who are interdicted only to her.
(4) The master.
(5) I.e., his designation is valid.
(6) Since he utilizes ‘to be a bondmaid’ otherwise, how does he know these rulings?
(7) Lit., ‘side’.
(8) His father can designate her for his son, her uncle. But his son can neither betroth her himself nor designate her for
(9) Ex. XXI, 3.
(10) Explained below.
(11) Ibid. 7, the same applying to the Hebrew bondman.
(12) Whereas a heathen slave is freed but not compensated.
(13) Lit., ‘Canaanitish’.
(14) To beget slaves for him.
(15) For the purpose of redemption.
(16) Lev. XXV, 51.
(17) Ibid. 52; this implies, he must repay the value of the unexpired term, i.e., his depreciated worth.
(18) I.e., he is at a disadvantage, the lower value always being the basis for redemption.
(19) A slave sold to a Jew: as an hired servant (sakir) . . . he shall be with thee — ibid. 40; a slave sold to a heathen:
according to the time of an hired servant (sakir) he shall be with him — Ibid. 50. The same word used in both sections
denotes that the same law applies to both.
(20) Said humorously ‘I am ready to face all comers!’ Ben ‘Azzai was the keen scholar, able to answer all questions; cf.
(21) Applying v. 51 to a case of depreciation, and v. 52 to appreciation, so that the slave is always assessed on his higher
(22) Lit., ‘was lenient to’.
(23) Deut. XV, 16.
(24) Lit., ‘dust’.
(25) Lev. XXV, 13: this concludes the sections on the seventh year and jubilee.
(26) Ibid. 14.
(27) I.e., movables, implying that the one is a punishment for transgressing the other.
(28) Lit., ‘if he does not perceive’ — that the enforced sale is a punishment.
(29) Ibid. 25; ‘possession,’ Heb. vzujt , applies to land.
(30) Lit., ‘it does not come to his hand.’
(31) Ibid. 29.
(32) Repetition of sin blunts the finer perception of right and wrong. — This is perhaps sin's greatest punishment; cf. Ab.
(Sonc. ed.) p. 44: the punishment of transgression is transgression. Having violated the law of the seventh year so often,
he ceases to regard it as an offence, and hence has no opportunity of amendment.
(33) Lit., ‘it does not come to his hand.’
(34) Ex. XXI, 7.
(35) The more time elapses the less the obligation.
(36) Hence, since the chapter speaks about borrowing money, it is assumed that he had already sold his daughter.
(37) Lev. XXV, 35.
(38) Ibid. 36.
(39) Ibid. 39.
(40) Lev. XXV, 47.
(41) I.e., one who accepts all the laws of Judaism.
(42) One who accepts some laws of Judaism for the sake of certain rights.
(43) E.V.: sojourner.
Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 20b
it refers to one who sells himself to the service of the idol itself!1 — Said he to him: But there the
Writ led him back.2 For the School of R. Ishmael taught: Since this man went and became an acolyte
in the service of idolatry, I might have said: Let us cast a stone after the fallen, therefore it is said,
after that he is sold he shall be redeemed,’ one of his brethren shall redeem him.3 Yet perhaps ‘he
shall be redeemed’ so as not to be absorbed by the heathens, but in respect to redemption we should
be stringent with him, in accordance with R. Jose son of R. Haninah? — Said R. Nahman b. Isaac:
Two verses are written: [i] if there be yet increases in the years;4 [ii] and if there remains but little in
the years:5 are there then increased [i.e., prolonged] years and decreased [i.e., shortened] years?6 But
[the meaning is:] if his value increases, [then his redemption shall be] out of the money that he was
bought for; if his value decreases, [the basis of redemption is] according unto his years [yet
remaining]. But perhaps the meaning is this: If he served two [years], four remaining, he must repay
him for four years ‘out of the money that he was bought for’; while if he served four [years], two
remaining, he must repay him for two, ‘according unto his years’?7 — If so, Scripture should write,
If there be yet many years [shanim] . . . If there remain but few years [shanim]: why ‘in years’
[ba-shanim]? [To teach:] if his value increased in [these] years, [his redemption is] ‘out of the money
that he was bought for’; if his value decreased in [these] years, [he is redeemed] ‘according unto his
years’. Said R. Joseph: R. Nahman8 interpreted these verses as Sinai.9 (Mnemonic: Slave, House,
Half, Slave, Relations.)10 R. Huna b. Hinena asked R. Shesheth: Can a Hebrew slave sold to a
heathen be half redeemed, or can he not be half redeemed?11 Do we learn the meaning of ‘his
redemption’, from a field of possession:12 just as a field of possession cannot be half redeemed,13 so
he too cannot be half redeemed; or perhaps, we may interpret it in his favour,14 but not to his
disadvantage?15 — He answered him: Did you not say there,16 he shall be sold entirely, but not half;
hence here too, he shall be redeemed,17 entirely.
Abaye said: Should you rule that he can be half redeemed, it will be found [both] to his advantage
and disadvantage. ‘To his advantage’: If he [the heathen] bought him for a hundred [zuz], and he [the
slave] then refunded him fifty, half of his Value,18 then he appreciated and stood at two hundred: if
you say that he can be half redeemed, he pays him [an additional] hundred19 and goes out [free]; but
if you say, he cannot be half redeemed, he must pay him a hundred and fifty, and [then] go out.20 But
you said: ‘if his value increased, [his redemption is] out of the money that he was bought for’! —
Suppose he was dear [when bought], then slumped, then rose again.21 ‘It will be found to his
disadvantage’: If he bought him for two hundred [zuz], he [the slave] refunded a hundred, half of his
value, and then slumped to a hundred. If you say, he can be half redeemed, he must pay him fifty and
go out; but if you say that he cannot be half redeemed, then this hundred was a bailment in his [the
master's] charge:22 hence he [the slave] gives it to him and goes out [free].
R. Huna b. Hinena asked R. Shesheth: If a man sells a house in a walled city,23 can he half redeem
it or not? Do we learn the meaning of ‘his redemption’ from a ‘field of possession’:24 just as ‘a field
of possession’ cannot be half redeemed, so this too cannot be half redeemed; or perhaps, where
[Scripture] revealed it,25 it revealed it; where not, it did not? — He answered him: From the exegesis
of R. Simeon we learn that he can borrow and redeem, and redeem half. For it was taught: [And if a
man shall sanctify unto the Lord part of the field of his possession.] And if he [that sanctified the
field] will indeed redeem it:26 this teaches that he can borrow and redeem, and redeem half.27 Said R.
Simeon: What is the reason? Because we find in the case of him who sells ‘a field of possession’,
that [since] he has a great privilege, in that if jubilee comes and it has not been redeemed, it reverts
to its owners, his rights are weakened in [so far] that he cannot borrow and redeem, and redeem half;
hence he who sanctifies [‘a field of possession’] whose rights are impaired in that if jubilee comes
and it has not been redeemed, it goes out to the priests at jubilee, [therefore] his privilege is
strengthened in [so far] that he may borrow and redeem, and redeem half. Hence this one too, who
sells a house in a walled city, since his rights are impaired so that if a complete year elapsed and it is
not redeemed, it is absolutely [sold], therefore his privilege is strengthened in that he can borrow and
redeem, and redeem half.
He raised an objection: ‘And if he will indeed redeem it’: this teaches that he may borrow and
redeem, and redeem half. For I might have thought, does it [the reverse] not follow a minori: if he
who sells ‘a field of possession’, whose privilege is great in that if jubilee comes and it has not been
redeemed it reverts to its original owner, yet his power is impaired in that he cannot borrow and
redeem, and redeem half; then he who sanctifies, whose rights are impaired in that if jubilee comes
and it has not been redeemed it goes out to the priests at jubilee, it surely follows that his rights are
[also] impaired so that he cannot borrow and redeem, and redeem half. As for one who sells ‘a field
of possession’, that is because his privilege is weak in that he [cannot] redeem it immediately;28 will
you say [the same] of one who sanctifies, whose privilege is strong, that he can redeem it
immediately? Let one who sells a house in a walled city prove it, whose privilege is strong to redeem
it immediately, and yet he cannot borrow and redeem, and redeem half!29 — There is no difficulty:
(1) E.g., to cut wood for its altar, etc., though not accepting it as a god. — Now, reverting to the original question: since
he had to sell himself as a punishment for trading in seventh year produce, why should we not interpret the verse
stringently, to his disadvantage?
(2) To the compassion of his brethren.
(3) Ibid. 48 — a lesson in tolerance.
(4) Ibid. 51.
(5) Ibid. 52. The translations here would seem to indicate the meanings of the verses as understood by R. Nahman.
(6) The length of years does not vary!
(7) The verse may not refer to a rise or fall in values, but be meant literally, as the E.V.
(8) Cur. ed.: b. Isaac, but Rashal deletes it: in this case, it must be deleted in the previous passage. (Rashal points out that
b. Isaac is omitted in some editions, but apart from that, his reason for deletion is not very cogent).
(9) Very profoundly, as though he were present when they were first promulgated as Sinai.
(10) A mnemonic is a group of letters or words, each being an abbreviation or the key word of a series of subjects, to
facilitate their remembering.
(11) Can he repay half his redemption money and serve only half the remainder of his term?
(12) An ancestral field. Here: he shall give back the price of his redemption-Lev. XXV, 52, ‘field of possession’: and
find sufficient for his redemption — ibid. 26.
(13) And he find sufficient to redeem it, written in reference to an ancestral field, implies that the whole must be
(14) Lit., ‘leniently’.
(15) Lit., ‘stringently’.
(16) Supra 18a, q.v.
(17) Ibid. 48.
(18) Not yet having served at all.
(19) Since he owes him his servitude for only half the time.
(20) Since he owes him his service for the whole period, the fifty paid being in the nature of a deposit.
(21) He was bought for two hundred, and then slumped to a hundred, whereupon the slave refunded fifty for half
redemption, not yet having served at all, and then his value rose again to two hundred.
(22) But actually belonging to the slave.
(23) V. Lev. XXV, 29-33.
(24) An inherited field: v. p. 95, n. 5; a house in a walled city, ibid. 29: for a full year shall be his redemption (E.V. shall
he have the right of redemption).
(25) That the whole must be redeemed.
(26) Ibid. XXVII, 16, 19. ‘Indeed’ is expressed by the doubling of the verb.
(27) Intimated by the emphasis on ‘redeem’.
(28) But must leave it at least two years with the vendees.
(29) This last sentence contradicts R. Shesheth.
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