Day: October 23, 2022

Ketubot 109

Oftentimes we keep upcoming significant personal, professional and financial transitions and decisions private to just us, our spouse (where relevant), and our very closest friends until they become public to avoid the spread of information and the jinxing of those decisions at the wrong time.These transitions or decisions may relate to an upcoming move overseas,…

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Ketubot 108

 There is a concept in the Gemara, itself based on a biblical verse (see Shemot 22:8), of מודה במקצת – literally, ‘one who admits something in part’ – which refers to a situation when someone admits owing part, though not all, of something or a group of things that another claims to have lent to…

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Ketubot 107

If you studied today’s daf (Ketubot 107a) with care, you will have noticed that on four separate occasions reference is made to the בני כהנים גדולים – literally, ‘the sons of the High Priests’, who engage in various rabbinic disputes relating to the financial support given to a wife when her husband is overseas or…

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Ketubot 106

A story – spanning the end of yesterday’s daf (Ketubot 105b) and the beginning of our daf (Ketubot 106a) – is told about Rav Anan who recused himself from judging a case for fear of not being impartial. However, through his imprecise use of words, and through the fact that his colleague Rav Nachman made…

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Ketubot 105

“A rabbi whose community does not disagree with him is no rabbi. A rabbi who fears his community is no man.” These words, which are said to have been uttered by Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, are often quoted to Rabbinical students in order to remind them of the need to speak truth and promote mitzvah observance…

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Ketubot 104

Today’s daf (Ketubot 104a) records the parting words of Rebbi from his deathbed who, with his ten fingers extended heavenward, proclaimed: “Master of the Universe, it is revealed and known before You that I toiled with my ten fingers in the study of Torah, but I did not benefit even with my little finger. May…

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Ketubot 103

Two days ago, I received a message from someone whose closest friend is unfortunately at the end stages of her life due to cancer who sought some Torah wisdom and chizuk as she braces herself for the days and weeks to come. We fixed a time to speak which worked out to be a few…

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Ketubot 102

Within the halachic codes and responsa literature we find an ongoing debate about whether כתיבה כדיבור דמי – ‘writing is like speech’ – meaning that if you write something down, is it considered as if you have said those words?For example, Rabbi Akiva Eiger discusses (see Responsa Rabbi Akiva Eiger No. 29) whether, if you…

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Ketubot 101

The Mishna (Ketubot 12:1) in today’s daf (Ketubot 101b) describes a situation where a man marries a woman with a daughter from a previous marriage and commits to financially sustain her.Significantly, as Rabbi Bleich explains in his essay titled ‘Support of Non-Biological Children in Jewish Law’ (see https://bit.ly/3D0eycB), ‘the Mishnah does not posit a requirement…

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Ketubot 100

Today’s daf (Ketubot 100a) discusses the situation when a Beit Din makes an error in terms of the amount of money or land that it awards an orphan from their parents’ estate. In such a case we are taught that יכולים למחות – they may protest and challenge this ruling which must then be re-evaluated.…

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Ketubot 99

As part of its discussion about the laws of agency (שליחות), reference was made in yesterday’s daf (Ketubot 98b) to the principle of מעילה (which primarily applies to the unlawful use of consecrated property). Specifically, the Gemara quoted from Mishna Meilah 6:1 which teaches us that if an agent (שליח) did not follow the instructions…

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Ketubot 98

Towards the end of yesterday’s daf (Ketubot 97b) we read the view of Rabbi Shimon who teaches that if a woman sold or pledged just part of the value of her ketubah then she forfeits her right to support. In contrast, the Sages rule that even if a woman sold or pledged just part of…

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Ketubot 97

We learn in today’s daf (Ketubot 97a) that if a person sold land because they needed money, and then circumstances changed leading to them not needing to have sold their land, then the sale can be revoked.Having made this point, we are then told that there was a time when there was a sudden food…

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Ketubot 96

Up until now, Gemara Ketubot has made it clear that while land (קרקע) can be taken from an estate, movable property (מטלטלין) cannot be taken as collateral for debts. Yet notwithstanding this principle, we are taught in today’s daf (Ketubot 96a) that ‘in the case of a widow who seized movable property for her support,…

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Ketubot 95

It has been said by Rav Chaim of Volozhin (see his Ruach Chaim commentary on Avot 5:22) that the study of Hilchot Sukkah (the Laws of Sukkah) can provide us with the necessary insight to solve the hardest of halachic problems. But what is so unique about Hilchot Sukkah that prompted R’ Chaim to make…

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Ketubot 94

Sometimes we can learn a story in the Gemara that has so many holes in it that it requires us to do some detective work; and while it may not be possible to answer all of our questions or reach conclusive outcomes, the evidence can certainly point us in a particular direction to help us…

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Ketubot 93

As the cases concerning ketubah law become more and more complex, with the Mishna (Ketubot 10:5) in today’s daf (Ketubot 93b) discussing how the estate of a man should be divided if he was married to four wives, it is noteworthy that our Mishna quotes ‘Ben Nanas’ – which is a name that we’ve encountered…

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Ketubot 92

Today is the day after Yom Kippur, and as I study today’s daf (Ketubot 92) – which speaks about the ability of creditors to take land that debtors have used as collateral – I wonder how, beyond the specific details being discussed, our daf speaks to me.However, I then noticed that our daf refers to…

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Ketubot 91

I hope you all had a meaningful Yom Kippur, and having made Havdalah, had something to eat, checked in with all those whom I advised before Yom Kippur, and spent some time building our sukkah, it is so wonderful to turn to Daf Yomi on a Motzei Yom Kippur as an expression of starting the…

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Ketubot 90

While I strive to learn the daf every day, I also strive to live with the daf every day. Consequently, I often find myself noticing making connections between the words in our daf and the events of the day including today – Erev Yom Kippur.In terms of today’s daf (Ketubot 90b), it describes a situation…

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Ketubot 89

The Mishna (Ketubot 9:9) in today’s daf (Ketubot 89a) quotes a ruling of Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel who states that during a time of danger (סכנה), if a woman is divorced but does not have her ‘get’ (Jewish divorce bill) or any other documentation to prove this fact, she is nevertheless given the monies owed…

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Ketubot 88

Today’s daf (Ketubot 88a) informs us that debts can be collected even in a debtor’s absence due to the consideration שלא תנעול דלת בפני לווין – ‘that we do not lock the door in the face of borrows’. What this means is that were lenders to be unable to get their money back when a…

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Ketubot 87

There is a lovely phrase used in today’s daf (Ketubot 87b) describing a situation when a husband and wife have an oral agreement about a monetary matter which is later invoked in order for her to receive the monies he agreed to give her and where we read her declare: אמנה היתה לי ביני לבינו…

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Ketubot 86

I want to share something personal: my feet are both long and wide which therefore makes shoe shopping a challenge as most shoes that should fit me simply aren’t comfortable on me. Consequently, whenever I am in need of a pair of shoes, I enter shoes stores reluctantly; yes, I hope to find a pair…

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Ketubot 85

A question addressed in today’s daf (Ketubot 85b) concerns the way in which decisions are made when someone dies having instructed on their deathbed that ‘Toviah’ should be the beneficiary of their property – but not having specified which ‘Toviah’ they are referring to.In the specific case being discussed, this individual has a close friend…

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Ketubot 84

As we know, Rosh Hashanah is known as יום הדין, ‘the Day of Judgement’. Yet notwithstanding the awesomeness of Rosh Hashanah which is often likened to being in a courtroom before God as our judge and jury, we also approach Rosh Hashanah with a spirit of confidence because our judge is not just our king…

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Ketubot 82 & 83

Shana Tova & I hope you had an uplifting start of 5783!In terms of Daf Yomi, over Rosh Hashanah we studied Ketubot 82-83, with Ketubot 82a beginning by quoting a Beraita stating that if someone claims money from their friend (חבירו), while their friend has a claim on a further friend (חבירו בחבירו), then the…

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Ketubot 81

Three times in today’s daf (Ketubot 81a-b) we read how one scholar sent a halachic query to another – and in one instance, requiring a third scholar as an intermediary: Rava sends Abaye a query by the hand of Rav Shemayah bar Zeira. And later on, Abaye sends both Rav Chanina bar Pappi and Rav…

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Ketubot 80

A phrase that appears three times in today’s daf (Ketubot 80b) during its discussion about the usages of financial resources of a family is רווח ביתא, meaning ‘the gain to a house[hold]’, and – especially as we are less than 24 hours before Rosh Hashanah 5783 – this prompts me to consider what improvements and…

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Ketubot 79

Today’s daf (Ketubot 79a) teaches us that in a situation where a couple have money to invest, and one spouse proposes acquiring land and the other proposes buying houses, they it is obvious that they must buy land because it is a more secure purchase. If the decision is between houses and palm trees, they…

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Ketubot 78

There is a remarkable halacha discussed in today’s daf (Yevamot 78a) that if a pregnant woman immerses in a mikveh for the sake of conversion, then the child that she is carrying need not also, separately, immerse for the sake of conversion.Significantly, our Gemara discusses the various possible ways in which this spiritual transformation occurs…

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Ketubot 77

Towards the end of today’s daf (Ketubot 77b) is a line that sent shivers down my spine – especially given the fact that we are just a few days from Rosh Hashanah.The line comes amidst the story of Rabbi Chanina Bar Pappa who, at the end of his life, was taken by the מלאך המות…

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Ketubot 76

Some years ago I came across a stunning interpretation of an oft-cited halachic principle that is referenced in today’s daf (Ketubot 76b).In terms of the principle itself, it states that – המוציא מחבירו עליו הראיה’If someone wishes to claim an item or a sum of money from someone else (literally ‘someone who wishes to draw…

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