Category: Ketubot

Ketubot 31-33

We were previously taught in Ketubot 31b about the punishment of lashes, while much of Ketubot 32b focuses its attention on the punishment of ‘eidim zomemim’ – conspiring witnesses – which the Torah (see Devarim 19:19) demands that they be given the same, or as close to the same, punishment that they maliciously intended that…

Details
Tisha B’Av

What daf am I to study today?Since today is Tisha B’Av, the study of today’s daf yomi (Ketubot 32) must be deferred until after the fast. Given this, perhaps the daf yomi that I should study on Tisha B’Av should be those sections of the Gemara – such as Gittin 56 – which discuss the…

Details
Ketubot 30

Today’s daf (Ketubot 30a) quotes a verse from Mishlei 22:5 which states: צִנִּים פַּחִים בְּדֶרֶךְ עִקֵּשׁ שׁוֹמֵר נַפְשׁוֹ יִרְחַק מֵהֶם – ‘there are thorns and snares upon the crooked path; he who protects himself keep far from them’. Understood in this literal fashion (see Malbim and others on this verse) we are being guided to…

Details
Ketubot 29

The primary focus of discussion in today’s daf (Ketubot 29) is the financial penalty for those who have committed the crime of seduction and rape.However, it is essential to note, as explained by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz (see https://steinsaltz.org/daf/ketubot29/), how ‘the Shitta Mekubbezet points out that aside from the kenas (fine) discussed in the Mishna, a…

Details
Ketubot 28

The Mishna (Ketubot 2:10) in today’s daf (Ketubot 28a) lists the realms of testimony where an adult is relied upon when speaking about things that they saw when they were a child while, at the same time, acknowledging that there are some things which demand further testimony than just what one adult remembers from what…

Details
Ketubot 27

Today’s daf (Ketubot 27b) recounts how the brother of Mari bar Isak, who had spent his early years with Mari but who was then taken by his father and raised in Beit Choza’ah (a district on the caravan road along the Tigris) while Mari remained in Babylon, reunited with Mari following the death of his…

Details
Ketubot 26

In the first few lines of today’s daf (Ketubot 26a), reference is made to a fascinating halachic principle called מסיח לפי תומו (mesiach lefi tumo) which describes a moment when someone shares halachically significant information during a casual conversation without being aware of the halachic significance of what they have shared.Central to this principle of…

Details
Ketubot 25

Today’s daf (Ketubot 25a) references the mitzvah of חלה (challah) – which is the portion of dough given to Kohanim as a ‘terumah’ (donation) to support them provide their spiritual leadership for the Jewish people (see Bemidbar 15:17-21).However, what is significant – as noted in our Gemara on the basis of the phrase בְּבֹאֲכֶם אֶל…

Details
Ketubot 24

Given that today’s daf (Ketubot 24a-b) discusses the reliability of someone who claims they are a Kohen in terms of whether they can receive priestly honours (eg. eat Terumah) and whether they can perform priestly duties (eg. recite the Birkat Kohanim), I decided to spend some of Shabbat reviewing this topic and other related issues…

Details
Ketubot 23

Do you know what is going on in the life of your close neighbour?There are some people who presume that they do because they talk with their neighbours on a regular basis.Then there are others who – though they aren’t aware of every day-to-day event in their neighbours’ life – presume that they’d be told…

Details
Ketubot 22

‘We cannot control what others say or do, but we should strive to do what we can so that others don’t have easy reasons to say less than complimentary things about us.’This, in short, is what our Sages in today’s daf (Ketubot 22b) derive from Mishlei 4:24 which states: הָסֵר מִמְּךָ עִקְּשׁוּת פֶּה וּלְזוּת שְׂפָתַיִם…

Details
Ketubot 21

Today’s daf (Ketubot 21b) relates how Rabbi Abba taught that a witness can become a judge. In response, Rav Safra challenged this ruling based on Mishna Rosh Hashanah 3:1. Rabbi Abba then replied to Rav Safra’s challenge saying אַף לְדִידִי קַשְׁיָא לִי, meaning “I also had this difficulty”. However, Rabbi Abba then informed Rav Safra…

Details
Ketubot 20

Amidst its wide-ranging discussion about evidence, testimony and memory, today’s daf (Ketubot 20a) draws a fascinating distinction between the concept of הזמה (hazama) and הכחשה (hakhasha). But to explain the difference between the two, we need to define what each of these are.If a pair of witnesses testify in a Beit Din that someone committed…

Details
Ketubot 19

Embedded in its discussion concerning the dangers of holding onto already paid-up notes of indebtedness, today’s daf (Ketubot 19b) quotes a teaching of Rabbi Ami that it is permitted to be in possession of a ספר (which is understood to directly refer to a Sefer Torah or any volume of Tanach, and which the later…

Details
Ketubot 18

Within today’s daf (Ketubot 18b), reference is made to the principle of אין אדם משים עצמו רשע – ‘a person may not make themselves into an evildoer’ which teaches that self-incrimination and confessing is inadmissible.On first glance, this rule simply appears to be a procedural principle that is a ‘scriptural decree’ derived from Devarim 17:6…

Details
Ketubot 17

Basing himself on today’s daf (Ketubot 17a), the Rambam (Hilchot Avel 14:8) rules that: ‘in a situation where someone is confronted with the opportunity to help bury the dead or participate in a bridal procession, they should put aside the opportunity to join the procession and involve themselves with the dead. At the same time,…

Details
Ketubot 16

In general, I am averse to making generalizations about any groups of people, and I am particularly averse to making generalizations when comparing the temperaments of men and women. At the same time, this does not negate the fact that some generalizations do contain kernels of truth.In this case, I’d like to share a creative…

Details
Ketubot 15

Given that today’s daf (Ketubot 15a-b) includes a substantive discussion about fundamental principles of halachic doubt – such that Moshe Halbertal (in his book ‘The Birth of Doubt: Confronting Uncertainty in Early Rabbinic Literature’ p. 34) rightly identifies this discussion as being ‘one of the most central developments of the doctrine of uncertainty in the…

Details
Ketubot 14

Early on in today’s daf (Ketubot 14a), reference is made to the position of Rabban Gamliel who – as I explained in my commentary to yesterday’s daf (https://rabbijohnnysolomon.com/ketubot-13) – rules that if a pregnant unmarried woman says that the man with whom she has had sexual relations does not render her ineligible to marry a…

Details
Ketubot 13

A curious phrase is used in a Mishna (Ketubot 1:6) found in today’s daf (Ketubot 13a) – which is also invoked in the three subsequent Mishnayot (Ketubot 1:7-9) but is not used anywhere else in the Gemara.To give some context, the Mishna discusses a situation where an unmarried Jewish woman is suspected of having sexual…

Details
Ketubot 12

Today’s daf (Ketubot 12b) references the halachic principle of ברי ושמא ברי עדיף – which literally means ‘certain and possible, certain is preferred’ and which is invoked when two people make a statement where one claims that they are certain (ברי) about what happened, while the other is less than sure and says that it…

Details
Ketubot 11

Today is the (postponed) fast of the 17th of Tammuz which commemorates five tragic events that occurred on this date (as recorded in Mishna Ta’anit 4:6):1) The first set of luchot (tablets) were smashed by Moshe upon seeing the Egel Hazahav (the Golden Calf), 2) The offering of the Korban Tamid (the twice daily sacrifice)…

Details
Ketubot 10

Today’s daf (Ketubot 10b) tells a story where a halachic question is asked by a husband to Rabbi Yehuda HaNassi (Rebbi), and during the exchange between Rebbi and the couple it becomes clear that they are suffering from malnutrition due to a local famine.In terms of this particular case, Rebbi’s response includes feeding the couple.…

Details
Ketubot 9

Today’s daf (Ketubot 9b) references the ‘war get’ which married soldiers of the army of King David were required to give to their wives before going out to war. As you may recall, I recently made brief reference to the ‘war get’ in my commentary to Yevamot 121 (see https://rabbijohnnysolomon.com/yevamot-121/), and I have discussed it…

Details
Ketubot 8

It is a well-known fact that wherever Jews live, they are meant to face Jerusalem in prayer (see Brachot 30a). As Rabbi Shubert Spero explains in his essay on ‘Turning to Jerusalem in Prayer’, “turning towards Jerusalem and the land of Israel from the “four corners of the earth” kept the Jew mindful of where…

Details
Ketubot 7

If you’ve been to what we often refer to as a ‘traditional Jewish wedding’, you will know that the ceremony begins with the ‘Birkat Eirusin’ – whose text is presented and discussed in today’s daf (Ketubot 7b); that it is immediately followed by the giving of a ring when the groom makes a declaration to…

Details
Ketubot 6

On three occasions, today’s daf (Ketubot 6a-b) draws a halachic comparison – twice when discussing the physiological consequences of a woman having sex for the first time, and once when discussing the psychological distraction of a groom who is soon to have sex for the first time.In terms of the first two cases, the reader…

Details
Ketubot 5

As part of its technical discussion about the possibility of someone getting so distracted in their preparations for a meal that they may come to transgress the Shabbat laws, today’s daf (Ketubot 5a) draws a distinction between preparations for an Erev Yom Kippur meal where there is no concern for Shabbat transgression, and preparations for…

Details
Ketubot 4

Today’s daf (Ketubot 4b) draws a distinction between the kinds of personal gestures that a woman may do for her husband (e. mix a cup of wine for him, make his bed etc.) while she is a mourner versus doing those same acts while he is a mourner.Explaining this Gemara, Rabbi Ephraim Oved writes in…

Details
Ketubot 3

A topic addressed both in yesterday (Ketubot 2b) and today’s daf (Ketubot 3a) is the status of a ‘get’ (Jewish divorce bill) which was given by a husband to his wife conditionally in a situation when the condition was met but only due to unforeseen circumstances.For example, if a husband gave his wife a ‘get’…

Details
Ketubot 2

Today we begin our study of Massechet Ketubot (1:1) which informs us in its opening Mishna that the marriage of a בתולה (virgin) traditionally occurred on a Wednesday. As the Gemara proceeds to explain (Ketubot 2a), this was established to provide a quick resolution to any טענת בתולים (claim made by the groom following the…

Details