י״ד בניסן ה׳תשע״ו (April 22, 2016)

Kiddushin 44a-b: Betrothal and Divorce of a Young Woman

(For Sunday, April 24, Pesḥ)

The Gemara on yesterday’s daf quotes a Mishna in Massekhet Gittin (64b) that teaches that in the case of a , both she and her father have the ability to accept a geṭ for her. Rabbi Yehuda disagrees, arguing that only the father has the ability to do so. All agree that a basic principle is that for a geṭ to work the woman receiving it must understand the significance of the geṭ and recognize the need to guard the document properly.

Does this same disagreement apply to kiddushin – marriage – as well as to giṭṭin? Reish Lakish believes that it does, but according to Rabbi Yohanan there is no argument with regard to the status of a na’ara accepting kiddushin; all agree that only the father can accept kiddushin for a na’ara.

After a lengthy discussion of this subject, the Gemara rules on the argument between Reish Lakish and Rabbi Yohanan by relating a story. One day Rav Asi did not attend classes in the study hall, so he inquired from Rabbi Zeira to find out what had been discussed. Rabbi Zeira replied that he also had missed that day, but that Rabbi Avin who was there reported the entire student body had accepted Rabbi Yohanan’s opinion, leading Reish Lakish to shout like a kerukhya – pointing to the passage that paralleled marriage to divorce (Devarim 24:2), indicating that the rules should be the same – yet no one paid any attention to him.

A kerukhya is a Common Crane (Grus grus), also known as the Eurasian Crane, which is a bird of the family Gruidae, the cranes. The crane migrates between Europe and Africa, invariably stopping in Israel during its migrations. Its larynx is long and twisted, which allows it to produce a deep throaty sound that is heard over long distances.

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