ב׳ באייר ה׳תשע״ו (May 10, 2016)

Kiddushin 60a-b: Betrothal by Condition

The Mishnayot on today’s daf give examples of kiddushin al tenai – a marriage proposal that is based on the fulfillment of a condition.

If a man says to a woman, “Behold you are betrothed to me on the condition that I…

  • …give you two hundred zuz?” or
  • …give you two hundred zuz within the next 30 days?” or
  • …have two hundred zuz?” or
  • …will show you two hundred zuz?”

The marriage will take place if the man fulfills the condition as stated. In the last case, it would not be enough to show her money that is on the money-changer’s table, since it was implicit in the condition that he was suggesting that the money belonged to him.

Our Gemara brings a disagreement about the first case of the Mishna. When a man states his desire to marry a woman and makes it conditional on giving her a sum of money, Rav Yehuda rules that only when he gives her the money and fulfills the condition, will the marriage take effect. According to Rav Huna, the marriage will take effect retroactively once he gives her the money as promised.

The Ritva quotes the Talmud Yerushalmi, which suggests that according to Rav Huna the marriage will take effect immediately and he is obligated to give her the money. Given Rav Huna’s belief that giving the money as promised would activate the marriage retroactively, if we allow the condition to remain unfulfilled it would leave the woman connected to the man forever without them actually being married. This is a situation that cannot be allowed, so we force the man to fulfill the condition that he made. The Ritva argues that since we do not see any indication that the Talmud Bavli disagrees with this, we must assume that this is the halakha. Nevertheless, from the other rishonim it appears that they do not believe that he is obligated to fulfill the condition.

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