י״ב בסיון ה׳תשע״ה (May 30, 2015)

Nedarim 6a-b: Is There Intimation for Betrothal?

We have already discussed the concept of yadot nedarim – a “short form” statement or intimation that creates a vow even though it is not an entirely clear statement. Our Gemara examines the concept of yad in other areas of halakha. Will a yad work in the case of kiddushinbetrothal? When separating pe’a? When giving charity? How clear does the statement need to be in these cases?

With regard to kiddushin, there is a basic difference between taking a vow and creating a marriage. While a neder works entirely through a verbal statement, kiddushin needs not only a statement but also an act of marriage – usually the transfer of money or a contract. Will yad work in such a case as well? Some suggest that the only reason yad might work in kiddushin is because it contains an aspect similar to hekdesh – sanctification to the Temple – in that a woman who marries becomes forbidden to all others like hekdesh. This concept, which is included in the very word that is used for marriage in the language of (kiddushin = hekdesh), is the basis for nedarim, as well, where we find that the object has become forbidden. Rav Avraham min haHar suggests that there is a further reason to suggest that yad will work in the case of kiddushin; since the act of transfer indicates that a serious interaction is taking place between the man and the woman, even a weak statement will be understood.

The Ran explains that the continuation of the Gemara, where the possibility of yad in the case of pe’a is discussed, follows this line of reasoning. Thus, even if we reject the use of yad in the case of kiddushin because kiddushin is deemed to be too far removed from kodashim and nedarim, perhaps we can consider the case of pe’a, where the field is set aside for the use of the poor in a manner similar to that of hekdesh.

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