Kesubos - Daf 70

  • When are purchases and sales made by minors valid?

It was stated in a Mishnah in Gittin 59a: הפעוטות מקחן מקח וממכרן מכר במטלטלין – Young children, which Rashi defines as children eight or nine, their purchases are valid purchases, and their sales are valid sales, with regard to moveable property. Rashi explains that regarding land, their transactions are not valid until they have two se’aros or reach the age of twenty. Rafram said that they only taught this ruling שאין שם אפוטרופס – when there is no apotropos to manage the estate, but when there is, their purchases are not valid purchases, and their sales are not valid sales. From where do I know this? From that which our Mishnah taught: אין מעשה קטנה כלום – The act of a minor is nothing.

  •  המדיר את אשתו מליהנות לו עד שלשים יום יעמיד פרנס

The opening Mishnah of the seventh perek states: המדיר את אשתו מליהנות לו עד שלשים יום יעמיד פרנס – If one makes a neder prohibiting his wife to derive benefit from him for up to thirty days, which Rashi explains is referring to receiving any support from him, he must appoint an agent to support her. יתר מיכן יוציא ויתן כתובה – If the neder was for longer than thirty days, he must divorce and give her the kesubah. The Gemara asks that since he is chayav to support her, how can he make a neder on her? כל כמיניה דמפקע לה לשיעבודה – Is it within his power to uproot her lien on him? After the first answer is rejected, the Gemara explains that the case is when her husband said to her, "צאי מעשה ידיך במזונותיך" – “Take your earnings in lieu of your food”. Here, the husband no longer has a chiyuv to support her. When the Gemara asks, why then is a shaliach needed to support her if she has earnings, Rav Ashi answers, במספקת לדברים גדולים ואינה מספקת לדברים קטנים – the Mishnah is referring to a case where she has enough earnings for her big items, such as the food she needs, but not enough for the small items. The neder takes effect, but the shaliach needs to provide her with the small items. The Gemara brings additional approaches to answer this question.

  • Why the steward is not considered the husband’s shaliach

The Mishnah had stated: עד שלשים יום יעמיד פרנס – If the neder was up to thirty days he should appoint a steward to support her. The Gemara asks: ופרנס לאו שליחותיה קא עביד – Is not the steward functioning as the husband’s shaliach? If so, how is this permissible? Rav Huna said: The Mishnah’s case is באומר כל הזן אינו מפסיד – where the husband says: Whoever supports my wife will not lose by it. Therefore, the steward is considered as if he is acting on his own. The Gemara challenges this, given that in a case in Gittin, if a person was thrown into a pit and he said, כל השומע קולו יכתוב גט לאשתו – anyone who hears his voice should write a get for his wife, those who hear his voice should write and give her the get. This implies that they are considered his shaliach, or else the get would not be valid. The Gemara answers that the two cases are not comparable. התם קאמר יכתוב הכא מי קאמר יזון – Over there, the husband commanded whoever heard him that they should write the get, whereas here, did he tell the steward that he should support her? כל הזן קאמר – He just said that whoever supports her will not lose by it. This is not enough to consider the steward the husband’s shaliach.