Resources for Kesubos daf 27

1.     The משנה says that if a woman is captured for דיני נפשות she is אסורה to her husband. There is a מחלוקת ראשונים as to whether the משנה is referring to an אשת כהן or even to an אשת ישראל. רש"י in ד"ה אסורה לבעלה תוספות in ד"ה ועל says it is even referring to an אשת ישראל because if it only referred to an אשת כהן then the משנה should have said אסורה לכהונה instead of אסורה לבעלה. The reason this woman would be אסורה לבעלה is because we are חושש that perhaps she was מזנה ברצון so that her captor would like her and spare her life. The ריטב"א brings several questions on this. First, part of the כתובה is that if the wife is captured the husband promises to ransom her back and take her back as a wife. So she must not be אסורה to him. Furthermore, אסתר was with אחשורוש and yet the גמרא in מגילה says she would constantly go back to מרדכי to be with him as a wife. We see that a woman being captured doesn’t make her אסורה to her husband. The רמב"ן makes all these points but adds one critically important point: he says that any ריצוי that comes from fear doesn’t count as a ריצוי to make her אסורה to her husband. This is a חידוש for two reasons: first, the גמרא in מגילה on דף ט"ו says that when אסתר agreed to go to the king she said “כאשר אבדתי אבדתי” because going on her own volition would be considered going ברצון and she would then be אסורה to her husband. Second, the אבני מילואים in סימן ז׳ אות י"א brings the רוקח who famously says that if a woman is מזנה but didn’t realize she doing something wrong is still אסורה to her husband because it says “ומעלה לו מעל” and its still a מעילה in her husband. The רוקח actually brings the aforementioned proof from אסתר! The אבני מילואים points out that it sounds like the רוקח is against the רמב"ן who says that any ריצוי מחמת פּחד is not ריצוי.  However, the הפלאה (without mentioning the רמב"ן or רוקח) says that there is a world of difference between allowing yourself to be נאנס and offering to be נאנס. When a woman is being נאנסה, she doesn’t need to give up her life and any רצון she may have to show at that time doesn’t count as ריצוי. However, if you go and offer yourself, even משום פּחד (similar to what אסתר did), then that would certainly count as ברצון. As to whether a woman is allowed to offer herself to save lives, the שבות יעקב in חלק ב סימן קי"ז said it is allowed but she would make herself אסורה to her husband. However, the נודע ביהודה in יו"ד מהדו"ת סימן קס"א says that it is אסור to offer to be מזנה even to save lives and אסתר was different since it was to save the entire Jewish people and was approved by מרדכי ובית דינו and perhaps was done ברוח הקודש.

2.     The משנה says that if a city is conquered by a sieging army then all the כהנות are אסורות unless there are עדים to the contrary. It also adds that a person cant be מעיד about themselves. The פּני יהושע is bothered that the משנה sounds like it is saying a general rule that a person can never be believed about themselves and that certainly isn’t true since one of the sources for עד אחד נאמן באיסורים is from a זבה who is believed about where she is up to in her ספירת שבעה נקיים. He answers that perhaps the משנה said it the way it did because it wants to include an earlier משנה where we said כהנים cant testify about themselves that they are כהנים. The חתם סופר explains that its is true that a person is normally believed about themselves, but no עד אחד is believed against a חזקה. In our case, there is a חזקה דרבנן against her since there is a רוב that the conquerors were מזנה with her. However, it is only a חזקה דרבנן since it is a רוב התלוי במעשה which isn’t a full רוב. Therefore, since someone else has the added believability of אין אדם חוטא ולא לו, we will believe the other person but we cant believe the woman herself.

New Daf Hashavua newsletter - Shavua Matters

Rabbi Yechiel Grunhaus - Points to Ponder

Daf HaShavua Choveres - compiled by Rabbi Pinchas Englander