Resources for Kesubos daf 49

1.     The גמרא says that we don’t force every father to support their children once they are over six. However, if the father is wealthy then we force him to support them. It is unclear what “force” exactly entails. The רמב"ם  in הלכות מתנות עניים פּרק ז׳ הל׳ י says that if someone is supposed to pay צדקה and doesn’t, ב"ד can beat him and take his property away. However, the רשב"א says that the חיוב of the father to support his children past age six if he is rich is מדין צדקה, and whenever we are forcing מדין צדקה we are only entitled to force the person when he is in front of us and acquiesces to our demands. However, if he is not around we cannot simply go down and confiscate his property. The רשב"א seems to hold there is no monetary debt to צדקה but rather a חיוב גברא for the person to pay. This is also the opinion of רב האי גאון ז"ל. The רשב"א’s proof is that the גמרא said earlier that if he leaves town we don’t take "דבר אחר" from him which is צדקה. Clearly, says the רשב"א , there is no שעבוד נכסים. The ר"ן on דף י"ח בדפּי הריף ד"ה בעל כרחיה argues with the רשב"א since the גמרא also said that if the person is נשטתה then ב"ד will go down and collect דבר אחר which is צדקה so you see you can collect it directly from the property without the owner agreeing. The ר"ן seems to hold there is a direct שעבוד נכסים due to צדקה. The כסף משנה in הלכות נחלות פּרק י"א הל׳ י"א says this explicitly בדעת הרמב"ם. While the ר"ן’s question on the רשב"א seems somewhat obvious, the מחנה אפרים in הלכות צדקה סימן א has equally strong questions on the ר"ן. First of all, how would the ר"ן  answer the רשב"א’s proof from the person who leaves town? Second, the ר"ן’s proof is from the גמרא of נשטתה--if the גמרא is discussing a חיוב צדקה then a שוטה is פּטור from all מצוות anyway so how could ב"ד collect anything at all? Rather, that גמרא is coming from the fact that we can assume the person would want צדקה given from his money and not מדין כפיה so there is no question on the רשב"א.

As to how the ר"ן and רמב"ם  would answer the רשב"א’s proof that when the person leaves town we don’t take צדקה for his property, the מחנה אפרים suggests that they could answer like ריטב"א who says we can assume the person gave צדקה where he is. However, the מחנה אפרים doesn’t feel this answer is correct since that doesn’t excuse him from paying child support to his children as that is a charitable obligation directly on the father even if he already gave צדקה. He therefore has no answer for the ר"ן.

The קצות החושן in סימן ק" צ ס"ק ג agrees with the רמב"ם  and ר"ן that there is aשעבוד נכסים on צדקה. However, תוספות in ד"ה אכפּייה seems to hold like the רשב"א. תוספות asks how ב"ד could force anyone to give צדקה when it is a מצות עשה שמתן שכרה בצדה and ב"ד has no authority to be כופה people on such a מצוה. תוספות gives several answers. The קצות points out that if there is a שעבוד נכסים then there is a clear answer to תוספות’s question—of course ב"ד can force the obligation to be paid if there is a שעבוד נכסים. It seems therefore that תוספות agrees with the רשב"א. The קהילת יעקב in ב"ב סימן ח asks why in fact is there no שעבוד נכסים according to תוספות and the רשב"א? Why is it different than other מצוות דאורייתא like פּדיון הבן where there is a שעבוד נכסים. He answers that the issue is that it is ממון שאין לו תובעים so there is no one specific to collect it for. According to that, one would need to say that by פּדיון הבן as well there are מכירי כהונה who would be able to be the one to demand the money from the פּדיון הבן.

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