1) FORFEITURE OF PRESENTS GIVEN BEFORE KIDUSHIN
OPINIONS: The Mishnah states that when a Chasan sends presents, Savlonos, to the home of his future father-in-law and he eats a Dinar's worth of food in his father-in-law's home in honor of his marriage, he (or his heirs) may not reclaim those presents in the event that the Kalah dies, he dies, or he changes his mind and decides not to marry her. (If the Kalah changes her mind, then the Savlonos are returned; see 146b.) If the Chasan does not eat a Dinar's worth of food in his father-in-law's home, he may reclaim the presents.
The RASHBAM, RABEINU GERSHOM, and others explain that the Chasan forfeits the right to reclaim the presents because he experienced great joy when he ate a Dinar's worth of food at a feast in his honor in his Kalah's home.
Is there a difference between gifts that the Chasan sends before the Kidushin and those that he sends after the Kidushin?
(a) The RASHBAM and RITVA clearly state that this law applies only to gifts given after the Kidushin. The RITVA explains that a Chasan certainly would not forfeit the right to reclaim gifts he gave before the Kidushin merely because he partook of a joyous meal in his Kalah's home.
The MAHARIK (#171) proves this from the Gemara itself. The Gemara discusses an incident in which a Chasan sent 100 wagonloads of wine, oil, silver, gold, and clothing to his future father-in-law's home. Certainly this man would not have sent such a large gift unless he had already performed Kidushin.
(b) The REMA (EH 50:3) understands that the RASHBA argues with the Ritva and does not differentiate between gifts given before the Kidushin and gifts given after the Kidushin. He infers this from the Rashba's statement that "a Chasan must return things sent to him before Kidushin, just as gifts that he sent must be returned to him." This implies that the Mishnah's ruling applies to gifts given both before and after the Kidushin.
(c) The TAZ disagrees with the Rema's understanding of the Rashba. The Taz asserts that the Rashba states only that everything returns to its original owner. However, he does not equate the law of eating at the home of one's future father-in-law after Kidushin with that of eating there before the Kidushin. The Taz understands that everyone agrees that this is a special law that applies only after Kidushin.
2) THE HUSBAND WHO INTENDED TO DIVORCE HIS WIFE
OPINIONS: The Gemara (146a-146b) relates an incident in which a man was informed that his wife had a medical condition characterized by the lack of a sense of smell. When a man is not informed of this condition before marriage, such a condition is considered an unexposed blemish which is grounds to divorce his wife without giving her a Kesuvah. To ascertain whether she indeed could not smell, the man led his wife into a ruin while he hid a pungent radish in his clothes. He then declared, "I smell the odor of radish in the Galil," in order to see how she would respond. She answered jokingly, "Who will give us from the figs of Yericho, so that we can eat them together!" (Since radishes are sharp and figs are sweet, it was customary to eat them together.) Immediately afterwards, the ruin collapsed on her and killed her. The Chachamim ruled, "Because he went into the ruin with her only in order to check her [sense of smell], if she died he does not inherit her."
The Gemara does not state whether she passed or failed the man's test of her olfactory ability. Also, it is not clear from the Gemara whether the woman was his full-fledged wife, or whether she was only betrothed (Arusah) to him.
(a) The RASHBAM prefers to explain that the woman was fully married to him. Even though a husband usually inherits his wife's property, this man was not entitled to inherit her property because he had decided to divorce her if he found her to have this blemish, and they did not reconcile before her death. It is also the opinion of the PISKEI RID that any woman who dies while her husband intends to divorce her is not inherited by her husband.
Accordingly, the Rashbam explains that the woman failed the test, and her husband planned to divorce her and thus was not entitled to inherit her. The MAHARSHA explains that this is evident from the fact that they did not appease each other before her death. According to the MAHARSHAL, the Rashbam understands that the husband himself was unsure if his wife's response indicated that she was able to smell, or if she merely guessed that he had told the truth about having radishes with him, and thus they were not yet reconciled.
The Rashbam rejects a different explanation that says that the man and woman were only betrothed and not fully married, and that the Chachamim ruled that since he did not go into the ruin to consummate the marriage but rather to check her sense of smell, he does not inherit her property. The Rashbam rejects this explanation because even if he did go into the ruin in order to consummate the marriage with marital relations, they would not have been fully married and he would not have been entitled to inherit her property.
(b) The RI MI'GASH and the MORDECHAI agree that a husband may be unable to inherit his wife's property under certain circumstances. They maintain, however, that this is true only in a case of a "Mekach Ta'us," a transaction (in this case, the marriage) made in error, such as when the woman is found to have an undisclosed blemish that negates the marriage altogether. In the case of the Gemara here, since the man found his wife to have such a blemish (i.e. she failed the test), he does not inherit her property; he was never married to her since the marriage was invalid from the start.
According to this explanation, the case of the Gemara here has no bearing on the law of a husband and a wife who have plans to divorce. Perhaps a husband who intends to divorce his wife (but has not yet divorced her) would* inherit her property if she dies.
(c) TOSFOS and the ROSH (9:16) argue that the Gemara is discussing a betrothed woman (Arusah) whose Chasan was checking in order to see if he should go through with the marriage (Nisu'in). The Chachamim ruled that since he did not enter the ruin with her to consummate the marriage but rather to check her sense of smell, he does not inherit her property.
How do Tosfos and the Rosh answer the Rashbam's question on this explanation? Even if the man did consummate the marriage with her, it would not entitle him to inherit her property!
They explain that the man and woman went into a ruined building that he owned. Had he brought her into his own domain in order to consummate the marriage through Chupah, she would have become his wife. However, since he brought her into his domain only in order to check if she had this blemish, he did not complete the marriage and he was not entitled to inherit her.
Tosfos and the Rosh reject the opinion that the husband's right to inherit his wife is revoked when he intends to divorce her or when there may have been a "Mekach Ta'us." (See Rosh for additional questions on the explanation of the Rashbam, and see PILPULA CHARIFTA there.)