More Discussions for this daf
1. Vows prohibiting him to her, or her to him 2. Husband's responsibilities-conjugal relations with his wife 3. Misusing Medical Knowledge

David Scop asks:


Gutten Moed Rebeeim,

See 61b towards top of daf, regarding the story with the Roman using a pomegranate to coerce a woman to marry him. Other than the theme of not eating in front of someone without offering them first (from amud alef of 61), what specifically can we learn from this about how far can someone use or misuse knowledge of teva/medicine?

1. Was it permitted for the Roman, as a goy, to do what he did? And would it be permitted for a Yid to do so (sounds like using Torah knowledge for one's benefit)?

2. Is this medical fact still true (dangerous saliva if seeing someone else eat a pomagratae)?

3. Would this marriage be battul if taken to beis din if chas v'shalom it was between Yidden?

I looked and found no peirush dealing with the above

Thank you for sending the answers to questions earlier in moed.

Bchavod ubahava,

David Scop,

The Kollel replies:

We learn from this that the problem was that the woman swallowed her saliva and that is why she became ill. Therefore, if one smells food and has a craving for it but is unable to obtain it, he must remember not to swallow the saliva but to spit it out. This is recorded by the Mishneh Berurah (OC 169:3), based on the Gemara here.

1) I would like to prove from the Gemara in Bava Basra 16b that the Roman was not permitted to do what he did. The Gemara there tells us that Esav committed five crimes on the day that he sold the birthright to Yakov. One of them was that he had relations with a Na'arah ha'Me'urasah. Tosfos (16b, DH Ba) asks what transgression was involved in this, since Bnei Noach were not commanded with the prohibition of Na'arah ha'Me'urasah. Tosfos answers that even though they are not commanded against it, nevertheless it is an ugly thing to do. This could mean that the girl consented, but nevertheless she is being unfaithful to her intended. Similarly, I suggest that it is an ugly act to coerce a woman into marriage, and Bnei Noach are also warned against this.

A Jew also would not be permitted to do this. A source for this is the Gemara in Kidushin 2b which teaches that one may not force a woman into marriage; it must be with her consent.

2) This medical fact still applies. The Mishneh Berurah (OC 169:2) writes that it is damaging for a person when good-smelling food is eaten in his presence and he wants to eat from it but cannot. (We do sometimes find in Halachah the concept of "Nishtanu ha'Teva'im" -- that parts of the physical nature have changed from the time of the Gemara to our time, but as far as I am aware none of the authorities write that there has been a change concerning the danger presented by odorous food.)

3) My initial reaction is that the marriage would be Batel. My source is the Shulchan Aruch EH 42:1, who rules that a woman can be married only with her consent.

I found that Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt'l, in his He'oros to Kesuvos 61b, says that the marriage would be valid b'Di'eved. He says that the case of our Gemara is not the same as the Din mentioned in Bava Basra 48b that if a woman was physically coerced until she agreed to get married, the marriage is not valid. The distinction is that in the case in Bava Basra, someone else is forcing her to get married, while in the case of the Gemara here, in the final analysis the wish to marry is coming from the woman herself, because she agreed to marry him in order to save her life.

Rav Elyashiv cites the Shulchan Aruch (CM 205:12) who states that if A was forced by B to give a present to C, but A had no money with which to pay for the present and, in order to fund the gift, A sold his field, this is not considered that the field was sold without his "Da'as." Rather, we say that when he sold the field he wanted the sale to take effect, and therefore it is valid. Similarly, in the Gemara here, the woman is not happy about the situation she has been forced into, but once she is in this situation she is happy to save her life by marrying the man. Accordingly, even though the Roman certainly should not have done what he did, nevertheless she consented to marry him in order to save her own life, and thus b'Di'eved the marriage is valid.

Kol Tuv,

Dovid Bloom

The Kollel adds:

We have started in Yeshiva learning the first chapter of Masechet Kidushin, which deals with the topic of consent for a marriage, so I have had an opportunity to look in more depth into the question of whether the marriage performed by the Roman would be valid bedieved and here are sources that I found

1) There is a Shiltei Giborim on the first page of the Rif in Kidushin #2 DH Kesheim. He writes that if a man hit a woman and tortured her until she agreed to marry him, and he did kidushin, the marriage is not valid. S.G. writes that the man behaved in an improper way, so Chazal also "played a trick" on him and declared that the marriage is invalid. S.G. writes that this is made clear in the 3rd chapter of Bava Basra

SG is referring to Bava Basra 48b. There the conclusion of the Gemara is that Mar bar Rav Ashi said that if someone "hung" a woman i.e. he tortured her until she agreed to marry him, the marriage is certainly not valid. Because he behaved inappropriately with her Chazal behaved inappropriatley with the husband and abolished the marriage

Chazal have the ability to abolish a marriage even if according to the strict laws of transactions it should be valid. In other words, even though if this was a mundane sale we would say that since the seller agreed to the sale at the end of the day, and also received the right price for his item, nevertheless when it comes to getting married, Chazal are capable of saying that they nuillify the wedding even though according to the dry rules the transaction should technically apply

The Gemara Kesuvos 3a states that the reason that Chazal can do this is because anyone who gets married does so right from the beginning according to the understand that the process works according to the way that Chazal want it to work. Tosfos there writes that this is why we say under the Chupah ACCORDING TO THE LAW OF MOSHE AND ISRAEL. MOSHE refers to the Torah law and ISRAEL refers to the Rabbinic law

So it seems to me that the same way that the Shiltei Giborim writes that if a man hit a woman until she agreed to marry him, that the marriage is not valid, so in the case of the Roman in Kesuvos, Chazal also dissolved this marriage because the Roman behaved badly


Dovid Bloom