1) THE "BELA'OS" OF THE MISHNAH
OPINIONS: The Mishnah (100b) teaches that in the case of a man who married a Mema'enes, Sheniyah, or Aylonis, the man has no obligation to pay the woman the money of the Kesuvah, Peros, Mezonos, or Bela'os. "Bela'os" refers to the clothing which the woman brought into the marriage for the husband to wear, and which subsequently became worn out. The husband is not obligated to reimburse her for that clothing.
Shmuel asserts that the Mishnah refers only to Bela'os of Nichsei Milug, the property of the wife for which the husband is not responsible and which he returns as is, regardless of any appreciation or depreciation in value (or deterioration) over the years. The husband is obligated to reimburse his wife for the Bela'os of Nichsei Tzon Barzel, the property of the wife for which the husband is responsible (the value of which was estimated and written in the Kesuvah to be returned to her in full upon divorce or upon the husband's death).
The Gemara seeks to clarify the exact case in the Mishnah to which Shmuel refers. He cannot be referring to the case of Mema'enes, because in that case if the clothing still exists it should be given to her, and if it no longer exists nothing should be given to her, whether the clothing was Nichsei Milug or Nichsei Tzon Barzel.
He cannot be referring to the case of Aylonis, because if the clothing no longer exists the opposite of Shmuel's ruling applies: the husband should be required to pay her the value of the Bela'os of Nichsei Milug (because she is the full owner), while he should not be required to pay her the value of the Bela'os of Nichsei Tzon Barzel (because he acquired a degree of ownership over them).
The Gemara answers that Shmuel must be referring to the case of Sheniyah. The Chachamim penalized her (for marrying a man to whom she was prohibited) by revoking her right to receive the Bela'os of Nichsei Milug to which she is entitled. They penalized him (for marrying a woman to whom he was prohibited) by revoking his right to keep the Bela'os of Nichsei Tzon Barzel.
According to Shmuel, the Mishnah's law that the woman loses her rights to receive Bela'os of Nichsei Milug applies only in the case of Sheniyah.
However, the Mishnah itself clearly refers to all three types of wives -- Mema'enes, Sheniyah, and Aylonis -- when it says that she loses the right to receive Bela'os. Although Shmuel explains that it is only the Sheniyah who loses the right to receive the Bela'os of Nichsei Melug, what type of Bela'os do the other women lose?
(a) The RIF (quoted by the RAN) understands that the Mishnah means that each woman loses a different type of Bela'os. A Mema'enes loses both types of Bela'os (as the Gemara mentions earlier), Nichsei Milug and Nichsei Tzon Barzel. An Aylonis loses only Bela'os of Nichsei Tzon Barzel (as the Gemara mentions earlier). A Sheniyah loses Bela'os of Nichsei Milug (as Shmuel explains).
(b) The RAN explains that when the Gemara says that an Aylonis should lose only the Bela'os of Nichsei Tzon Barzel but not Bela'os of Nichsei Milug, it means that if Shmuel refers to Aylonis when he differentiates between the different types of Bela'os, this is the type she loses and this is the type she receives. However, once the Gemara concludes that Shmuel is referring to Sheniyah and not to Aylonis, it is understood that both a Mema'enes and an Aylonis lose all forms of Bela'os. (Mordechai Zvi Dicker)
2) A PROMISE OF SUPPORT FOR FIVE YEARS
QUESTION: The Mishnah teaches that when a man marries a woman who stipulates that he must feed her daughter (from her prior marriage) for five years, the obligation to do so is fully binding.
Why does the Mishnah teach this law specifically for the case of five years and not for any other period of time?
(a) The TOSFOS YOM TOV answers that in an ordinary situation a woman worries about providing for her daughter until she is seven years old. Since a woman who became widowed or divorced with a baby is not permitted to remarry until her child is two years old, when she remarries she generally will ask her new husband to provide support for her daughter until her daughter reaches the age of seven -- five years from the time of the marriage.
(b) The HAFLA'AH points out that the Gemara later (102b) infers from the Mishnah's requirement that the man bring the food to the girl "at the place of her mother" that a daughter stays with her mother and cannot be forced to stay anywhere else. (The practical ramification of this law exists in a case in which a girl's brothers are supporting her after the death of their father. They cannot demand that she live in their house. Rather, they must bring food to her at the house of her mother even though she is not living with them.)
The Hafla'ah asserts that this Halachah (that a girl cannot be forced to live away from her mother) cannot be derived from the fact that a daughter normally lives with her mother until the age of six. Until that age, every child needs her mother, as the Gemara earlier says (65b). (Consequently, the father is obligated to feed the child until that age, and the child is included in any Eruv that her mother might make.) The fact that it is the normal manner for a daughter to stay with her mother even after the age of six (when she no longer needs her mother) can be proven only from the case of a seven year-old. Accordingly, the Mishnah refers to a case of supporting one's step-daughter for five years in order to show that even at the age of seven the daughter lives with her mother (the mother waits the mandatory two years before she remarries, and there are five years until the daughter turns seven). The Gemara later infers from the fact that the Mishnah states that a seven year-old receives her Mezonos at her mother's home that it indeed is the normal manner for a girl to stay with her mother until that age (even though she no longer needs her mother) and her brothers cannot demand that she live with them. (Mordechai Zvi Dicker)