KIDUSHIN 11 (20 Tishrei) - Dedicated by Al and Sophia Ziegler of Har Nof, Jerusalem, and their son Jared, in loving memory of Al's mother, Chaya bas Berel Dov Ziegler, on the day of her Yahrzeit, and towards Jared's continued growth in Torah and Yir'as Shamayim.

QUESTION: In the Mishnah (2a), Beis Shamai states that Kidushei Kesef must be performed with at least a Dinar. Rav Yosef suggests that Beis Shamai's reason for requiring a Dinar for Kidushin is that whenever the Torah says the word "Kesef" it refers to a coin of the Tzuri monetary system, as Rav Yehudah in the name of Rav states. Since the Torah teaches that Kidushin may be performed with Kesef, it must be referring to a Dinar.
RASHI (11b, DH u'Tenan) explains that the Tzuri monetary system includes all of the coins of silver. The smallest denomination of silver coins is a Me'ah, which is one denomination less than a Dinar (there are six Me'ah in one Dinar). Rashi later (11b, DH Hachi Garsinan) proves this from the Gemara which discusses the minimum amount needed for a claim of "Modeh b'Miktzas," which is two Me'ah. The Gemara (11b) poses this law as a challenge to the view that every mention of "Kesef" in the Torah refers to Kesef Tzuri. Rashi explains the Gemara's question as follows: If "Kesef" mentioned in the Torah means Kesef Tzuri, it is because the word "Kesef" implies "[a coin of] silver" and not merely "[a sum of] money." Hence, when the Torah uses the term "Kesef," it refers to a single coin and not to two coins.
The Gemara answers that a Hekesh between "Kelim" and "Kesef" teaches that the Torah here refers to two silver coins. If the smallest denomination in Kesef Tzuri is a Dinar, the minimum amount for a claim should be two Dinar and not two Me'ah. (Rashi cites "Raboseinu" whose text of the Gemara implies that the smallest coin in Kesef Tzuri is a Dinar and not a Me'ah.)
Rashi (11a, DH v'Shel Divreihen), consistent with his opinion, is bothered by a question. Why does Beis Shamai state that Kidushin must be performed with a Dinar, if a Me'ah is the smallest denomination of Kesef Tzuri? Rashi answers that since the Torah teaches that a Perutah does not suffice for Kidushin, it must be that the Torah requires a significant, respectable sum of money, which presumably is a Dinar. (See Insights to 12:1.)
According to Rashi, why is the minimum amount of a monetary claim in a case of "Modeh b'Miktzas" two Me'ah? The same logic which applies to Kidushin should apply to "Modeh b'Miktzas": since the Torah requires a claim of a silver coin in the case of "Modeh b'Miktzas," and a silver coin is more than a Perutah, the claim should be a significant sum -- two Dinarim!
ANSWER: The fact that the Torah requires that the claim in the case of "Modeh b'Miktzas" be more than a Perutah does not imply that it also must be a significant sum. The reason why the claim must be more than a Perutah is that when the defendant admits (Modeh) to part of the claim and denies (Kofer) part, he must admit to at least a Perutah in order for the requirement to make a Shevu'ah of "Modeh b'Miktzas" to take effect. In the case of Kidushin, there is no reason for the Torah to require that the Kesef Kidushin be more than a Perutah if not for the requirement that it must be a significant amount for the honor of the woman. Accordingly, when the Torah teaches that the Kesef of Kidushin cannot be a Perutah because a Perutah is not a significant coin, it also cannot be a Me'ah (which is also not a significant coin), but instead it must be a Dinar.


QUESTIONS: Rav Yehudah in the name of Rav (11a) asserts that every time the Torah mentions "Kesef" it refers to the currency of Kesef Tzuri. The Gemara attempts to disprove this assertion and to show that not every time the Torah mentions "Kesef" does it refer to Kesef Tzuri. The Gemara quotes the Mishnah in Ma'aser Sheni (2:8) which discusses "ha'Poret Sela mi'Ma'os Ma'aser Sheni." The Mishnah there teaches that a person may exchange the small coins which he used to redeem his Ma'aser Sheni for one large, silver Sela coin, which is easier to carry to Yerushalayim. This Mishnah clearly implies that Ma'aser Sheni may be redeemed with copper Perutos (which are not of the Kesef Tzuri currency), even though the Torah specifically mentions "Kesef" when it discusses the redemption of Ma'aser Sheni.
(a) Why does the Gemara assume that the Mishnah in Ma'aser Sheni refers to changing small copper Perutos into a silver Sela? The Mishnah says explicitly "Ma'os," and Rashi (end of DH u'Tenan) explains that a Me'ah is a coin of silver and part of the Kesef Tzuri currency!
(b) Even if the Mishnah there refers to fruit redeemed with Perutos of copper, why does the Gemara assume that each small quantity of fruit of Ma'aser Sheni was redeemed with a single Perutah? The Torah permits Ma'aser Sheni to be redeemed on any amount of coins at a time. Perhaps the Ma'aser Sheni was redeemed on a Dinar's worth of Perutos, and that is why the person has copper Perutos of Ma'aser Sheni. Since the Perutos were worth a Dinar (a coin of Kesef Tzuri), he fulfilled the Torah's requirement that Kesef Tzuri be used for Ma'aser Sheni. (RASHBA)
(a) The MELECHES SHLOMO (to Ma'aser Sheni 2:8) quotes the MAHARIK (#95) who answers the first question. The Maharik explains that the word "Ma'os" has two meanings. It may refer to coins of the specific denomination of the "Me'ah," or it may mean coins or money in general. The Mishnah in Ma'aser Sheni uses the term "Ma'os" as a reference to money in general and not to coins of a specific denomination. This is evident from the Mishnah's use of the word, "ha'Poret," which means that the person adds together Perutos and not Ma'os coins.
(b) The RASHBA answers the second question. He explains that it is logical to assume that the person originally redeemed each small quantity of Ma'aser Sheni on a single Perutah until he collected a number of Perutos. Had he waited until he had a large quantity of fruit to redeem, he would have redeemed the fruit on a coin of a large denomination in the first place (such as a Dinar or Me'ah, coins of Kesef Tzuri) in order to facilitate carrying the money to Yerushalayim. He would not have bothered to redeem the Ma'aser Sheni on many small coins and then exchange the small coins for a large coin.
The MAHARIT and PNEI YEHOSHUA suggest another answer. The Mishnah earlier in Ma'aser Sheni (1:2) teaches that one may not redeem fruit of Ma'aser Sheni onto an "Asimon" (a blank, or a metal disc from which a coin is stamped). The Gemara in Bava Metzia (54a) derives this from the verse, "v'Tzarta ha'Kesef" (Devarim 14:25), which teaches that the money used for the redemption of Ma'aser Sheni must have a stamped form ("Tzurah") on it. The Maharit and Pnei Yehoshua suggest that if the Torah recognizes only Kesef Tzuri as a valid currency, Kesef Medinah would have the status of an Asimon, and a coin of Kesef Medinah (such as a Perutah) would not be valid for the redemption of Ma'aser Sheni, even if one redeems a large quantity of Ma'aser Sheni on many Perutos at one time.