1) THE AMOUNT OF MONEY REQUIRED TO PURCHASE AN "AMAH IVRIYAH"
QUESTION: Reish Lakish (11b) explains that the source for Beis Shamai's ruling that a woman cannot become Mekudeshes with less than a Dinar is the Kinyan Kesef of an Amah Ivriyah. An Amah Ivriyah cannot be purchased for a Perutah, because such a purchase would preclude her redemption with "Gira'on Kesef." Since the Torah teaches that an Amah Ivriyah may be purchased only with more than a Perutah, presumably it means that she must be purchased with at least a Dinar. RASHI explains that this assumption is based on the logic of "Keivan d'Apiktei": since the Torah teaches that more than a Perutah must be used, presumably it requires that a significant value ("Davar Chashuv") be used, which eliminates the possibility that an Amah may be purchased for two Perutos or a Me'ah. Rather, the Torah requires that an Amah be purchased with a Dinar. Rashi records a similar line of reasoning earlier (end of 11a; see Insights there).
It is clear how the logic of "Keivan d'Apiktei" applies to the Kidushin of a woman. If the Torah teaches that a Perutah is not sufficient for Kidushin (as Beis Shamai maintains), it is necessary to explore the rationalization for why it is not sufficient. (This is not related to the opinion of Rebbi Shimon who maintains that we are to seek a rationalization for every Mitzvah ("Dorshin Ta'ama d'Kra"). Rather, here we must seek the system of logic which will explain what the verse is teaching.) In the case of Amah Ivriyah, there is no need to search for a reason for why the Torah insists that an Amah must be sold for more than a Perutah, because the verse itself explains the reason. The verse explains that she must be sold for more than a Perutah because she must be able to be redeemed with Gira'on Kesef.
The Torah teaches a similar requirement with regard to "Yi'ud," as the Gemara here mentions. A man may not purchase an Amah Ivriyah unless he is able to perform Yi'ud with her. For this reason, she may not be sold to a close relative who is prohibited from marrying her. Just as the Torah requires that the possibility to perform Yi'ud exist in order to permit the sale of an Amah Ivriyah, it requires that the possibility to redeem her with Gira'on Kesef exist as well.
Since the Torah explicitly states the reason for why a Perutah may not be used for the purchase of an Amah Ivriyah, why does Rashi assume that the reason is that the Torah requires an amount of money that is a "Davar Chashuv"? (MISHNEH L'MELECH, Hilchos Avadim 4:3)
(a) The MISHNEH L'MELECH answers that the Gemara's discussion is based on the logic of "Don Minah v'Uki b'Asra" (Yevamos 78b; see Background there). This means that when a specific Halachah is derived from one category of law to another through a Gezeirah Shavah or a Hekesh, the Halachah is adjusted according to the logical parameters of the second category of law; the Halachah derived from the first category of law does not necessarily apply to the second category in exactly the same way it applies to its source. The Gemara here utilizes this principle in the following way:
An Amah Ivriyah indeed may be purchased for just two Perutos, because such a purchase price enables her to be redeemed with Gira'on Kesef. When the Gemara derives the amount necessary for Kidushin through a Hekesh from Amah Ivriyah, it needs to find a different logical basis for requiring more than a Perutah, because the logic of Gira'on Kesef does not apply. The logical basis to require more than a Perutah for Kidushin is the need to show respect for the woman. This need, however, is not satisfied with just two Perutos; it necessitates that a significant amount (i.e. a Dinar) be given to the woman. Accordingly, the Hekesh from Amah Ivriyah teaches only that more than a Perutah is required. Exactly how much more depends on the particular parameters of Kidushin.
When the Gemara asks that "perhaps half a Dinar or two Perutos is enough," it does not refer to the purchase of an Amah Ivriyah, but rather to Kidushin. The Gemara's question is: why must a woman be married with a Dinar (according to Beis Shamai) while an Amah may be purchased with only two Perutos? The Gemara answers that when the Hekesh is applied to Kidushei Ishah, logic dictates that a Dinar must be used and that two Perutos will not suffice, as explained above.
The Mishneh l'Melech points out that the Rambam makes no mention of a requirement to buy an Amah with a Dinar. He writes merely that one must buy an Amah for "more than a Perutah." According to the Mishneh l'Melech's understanding of the Gemara, the Rambam's source is clear. The Gemara requires a Dinar only for Kidushin but not for the purchase of an Amah Ivriyah.
However, RASHI (DH Palga d'Dinar) explicitly writes that a Dinar is required even for the purchase of an Amah Ivriyah. The answer of the Mishneh l'Melech does not explain the Gemara according to Rashi's explanation.
(b) Perhaps the Gemara indeed intends to seek a logical reason for why the purchase of an Amah Ivriyah must include an option to redeem her with Gira'on Kesef. It does not seem logical to assume that the Torah requires that more than a Perutah be used for the purchase of an Amah solely to allow for Gira'on Kesef (since it is possible to redeem her for the same value for which she was sold). Rather, the requirement of Gira'on Kesef is merely a "Siman" (an indication), and not a "Sibah" (a causative factor), of the amount required for the sale. The Gemara concludes that the reason why more than a Perutah is required for the purchase of an Amah Ivriyah is because of the young woman's honor (or, in the case of an Eved Ivri, the man's honor).
(The PNEI YEHOSHUA suggests that the Gemara maintains that Yi'ud is performed with the actual money which the father received originally, at the time of the sale of the Amah Ivriyah. Accordingly, the money given for the purchase of the Amah is actually money of Kidushin. Just as it is not respectful to be Mekadesh a woman with less than a Dinar (according to Beis Shamai), it is not respectful to purchase an Amah with less than a Dinar. However, Rashi (DH Dumya) explains the Gemara according to the dissenting opinion that Yi'ud is performed with the remainder of the purchase money. See RASHASH and ATZMOS YOSEF.)
What is the logical basis for the requirement that the Amah be sold in a manner in which Yi'ud may be performed? Perhaps concern for the honor of the woman is also the reason for why the option to perform Yi'ud is necessary; the transaction must have an element of Kidushin inherent in it from the start so that it not appear as though she is being sold in disgrace as a servant.
Why is the Torah concerned more for the honor of an Amah Ivriyah than for the honor of an Eved Ivri (whose sale involves no element of Kidushin)? The reason is simple: a man becomes an Eved Ivri either when Beis Din sells him to compensate for his theft, in which case he deserves his disgrace, or when he sells himself because of lack of funds, in which case he willingly chooses his fate. An Amah Ivriyah, in contrast, is always sold by her father without her consent, and therefore the Torah seeks to protect her honor. Indeed, the RAMBAM (Hilchos Avadim 4:3 and 2:1) writes only that an Amah Ivriyah must be purchased with more than a Perutah, but he makes no mention of this requirement with regard to the purchase of an Eved Ivri.
2) SHMUEL'S CONCERN FOR KIDUSHIN WITH LESS THAN A "SHAVEH PERUTAH"
QUESTION: Shmuel rules that even when a man is Mekadesh a woman with an item worth less than a Perutah, there is a concern that the Kidushin takes effect and it is considered Kidushei Safek, because perhaps the item is worth a Perutah in a distant country such as Madai. The Gemara relates an incident in which a man was Mekadesh a woman with a bundle of rags. Rav Shimi bar Chiya had the bundle appraised to determine whether it was worth a Perutah. According to Shmuel, why did he have it appraised? The Kidushin should have taken effect out of doubt even if its value was less than a Perutah! The Gemara answers that Rav Shimi wanted to know whether the Kidushin was Kidushei Vadai or Kidushei Safek.
The Gemara relates another incident in which a man was Mekadesh a woman with a piece of blue marble. Rav Chisda had it appraised to determine whether it was worth a Perutah. The Gemara again asks why he had it appraised; even if it is worth less than a Perutah the Kidushin should take effect out of doubt. The Gemara answers that Rav Chisda disagrees with Shmuel and maintains that if the item is not worth a Perutah, the Kidushin does not take effect at all.
Why does the Gemara not give the same answer to its question from Rav Chisda as it gives to its question from Rav Shimi bar Chiya? The Gemara should say that Rav Chisda agrees with Shmuel, and the reason he had the item appraised was in order to determine whether the Kidushin was Kidushei Vadai or Kidushei Safek.
(a) The RITVA, TOSFOS HA'ROSH, and others explain that Rav Chisda clearly maintains that Kidushin performed with less than a Perutah is not even Kidushei Safek. This is evident from the sequel to the incident. The Gemara relates that the mother of the bride testified that the marble was worth a Perutah on the day of the Kidushin. Others claimed that they knew of witnesses abroad who could testify that the marble was worth a Perutah on the day of the Kidushin. With these arguments, they attempted to prohibit the woman to a second man who gave the woman more than a Perutah for the sake of Kidushin after the first man gave the marble to her. Rav Chisda rejected these arguments on the grounds that the bride's mother does not have the trustworthiness to prohibit her daughter to the second man, and that witnesses who are not present cannot prohibit her to the second man.
Why did Rav Chisda reject these arguments if he rules like Shmuel that Kidushin performed with less than a Perutah is a doubtful Kidushin? He could have accepted the word of the mother and the rumor that witnesses were present elsewhere, and responded that it nevertheless is a doubtful Kidushin for these reasons and because of Shmuel's reason. The fact that he rejected these arguments categorically indicates that he rules that Kidushin with less than a Shaveh Perutah is not a Kidushin at all.
(b) TOSFOS (DH Rav Chisda) suggests a slightly different approach. Tosfos explains that in Rav Chisda's case, the brother of the man who gave the piece of marble was the second man who was Mekadesh the woman. Rav Chisda appraised the marble in order to permit the woman to the second man (the brother) in the event that it was not worth a Perutah. If Rav Chisda would have agreed with Shmuel, he would not have been able to permit the woman to the brother even if the marble was not worth a Perutah, because the first man would have been required to give a Get to the woman out of doubt. As a result of the doubt, she would have been prohibited to marry his brother (because of "Eshes Ach").
The MAHARSHA asks why Tosfos needs to assert that the second man was the brother of the first? Why does Tosfos not explain (as the other Rishonim do) that Rav Chisda appraised the marble simply because he wanted to determine whether he could permit the woman to the second man without requiring that she receive a Get from the first?
The Maharsha explains that Tosfos understands that Rav Chisda would not have permitted the woman to marry the second man if it would have been possible to remove the doubt by having the first husband give her a Get. He disagrees with Shmuel (and rules that the Kidushin is not even Kidushei Safek) only in a case in which there is no way to resolve the doubt. He agrees that in a case in which there is a way to resolve the doubt, one must treat the Kidushin like Kidushei Safek. Accordingly, Tosfos explains that the brother of the first man was Mekadesh the woman. If the Kidushin of the first man is viewed as a Safek, then even a Get would not permit the woman to the second man, and thus Rav Chisda ruled that the Kidushin was not even Kidushei Safek. (Tosfos infers this from Rav Chisda's words to the mother of the bride when he told her that she does not have the ability to prohibit her daughter to the second man. Rav Chisda's words imply that the mother wanted to prohibit her daughter to the second husband permanently. If that was not her intent, there was no point in her argument; the daughter clearly wanted to marry the second man, and she would have been able to marry him after the first man gave her a Get because of the Kidushei Safek.)
3) KIDUSHIN WITH AN ITEM THAT HAS NO SET VALUE
QUESTION: The Gemara relates an incident in which a man was Mekadesh a woman with a myrtle branch. Rav Yosef ruled that the man must give the woman a Get because perhaps the branch was worth a Perutah in Madai. The Gemara earlier (7b-8a) records the opinion of Rav Yosef that Shaveh Kesef may be used for Kidushin only when it has a set and known value (according to the second version there). Rav Yosef here seems to be contradict his statement there. Even if the branch was worth a Perutah in Madai, it had no set value since, in the place of Rav Yosef, there was no way to know that it was worth a Perutah in Madai. Why, then, did Rav Yosef require that a Get be given out of doubt? (NODA B'YEHUDAH EH 2:74)
(a) The NODA B'YEHUDAH answers that as long as the myrtle branch has a set, known value in Madai, it is considered an item that has a set value everywhere. Rav Yosef had two concerns: perhaps the myrtle was worth a Perutah in a distant country, and perhaps in that country the branch had a set value because it was a commonly traded commodity there.
According to this approach, Rav Yosef maintained that Kidushin with any commodity that does not have a set value is a Safek Kidushin, because perhaps in another place that commodity does have a set value. The only reason why Rav Yosef required that an item of Shaveh Kesef be appraised before it is given was to know whether the Kidushin is a Vadai Kidushin.
(b) Perhaps Rav Yosef maintained that when an item of unknown value is used for Kidushin, it creates a Safek Kidushin for another reason (even if it needs, but does not have, a set value in this country). The RITVA (8a) explains that Rav Yosef did not mean that a Gezeiras ha'Kasuv teaches that Shaveh Kesef must have the same characteristics as Kesef, and therefore it must have a set value. Rather, Rav Yosef meant (even according to the second version) that Kidushin with an object of no set value is not valid because the woman might estimate its value incorrectly. Although the husband did not promise to give her a certain minimum value, perhaps the woman overestimated the value of the item and thought it was worth more than its actual value. As a result, the Kidushin was a Kidushei Ta'us (Kidushin in error) and was not valid. However, since it was not possible to know for certain that the woman misjudged the item's value, the Kidushin is a Safek Kidushin.
RASHI (8a, DH Shaveh Kesef) clearly does not follow this approach. Rashi understands that the Gezeiras ha'Kasuv compares the characteristics of Shaveh Kesef to those of an actual coin.
Rashi and the Ritva may be consistent with their own respective opinions as expressed elsewhere. TOSFOS (2a, DH b'Perutah) asks what the source is to permit a man to be Mekadesh a woman with Shaveh Kesef. The RITVA, RASHBA, and RAN answer that Shaveh Kesef is allowed on logical grounds. The word "Kesef" in the Torah does not refer specifically to coins but to anything which has the same value as a coin (the value of a Perutah or more). Tosfos, however, explains that a Scriptural source is necessary to teach that Shaveh Kesef is valid for Kidushin. Without a source, one would translate the word "Kesef" to mean a coin and not an item that has the value of a coin. This seems to be the opinion of RASHI earlier (11b, DH u'Tenan), who writes that the word "Kesef" refers to a single coin. This explains why Rashi (8a, DH Shaveh Kesef) writes that Kidushei Ishah is permitted with Shaveh Kesef only because of the verse "Yashiv" (Vayikra 25:51). Since Rashi learns that the word "Kesef" refers to a coin, he can explain that Shaveh Kesef is compared to a coin, and thus it must have a set, known value. The Rashba and Ritva, however, learn that the word "Kesef" means anything that has the same value as a coin. Hence, they maintain that the verse does not compare Shaveh Kesef to anything else, and thus they give another reason for why Shaveh Kesef must have a set, known value according to Rav Yosef.