כ״ה באדר ה׳תשע״ה (March 16, 2015)

Ketubot 42a-b: Paying the Penalty

We have already learned that in the event that a young woman is raped, the perpetrator will have to pay a monetary penalty to her father (see 22:28-29).

Obviously, once the money is paid to the father it belongs to him, and in the event of his death it will be part of the inheritance received by his sons. What if he dies before receiving the money? Will his sons inherit the unpaid penalty, or will the money be paid to the daughter? Although the Gemara quotes a baraita in which Rabbi Shimon rules that the money will be paid to the daughter, the Gemara is unable to find a source for this rule. Rava says that this was a question that both Rabba and Rav Yosef could not answer until Rav Yosef was appointed to head the academy, and he taught that it was derived from the passage in Sefer (22:29) that emphasizes that the perpetrator must give the money to the father – that is, the money does not belong to the father until he actually receives it.

Rav Yosef’s appointment to head the in Pumbedita is described in Massekhet Horayot and Massekhet Berakhot. When Rav Yehuda passed away, the two obvious candidates to replace him were Rabba and Rav Yosef. Rabba, who was the younger of the two, was known for his sharp, insightful analysis, while Rav Yosef was known for his wide ranging knowledge. In an attempt to decide who should be chosen, the following question was sent to of the Land of Israel: “Which is better? Sinai (i.e. knowledge) or oker harim (literally ‘one who uproots mountains,’ i.e. sharp insight)?”

Although the response from Israel was that “Sinai” was more essential, still Rav Yosef declined the position, and for the 22 years that Rabba was in the position of , Rav Yosef declined all honors. Only after Rabba’s passing did Rav Yosef accept the position.

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