Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, , at sacred-texts.com
§ 1. Two rigorous magistrates were in Jerusalem, Admon and Hanan ben Abishalom. Hanan pronounced two decisions, and Admon seven. 1 [In the case of] a man that went beyond seas, and whose wife claimed her maintenance [out of his real estate], Hanan decided she must be put upon her oath at the close [of the proceedings], but not at the commencement 2 [thereof]. The sons of high priests disputed with him, and maintained that she must be put upon her oath at the commencement as well as at the close [of the proceedings]. R. Dosa ben Harkeenos adopted their opinion, but R. Jochanan ben Zachai declared, "Hanan had decided justly, and that she is not to be sworn till the close [of the proceedings]."
§ 2. [In the case of] a man that went beyond seas, and another
man took upon himself to maintain the wife [during her husband's absence], Hanan decided, "He [who of his own accord supported her] has lost his money." 3 The sons of high priests disputed with him, and maintained, "He must swear how much he expended [in her support], and he then recovers it." R. Dosa ben Harkeenos adopted their opinion; but R. Jochanan ben Zachai declared, "Hanan decided justly: for the man has placed his money on the antlers of a stag." 4
§ 3. Admon pronounced seven decisions. [In the case of] a man who at his death leaves sons and daughters, [the rule is that] if the property be ample, the sons inherit [the estate], and the daughters must be maintained [by the sons]; but if the property be scanty, the daughters must be maintained, even though the sons must go from door to door [to beg their bread]. [In opposition to this rule] Admon remarked, "What, because I am a male, am I to be the sufferer?" 5 Rabbon Gamaliel said, "I approve of Admon's remark."
§ 4. [In the case of] a man who sued his neighbour for [certain] jars of oil, and the defendant admits that he owes him for the oil-jars [but denied owing for the oil], Admon decided, "As he admits the demand in part, he must be sworn." The sages said, "This is no admission [as it differs] in kind with the demand." 6 Rabbon Gamaliel said, "I approve of Admon's decision."
§ 5. [In the case of] a man who engages to give [certain] monies to his [intended] son-in-law [as a marriage portion to his daughter], and afterwards holds up his leg at him, 7 [the rule is, the husband may]
let her sit until her head gets grey. Admon decided, "She has a right to say, 'Had I entered into this engagement for myself [and deceived thee], I ought to sit [forsaken] until my head gets grey; but as it is my father who engaged for me, what can I do? Either take me to thee [as thy wife], or discharge me [from my marriage obligation by divorce].'" Rabbon Gamaliel said, "I approve of Admon's decision."
§ 6. [In the case of] a man who disputed the title to a field, 8 and was himself a subscribing witness, 9 Admon held, "He [the ejector] may plead '[I come forward now because] the second [holder] I can [more] easily [contest possession with] than the first, who was too powerful for me.'" 10 But the sages say, "He [the ejector] has forfeited his title [and right to the field]." 11 If he had designated 12 [the field in question] as boundary to another [field], he also forfeits his right and title."
§ 7. [In the case of] a man who went beyond seas, and [during his absence] loses the path [leading to] his field, 13 Admon held, "He may make a short cut to it;" but the sages hold, "He must purchase a path, though it cost him one hundred maneh, as otherwise he must fly through the air 14 [to get to his field]."
§ 8. [In the case of] a man who [sueing another for debt] produced a bond, while the defendant produced a deed of sale [dated subsequent to the bond], by which the plaintiff conveyed to him a field, Admon remarked, "He [the defendant] can plead, 'Had I been in thy debt, it was for thee to recover thy due when thou didst sell me thy field;'" 15 but the sages say, "This [the] plaintiff was a prudent [man]; he sold him the land in order that he might be able to seize on it as security [for his debt]." 16
§ 9. [In the case of] two men, who [sueing each other for debt] produce cross bonds against each other, Admon remarked "[The holder of the last dated bond has a right to plead] 'Had I been in thy debt, why didst thou borrow of me?'" 17 But the sages decided, "That each is entitled to recover [the amount of] the bond he holds." 18
§ 10. [With respect] to marriages [the following] three provinces [are considered as distinct countries, viz.] Judea, [the land] beyond the Jordan, and Galilee. A woman cannot be compelled to [follow her husband who will] remove [out of her own country] from a town to a town, or from a borough to a borough; but within her own country she is compelled to remove [with her husband] from a town to a town, or from a borough to a borough, but not from a town to a borough, or from a borough to a town. 19 She can be compelled to
move [with him] from an inferior dwelling to a superior one; but she is not compelled to move [with him] from a superior dwelling to an inferior one. R. Simeon ben Gamaliel saith "[She cannot be compelled to move] even from an inferior dwelling to a superior one, because the superior one [if new and previously uninhabited] may occasion sickness." 20
§ 11. All [persons] can be compelled to move into the land of Israel, but none can be compelled to move out of it. All persons can be compelled to move into Jerusalem, but none can be compelled to move out of it. [This rule applies] alike to men, to women, and to bondmen. 21 Has a man married a woman in the land of Israel, and divorced her in the land of Israel, he must pay her [the amount of her Ketubah] in the coin of the land of Israel. Has he married her in the land of Israel, and divorced her in Cappadocia, he may pay her [the amount of her Ketubah] in the coin of the land of Israel. 22 Has he married her in Cappadocia, and divorced her in the land of Israel, he may pay her in the coin of the land of Israel. R. Simeon saith, "He must pay her in the coin of Cappadocia." Has he married her in Cappadocia, and divorced her in Cappadocia, he must pay her [the amount of her Ketubah] in Cappadocia.
274:1 Which the sages did not all approve of, but of which some obtained the force of law.
274:2 Not until she claims the amount of her Ketubah, having ascertained that her husband is dead; or, according to Rambam, not until the husband returns and pleads, "I left thee sufficient means for thy maintenance," when she must be sworn that he did not do so.
275:3 As the husband on his return may say, "I did not request or authorise thee to advance any money for such a purpose, and therefore have not undertaken to repay it." If, however, the advance was made at the woman's request, and under her promise that it should be repaid, the man may sue her, and she summon her husband, who in that case is bound to repay it, unless he can swear that he left her sufficient means for her support.
275:4 A figurative expression, signifying that risking his money in such an advance, is placing it in jeopardy as great as if he had put it on the antlers of a stag, which runs away with it without his being able to overtake it.
275:5 And forfeit every right to share in the little my father left? Not so!
275:6 The sages assume that the demand made is for the oil only; for had the plaintiff considered the jars as a distinct portion of his claim, he would have sued defendant for "certain jars containing oil." And as the demand made is for oil only, while the admission is restricted to jars, which form no part of the plaintiff's demand, Admon's decision is wrong. R. Gamaliel, however, agrees with Admon that "jars of oil" means both jars and oil.
275:7 פשט לו את הרגל "holds his foot out to him," a gesture of contempt, as if he p. 276 said, "Take thy dowry out of the dust on my shoe." Rambam explains, "If after the wedding the father runs away to a far country;" according to this exposition, the phrase of the text would run, "gives him leg-bail."
276:8 Of which he declares he has been forcibly dispossessed.
276:9 To the deed of sale, by which the alleged usurper conveys this very field to the purchaser whose title he disputes.
276:10 Commentators explain his plea in the following manner. "The man who forcibly dispossessed me was so powerful and influential that I preferred to submit, and even tacitly to sanction his usurpation, rather than involve myself in a ruinous contest; and I attested the deed of sale because I wished the field to get into the hands of a man of my own standing, against whom I could enforce my rights."
276:11 His sanctioning the sale by his attestation is a complete renunciation of his rights.
276:12 If, when selling another field, he has in the conveyance described the disputed field—bordering on the one which he sells—as belonging to the alleged forcible holder, by which description he acknowledges his title.
276:13 It having been seized, and made arable by one of the adjoining landowners.
276:14 Admon and the sages agree that should the fields adjoining his own belong to different proprietors, he must purchase a right of path, as every one of the neighbours will say, "Prove that it is I, and no one else, who has seized on thy property." They also agree that if all the adjoining fields belong to one proprietor, the man has a right to cut a path, as in that case there can be no doubt p. 277 that the great proprietor must have seized on his property. The dispute arises from the circumstance that the adjoining fields, though originally the property of different persons, have eventually become the property of one man. The expression "fly through the air" is used to denote the legal impossibility of getting to his field, as any other way he commits a trespass on his neighbour's grounds.
277:15 Assuming that the sale arose from want of money, which could not have been the case had the bond been valid, as the plaintiff would then naturally have enforced payment rather than sell his land; that consequently the bond produced must either have been previously paid, or is a forgery.
277:16 Assuming that as the debtor possessed no immoveable or other tangible property, the plaintiff got him to buy land, by which means he gained a security for his demand.
277:17 Assuming that he borrowed from want of money, which he would not have done had the bond been valid, as the plaintiff would then naturally have enforced payment rather than contract a debt. That consequently the bond bearing the first date must either have been paid before the last dated bond was given, or is a forgery.
277:18 Assuming that the bonds arose from bona fide business, and not from want of money.
277:19 Because in boroughs the comforts of life are not so readily obtained, and in p. 278 towns the air is not so pure. In either case she is exposed to a change of habits that may be painful or injurious to her.
278:20 But if the bridegroom resides in one country, and marries in another, the wife is bound to go with him, as that is assumed to be a necessary condition of the marriage.
278:21 If the husband wishes to move to Palestine or Jerusalem, and the wife will not, he may divorce her without paying her Ketubah. If she wishes to move thither, and he will not, he must divorce her, and pay her Ketubah. The converse of this rule holds good in case of removal from Palestine and Jerusalem. The bondman spoken of in the text is not only the Hebrew engaged for a term of years, but also the Gentile, who from any other country has fled to Palestine or Jerusalem.
278:22 The coin of Palestine, though of the same denomination as that of Cappadocia, is lighter, and therefore of less value. The name of Cappadocia stands generally for any country in which the coin bears the same name as in Palestine, while the intrinsic value is different.