How was it determined that all children born from forbidden relations that are obligated by karet or death by the court are mamzerim. The gemara questions why we learn it all from one’s wife’s sister (that the child would be a mamzer) and not from a nidda (the child would not be a mamzer). Those born from forbidden relationship that are only a negative commandment (but not punishable by karet or death by the court are not mamzerim and a betrothal would be considered a betrothal. This is learned from a verse. Three alternative readings of that verse are brought in order to explain Rabbi Akiva’s unique opinions that the child would be a mamzer in those cases. Derivations are brought to teach that the child born from a maidservant and a non Jewish woman are considered not Jewish.
What are the rules in determining the lineage of a child? It depends on the situation – whether the betrothal was permitted or forbidden, as well as other criteria.
Abaye holds that if one witness testifies and the person himself is silent, we accept the testimony of the witness. In a case of a woman sleeping with another man, Abaye thinks it would be the same and Rava says that since it is a matter relating to sexual relations, and any matter like that needs two witnesses, one witness is not sufficient. Both Abaye and Rava bring proofs from tannaitic sources and each contests the other’s proofs. The story of the king Yannai killing all the sages except for Shimon ben Shetach is brought as the issue revolved around a suspicion relating to his mother – whether or not she had been forbidden to marry a kohen, his father and whether or not Yannai was fit to be a practicing kohen.
A man who says he betroths his older daughter – if he has two sets of wives and daughters from both wives, there is a debate whether or not all of them except the youngest are considered betrothed out of doubt or only the oldest of the older group of sisters. Abaye clarifies that the debate would not apply in a case of 3 daughters all from the same mother – in that case it would be clear that the middle daughter would not be betrothed. His opinion is questioned but the questions are resolved. The mishna brings a case where either the man or the woman admits to being betrothed but the other does not. The gemara then brings an opinion that if there is only one witness to a betrothal even if both the man and woman admit to the betrothal, they are not considered betrothed. This opinion is questioned by our mishna and by other tannaitic sources but all difficulties are are resolved.
More opinions are brought who hold that one can acquire davar shela ba l’olam – something not is existence at the time. A mishna is brought about one who betroths a woman conditioned upon doing something of monetary value for her. There is a discussion in the gemara about whether the mishna is a standard case of conditional betrothal and it is a case where he also gave her an object of monetary value or is the betrothal through the value of the work he promised to do. The mishna discusses what happens if one conditions the betrothal on his father’s consent. Cases are brought where the father or the daughter say they are betrothed but don’t remember to whom. What is the difference between the two cases?
More verses are brought to raise questions against the different opinions regarding a tanai kaful. One cannot betroth a woman based on something that is not in existence. The gemara brings different opinions as to what extent do we say something is/is not in existence.
Another case is brought similar to the previous mishna – if a man betroths a woman claiming he own a piece of land a particular size or in a particular place. The gemara discusses how we determine the measurement – if it includes rocks and clefts or not. The next mishna raises a basic argument between Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Chanina ben Gamliel regarding a condition – whether a tnai kaful is needed – does one need to state both sides of the condition – if x, then y and if not x then z? Or is it enough to state if x and one can infer what will happen if it’s not fulfilled.
If one betroths a woman and says from today and after 30 days, what was his intent? 3 different opinions are brought and comparisons are made to the parallel situation in a divorce. If one conditions the betrothal on his giving her money, the betrothal takes affect as long as he gives her the money. There is a debate among Rav Huna and Rav Yehuda about whether the betrothal takes effect immediately (assuming the money is given down the road) or only when the money is actually given. Again, a comparison is made to a parallel case with a divorce.
One asks a friend to betroth a woman and the friend betroths the woman for himself. Even though he acted inappropriately, the betrothal is valid. If one betroths a woman upon condition that the betrothal will be valid in 30 days and before that period elapses, someone else betroths her, the betrothal is valid. The gemara discusses whether or not the woman can change her mind within the 30 day period. It is the basis for a debate between Rabbi Yochanan and Reish Lakish about whether one’s word can be cancelled by a new statement or if one already said something, it can’t be cancelled by just speech. Two versions of Reish Lakish are brought – in one version he thinks words can cancel words but not words with a prartial (even though incomplete) act. In the other, he thinks that words cannot cancel words.
There are two potential sources for learning that deriving benefit from non sacrificial animals slaughtered in the azara is forbidden. An opinion of Rabbi Shimon that disagrees with our mishna states that one can marry a woman with money that was used to acquire this animal. A contradiction is raised against his opinion and resolved. How do we derive that if one were to sell any items that is forbidden to derive benefit from, the marriage would be valid? The next mishna relates to the issue of tovat hanaa? What is that and is it considered to have monetary value or not? How each opinion fits in with our mishna is discussed. The amoraim debate the issue and the gemara then tries to prove that it is also a tannaitic debate. However that opinion is rejected and various ways to understand that tannaitic debate are considered.