Why would we have thought that the Rabanan prohibited adding to a Kesuvah for
that reason? The extra amount, the Tosefes, that the husband adds to the
Kesuvah is a gift that he gives to his wife. The Rabanan never put an upper
limit to other gifts, such as the gift that a man gives to his son-in-law as
a Nedunya, or a gift that a person gives as Tzedakah to a poor person, out of
concern that it will embarrass others who cannot give as much. Why, then,
should we think that the Rabanan prohibited giving a large gift to one's wife
in the Kesuvah because others might be embarrassed? (RISHONIM)
(a) The RAMBAN and RITVA in the name of the GE'ONIM explain that the Gemara
is not explaining why we might have thought that it is prohibited to write a
Tosefes into the Kesuvah apart from the 100 or 200 Zuz of the Kesuvah.
Rather, the Gemara is explaining why we might have thought that it is
prohibited to *include* the Tosefes and the base amount of the Kesuvah in one
large sum without distinguishing between the two parts. We might have thought
that this is prohibited not because other husbands will be embarrassed
because they cannot give so much, but because other *wives* will be
embarrassed if the sum of their Kesuvah is less than that of their
neighbor's. The smaller sum in the Kesuvah might make a woman feel less
special, just like an Almanah receives a smaller Kesuvah because her marriage
is indeed less special than that of a Besulah. The Mishnah teaches that we
are not concerned for that, and it is indeed permitted to include the Kesuvah
and the Tosefes together in one large sum.
According to this explanation, however, why does the Gemara say that we might
have thought that it is prohibited to add an extra amount to the Kesuvah "in
order not to embarrass *he* who does not have (Mi she'Ein *Lo*)?" It should
have said, "... in order not to embarrass *she* who does not have (Mi she'Ein
*Lah*)!" The RAMBAN answers that the Gemara is referring to the father of the
Kalah, and it means that we do not want to embarrass the father who could not
afford to write a large Nedunya to his son-in-law, and therefore he and his
daughter were left in return with a minimal Tosefes from the son-in-law.
(b) The MORDECHAI (Kesuvos 12b, #136) disagrees with this, based on Halachic
grounds. He points out that the Mishnah (12a) tells us that the Chachamim
permitted a Kohenes (a daughter of a Kohen) to take a larger Kesuvah than
that of Bas Yisrael. The Gemara adds that the same is true for families known
to be of pure lineage. This implies that only such families are permitted to
add to the amount in the Kesuvah, but not anyone else. How is that Mishnah
and Gemara to be reconciled with our Mishnah that says that anyone may add to
the Kesuvah? It must be that the Mishnah there permits lumping together the
Kesuvah along with the additional sum, and writing a single large sum, only
for those particular families. Our Mishnah permits adding a Tosefes to the
Kesuvah and expressing it as a *second* sum, apart from the sum of the
Kesuvah itself. The PISKEI RID (54b) rules similarly.
According to the Mordechai, though, our original question returns. Why would
we have thought that adding a Tosefes should be prohibited because it is
embarrassing to others who cannot add so much?
The answer might be as follows. Since the Kesuvah is a publicly known
document and every man has to write a Kesuvah for his wife, there is more
reason to be concerned that one who cannot add to the Kesuvah will be
embarrassed. Other gifts are not publicly known. When it comes to the
Nedunya, even though it is written into the Kesuvah and is known publicly,
someone who cannot give so much for the Nedunya will not be embarrassed
because the Nedunya is only given to attract a Shiduch. If someone gives a
smaller Nedunya, he will not be embarrassed; on the contrary, a smaller
Nedunya shows that the woman is so desirable that the father does not need to
give a large Nedunya in order to marry her off.
How will the Ramban and other Rishonim answer the question from the Mishnah
earlier (12a), which implies that only certain families are allowed to add to
TOSFOS (12b, DH Beis Din) explains that the Kohanim would write in the
Kesuvah not just that they are giving a Kesuvah of 400 Zuz, but that they are
giving a Kesuvah of 400 Zuz "as she deserves" ("d'Chazu Leichi"). We might
have thought that this is prohibited because the Kesuvah that she deserves is
only 200 Zuz and the rest is the Tosefes. The Mishnah therefore teaches that
for such unique families, they indeed deserve a larger Kesuvah.
Tosfos seems to be answering the Mordechai's question. Our Mishnah permits
adding extra money to the Kesuvah in a single, large sum without writing "as
she deserves." The additional money is purely a gift from the husband and is
not something that the woman "deserves" to have as her Kesuvah. If the words
"as she deserves" were written in the Kesuvah, she would not be able to
collect the extra amount because it is not true that she deserves it, unless
she is from one of the unique families mentioned in the Mishnah on 12a.
However, the practice of some Sefardic communities (Edot ha'Mizrach) is to
add a separate Tosefes in the Kesuvah itself which is read during the Chupah.