THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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KESUVOS 61 - dedicated by Uri Wolfson and Naftali Wilk in honor of Rav
Mordechai Rabin of Har Nof, a true beacon of Torah and Chesed.
1) OVERRIDING A "SHIBUD" WITH A "NEDER"
QUESTION: The Mishnah discusses a man who makes a Neder prohibiting himself
from having relations with his wife. RASHI explains that if he makes a Neder
saying, "I am not allowed to have pleasure from you," then he is able to
prohibit himself from his wife. But if he attempts to prohibit his wife by
saying, "You may not have pleasure from me," she will be permitted to him,
because he is obligated by the Torah to provide her with that benefit because
of the Mitzvah of Onah, and therefore it is not within his power to remove
that obligation with a Neder.
Why is that? The requirement of Onah that a man has to his wife is no more
than a "Shibud," an obligation that he accepted upon himself. We learned
earlier (59b) that "Konamos (i.e. Nedarim) are like Hekdesh and are able to
remove a Shibud." The Gemara there says that although a Neder can normally
override a Shibud, the Rabanan strengthened the Shibud that a woman has
towards her husband such that she cannot prohibit herself with a Neder. Here,
though, the Mishnah is not discussing the Shibud that she has to him, but
rather his Shibud towards her (which the Gemara does not say the Rabanan
strengthened against the power of a Neder). Why, then, should his Neder not
be able to uproot that Shibud?
(a) The RASHBA here and the RAN in Nedarim (81b) explain that the Rabanan
strengthened the Shibud of both parties in the marriage. Just like a Neder
cannot uproot the Shibud that a woman has to her husband, a Neder cannot
uproot the Shibud that a man has to his wife. (See also Gemara, Kesuvos 70a)
(b) TOSFOS (59b, DH Konamos) goes further and explains that the Rabanan
strengthened *every* Shibud, and not just the mutual Shibudim between a
husband and wife. Therefore, even though, mid'Oraisa, his Neder is effective
to prohibit the woman from relations, and to prohibit a person's money to his
debtors, the Rabanan strengthened the Shibudim where one person owes
something to another person and they instituted that no Neder is able to
uproot the Shibud.