sometimes [it may happen] that he was not held back by an accident,1 and she would think that he was held back by an accident2 and she would be tied, and sit.3 And on account of the loose women, because if you will say [that] it should not be a divorce, sometimes [it may happen] that he was held back by an accident4 and she would say5 that he was not held back by an accident6 and she would go and get married, and the result would be7 [that] the divorce was invalid8 and her children [from the second marriage] would be bastards.9 But is it possible10 that according to the law of the Bible it would not be a divorce11 and on account of 'the chaste women' and on account of the 'loose women' we should allow a married woman12 to the world?13 — Yes, every one who betroths in accordance with the sense of the Rabbis he betroths,14 and the Rabbis have annulled his betrothal.15 Said Rabina to R. Ashi: This might be well16 [if] he betrothed her with money,17 [but if] he betrothed [her] by act of marriage, what can one say [then]? — The Rabbis have made18 his act of marriage non-marital.19
Some, [however,] say20 [as follows]: Raba said: And so [also] with regard to divorce. Accordingly Raba holds [that the plea of] accident applies to divorce.21 An objection was raised: 'Behold this is thy bill of divorce if I come not [back] from now [and] until twelve months,' and he died within the twelve months, there is no divorce. [Now] if he dies there is no divorce, but if he became ill there would be a divorce! — Indeed I might say [unto thee] that if he became ill there would be no divorce either, and [the Mishnah] lets us hear just this [rule]: that there is no divorce after death. [That] there is no divorce after death a previous Mishnah teaches! — Perhaps [that is] to exclude from that of our teachers. Come and hear:22 From now if I have not come [back] from now [and] until twelve months,' and he died within the twelve months.it is a divorce. Would not the same rule apply if he became ill? No, Only if he died, because it was not pleasing to him that she should become subject to the yabam. Come and hear: A certain [man] said unto them: 'If I do not come [back] from now [and] until thirty days it shall be a divorce.' He came [back] at the end of thirty days but the ferry stopped him. And he said unto them, 'Look, I have come [back]; look, I have come [back]!' And Samuel said: This is not regarded as having come back! — An accident which is frequent is different, for since he ought to have stipulated it and he did not stipulate it, he injured himself.
R. Samuel b. Isaac said: They have only taught23 since the institution of Ezra24 and after, [according to which] the courts of justice sit25 only on the second day and on the fifth day [of the week]. But before the institution of Ezra, when the courts of justice sat every day, a woman26 could be married on any day. Before the institution of Ezra, what there was there was!27 — He means it thus: If there are courts of justice that sit now as before the institution of Ezra,28 a woman may be married on any day. But what of shakedu?29 [We suppose] that he30 had [already] taken the trouble.31
What is [the reference to] shakedu? [For] it has been taught: Why did they say that a maiden is married on the fourth day? 'Because if he had a claim as to virginity he could go early [next morning] to the court of justice. But let her be married on the first day in the week and if he had a claim as to virginity he could go early [on the morning of the second day in the week] to the court of justice? — The Sages watched over the interests of the daughters of Israel so that [the man] should prepare for the [wedding-]feast three days, the first day in the week, and the second day in the week, and the third day in the week, and on the fourth day he marries her. And from [the time of] danger and onwards the people made it a custom to marry on the third day and the Sages did not interfere with them. And on the second day [of the week] he shall not marry; and if on account of the constraint1 it is allowed. And one separates the bridegroom from the bride on the nights of Sabbath at the beginning,2 because he makes a wound.3
What [was the] danger? If I say that they4 said, 'a maiden that gets married on the fourth day [of the week] shall be killed', [then how state] 'they made it a custom'? We should abolish it entirely! — Said Rabbah: [That] they said, 'a maiden that gets married on the fourth day [of the week] shall have the first sexual intercourse with the prefect.'5 [You call] this danger? [Surely] this [is a case of] constraint!6 — Because there are chaste women who would rather surrender themselves to death and [thus] come to danger. But let one expound to them7 that [in a case of] constraint [it] is allowed?8 — There are loose women9 and there are also priestesses.10 But [then] let one abolish it?11 A decree12 is likely to cease, and [therefore] we do not abolish an ordinance of the Rabbis on account of a decree. If so, on the third day he [the prefect] would also come and have intercourse [with the bride]? — Out of doubt he does not move himself.13
[It is stated above:] 'And on the second day [of the week] he shall not marry; and if on account of the constraint it is allowed.' What constraint [is referred to]? Shall I say [that it is] that which we have said?14 There,15 one calls it 'danger' 'and here, one calls it [mere] 'constraint'! And further, there [it states], 'they made it a custom', [whilst] here, 'it is allowed'!16 — Said Raba: [it is that] they say 'a general has come to town.17 In what case? If he comes and passes by,18 let it be delayed!19 — It is not necessary [to state this but] that he came and stayed. Let him, [then], marry on the third day [of the week]!20 — His21 vanguard arrived on the third day. And if you wish I may say: What is [the meaning of] 'on account of the constraint'? As it has been taught: If his bread was baked and his meat prepared and his wine mixed22 and the father of the bridegroom23 or the mother of the bride died,24 they bring the dead [person] into a room and the bridegroom and the bride into the bridal chamber,25
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