Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Meiri's variant text:Kesubos 17a

The Meiri in Nedarim (20a) states: "There is one exception to the blanket prohibition of looking at married women. It is permitted to look at the face of a bride for the first seven days of marriage in order to endear her to her husband." While in Kesubos (17a) he states, It is a mitzva to cause the chasan and kallah to rejoice in order that they beome more attached to each other...  The greatest of scholars used to carry the bride on their shoulders. However this activity is not permitted except to one who has no improper thoughts. For anyone else it is prohibted even to look at the bride’s face in order to make her beloved to her husband. It is only permitted for someone who knows himself very well.
The problem is that our text of Kesubos 17a states:  Rav Yochanon said that it is permitted to stare at the face intently at the face of a bride for the first seven days after marriage in order to make her beloved to her husband. But that is not accepted as halacha.
Below is part of a manuscript available on line from Hebrew University from the Vatican Library. It states clearly that it is in fact the halacha that it is permitted to look at a kallah's face for the first 7 days of marriage. Which agrees with the Meiri - as well as Rambam in his commentary to the Mishna Sanhedrin 7:4. [use Explorer or Chrome - Firefox seems to have problems view the Hebrew University site.]

The other interesting change is that we have the text ): Rav Acha placed the bride on his shoulder and danced with her. The Rabbis asked him, May we do this also? He replied, If they are perceived by you as a beam [that arouses no sexual thoughts – Rashi] then it is all right and if not you may not.

The text below says it was Rav Ada Bar Ahava who used to dance with the kalla on his shoulder. This is apparently the same Rav Ada bar Ahava who ripped the red cloak off of a woman because it wasn't modest dress! 


1 comment:

  1. In my learning experience, qualifying statements at the end of a Talmudic psak, especially those containing the word 'hilchesa', invariably turn out to be later additions.


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