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Ketubot, Daf Kuf Yod Bet, Part 6
Reading for Friday
, June 23
Ketubot 112-6



This is it, the last sugya of Masechet Ketubot. It’s a nice one too.

ר’ אבא מנשק כיפי דעכו.

ר’ חנינא מתקן מתקליה.

ר’ אמי ורבי אסי קיימי משמשא לטולא ומטולא לשמשא.

ר’ חייא בר גמדא מיגנדר בעפרה שנאמר (תהלים קב, טו) כי רצו עבדיך את אבניה ואת עפרה יחוננו.

Abba used to kiss the cliffs of Akko.

Hanina used to repair its stumbling blocks.

Ammi and R. Assi would move from a sunny spot to a shady one or from a shady one to a sunny one.

Hiyya b. Gamda would roll in the dust, as it says, “For your servants desire her stones, and love her dust” (Psalms 102:15).

When I was younger people would occasionally kiss the ground when they got off the plane at Ben Gurion airport (nowadays you never really set foot on the tarmac so you’d have to wait a while to kiss any ground). R. Abba did this thousands of years ago—he would kiss the cliffs of Akko when arriving Israel (probably by boat). R. Hanina would perform constructive work and repair stumbling blocks in the road. Great idea! R. Ammi and R. Assi would make sure that they are always comfortable by being either in the shade or sun, depending on what they wanted at that moment. Nowadays, we turn on the air conditioner. And R. Hiyya b. Gamda would roll in the dirt. He was probably a kibbutznik.

אמר רבי זירא אמר רבי ירמיה בר אבא דור שבן דוד בא קטיגוריא בתלמידי חכמים.

כי אמריתה קמיה דשמואל אמר צירוף אחר צירוף שנאמר (ישעיהו ו, יג) “ועוד בה עשיריה ושבה והיתה לבער.”

תני רב יוסף בזוזי ובזוזי דבזוזי

Zera said: R. Jeremiah b. Abba said: In the generation in which the son of David will come there will be prosecution against Torah scholars. When I repeated this statement in front of Shmuel, he said, “[There will be] refinement after refinement,” as it is said, “And if there be yet a tenth in it, it shall again be consumed” (Isaiah 6:13).

Joseph taught: [There will be] plunderers and plunderers of the plunderers.

The masechet ends with a few cryptic notes about the messianic age. In the generation in which the son of David, the Messiah, comes, there will be great hatred and persecution against Torah scholars. Perhaps it means that the people of the world will hate them because they are not being judged as are the rest of the world.

Shmuel implies that there will be some sort of purge, and the “false” scholars will be removed so that the true scholars will receive their reward.

Joseph foresees a plundering of the land of Israel.

אמר רב חייא בר אשי אמר רב עתידין כל אילני סרק שבארץ ישראל שיטענו פירות שנאמר (יואל ב, כב) כי עץ נשא פריו תאנה וגפן נתנו חילם

Hiyya b. Ashi said in the name of Rav: In the time to come all the barren trees of the Land of Israel will bear fruit; as it is said, “For the tree bears its fruit, the fig-tree and the vine will yield their strength” (Joel 2:22).

The masechet ends (!) on a positive note. In the future, even barren trees will yield fruit. This is read out from the verse in Joel.

הדרן עלך שני דייני גזירות וסליקא לה מסכת כתובות

May we return to you, chapter “the judges of decrees” and this is the completion of Tractate Ketubot.

Traditionally this is the point when Jews do a siyyum, a ritual signifying the completion of a large section of learning. Below I have copied the Hebrew. If you have a minyan (a quorum of 10) then you can recite the Kaddish with a minyan. If not, just recite the stuff before the Kaddish. In either case, you should definitely celebrate, let people know about what you’ve learned, and be happy that you had the privilege to spend over two years studying Talmud together with thousands of other people. Ketubot is one of the most well learned tractates of the Talmud. It contains many of the arch-principles with regard to financial obligations such as contracts, loans and debt repayments. It is the best tractate through which to learn what marriage was like from the 2nd through 6th centuries C.E. and it contains some of the most fascinating aggadah in the entire Talmud. I hope you have enjoyed learning it as much as I have enjoyed translating and commenting on it for you. I hope you will continue studying together with Daf Shevui for many years to come, in good health and in good cheer.

Sunday we begin Tractate Avodah Zarah!