1) CONCERN FOR A RUMOR THAT A WOMAN BECAME MARRIED
QUESTION: The Gemara cites a Beraisa which states that one is not concerned about a rumor that a girl is a Be'ulah and not a Besulah (as she was previously known to be). RASHI (DH Ein) explains that she still may marry a Kohen Gadol who is commanded to marry only a Besulah.
(The Rishonim have difficulty understanding why Rashi addresses only the issue of marrying a Kohen Gadol, when there are other, more practical, applications. See TOSFOS (DH Be'ulah) and the RASHBA.)
The Beraisa continues and says that a rumor of "she'Lo l'Ploni" ("not to him") is not given credence. Rashi (DH she'Lo) explains that the rumor says that a certain woman was married today, but the rumor does not include the name of the groom. The Beraisa also says that a rumor of "b'Ir Acheres" ("in a different city") has no credence. RASHI (DH b'Ir) explains that we pay no attention to a rumor that a woman was married today in another town.
The AVNEI MILU'IM (46:1, DH v'Lachen) cites commentaries who explain that these rumors lack critical information and are thus rendered cryptic and ambiguous reports, and not explicit and accurate rumors which would more likely be believed.
However, Rashi (DH Ein Chosheshin) explains that the reason why no credence is given to a rumor that a woman is a Be'ulah is that it may be that the witnesses merely saw her acting indecently with a man but did not actually see her have relations with him. Why does Rashi give this reason? Even if the witnesses saw her have relations, as long as they do not mention the identity of the man with whom she had relations and where it happened, their report is considered an unspecific rumor and should have no credence.
ANSWERS:
(a) The AVNEI MILU'IM prefaces his answer by explaining that in cases where a rumor is given credence, the rumor has credence only to prohibit the woman from remarrying l'Chatchilah until she receives a Get from the man whom the rumor reports she married. However, b'Di'eved she is not prohibited from staying with the "second" man she married even though there is a rumor that she was married to someone else first. Accordingly, if a rumor says that she married a certain man, she is not allowed to remarry l'Chatchilah until she receives a Get from that man. Since his identity is known, she must receive a Get from him. However, when the rumor says that she married a man but his identity is not known, the case is considered to be b'Di'eved (and she may marry someone else) because it is impossible for her to request a Get (because the identity of her rumored husband is unknown).
The Avnei Milu'im adds that this is also the reason why a rumor that she was married in a different town has no credence. Although the rumor says that she was married to a certain man, the rumor does not say where that man lives. Consequently, since it is not possible for her to seek that man and ask him for a Get (as the rumor does not say where he lives), this situation is also classified as b'Di'eved, and thus she is permitted to remarry. However, if the rumor says that she was married to Reuven and it says in which city he resides, she would be required to obtain a Get on the basis of this rumor, since it is possible for her to do so.
Applying these principles, the Avnei Milu'im explains why Rashi writes specifically that the rumor that a woman is a Be'ulah has no credence because witnesses may seen only improper conduct and not actual relations. Although the rumor does not specify with whom she had relations or where the act occurred, the rumor would have been given credence if not for the possibility hat the witnesses observed only improper activity. Consequently, since she would have been permitted to marry a man other than the Kohen Gadol, l'Chatchilah she is not permitted to marry the Kohen Gadol. The only reason to allow her to marry the Kohen Gadol l'Chatchilah is that the information contained in the rumor may not be accurate.
There is a difficulty in the Avnei Milu'im's explanation of Rashi. Rashi (DH b'Ir) writes that the rumor does state the town in which she married. Accordingly, she should be required to go to that town and obtain a Get from her rumored husband. Nevertheless, Rashi apparently understands that the rumor does not specify the identity of the man, and thus the logic of the Avnei Milu'im's answer is still valid: since it is not possible for her to obtain a Get from her rumored husband, the situation is deemed b'Di'eved.
The NODA B'YEHUDAH (EH 1:61) supports the approach of the Avnei Milu'im, that where there is no possibility for the woman to obtain a Get the rumor is not given credence. The Noda b'Yehudah explains that this is the reason why the Gemara states that a rumor that a woman is a Mamzeres or Shifchah is given no credence. Since such a rumor would prevent her from marrying any kosher Jew with no recourse whatsoever, it is deemed a b'Di'eved situation.
(b) It is possible that we can suggest another explanation for Rashi. A marriage is usually a publicized event where everyone's identity is known. The couple have no reason to hide their identities, as they will be living together. When the groom's name cannot be ascertained, this is indeed critical information that questions the authenticity of the rumor. However, when witnesses would see a girl engaged in improper activity with a man, generally the two parties are trying to keep their relationship a secret. The man would probably not disclose his name to just anyone who asked him "at the scene of the crime." Accordingly, the lack of knowing who made the girl into a Be'ulah is not necessarily information that takes away the credibility of the rumor. This may be why Rashi suggested a more likely problem with the rumor, that the witnesses may not have clearly seen that she became a Be'ulah. (D. BLOOM, Y. MONTROSE)

89b----------------------------------------89b

2) WHICH OF THE TWO MARRIAGES WAS A MISTAKE?
QUESTION: The students of Rav's academy sent a question to Shmuel: "If there was a Kol (rumor) that a woman was married to one man, and then a second man came and performed a Torah marriage with her, what is the law?" Shmuel replied that she must leave both men until her true status is clarified.
The Gemara later asks what the law is in a case in which there is no way to confirm the validity of the original rumor. Rav Huna says that the first husband must divorce her and the second one may marry her. It is forbidden for the second man to divorce her and the first man to marry her. The reason is that people will think that she was legally married to the first man who then divorced her, and she subsequently married the second, and when he divorces her and she returns to the first, they will say that the first husband is transgressing the Isur d'Oraisa of "Machzir Gerushaso."
Rav Shinena the son of Rav Idi disagrees with Rav Huna and maintains that the second man is permitted to divorce her, and she may marry the first man. RASHI (DH Eini) explains that Rav Shinena reasons that people will conclude that the Chachamim investigated the second marriage and found that it was in fact not valid. Although the second man is required to give her a Get, most people will not know about the Get and will conclude, when she returns to the first man, that the second marriage was simply invalid.
Why does Rashi explain that people will think that the Chachamim investigated the second marriage and found that it was invalid? It seems more logical to explain that the Chachamim investigated the first marriage (which was only a rumor) and found that it was not valid. This is more logical than to say that the second marriage, which took place in front of witnesses, was a mistake.
Indeed, TOSFOS (DH Amar) does not explain the Gemara like Rashi. Tosfos writes that if the Chachamim were unable to determine whether the first rumor was true, "There is only a Kol for the first marriage." The MAHARSHA explains that this implies that people will assume that since there was only a rumor about the first marriage, it is likely that the Chachamim investigated it and found it to be erroneous. The Maharsha says that this is also implied by a similar comment made by Tosfos later (90a, DH v'Hilchesa).
Why does Rashi write that the Chachamim investigated the second marriage and found it to be invalid, when it is more logical to say that they investigated the first marriage and found it to be a mistake?
ANSWER: The MAHARSHA answers that Rashi maintains that it is more logical to explain that people assume that the second marriage was found to be a mistake rather than the first. Since there was a rumor that she was married to the first man, it is more likely that she indeed was married to him.
The Maharsha cites a strong proof for Rashi's position from the Gemara that immediately follows. The Gemara discusses what the Halachah would be in a case in which no witnesses saw the marriage to the second man, but it is known only through a rumor, in the same way that there is only a rumor about the marriage to the first man (see Rashi DH Yatza). Ameimar says that in such a case the woman is allowed to marry whichever man she wants, as long as she receives a Get from the other. The Gemara (90a) rules according to Ameimar.
The Gemara strongly implies that even Rav Huna (who maintains that when the second marriage was observed by witnesses, only the second man is allowed to marry her) agrees that in this case the second man may divorce her and the first one may marry her. This is stated explicitly by Rashi (DH Muteres). Moreover, Tosfos himself (DH Af ba'Zeh) says that Rav Huna would agree to this ruling.
Combining the logic of these two cases, the Maharsha analyzes the explanations of Rashi and Tosfos. According to Tosfos' approach in the first case of the Gemara in which Rav Shinena maintains that people will say that the mistake was with the first marriage, it follows that Rav Huna who argues maintains that people will not say there was a mistake with the first marriage. This is despite the fact that there was only a rumor that she was married to the first man.
This logic applies to the second case of the Gemara in the following way. In the second case of the Gemara, there was only a rumor about the second marriage as well. It follows that we cannot assume that people will say that there was a mistake in the first marriage. Therefore, the woman should be forbidden to the first man. This creates a difficulty for Tosfos who maintains that everyone agrees that she is permitted to the first man.
However, according to Rashi's approach that in the first case Rav Shinena maintains that people will say that the mistake was with the second marriage, it is logical that in the first case of the Gemara, Rav Huna does not permit her to marry the first man. Since the second marriage was done according to Torah law, people will not say that there was a mistake in it. In contrast, when there was only a rumor that she was married to the second man, people will assume that there was a mistake with the second marriage. This is why Rav Huna permits her to marry the first man in the second case of the Gemara; in that case, people will say that the second marriage was a mistake. If the second marriage was never valid she may marry the first man, because Rav Huna agrees that people will not know that the second man was required to give her a Get (see also MAHARAM SHIF). This is why Rashi explains that people will assume that the problem is with the second marriage. (D. BLOOM, Y. MONTROSE)

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