GEMARA. A WOMAN IS ACQUIRED. Why does he [the Tanna]
state here, ‘A WOMAN IS ACQUIRED,’ Whilst elsewhere8 he teaches ‘A man may
betroth’ [etc.]?9 — Because he wishes to state
‘MONEY’; and how do we know that money effects betrothal? By deriving the
meaning of ‘taking’ from the field of Ephron:10 Here it is written: If any man
take a wife;11 whilst there it is written: I will give thee money for the
field: take it of me.12 Moreover, ‘taking’ is designated acquisition, for it
is written, the field which Abraham acquired;13
9) Thus here too he should have stated: ‘A woman is
betrothed.’ ‘Betroth’ in this sense, and as it is generally used in the
Talmud, is the first stage of marriage. A betrothed woman could not be freed
without a divorce, though cohabitation was still forbidden. V. Glos. s.v.
erusin. As far as practicable in this
translation, ‘betrothed’ is employed to denote this first stage, and
‘marriage’ to denote the second (nissu'in),
after which the couple may live together.