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Thursday, 19 Kislev 5778 / December 7, 2017

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Ishut - Chapter Eight, Ishut - Chapter Nine, Ishut - Chapter Ten

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Ishut - Chapter Eight

1

When [a man] tells a woman: "Behold, you are consecrated to me with this cup of wine," and the cup is discovered to contain honey [she is not consecrated]. [Similarly, if he tells her: "...Behold, you are consecrated to me with this cup] of honey," and the cup is discovered to contain wine;1 "...with this dinar of silver," and it is discovered to be gold; "...[with this dinar] of gold," and it is discovered to be silver; "...on condition that I am a priest," and he was discovered to be a Levite; "[on condition that I am] a Levite," and he was discovered to be a priest; "...[on condition that I am] a Givonite,"2 and he was discovered to be a bastard; "...[on condition that I am] a bastard," and he was discovered to be a Givonite; "...[on condition that I am] an inhabitant of a town," and he was discovered to be an inhabitant of a metropolis; "...[on condition that I am] an inhabitant of a metropolis," and he was discovered to be an inhabitant of a town; "...on condition that I am poor," and he was discovered to be rich; "...[on condition that I am] rich," and he was discovered to be poor; "...on condition that my house is close to the bathhouse," and it is discovered to be distant from it; "...[on condition that my house is] distant from the bathhouse," and it is discovered to be close to it; "...on condition that I have a maid," "...a daughter who knows how to braid hair," or "...who bakes," and [it is discovered that] he does not have one; "...on condition that he does not have [one of the above,] and [it is discovered that] he does; "...on condition that he has a wife and children," and [it is discovered that] he does not; "...on condition that he does not have [the above,] and [it is discovered that] he does - in all these and in any similar instance, the woman is not consecrated. The same rule applies if she [makes a condition based on] false information.

א

האומר לאשה הרי את מקודשת לי בכוס זה של יין ונמצא של דבש. של דבש ונמצא של יין. בדינר זה של כסף ונמצא של זהב. של זהב ונמצא של כסף. על מנת שאני כהן ונמצא לוי. לוי ונמצא כהן. נתין ונמצא ממזר. ממזר ונמצא נתין. בן עיר ונמצא בן כרך. בן כרך ונמצא בן עיר. על מנת שאני עני ונמצא עשיר. עשיר ונמצא עני. על מנת שביתי קרוב למרחץ ונמצא רחוק. רחוק ונמצא קרוב. על מנת שיש לי שפחה או בת גודלת או אופה ואין לו. על מנת שאין לו ויש לו. על מנת שיש לי אשה ובנים ואין לו. על מנת שאין לי ויש לו. בכל אלו וכל הדומה להן אינה מקודשת. וכן היא שהטעתו:

2

In all the above instances, she is not consecrated even though she says: "In my heart, I was willing to be consecrated to him even though he deceived me and gave me wrong information." Similarly, [if she gave him false information,] she is not consecrated even though he says: "In my heart, I was willing to consecrate her even though she deceived me." [The rationale is that] feelings in one's heart are not [the same as explicit] statements.

ב

ובכולם אף ע"פ שאמרה בלבי היה להתקדש לו אע"פ שהטעני ואין הדבר כמו שאמר. וכן אם אמר הוא בלבי היה לקדשה אע"פ שהטעתני אינה מקודשת לפי שהדברים שבלב אינם דברים:

3

[When a man tells a woman:] "Behold, you are consecrated to me on condition that I am a perfumer," and it is discovered that he is both a perfumer and a leather craftsman;3 "...on condition that I am an inhabitant of a town," and he was discovered to be an inhabitant of both a town and a metropolis;4 or "...on condition that my name is Yosef," and it was discovered that his name was Yosef and Shimon; she is consecrated.

If, however, he told her: "[Behold, you are consecrated to me] on condition that my name is only Yosef," and it was discovered that his name was Yosef and Shimon; "...on condition that I am solely a perfumer," and it is discovered that he is both a perfumer and a leather craftsman; or "...on condition that I am solely an inhabitant of a town," and he was discovered to be an inhabitant of both a town and a metropolis; she is not consecrated.

ג

הרי את מקודשת לי על מנת שאני בסם ונמצא בסם ובורסי. על מנת שאני בן עיר ונמצא בן עיר ובן כרך. על מנת ששמי יוסף ונמצא שמו יוסף ושמעון הרי זו מקודשת. אבל אם אמר לה על מנת שאין שמי אלא יוסף ונמצא שמו יוסף ושמעון. שאיני אלא בסם ונמצא בסם ובורסי. שאיני אלא בן עיר ונמצא בן כרך ובן עיר אינה מקודשת:

4

When [a man] tells a woman: "Behold, you are consecrated to me on condition that I know how to read," [for the stipulation to be fulfilled] it is necessary that he know how to read from the Torah and translate what he reads according to the translation of Onkelos the convert.

If he tells her: "...on condition that I am a reader," he must know how to read the Torah, the works of the Prophets and the Holy Writings with proper grammatical precision. [If he tells her:] "...on condition that I know how to study the Mishnah," he must know how to read the Mishnah. "...On condition that I am a sage of the Mishnah," he must know how to read the Mishnah, the Sifra,5 the Sifre,6 and the Tosefta of Rabbi Chiyya.7

ד

האומר לאשה הרי את מקודשת לי על מנת שאני ידוע לקרות. צריך שיקרא התורה ויתרגם אותה תרגום אונקלוס הגר. ואם אמר לה על מנת שאני קורא צריך להיות יודע לקרות תורה נביאים וכתובים בדקדוק יפה. על מנת שאני יודע לשנות צריך להיות יודע לקרות המשנה. ואם אמר על מנת שאני תנאה צריך להיות יודע לקרות המשנה וספרא וסיפרי ותוספתא של ר' חייא:

5

[When a man tells a woman: "Behold, you are consecrated to me] on condition that I am a student [of the Torah]," we do not say that [he must be a student] of the caliber of ben Azzai and ben Zoma.8 Instead, it is sufficient that when one asks him a question regarding his studies, he is able to answer. [This includes] even the laws of the festivals that are studied in public; these are easy matters that are studied close to the festival, so that people at large will be familiar with them.

[When a man tells a woman: "Behold, you are consecrated to me] on condition that I am a wise man," we do not say that [he must be] like Rabbi Akiva and his colleagues. Instead, it is sufficient that when one asks him a point of logic with regard to any subject, he is able to answer. "...On condition that I am mighty," we do not say that [he must be] like Avner ben Ner9 or Yoav.10 Rather, it is sufficient that his colleagues fear him because of his might. "...On condition that I am rich," we do not say that [he must be as wealthy] as Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah.11 Rather, it is sufficient that the inhabitants of his city honor him because of his wealth.

[When a man tells a woman: "Behold, you are consecrated to me] on condition that I am righteous," even if the person is known to be thoroughly wicked, there is doubt [regarding the status of the kiddushin, and] the woman is considered as consecrated. For it is possible that he had thoughts of repentance in his heart at that time.12

"...On condition that I am wicked," even if the person is known to be thoroughly righteous, there is doubt [regarding the status of the kiddushin, and] the woman is considered as consecrated, since it is possible that he had thoughts of idol worship in his heart at that time. For the sin of idol worship is so great that even when a person thinks of serving [idols] in his heart,13 he is considered wicked, as [implied by Deuteronomy 11:16, which] states: "lest your hearts be tempted [and you go astray and serve other gods]," and [Ezekiel 14:5, which] states: "that I may detect the House of Israel in their hearts [for they are all estranged from Me because of their idols]."

ה

על מנת שאני תלמיד אין אומרין כבן עזאי ובן זומא אלא כל ששואלין אותו דבר אחד בתלמודו ואומרו ואפילו בהלכות החג שמלמדין אותן ברבים מדברים הקלים סמוך לחג כדי שיהיו כל העם בקיאין בהן. על מנת שאני חכם אין אומרין כר"ע וחביריו אלא כל ששואלין אותו בכל מקום דבר חכמה ואומר. על מנת שאני גבור אין אומרין כאבנר בן נר וכיואב אלא כל שחביריו מתייראים ממנו מפני גבורתו. על מנת שאני עשיר אין אומרין [כר' אלעזר בן חרסום] וכרבי אלעזר בן עזריה אלא כל שבני עירו מכבדין אותו מפני עושרו. על מנת שאני צדיק אפילו רשע גמור הרי זו מקודשת מספק שמא הרהר תשובה בלבו. על מנת שאני רשע אפילו צדיק גמור הרי זו מקודשת מספק שמא הרהר בעכו"ם בלבו שעון עכו"ם גדול הוא ומשיהרהר לעבוד בלבו נעשה רשע שנאמר פן יפתה לבבכם. וכתוב למען תפוש את בית ישראל בלבם:

6

[When a man] consecrates a woman and says, "I thought she was from a priestly family, and instead she is from a family of Levites," "...from a family of Levites, and instead she is from a priestly family," "...poor, and instead she is rich," or "...rich, and instead she is poor," she is consecrated, for she did not cause him to err.14

Similarly, if she says, "I thought he was a priest, and instead he is a Levite," "...a Levite, and instead he is a priest," "...poor, and instead he is rich," or "...rich, and instead he is poor," she is consecrated, for he did not cause her to err.

ו

המקדש את האשה ואמר הייתי סבור שהיא כהנת והרי היא לוייה. לוייה והרי היא כהנת. ענייה והרי היא עשירה. עשירה והרי היא ענייה. הרי זו מקודשת מפני שלא הטעתו. וכן היא שאמרה סבורה הייתי שהוא כהן והרי הוא לוי. לוי והרי הוא כהן. עשיר והרי הוא עני. עני והרי הוא עשיר. הרי זו מקודשת מפני שלא הטעה אותה:

Footnotes
1.

Even though honey is more valuable than wine, the kiddushin are not binding, because the stipulation was not fulfilled, and it is possible that the woman indeed desired wine rather than honey. Similarly, with regard to the sets that follow, Kiddushin (48b ff) explains reasons why it is possible to say that the woman favored either of the alternatives, and she is therefore not consecrated unless the stipulation that is made is met.

2.

Who, like bastards, are forbidden to marry into the Jewish people. (See the notes on Chapter 1, Halachah 7.)

3.

Animal feces were used in the processing of leather, and thus leather craftsmen were known for their unpleasant odor.

4.

I.e., he maintains two homes.

5.

A compendium of halachic exegesis of the Book of Leviticus, composed by Rav, a student of Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi, who compiled the Mishnah. Rav was the leader of the first generation of Amoraim in Babylonia.

6.

A compendium of the halachic exegesis of the Books of Numbers and Deuteronomy, composed by Rav.

7.

A collection of teachings intended to "explain the Mishnah and expound upon concepts that would require much effort to be derived from the Mishnah." Rabbi Chiyya was one of Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi's primary disciples.

8.

Students of Rabbi Akiva, renowned for their scholarship in their youth. Their promising futures were effaced after they entered a mystical experience together with their master. (See Chaggigah 14b.)

9.

The commander of King Saul's armies.

10.

Yoav ben Tz'ruyah, the commander of King David's armies.

11.

Who was renowned for his wealth. Each year he would give 12,000 calves as the tithes of his herd (Shabbat 54b). Another version of the text also mentions Elazar ben Chersom whose wealth is described in Yoma 35b.

12.

The doubt exists only because we cannot be aware of what is happening within the person's heart or mind. If we could be sure that he had repented within his heart, he is considered a righteous man, regardless of his previous conduct. This demonstrates the power of teshuvah, how one thought of repentance can transform one's spiritual level from one extreme to the other.

13.

In general, a person is not punished for a sin unless he commits a deed. The worship of false gods is different. (See Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 2:6, which states: "Whoever accepts a false god as true, even when he does not actually worship it, disgraces and blasphemes [God's] glorious and awesome name." See also Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 2:1,3.)

14.

Since he did not explicitly state the matter as a stipulation, his misconception does not cause the kiddushin to be nullified.

Ishut - Chapter Nine

1

[When a man] consecrates two women whom he is forbidden to marry at the same time, because it creates a prohibited relationship, neither is consecrated. What is implied? When a man consecrates a woman and her daughter or two sisters at the same time, neither of them is consecrated.

א

המקדש שתי נשים שאסור לישא שתיהן משום ערוה כאחת אינן מקודשות. כיצד כגון שקדש אשה ובתה או שתי אחיות כאחת אין אחת מהן מקודשת:

2

[The following rule applies when a man] consecrates many women at the same time and says: "Behold, all of you are consecrated to me." If among [these women] were two sisters, a woman and her daughter or the like, none of the women is consecrated.1

If [the man] told [the women]: "Those of you who are fit to engage in marital relations with me are consecrated to me," they are all consecrated to him, except the sisters, the mother and her daughter or the like.

Similarly, if [a man] told [a group of women], "Behold, all of you are consecrated to me," and among [these women] was a Canaanite maidservant, a non-Jewish woman or a woman who is forbidden to this man as an ervah - e.g., a married woman, his daughter, his sister or the like - none of them is consecrated to him. If he says: "Those of you who are fit to engage in marital relations with me are consecrated to me," they are all consecrated to him, except the women with whom he cannot establish kiddushin.

ב

קידש נשים רבות כאחת ואמר הרי כולכם מקודשות לי והיו בהן שתי אחיות או אשה ובתה וכיוצא בהן אין אחת מכולן מקודשת. ואם אמר להן הראויה מכם לי לביאה מקודשת לי הרי כולן מקודשות לו חוץ מאחיות או אשה ובתה וכיוצא בהן. וכן אם אמר להן הרי כולכם מקודשות לי והיתה בהן שפחה או עכו"ם או אשה אחת ערוה כגון אשת איש או בתו או אחותו וכיוצא בהן אין אחת מכולם מקודשת. ואם אמר הראויה מכם לי לביאה תהיה מקודשת לי הרי כולן מקודשות לו חוץ מאותה אשה שאין קידושין תופסין בה:

3

[The following rule applies when] a man tells two sisters: "Behold, one of you is consecrated to me with this [article]," and gives them both a p'rutah, or one accepts it on behalf [of herself and] her sister. They both require a divorce from him, and it is forbidden for him to engage in marital relations with either of them, for the kiddushin are viable even though he is forbidden to engage in relations with either of them.2 The same [rule applies] when [a man] tells a father: "One of your daughters is consecrated to me," and the father accepts the kiddushin.3

ג

אמר לשתי אחיות הרי אחת מכם מקודשת לי בזה ונתן להן פרוטה או שקבלתה אחת על יד חבירתה. וכן האומר לאב אחת מבנותיך מקודשת לי וקיבל האב קידושיה כולן צריכות גט ממנו. ואסור לו לבוא על אחת מהן מפני שהקידושין תופסין בהן אע"פ שא"א לבוא על אחת מהן:

4

[The following rule applies when a man] appoints an agent to consecrate a particular woman, the agent went and consecrated her, the principal himself consecrated the woman's mother, daughter or sister, and it is not known which of them was consecrated first: They both require a divorce, and they both are forbidden [to have relations] with him.

A similar [rule applies] if a woman appointed an agent to consecrate her, he [fulfilled her charge], she herself consecrated herself to another man, and it is not known which consecration took place first. Both men are required to divorce her. If they so desire, one may divorce her and one may marry her.4

ד

העושה שליח לקדש לו אשה פלונית והלך וקידשה לו וקידש המשלח בעצמו לאמה או לבתה או לאחותה ואין ידוע אי זו מהן נתקדשה ראשונה שתיהן צריכות גט ואסורות עליו. וכן אשה שעשתה שליח לקדשה והלך וקידשה והלכה וקידשה היא עצמה לאחר ואין ידוע אי זו מהן קודם שניהן. נותנין לה גט. ואם רצו אחד נותן גט ואחד כונס:

5

When does the above apply? When [the two men who consecrated her] were not related. If, however, they were related, the agent consecrated the woman to a father, and she consecrated herself to his son, to his brother or the like: they both must divorce her, and they both are forbidden [to have relations] with her.

ה

בד"א ברחוקין אבל (בקרובים) אם קידשה השליח לאב וקידשה היא עצמה לבן או לאח וכיוצא בהן שניהם נותנין גט והיא אסורה לשניהם:

6

[The following rules apply when a man] tells an agent: "Go out and consecrate a woman for me," the agent dies, and it is not known whether or not he consecrated a woman on behalf of the principal. We accept the presumption that he consecrated [on his behalf], for it is an accepted presumption that the agent will carry out the mission with which he was charged.

[Accordingly,] since it is not known which woman he consecrated, the principal is forbidden to marry any woman who has a relative who might be forbidden because of the laws of ervah - i.e., a woman who has an [unmarried] daughter, mother, sister or the like.

[The rationale is] that if you say: "Let him marry this one," perhaps the agent had consecrated the woman's mother, sister or daughter. He is permitted [to marry] a woman who does not have relatives like these.5

If [the woman the man desires to marry] has a relative like this - e.g., a sister - and that relative was married at the time the agent was appointed, [the man] is permitted to marry her. [This applies] even if this relative was divorced before the agent died. We do not say that perhaps the agent consecrated her relative after she was divorced. For she was not fit to [marry him] at the time the agent was appointed, and a person does not appoint an agent to consecrate a wife for him if [the intended] is not fit to be consecrated at the time the agent is appointed.

ו

האומר לשלוחו צא וקדש לי אשה ומת השליח ואינו יודע אם קידש אם לא קידש לו אשה הרי זה בחזקת שקידש שחזקת שליח לעשות שליחותו. והואיל ואין ידוע אי זו אשה קידש לו הרי זה אסור בכל אשה שיש לה קרובות שהן ערוה עמה. כגון אשה שיש לה בת או אם או אחות וכיוצא בהן. שאם תאמר ישא זו שמא אמה קידש לו שלוחו או אחותה או בתה. ומותר באשה שאין לה קרובות כגון אלו. היתה לה קרובה כגון אם או אחות וכיוצא בהן והיתה הקרובה אשת איש בשעה שעשה הוא שליח אע"פ שנתגרשה קודם שימות השליח ה"ז מותר בה. ואין אומרים שמא קידש השליח את קרובתה אחר שנתגרשה. מפני שלא היתה ראויה בשעה שעשה השליח ואין אדם עושה שליח לקדש לו אלא אשה שיכול הוא לקדשה בשעת השליחות:

7

[The following rules apply when] a person has five sons, they each appoint their father as an agent to consecrate a wife for them, and the father tells a colleague who has five daughters: "[Each] one of your daughters is consecrated to one of my sons." Should the father [of the girls] accept the kiddushin,6 each of the girls must be divorced by each of the five brothers. For they all gave their father the prerogative of consecrating a wife for them [and he did not specify which woman would be the wife for which of his sons].

If one of [the sons] dies, each of the women must be divorced by the four [remaining brothers] and must perform the rite of chalitzah with one of them.7

ז

מי שהיו לו ה' בנים ועשו כולן שליח את אביהם לקדש להם אשה. ואמר אבי הבנים לאיש שיש לו ה' בנות אחת מבנותיך מקודשת לאחד מבני וקיבל האב הקידושין. כל אחת מהן צריכה חמשה גיטין מכל האחין. הואיל וכולן נתנו רשות לאב לקדש להן אשה. מת אחד מהם כל אחת מהן צריכה ארבעה גיטין וחליצה מאחד מהם:

8

[There is, by contrast, no doubt in the following situation:] A father had [two daughters]: one a minor or a na'arah8 whom he has the privilege [of consecrating], and one a bogeret.9 Even if the bogeret gives her father the privilege of consecrating her, when he consecrates one of his daughters without specifying which one, it is assumed that the bogeret is not the one intended unless he specifically states [that the kiddushin are for] "my older daughter, who is a bogeret, who appointed me as [her] agent."10 Therefore, [in such a situation,] the bogeret is not consecrated,11 and her sister is consecrated.

ח

האב שהיתה לו בת קטנה או נערה שהיא ברשותו ובת בוגרת ונתנה לו הבוגרת רשות לקדשה וקידש בתו סתם לאחד. אין הבוגרת בכלל עד שיפרש ויאמר בתי הבוגרת שעשת אותי שליח. לפיכך אין הבוגרת מקודשת (ואחותה מקודשת):

9

[The following rules apply with regard to a father] who has two pairs of daughters from two different wives, and he has the prerogative [of consecrating all of them].12 If he consecrated one daughter, and at the time of the kiddushin told the husband: "I consecrated my oldest daughter" [there is no confusion with regard to his intent]. Although it is possible to say that perhaps he consecrated the older daughter in the older pair to him, or the older daughter in the younger pair or the younger daughter in the older pair - for she is older than the older daughter in the younger pair [- we do not entertain such doubts.] All [the daughters] are permitted [to marry other men] except the older daughter in the older pair; she alone is considered to be consecrated.

Similarly, if [the father says that] he consecrated his youngest daughter: Although it is possible to say that perhaps [he consecrated] the younger daughter in the younger pair to him, or the younger daughter in the older pair or the older daughter in the younger pair - for she is younger than the younger daughter in the older pair [- we do not entertain such doubts]. All [the daughters] are permitted [to marry other men] except the younger daughter in the younger pair; she alone is considered to be consecrated. For the phrase "my oldest daughter" implies the daughter whom none is elder than, and the phrase "my youngest daughter" implies the daughter whom none is younger than.13

ט

מי שיש לו שתי כתי בנות משתי נשים וכולן ברשותו וקידש אחת מהן ובשעת הקידושין אמר לבעל קידשתי לך את בתי הגדולה. אף ע"פ שיש לומר שמא גדולה שבגדולות קידש לו או גדולה שבקטנות או קטנה שבגדולות שהיא גדולה מן הגדולה שבקטנות. הרי כולן מותרות חוץ מן הגדולה שבגדולות שהיא לבדה המקודשת. וכן אם קידש בתו הקטנה אף ע"פ שיש לומר שמא קטנה שבקטנות או קטנה שבגדולות או גדולה שבקטנות שהיא קטנה מן הקטנה שבגדולות הרי כולן מותרות חוץ מן הקטנה שבקטנות והיא לבדה המקודשת. שמשמע בתו הגדולה שאין בבנותיו גדולה ממנה ומשמע בתו הקטנה שאין בהן קטנה ממנה:

10

A father's word is accepted with regard to [the status of] his daughter below the age of bagrut. [If] he states that she has been consecrated, she is forbidden to marry at all.14

י

נאמן האב לומר על בתו קודם שתבגור שהיא מקודשת ואוסרה על הכל:

11

When a father says, "I consecrated my daughter, but I do not know to whom I consecrated her," she is forbidden [to marry] any man forever unless the father says, "I became aware of the fact that I consecrated her to so and so." He alone must divorce her [before she can marry another person]. [Her father's word is accepted with regard to the identity of the person who consecrated her] even if he becomes aware after she reaches the age of bagrut.15

יא

האב שאמר קידשתי את בתי ואיני יודע למי קידשתיה הרי זו אסורה לעולם על כל אדם עד שיאמר האב נודע לי שלפלוני קידשתיה ותהיה צריכה ממנו גט בלבד. ואף ע"פ שנודע לו אחר שבגרה:

12

If a father says, "I don't know to whom I consecrated [my daughter]," and a person comes and says, "I am the one who consecrated her," his word is accepted. [Moreover, he is granted the prerogative of] consummating the marriage.16 He need not consecrate her a second time.

יב

אמר האב איני יודע למי קידשתיה ובא אחד ואמר אני הוא שקידשתיה נאמן אף לכנוס ואינו צריך קידושין אחרים:

13

[In the above situation,] if two people come and both claim that they were the ones who consecrated her, they are both required to divorce her. If they desire, one may divorce her, and one may consummate the marriage.17

[If the latter option was taken, and] one consummated the marriage,18 and afterwards a third person came and claimed that he was the one who had consecrated her [originally], his word is not accepted and he does not cause her to be forbidden to her husband.

יג

באו שנים זה אומר אני קידשתיה וזה אומר אני קידשתיה. שניהן נותנין גט ואם רצו אחד נותן גט ואחד כונס. כנסה ואחר כך בא אחר ואמר אני הוא שקידשתיה אינו נאמן ואינו אוסרה על בעלה:

14

[The following rules apply when] a woman states: "I was consecrated, but I do not know to whom I was consecrated," and a man comes and claims: "I was the one who consecrated her." His word is accepted and he may divorce her [so that] she is permitted to marry others, but not him. He is forbidden to consummate the marriage.19

[This restriction was instituted out of suspicion that] perhaps the man's natural inclination overcame him [and he made his statement out of desire for her]. [And we fear that the woman] will encourage [his false statements] so that she will be permitted [to marry].

יד

האשה שאמרה נתקדשתי ואיני יודעת למי נתקדשתי ובא אחד ואמר אני הוא שקידשתיך נאמן ליתן גט ותהיה מותרת לכל אדם חוץ ממנו. אבל אינו נאמן לכנוס שמא יצרו תקפו והיא תרגיל לו כדי להתירה:

15

[The following rules apply when a man] tells a woman: "I consecrated you," and the woman denies the matter. He is forbidden [to marry] her close relatives,20 but she is permitted [to marry] his close relatives.21 If she says, "You consecrated me," and he denies the matter, he is permitted [to marry] her close relatives, but she is forbidden [to marry] his close relatives.

If he says: "I consecrated you," and the woman says: "It was my daughter, not me, whom you consecrated," he is forbidden [to marry] the close relatives of the mother; the mother is permitted [to marry] his close relatives; he is permitted [to marry] the close relatives of the daughter;22 and the daughter is permitted [to marry] the man's close relatives.23

[The following rules apply when the man says:] "I consecrated your daughter," and the woman says: "It was myself [not my daughter] whom you consecrated." He is forbidden [to marry] the daughter's close relatives; the daughter is permitted [to marry] his close relatives; he is permitted [to marry] the mother's close relatives; and the mother is forbidden [to marry] the man's close relatives.

טו

האומר לאשה קידשתיך והיא אומרת לא קידשתני הוא אסור בקרובותיה והיא מותרת בקרוביו. קידשתני והוא אומר לא קידשתיך הוא מותר בקרובותיה והיא אסורה בקרוביו. קידשתיך והיא אומרת לא קידשת אלא בתי הוא אסור בקרובות גדולה וגדולה מותרת בקרוביו. ומותר בקרובות הבת והבת מותרת בקרוביו. קידשתי את בתך והיא אומרת לא קידשת אלא אותי הוא אסור בקרובות הבת והבת מותרת בקרוביו. ומותר בקרובות האם והאם אסורה על קרוביו:

16

All the claims of kiddushin [mentioned in the previous halachah] refer to a situation in which the person making the claim states that the kiddushin were given in the presence of witnesses, and the witnesses either journeyed overseas or died. If, however, they acknowledge that the kiddushin were given without witnesses observing, the kiddushin are of no consequence, as we have explained.24

Whenever a woman tells a man, "You consecrated me," and he denies the matter, we ask him to compose a bill of divorce so that she will be permitted to marry others, for [doing this] does not involve any loss to him.25 If he gives her a divorce on his own volition,26 we compel him to give her [the monetary settlement, as stated in] the ketubah.27

טז

וכל אלו שטוענין הקידושין בשטען הטוען שהיו שם קידושין בפני עדים והלכו למדינה אחרת או מתו. אבל אם הודו שהיו הקידושין בלא עדים אין כאן קידושין כמו שביארנו. וכ"מ שתאמר אשה לאיש קידשתני והוא אומר לא קידשתיך מבקשים ממנו שיכתוב לה גט להתירה לשאר העם שאין לו בזה הפסד. ואם נתן לה גט מעצמו כופין אותו ליתן כתובה:

17

When a man appoints an agent to consecrate a woman for him, and the agent goes and consecrates her for himself, the woman is consecrated to the agent. It is, however, forbidden to do such a thing. Whoever does this or performs a similar act with regard to business matters is considered to be wicked.28

יז

העושה שליח לקדש לו אשה והלך וקידשה לעצמו הרי זו מקודשת לשליח. ואסור לעשות כן. וכל העושה דבר זה וכיוצא בו בשאר דברי מקח וממכר נקרא רשע:

18

[The following rules apply when a man] appoints an agent to consecrate a woman for him, the agent consecrates her [but a doubt arises whether the agent consecrated her for himself or for the principal]. When the agent says, "I consecrated [the woman] for myself," and the woman says, "I was consecrated to the principal," [the ruling depends on whether or not the appointment of the agent was made in the presence of witnesses].29

If the agent was not appointed in the presence of witnesses, the agent is forbidden to marry the woman's close relatives, and she is permitted to marry [the agent's] close relatives.30 The woman is forbidden to marry the principal's close relatives, but the principal is permitted to marry her close relatives.31 If the agent was appointed in the presence of witnesses, she is consecrated to the principal.32

יח

העושה שליח לקדש לו אשה והלך וקידשה השליח אומר לעצמי קידשתיה והאשה אומרת לראשון ששלחו נתקדשתי. אם לא עשה השליח בעדים הרי השליח אסור בקרובותיה והיא מותרת בקרוביו. והאשה אסורה בקרובי המשלח והמשלח מותר בקרובותיה. ואם הוחזק השליח בעדים הרי זו מקודשת לראשון:

19

[The following rules apply when] the woman says, "I do not know to whom I was consecrated, whether to the agent or to the principal." If the agent was not appointed in the presence of witnesses, she is consecrated to the agent. If he was appointed as his agent [in the presence of witnesses], they both are required to divorce her. If they desire, one may divorce her and one may consummate the marriage.

יט

אמרה איני יודעת למי נתקדשתי אם לשולח או לשלוחו. אם לא הוחזק השליח בעדים הרי זו מקודשת לשני. ואם הוחזק שהוא שלוחו שניהן נותנין גט. ואם רצו אחד נותן גט ואחד כונס:

20

[The following rule applies when] a woman appoints an agent to consecrate her, he went and fulfilled his mission, but while he was in the process of doing so, she nullified his agency and rescinded his appointment, and it is not known whether she nullified his agency before he received the kiddushin or afterwards. The status of the kiddushin is doubtful. [She cannot marry another man without receiving a divorce, nor may the marriage be consummated unless she receives kiddushin again.] Similar rules apply when a man appoints an agent and retracts his appointment.

כ

האשה שעשתה שליח לקדשה והלך וקידשה ובעת הליכתו ביטלה השליחות וחזרה בה ואין ידוע אם קודם שקיבל לה הקידושין חזרה או אחר הקידושין הרי זו מקודשת מספק. וכן האיש שעשה שליח וחזר בו:

21

[The following rules apply when a man] consecrates one of five women but does not know which of them he has consecrated, and each of them says, "He consecrated me." He is forbidden to marry the [close] relatives of all these women and must divorce each of them. [With regard to the payment of the money due because of the marriage contract,] he should leave [the sum due because of] one marriage contract among all the women and depart.33

If, however, [the man] had consecrated [his intended] through sexual relations, our Sages penalized him34 [and required him] to give [the sum due because of] the marriage contract to each of the women.35

[When could such a situation apply?]36 When it is known that he wrote a marriage contract for one of the women,37 and the marriage contract was lost, and each of the women claims: "I was the one who was consecrated. He wrote the marriage contract for me and it was lost."

כא

המקדש אחת מחמש נשים ואינו יודע אי זו מהן קידש וכל אחת ואחת אומרת אותי קידש אסור בקרובות כולן. ונותן גט לכל אחת ואחת ומניח כתובה אחת ביניהן ומסתלק. ואם קידש בביאה קנסו אותו חכמים שיתן כתובה לכל אחת ואחת. והדבר ידוע שכתובה שכתב לאחת מהן אבדה וכל אחת ואחת אומרת אני היא שקידשתני וכתבת לי כתובה ואבדה כתובתי:

22

When a report is circulated that a woman has been consecrated to a particular man, we operate under the presumption that [the woman] is consecrated although there is no binding evidence to that effect.38 Whenever a report is not substantiated by a court, no attention is paid to it.39

What type of report when substantiated will cause a woman to be considered to be consecrated? Two [men] came [to court] and testified that they saw candles lit, couches spread, people coming in and out of the house, and women celebrating with her, saying "So and so was consecrated today."40 If the women are heard saying: "So and so will be consecrated today," no attention is paid [to the report]; perhaps they assembled for the purpose of kiddushin, but the kiddushin were not given. It is only when [the report says that the woman] was [actually] consecrated [that the court considers her as such].

Similarly, if two [men] come and say, "We saw what looked like an erusin celebration and we heard sounds [of joy], and we heard from so and so41 who heard from so and so that this woman was consecrated in the presence of [two witnesses] and the witnesses went to another country or died" - this is a report that could cause a woman to be considered consecrated.

כב

האשה שיצא עליה קול שהיא מקודשת לפלוני הרי זו בחזקת מקודשת אע"פ שאין שם ראיה ברורה. וכל קול שלא הוחזק בב"ד אין חוששין לו. וכיצד הוא הקול שתוחזק זו בו שהיא מקודשת כגון שבאו שנים והעידו שראו הנרות דולקות ומטות מוצעות ובני אדם נכנסין ויוצאין ונשים שמחות לה ואומרות נתקדשה פלונית היום. שמעו אותן אומרות פלונית תתקדש היום אין חוששין לה שמא נזדמנו לקדש ולא נתקדשה עד שישמעו שנתקדשה. וכן אם באו שנים ואמרו ראינו כמו שמחת אירוסין ושמענו קול הברה ושמענו מפלוני ששמע מפלוני שנתקדשה פלונית בפני פלוני ופלוני והלכו להם העדים למדינה אחרת או מתו הרי זה קול שמחזיק אותה מקודשת:

23

When does the above apply? When there is no rationale that offsets the report. If, however, there is a rationale that offsets the report, and that rationale is heard when [the report that] she was consecrated is heard, [the woman] is not considered to be consecrated.

What is [an example] of a rationale that offsets a report? "So and so was consecrated with a stipulation attached," or "[So and so was given] kiddushin whose status is in doubt."42 [In such instances,] the woman is not considered [consecrated]. Instead, we ask her [for an account of the circumstances] and rely on her word, since there is no clear evidence nor firm report.

כג

בד"א שלא היתה שם אמתלא אבל אם היתה שם אמתלא ושמעו האמתלא כששמעו שנתקדשה לא הוחזקה מקודשת. כיצד היא האמתלא פלונית נתקדשה על תנאי או קידושי ספק לא הוחזקה. אלא שואלין אותה וסומכין על דבריה הואיל ואין שם ראיה ברורה ולא קול חזק:

24

[The following rules apply when at first] a report spreads that [a woman] was consecrated to a particular man, and after a few days a rationale that offsets the report is stated. If it appears to the court that the rationale is true, they rely on it, and [the woman] is not considered to be consecrated. If not, since the rationale was not heard at the time the report of the kiddushin was heard, we do not take it into consideration.

כד

יצא עליה קול שנתקדשה לפלוני ולאחר ימים אמרו אמתלא. אם נראין הדברים לב"ד שהוא כן סומכין על האמתלא ולא תוחזק מקודשת. ואם לאו הואיל ולא נשמעה האמתלא בעת שנשמעו הקידושין אין חוששין לאמתלא:

25

An incident once occurred involving a report that a particular woman was consecrated to the son of so and so. After time passed, they asked [the husband's] father, who said, "There was a stipulation attached when she was consecrated to him, and the stipulation was not fulfilled." The Sages did not rely on his words. Instead, they ruled that the status of the kiddushin was in doubt, as if there were no rationale that offsets [the original report].

כה

מעשה באחת שיצא עליה קול שנתקדשה לבנו של פלוני ולאחר זמן שאלו לאביו ואמר על תנאי כך נתקדשה לו ולא נתקיים התנאי ולא סמכו חכמים על דבריו אלא אמרו הרי זו ספק מקודשת וכאילו אין שם אמתלא:

26

[The following rules apply when] a report is spread that [a woman] was consecrated to a particular man, and a second man came and consecrated her in our presence. We attempt to verify the report of the kiddushin of the first man. If witnesses come and give clear testimony that [the woman] was consecrated to the first man, the kiddushin given by the second are of no consequence.

If not, the first man, for whom there is merely a report of his kiddushin, must divorce the woman, and the second man, who definitely consecrated her, is allowed to consummate the marriage.43 If the second man divorces her, the first should not consummate the marriage, lest people at large say, "He remarried the woman he divorced after consecrating her, after she had been consecrated by another man."44

כו

יצא עליה קול שהיא מקודשת לפלוני ובא שני וקידשה בפנינו בודקין על קידושי ראשון שהן בקול. אם באו עדים בראיה ברורה שהיא מקודשת לראשון אין קידושי שני כלום. ואם לאו מגרש ראשון שקידושיו בקול ונושא השני שקידושיו ודאי. ואם גירש השני לא יכנוס הראשון שמא יאמרו החזיר גרושתו מן האירוסין אחר שנתארסה לאחר:

27

When a report is spread that a woman was consecrated to one man, and a second report is later spread that she was consecrated to another, one of the men should write her a bill of divorce, and the other - either the first or the last - may consummate the marriage.

כז

יצא עליה קול שהיא מקודשת לפלוני ויצא קול אחר כמותו שהיא מקודשת לאחר. אחד כותב גט ואחד כונס בין ראשון בין אחרון:

28

In a place where it is customary for [a prospective groom] to send gifts to his [prospective] bride after consecrating her, and witnesses who had seen presents being brought to [a woman] come [and testify to that effect], we suspect that she has been consecrated.45 [Because of this] suspicion, she must be divorced. [This ruling applies] even when the majority of the men in the city send presents before consecrating [their prospective brides].46

In a place where it is customary for all the men [of the locale] to send presents first and then consecrate, [the fact that witnesses] saw presents [being sent] is not a cause for suspicion.

כח

מקום שנהגו לשלוח סבלונות לארוסה אחר שתתארס ובאו עדים שראו סבלונות שהובלו לה חוששין לה שמא נתקדשה וצריכה גט מספק אעפ"י "ח] שרוב אנשי העיר אין משלחין סבלונות אלא קודם האירוסין. ומקום שנהגו כולן לשלוח סבלונות בתחלה ואח"כ מקדשין וראו סבלונות אין חוששין לה:

29

[The following rules apply when] it was established that a marriage contract had been composed [for a specific woman]: If it is common for some of the people in that place to consecrate and then have [a marriage contract] composed, we suspect [that the woman was consecrated].47 [This law applies] even when there is no scribe in the locale. We do not say that because a scribe happened to be found [in the locale], [the man had the marriage contract] written before [he consecrated the woman].

If all the men in a locale have marriage contracts composed before consecrating [their wives], [the existence of a marriage contract] is not a cause for suspicion [that a woman has been consecrated].

כט

הוחזק שטר כתובתה. אם דרך מקצת אנשי המקום שמקדשין ואחר כך כותבין חוששין לה. ואף ע"פ שאין שם סופר אין אומרין שמא מפני הסופר שמצא הקדים וכתב. ואם דרך כל אנשי המקום שכותבין הכתובה קודם הקידושין אין חוששין לה:

30

[The following rule applies when there is a dispute between two pairs of witnesses:] two [witnesses] say: "We saw [a woman] consecrated on this particular day," and two [witnesses] say: "We did not see [this happen]." Although they are all neighbors, living in the same courtyard, [the woman] is considered to be consecrated; the claim "We did not see [this happen]" is of no consequence, for it is common for [a man] to consecrate [a woman] in private.

ל

שנים אומרין ראינוה שנתקדשה ביום פלוני ושנים אומרין לא ראינוה אע"פ שכולם שכנים בחצר אחת הרי זו מקודשת שאין [טענת] לא ראינוה ראיה שדרך העם לקדש בצנעה:

31

When one witness says, "This [woman] has been consecrated," and [the woman] herself says, "I have not been consecrated," she is permitted [to marry without restriction].48

When one [witness] says, "[This woman] has been consecrated," and another [witness] says, "she has not been consecrated," she should not marry49 [anyone other than the person to whom the witness says she has been consecrated]. If she, nevertheless, marries another person, [there is no necessity to] terminate [the marriage], for she says, "I was not consecrated."

[The following rules apply when a woman herself] says, "I have been consecrated," and afterwards she accepts kiddushin [a second time]. If she can offer a rationale that explains her previous statements, explaining why she said she was consecrated, and the reason appears substantial [to the court],50 she is permitted to [marry] the second man.51 If she cannot offer an explanation, or she offers one but it does not appear substantial, she is forbidden [to marry]. [Nevertheless, we also give certain consideration to] the kiddushin given by the second man, and [require] him to divorce her. She is forbidden to [marry] him or anyone else until the person who first consecrated her comes.

Similar [rules apply with regard to] a woman who comes [to a new community] and says that she is a married woman, and afterwards says that she is unmarried. If she gives a rationale that explains her statements, and it [appears] substantial, her word is accepted.

לא

אמר עד אחד מקודשת היא זו והיא אומרת לא נתקדשתי הרי זו מותרת. אחד אומר מקודשת ואחד אומר אינה מקודשת לא תנשא ואם נישאת לא תצא שהרי היא אומרת לא נתקדשתי. אמרה מקודשת אני ולאחר זמן עמדה וקידשה עצמה אם נתנה אמתלא לדבריה ואמרה מפני כך וכך אמרתי בתחלה שאני מקודשת וראינו בדבריה ממש הרי זו מותרת לשני. ואם לא נתנה אמתלא או שנתנה ואין בהן ממש הרי זו אסורה וקידושי שני קידושי ספק. לפיכך נותן לה גט ותהיה אסורה עליו ועל הכל עד שיבוא ארוסה. וכן האשה שבאת ואמרה אשת איש אני וחזרה ואמרה פנויה אני אם נתנה אמתלא לדבריה ויש בדבריה ממש הרי זו נאמנת:

Footnotes
1.

Since all the women were included in the same statement without differentiating between any of them, none is consecrated.

The Maggid Mishneh notes that Kiddushin 51a equates this law with the following ruling: When one person tells another, "You and this animal will acquire this object," the person acquires half. The correspondence is explained as follows. Although the animal is not fit to acquire the property, the person still acquires the half. Similarly, although some of the women are not fit to be consecrated, the others are, and they should be consecrated.

On this basis, the Maggid Mishneh asks: Since in Hilchot Mechirah 22:12, the Rambam rules that the person acquires the property although the animal does not, seemingly he should agree that the women who are fit to be married should be consecrated. In resolution, he explains that monetary laws are governed by different principles from marital laws, and therefore there is no contradiction between the two rulings.

Because of this contradiction, although the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 41:4) mentions the Rambam's opinion, it also mentions a view that states that the women who are not related are consecrated. It concludes that because of the conflicting opinions, the status of the kiddushin is doubtful. The same applies with regard to the law mentioned in the second portion of this halachah.

2.

Since the man was not specific as to which of the sisters he was consecrating, there is no way to determine which of them was intended. [Even if the man specifies his intent afterwards, his word is not accepted (Ramah, Even HaEzer 37:16).] Therefore, there is doubt as to the status of both of the women.

3.

The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 37:16) states that this rule applies even when the man consecrating the daughters was engaged to one of them. Since he did not specify his intent at the time of the kiddushin, all the daughters require a divorce.

4.

In the previous instance, the man was not able to marry either of the women he consecrated, because they were related and it is forbidden to marry one's divorcee's mother, sister or daughter.

5.

The Ramah (Even HaEzer 35:11) quotes the opinion of Rabbenu Nissim, who maintains that if the relatives state that they were never consecrated and the man marries the woman, they are permitted to remain married.

6.

If the girls are below the age of bagrut, their father has the privilege of consecrating them. If they are above the age of bagrut, it is possible that they appointed him as an agent to receive their kiddushin. Note, however, the following halachah.

7.

For perhaps the brother who died was her betrothed.

8.

A girl between the ages of twelve and twelve and a half, who has manifested signs of physical maturity.

9.

A girl past the age of twelve and a half, who has manifested signs of physical maturity.

In the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Kiddushin 3:8), he states that if the man has several daughters below the age of bagrut, they all require a divorce, because of the doubt mentioned in the previous halachot, but the daughter above the age of bagrut does not require a divorce.

10.

Kiddushin 51b explains the rationale for this ruling. A person will not abandon a mitzvah for which he is responsible (the consecration of his younger daughter) to fulfill a mitzvah for which he is not responsible (the consecration of his elder daughter).

11.

The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 37:15) states that this law applies only when the daughter who is above bagrut does not specify the identity of a man she desires to marry. If, however, she makes such a specification, and the above situation occurs with regard to this individual, she also requires a divorce.

12.

I.e., none of them has reached the age of bagrut (Beit Yosef, Even HaEzer 37). (See Beit Shmuel 37:42.)

13.

Although the Hebrew words גדולה and קטנה can mean both "older" and "oldest" and "younger" and "youngest" respectively, in this context the man's intent is clear, and the intent is the oldest and the youngest.

14.

Kiddushin 64a derives this concept from Deuteronomy 22:16, "I gave my daughter to this man," the verse that teaches that the father has the prerogative of consecrating his daughter until she becomes a bogeret. From "I gave my daughter," we learn that because of her father's words, the woman is forbidden to marry anyone but her intended. From "this man," we learn that he can clarify the identity of the intended.

15.

The rationale is that since the prohibition comes on the basis of her father's statements, the license to marry is also granted on that basis.

16.

I.e., not only may he free the girl of the prohibition by divorcing her, he may consummate the marriage if he desires. We do not suspect that he is making this statement merely because he is attracted to the woman (Kiddushin 63b). The man is given this prerogative because we assume that he would not lie, lest the father protest and deny his claim.

17.

He must, however, consecrate the woman again (Rashba, Ramah, Even HaEzer 37:22).

18.

The Rashba states that this ruling applies even if the marriage was not yet consummated. As long as the license for the marriage was granted, the third person's claims do not cause it to be rescinded. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 37:23) quotes both views, but appears to favor that of the Rambam.

19.

If, however, he consummates the marriage and the couple live together as man and wife, we do not force them to separate because of the suspicions mentioned (Rashba, Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 37:24).

20.

I.e., the relatives he would be forbidden to marry if she were his wife. Since according to his statements they are man and wife, he must uphold any prohibitions that such a relationship would bring about.

21.

For she denies the matter.

22.

I.e., those who are not forbidden to him because of his statements regarding her mother. Since he does not acknowledge the consecration of the daughter, he is not bound by the mother's statements.

23.

For the mother's statements are not binding for the daughter. Although Scriptural law gives a father the prerogative to make binding statements regarding his daughter's status, a mother's statements do not have this power even according to Rabbinic law (Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah, Kiddushin 3:11).

24.

Chapter 4, Halachah 6.

25.

Once the man divorces the woman, he is forbidden to marry her close relatives. Nevertheless, this is not considered a significant loss, since there are many other women he could marry. And yet, because of this factor, he cannot be compelled to divorce the woman (Maggid Mishneh; Ramah, Even HaEzer 48:6). Others [Rabbenu Eliyahu Mizrachi and the Maharshal (Responsum 25)] differ and maintain that since he divorced the woman only as a favor to her, he is not forbidden to marry her relatives.

26.

I.e., without being asked to by others.

27.

The Maggid Mishneh notes that there are several points that require clarification with regard to the Rambam's statements. As stated in Chapter 10, Halachah 11, a man is not ordinarily obligated to pay a marriage contract until the second stage of the marriage (nisu'in). If merely kiddushin were given, he is not under such an obligation. It is only when he wrote the woman a ketubah and gave it together with the kiddushin, that he is obligated.

This, however, raises a question: If he wrote the woman a ketubah, how can he deny the kiddushin? The Maggid Mishneh explains that this law applies only in a place where it is customary to write the ketubah before the kiddushin are given. Because in most instances there is no obligation to give a ketubah after kiddushin, the Shulchan Aruch does not mention this law at all (Chelkat Mechokek 48:2).

28.

See Hilchot Mechirah 7:10.

29.

The Ra'avad maintains that the man must always appoint an agent in the presence of witnesses. He therefore interprets the phrase huchzak hashaliach to mean that the appointment of the agent was public knowledge.

30.

As in Halachah 15.

31.

For his agent states that he did not consecrate the woman on behalf of the principal.

32.

The Maggid Mishneh states that even though the woman is considered to be consecrated to the principal, the agent is still forbidden to marry the woman's relatives. The Ramah (Even HaEzer 35:15) quotes this ruling.

Rabbenu Asher does not accept the Rambam's ruling, stating that if the agent explicitly states that he did not consecrate the woman on behalf of the principal, there is no way that the kiddushin can be binding.

33.

Because of the doubt, he is not required to pay each of them the sum required by the marriage contract.

34.

Because he violated our Sages' instructions not to consecrate with sexual relations.

35.

The Beit Shmuel 49:2 questions why this ruling differs from the ruling delivered (Hilchot Gezelot 4:9) when a man says that he stole from one of five people, and does not know from whom he stole. In such an instance, although the thief is required to reimburse each of the five, this is only when each of the recipients takes an oath that the money was stolen from him. The Beit Shmuel leaves the question unresolved.

36.

For, as stated in Chapter 10, Halachah 11, a man is not ordinarily required to pay the money due because of a marriage contract until nisu'in, the second stage of the marriage relationship. If the woman has merely been consecrated, this obligation is not incumbent upon him unless he wrote a marriage contract for her.

37.

The Ra'avad states that there is no need for the marriage contract to have been written. If the man made a verbal agreement to that effect when consecrating the woman, he is obligated. The Maggid Mishneh explains that the Rambam would also accept the Ra'avad's law, and was merely giving one of several possible settings in which the law stated could be applied.

38.

As the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 46:1) states, the woman is bound by the same rules as all those whose status of their kiddushin is in doubt. She may not marry any one other than the man to whom the report says she is consecrated, but before she may consummate the marriage with him, she must be consecrated again.

39.

I.e., it is possible for many rumors to be spread. When is credence given to a rumor? When it can be substantiated in court with testimony, as mentioned below. (See Rashi, Gittin 99b.)

40.

In this part of the halachah (in contrast to its beginning), the Rambam does not mention that the witnesses state to whom the woman was consecrated. The later authorities (Chelkat Mechokek 46:1; Beit Shmuel 46:1) maintain that this information must also be stated; otherwise the woman is not considered to be consecrated.

41.

I.e., according to the Rambam, it is sufficient for two witnesses to hear from one person who originally heard the report from another person. The Rashba and Rabbenu Asher maintain that unless a report is spread by at least two individuals, it cannot be substantiated in court. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 46:2) quotes the Rambam's view and the Ramah quotes the other opinions.

42.

I.e., there is a question whether the kiddushin were worth a p'rutah, or the youth consecrating her had reached the age of majority (Gittin 9:9; Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 46:3).

43.

If the first man does not divorce her, the second is not allowed to consummate the marriage. If he does not heed this ruling and marries her before she receives a divorce, the Rabbis ruled that the woman is forbidden to him, and he is required to divorce her (Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 46:5).

44.

This is forbidden, as explained in Hilchot Gerushin 11:12. If the first man does not heed this ruling and marries her, the Rabbis are unresolved whether or not the marriage is allowed to stand (Chelkat Mechokek 46:13).

45.

I.e., although the presents are worth more than a p'rutah, they themselves do not establish a bond of kiddushin, because they are not given with that intent. Nevertheless, the fact that the presents were given indicates that there is a possibility that kiddushin had been given previously.

46.

Since there are a number of men who send presents after consecrating, we suspect that perhaps this person also followed that practice. Although rulings of Torah law are ordinarily determined by the practice of the majority, an exception is made in this case, because of the severity of the laws of marriage and divorce (Tosafot, Kiddushin 50b), or because this majority practice is not fixed and may change at the whim of the people (Rabbenu Nissim).

47.

I.e., the marriage contract, like the gifts mentioned in the previous halachah, are a sign that perhaps the woman was consecrated (Maggid Mishneh).

48.

In this instance, the testimony of one witness is not accepted when the woman denies his statements. If her words were not true, she would not dare to contradict the witness's testimony (Maggid Mishneh).

49.

The Rambam's ruling appears to be based on the rationale that since the woman has a witness who supports her, we suspect that she might contradict the other witness even when she is not telling the truth (Maggid Mishneh).

This rationale is not accepted by the Ra'avad and other authorities, who object to the Rambam's ruling. They maintain that since the woman's statements are accepted when she has no support, surely they should be accepted when they are supported by another witness. They explain that Ketubot 23a, the source for this halachah, is referring to an instance when a man threw kiddushin to a woman, one witness claims that the kiddushin were closer to the woman (and hence, she was consecrated), the other claims that they were closer to the man (and thus she was not consecrated), and the woman herself does not know. This is the view accepted by the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 47:3).

50.

Ketubot 22a gives an example of a rationale that the Sages accepted. A very attractive woman at first said that she was consecrated, and afterwards accepted kiddushin. When asked to account for her behavior, she explained that her suitors were originally not worthy people, and she therefore wanted nothing to do with them. When a worthy suitor came, she was happy to accept his offer.

51.

Note the ruling of the Ramah (Even HaEzer 47:4), who states that this law applies only when the woman says "I was consecrated," but does not state to whom. If she mentions the name of a person who she claims to have consecrated her, her retraction is not accepted even when the rationale she offers appears to have substance.

Ishut - Chapter Ten

1

According to Rabbinic law, a woman who has been consecrated (i.e., an arusah) is forbidden to engage in sexual relations1with her husband as long as she is living in her father's home.2 A man who has relations with his arusah in his father-in-law's home is punished with "stripes for rebelliousness."

Even when [the husband] consecrated [his arusah] by having sexual relations with her, he is forbidden to engage in sexual relations with her again until he brings her to his home, enters into privacy with her, and thus singles her out as his [wife].

[Their entry into] privacy is referred to as entry into the chuppah,3 and it is universally referred to as nisu'in.4

When a man has relations with his arusah for the sake of [establishing] nisu'in after he has consecrated her, the relationship is established at the beginning of sexual relations. This causes her to be considered his wife with regard to all matters.5

א

הארוסה אסורה לבעלה מדברי סופרים כל זמן שהיא בבית אביה. והבא על ארוסתו בבית חמיו מכין אותו מכת מרדות. ואפילו אם קידשה בביאה אסור לו לבוא עליה ביאה שנייה בבית אביה עד שיביא אותה לתוך ביתו ויתיחד עמה ויפרישנה לו. וייחוד זה הוא הנקרא כניסה לחופה והוא הנקרא נישואין בכל מקום. והבא על ארוסתו לשם נישואין אחר שקידשה משיערה בה קנאה ונעשית נשואה והרי היא אשתו לכל דבר:

2

Once an arusah has entered the chuppah, her husband is allowed to have relations with her at any time he desires, and she is considered to be his wife with regard to all matters. Once she enters the chuppah, she is called a nesu'ah, although [the couple] has not engaged in sexual relations.

[The above applies when] it is fitting to engage in relations with the woman. If, however, the woman is in the niddah state [when relations are forbidden], the marriage bond is not completed and she is still considered to be an arusah although she entered the chuppah and remained in privacy [with her husband].6

ב

כיון שנכנסה הארוסה לחופה הרי זו מותרת לבא עליה בכל עת שירצה והרי היא אשתו גמורה לכל דבר. ומשתכנס לחופה נקראת נשואה אע"פ שלא נבעלה והוא שתהיה ראויה לבעילה. אבל אם היתה נדה אע"פ שנכנסה לחופה ונתיחד עמה לא גמרו הנישואין והרי היא כארוסה עדיין:

3

The marriage blessings must be recited in the groom's home7before the marriage takes place. There are six blessings; they are:

Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe, who has created all things for His glory.

Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe, Creator of man.8

Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe,9 who created man in His image, in an image reflecting His likeness; [He brought forth] his form and prepared for him from His own Self a structure that will last for all time.10 Blessed are You, God, Creator of man.

May the barren one rejoice and exult as her children are gathered to her with joy. Blessed are You, God, who makes Zion rejoice in her children.11

Grant joy to these loving companions, as You granted joy to Your creation in the Garden of Eden long ago. Blessed are You, God, who grants joy to the groom and the bride.12

Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe, who created joy and happiness, bride and groom, gladness, song, cheer and delight, love and harmony, peace and friendship. Soon, God, our Lord, may there be heard in the cities of Judah and the outskirts of Jerusalem, a voice of joy and a voice of happiness, a voice of a groom and a voice of a bride, a voice of grooms rejoicing from their wedding canopies and youths from their songfests.13 Blessed are You, God, who grants joy to the groom together with the bride.14

ג

וצריך לברך ברכת חתנים בבית החתן קודם הנישואין והן שש ברכות ואלו הן. ברוך אתה י"י אלהינו מלך העולם שהכל ברא לכבודו. ברוך אתה י"י אלהינו מלך העולם יוצר האדם. ברוך אתה י"י אלהינו מלך העולם אשר יצר את האדם בצלמו בצלם דמות תבניתו והתקין לו ממנו בנין עדי עד ברוך אתה י"י יוצר האדם. שוש תשיש ותגל עקרה בקיבוץ בניה לתוכה בשמחה ברוך אתה י"י משמח ציון בבניה. שמח תשמח רעים האהובים כשמחך יצירך בגן עדן מקדם בא"י משמח חתן וכלה. ברוך אתה י"י אלהינו מלך העולם אשר ברא ששון ושמחה חתן וכלה גילה רנה דיצה וחדוה אהבה אחוה שלום וריעות מהרה י"י אלהינו ישמע בערי יהודה ובחוצות ירושלים קול ששון קול שמחה קול חתן וקול כלה קול מצהלות חתנים מחופתם ונערים ממשתה מנגינתם ברוך אתה י"י משמח החתן עם הכלה:

4

If wine is available, a cup of wine should be brought, and the blessing over wine recited first. Afterwards, all the above blessings should be recited over the cup of wine; thus, one recites seven blessings.15

In certain places, it is customary to bring a myrtle [branch] together with the wine. The blessing over the myrtle is recited after [the blessing over] the wine, and then the six blessings [mentioned above] are recited.

ד

ואם יהיה שם יין מביא כוס של יין ומברך על היין תחלה ומסדר את כולן על הכוס ונמצא מברך שבע ברכות. ויש מקומות שנהגו להביא הדס עם היין ומברך על ההדס אחר היין ואח"כ מברך השש:

5

The wedding blessings are recited only in the presence of a quorum of ten adult free men.16 The groom is counted as part of the quorum.

ה

ואין מברכין ברכת חתנים אלא בעשרה גדולים ובני חורין וחתן מן המנין:

6

When a man consecrates a woman, recites the wedding blessings, but does not enter into privacy with her in his home, she is still considered to be [merely] an arusah. For nisu'in are not established by the recitation of the wedding blessings, but rather by [the couple's] entry into the chuppah.

When [a man] consecrates [a woman] and [the two] enter a chuppah, but do not have the wedding blessings recited, the woman is considered to be married with regard to all matters. The wedding blessings may be recited even after several days have passed.

A woman in the niddah state should not marry until she is purified. The marriage blessings are not recited for her until she is purified.17 If a person transgresses, marries [a woman in this state] and has the blessings recited, they should not be recited again afterwards.

ו

המארס את האשה ובירך ברכת חתנים ולא נתיחד עמה בביתו עדיין ארוסה היא שאין ברכת חתנים עושה הנישואין אלא כניסה לחופה. אירס וכנס לחופה ולא בירך ברכת חתנים הרי זו נשואה גמורה וחוזר ומברך אפילו אחר כמה ימים. ולא תנשא נדה עד שתטהר. ואין מברכין לה ברכת חתנים עד שתטהר. ואם עבר ונשא ובירך אינו חוזר ומברך:

7

[A man] must write a marriage contract (a ketubah) [for his wife] before their entry into the chuppah; only afterwards is he permitted to live with his wife. The groom pays the scribe's fee.

How much does [the marriage contract require him to promise to have paid to her in the event of his death or his divorcing her]? If the bride is a virgin, no less than 200 dinarim. If she is not a virgin, no less than 100 dinarim.18 This amount is called the fundamental requirement of the ketubah.

If the groom desires to add to this amount he may, [promising any sum,] even a talent of gold. The laws pertaining to this addition and to the fundamental requirement of the ketubah are the same with regard to most matters. Therefore, every time the term ketubah is used without any additional explanation, it should be understood to include the fundamental requirement of the ketubah together with the additional amount [promised by the groom].

It was our Sages19 who ordained the requirement of [writing] a ketubah for a woman. [They instituted this obligation] so that it would not be a casual matter for [her husband] to divorce her.20

ז

וצריך לכתוב כתובה קודם כניסה לחופה ואח"כ יהיה מותר באשתו והחתן נותן שכר הסופר. וכמה הוא כותב לה. אם היתה בתולה אין כותבין לה פחות ממאתים דינרים ואם בעולה אין כותבין לה פחות ממאה דינרים . וזה הוא הנקרא עיקר כתובה. ואם רצה להוסיף לה אפילו ככר זהב מוסיף. ודין התוספת ודין העיקר אחד הוא לרוב הדברים. לפיכך כל מקום שנאמר בו כתובה סתם הוא העיקר והתוספת כאחד [ו]. וחכמים הם שתיקנו כתובה לאשה כדי שלא תהיה קלה בעיניו להוציאה:

8

[Our Sages] did not require that these dinarim be of pure silver. Instead, [their intent was] the coin [commonly used] in the [Talmudic] period, which was seven parts copper and one part silver. Thus, a sela (a coin worth four dinarim) contained half a zuz of [pure] silver.21 And the 200 dinarim to be paid a virgin were equivalent to 25 zuz of pure silver, while the 100 zuz to be paid to a woman who had previously engaged in sexual relations was 12 and a half zuz [of pure silver].

The weight of each zuz is 96 barley corns, as explained at the beginning of [Hilchot] Eruvin.22 A dinar is universally referred to as a zuz, regardless of whether it was of pure silver or of the coins used in the [Talmudic] period.

ח

דינרים אלו לא תקנו אותם מן הכסף הטהור אלא ממטבע שהיה באותן הימים שהיה שבעה חלקים נחשת ואחד כסף עד שיהיה בסלע חצי זוז כסף. ונמצא מאתים דינרים של בתולה חמשה ועשרים זוזין של כסף טהור ומאה דינרים של בעולה שנים עשר זוזים ומחצה. ומשקל כל זוז שש ותשעים שעורות כמו שביארנו בתחלת עירובין. והדינר הוא הנקרא זוז בכל מקום בין שיהיה מן הכסף הטהור בין שיהיה ממטבע אותן הימים:

9

[A marriage contract] for a virgin may not be less than 200 [zuz], nor less than 100 [zuz] for a woman who is not a virgin. Whenever anyone [composes a marriage contract for] a lesser sum, the sexual relations [he conducts with his wife] are considered promiscuous.

[Marital relations] are permitted whether the husband composes a legal document [recording] the ketubah, or whether he has witnesses observe him making a commitment for either 100 or 200 [zuz] and [reaffirms that] commitment with a contractual act.23 Similarly, if [a man] gives his wife possessions equivalent to the value of her ketubah [as security], he is permitted to engage in relations with her until he has the opportunity to [have the document] composed.24

ט

אין פוחתין לבתולה ממאתים ולבעולה ממאה. וכל הפוחת בעילתו בעילת זנות. אחד הכותב את הכתובה בשטר ואחד שהעידו עליו עדים וקנו מידו שהוא חייב לה מאה או מאתים ה"ז מותר. וכן אם נתן לה מטלטלין כנגד כתובתה הרי זה מותר לבעול עד שיהיה לו פנאי לכתוב:

10

When a man brings a woman [into a chuppah] without writing a ketubah for her, or he has written her a ketubah but it was lost, or the woman waived the ketubah in favor of her husband, or she sold her ketubah to him, he must compose a document [obligating himself] for [at least] the fundamental requirement of the ketubah25 if he desires to continue living with his wife. For it is forbidden for a man to continue living with his wife for even a single moment without [her having] a ketubah.

When, however, a woman sells her ketubah to others for the possible benefit,26 [her husband] does not have to write another ketubah for her. For the ketubah was instituted solely so that it would not be a casual matter for [a man] to divorce [his wife]. In this instance, if [the woman's husband] divorces her, he must pay her ketubah to the purchaser in the same way that he would pay her if she had not sold it.

י

הכונס את האשה ולא כתב לה כתובה. או שכתב ואבד שטר הכתובה. או שמחלה כתובתה לבעלה. או שמכרה לו כתובתה. חוזר וכותב לה עיקר כתובה אם רצה לקיימה. לפי שאסור לו לאדם לשהות עם אשתו אפילו שעה אחת בלא כתובה. אבל המוכרת כתובתה לאחרים בטובת הנאה אינו צריך לכתוב לה כתובה אחרת. שלא תקנו כתובה אלא כדי שלא תהא קלה בעיניו להוציאה. ואם הוציא זה משלם כתובתה ללוקח כדרך שהיה משלם לה אם לא מכרה:

11

When [a man] consecrates a woman and writes her a ketubah, but does not enter into a chuppah with her, her status is that of an arusah and not that of a nesu'ah. For a ketubah does not bring about nisu'in. If [the husband] dies or divorces her, she may collect the fundamental requirement of the ketubah from property possessed by the man or his estate.27 She does not collect the additional sum [that he attached to the ketubah] at all, for they did not enter [a chuppah].28

If, by contrast, a man consecrates a woman and does not write a ketubah for her, and he dies or divorces her while she is still an arusah, she has no claim against him, not even for the fundamental [requirement of the ketubah]. For our Sages did not grant [a woman] the fundamental requirement of the ketubah until the marriage is consummated or until the husband writes a document for her.29

When a man consecrates his daughter, and [her intended husband] writes her a ketubah and dies or divorces her while she is a na'arah, her father receives [payment for] her ketubah, as explained in Chapter Three30 above.

יא

המארס את האשה וכתב לה כתובה ולא נכנסה לחופה עדיין ארוסה היא ואינה נשואה שאין הכתובה עושה נישואין. ואם מת או גרשה גובה עיקר כתובתה מבני חורין ואינה גובה תוספת כלל הואיל ולא כנסה. אבל אם ארס אשה ולא כתב לה כתובה ומת או גרשה והיא ארוסה אין לה כלום ואפילו העיקר שלא תיקנו לה עיקר כתובה עד שתנשא או עד שיכתוב. והמארס את בתו וכתב לה כתובה ומת או גרשה כשהיתה נערה כתובתה לאביה כמו שביארנו [למעלה בפ"ג]:

12

Similarly, our Sages ordained that whoever weds a virgin should celebrate with her for seven days.31 He should not pursue his occupation, nor should he involve himself in commercial dealings; he should eat, drink and celebrate.32 [This ruling applies] regardless of whether the groom had been married before or not.

If the bride is not a virgin, [he should celebrate with her] for no less than three days. For it is an ordinance of our Sages that a husband - regardless of whether he was married before or not - should celebrate with a non-virgin bride for three days.33

יב

וכן תקנו חכמים שכל הנושא בתולה יהיה שמח עמה שבעת ימים. אינו עוסק במלאכתו ולא נושא ונותן בשוק אלא אוכל ושותה ושמח. בין שהיה בחור בין שהיה אלמון. ואם היתה בעולה אין פחות מג' ימים. שתקנת חכמים היא לבנות ישראל שיהיה שמח עם הבעולה ג' ימים בין בחור בין אלמון:

13

A man may wed several women at one time on one day and recite the marriage blessings for all of them at the same time. With regard to the celebrations, however, he must rejoice with each bride the time allotted to her: seven days for a virgin, three days for a non-virgin. One celebration should not be allowed to overlap with another.34

יג

יש לו לאדם לישא נשים רבות כאחת ביום אחד ומברך ברכת חתנים לכולן כאחת. אבל לשמחה צריך לשמוח עם כל אחת שמחה הראויה לה. עם בתולה ז'. עם בעולה ג'. ואין מערבין שמחה בשמחה:

14

It is permitted to consecrate a woman on any weekday,35 even on Tish'ah B'Av,36 whether during the day or during the night. With regard to weddings, by contrast, a wedding is not conducted on a Friday37 or a Sunday. [This is] a decree, [ordained] lest conducting the wedding feast lead to the desecration of the Sabbath, for a groom is preoccupied with the wedding feast. Needless to say, a wedding is not conducted on the Sabbath.38

Even on Chol HaMo'ed weddings are not held, as we have explained,39 for one celebration should not be mixed with another, as [implied by Genesis 29:27]: "Complete the week [of celebration] of this one and then I will give you this other one."

On other days, it is permitted to wed a woman on any day one desires, provided one spends three days preparing for the wedding feast.

יד

מותר לארס בכל יום חול אפילו בט' באב בין ביום בין בלילה. אבל אין נושאין נשים לא בע"ש ולא באחד בשבת גזירה שמא יבוא לידי חילול שבת בתיקון הסעודה שהחתן טרוד בסעודה. ואצ"ל שאסור לישא אשה בשבת. ואפילו בחולו של מועד אין נושאין נשים כמו שביארנו לפי שאין מערבין שמחה בשמחה שנאמר מלא שבוע זאת ונתנה לך גם את זאת. ושאר הימים מותר לישא אשה בכל יום שירצה והוא שיטרח בסעודת נישואין ג' ימים קודם הנישואין:

15

In a locale where the court holds session only on Monday and Thursday, a virgin bride should be wed on Wednesday. Thus, if her husband has a claim with regard to her virginity,40 he can take it to the court early the next morning.41

It is the custom of the Sages that a man who weds a non-virgin bride should wed her on Thursday, so that he will celebrate with her on Thursday, Friday and the Sabbath.42 On Sunday, he will go back to work.

טו

מקום שאין ב"ד יושבין בו אלא בב' ובה' בלבד בתולה נישאת ביום ד' שאם היתה לו טענת בתולים ישכים לב"ד. ומנהג חכמים שהנושא את הבעולה ישאנה בה' כדי שיהיה שמח עמה ה' וע"ש ושבת ויוצא למלאכתו ביום ראשון:

16

When a man consecrates his daughter while she is below the age of majority, both she and her father may object and delay the wedding until she comes of age and becomes a na'arah. If [the husband] desires to wed her, he may.43 It is not proper, however, to do so.44

טז

המארס את בתו קטנה ותבעה הבעל לנישואין. בין היא בין אביה יכולין לעכב שלא תינשא עד שתגדיל ותעשה נערה ואם רצה לכונסה כונס. ואין ראוי לעשות כן:

17

If a man consecrated [a girl], delayed several years, and seeks to wed her while she is a na'arah, the girl is given twelve months from the day he makes his request, to outfit herself45and prepare what she needs for him. Only afterwards, must she wed.

If he makes his request after she becomes a bogeret, she is given twelve months from the day she becomes a bogeret. Similarly, if he consecrates her on the day on which she becomes a bogeret, she is given twelve months from the day of the kiddushin - i.e., the day on which she became a bogeret.

When he consecrates her after she has become a bogeret, if more than twelve months have passed from the time she became a bogeret until he consecrates her, she is given only 30 days from the day he requests to wed her [to prepare]. Similarly, when a man consecrates a non-virgin bride,46 she is given 30 days [to prepare] from the day he requests to wed her.

יז

אירסה ושהה כמה שנים ותבעה לנישואין והרי היא נערה נותנין לה י"ב חדש מיום התביעה לפרנס את עצמה ולתקן מה שהיא צריכה לה ואח"כ תינשא. תבעה אחר שבגרה נותנין לה י"ב חדש מיום הבגר. וכן אם קידשה ביום הבגר נותנין לה י"ב חדש מיום הקידושין שהוא יום הבגר. קידשה אחר שבגרה אם עברו עליה י"ב חדש בבגרותה ולאח"כ נתקדשה אין נותנין לה אלא ל' יום מיום התביעה. וכן המארס את הבעולה נותנין לה ל' יום מיום התביעה:

18

Just as a woman is given time to outfit herself after her groom requests to wed her and then the wedding is held, so too, time is granted to the man to prepare himself47 if the woman requests the wedding to be held.

How much time is granted him? The same as is granted her. If [she would be granted] twelve months, [he is granted] twelve months. If [she would be granted] thirty days, [he is granted] thirty days.48

יח

כשם שנותנין זמן לאשה משתבעה הבעל לפרנס את עצמה ואח"כ תינשא כך נותנין זמן לאיש לפרנס את עצמו משתבעה האשה אותו. וכמה נותנין לו כמו שנותנין לה אם י"ב חדש י"ב חדש ואם ל' יום ל' יום:

19

When the time allotted to the man passes and he still has not wed his arusah, he is obligated to provide her livelihood, although they have not wed. [Nevertheless,] if [the final day in] the time allotted him falls on Sunday or Friday, he is not liable for her livelihood on that day, for the wedding cannot be held then.49 Similarly, if he or she falls ill or she enters the niddah state at the conclusion of the time allotted him, he is not obligated to provide her with her livelihood. For she is not fit to wed until she purifies herself,50 or until she becomes healthy. Similarly, he is not able to wed a woman until he regains his health.

יט

הגיע זמן שנתנו לאיש ולא נשאה נתחייב במזונותיה אף ע"פ שלא כנס. ואם הגיע הזמן באחד בשבת או בע"ש אינו מעלה לה מזונות באותו היום מפני שאינו יכול לכנוס. וכן אם חלה הוא או היא או שפרסה נדה כשהגיע הזמן אינו מעלה לה מזונות שהרי אינה ראויה להנשא עד שתטהר או עד שתבריא. וכן הוא אינו יכול לישא אשה עד שיבריא:

Footnotes
1.

Indeed, the two are forbidden to remain in privacy together. For the prohibition against yichud, being alone with a woman other than one's wife, applies until the marriage is consummated (Ramah, Even HaEzer 55:1).

2.

This is alluded to by the wording of the blessing recited before consecrating a woman (Chapter 3, Halachah 24), which praises God "who has forbidden the arusot to us, and permitted to us those who are married by [the rites of] chuppah and kiddushin" (Kessef Mishneh).

3.

Popularly, the term chuppah is understood to refer to the wedding canopy. There are also sources for this definition (see Sotah 49b and Rashi's commentary; for other definitions, see the notes of the Ramah, Even HaEzer 55:1). Nevertheless, the common practice is to follow the Rambam's view as well. For this reason, after the ceremony under the wedding canopy, the bride and groom go to a private room, the cheder yichud. This constitutes the halachic definition of chuppah.

4.

As mentioned previously, in Jewish law, marriage is a two-stage process involving erusin and nisu'in. Erusin (also referred to as kiddushin) is the stage described in the previous chapters, that causes a woman to be designated as a man's wife and causes her to be forbidden to other men. It is not until nisu'in, however, that the couple begins living together as man and wife. At present, nisu'in follows directly after erusin; under the wedding canopy the groom consecrates the bride, and afterwards they go to a private room.

5.

I.e., all the privileges and obligations of the ketubah (marriage contract) apply. He alone nullifies her vows, and if he is a priest, should his wife die, he must become impure when burying her.

6.

This ruling is not accepted by Rabbenu Asher and other authorities. They maintain that a chuppah conducted with a niddah is binding, despite the fact that the couple are forbidden to engage in sexual relations. (See Tur and Shulchan Aruch 61:1.) At present, every effort is made to schedule a wedding so that the woman will not be in the niddah state at that time. If, however, that is not possible, the wedding is held and is considered binding, despite the woman's condition.

7.

This applied when the wedding celebrations were held in the groom's home. The intent is that the blessings be recited before the complete establishment of the marriage bond. Therefore, at present, these blessings are recited under the marriage canopy, before the couple goes to their private room.

8.

Rashi (Ketubot 7b) explains that this blessing is in praise of the creation of Adam, the first man.

In Hilchot Berachot 10:11, where the text of the wedding blessings is mentioned, this blessing precedes the blessing "who has created all things for His glory." The order mentioned in these halachot is the sequence in which these blessings are recited today. It appears more appropriate, particularly according to Rashi's commentary (ibid.), which explains that the blessing "who has created all things..." is not directly connected to the wedding itself, but rather is recited in appreciation of the guests who have come to celebrate together with the new couple.

9.

Despite the fact that this blessing follows two (or three) blessings that begin with "Blessed..." it also begins with "Blessed...." Among the explanations offered is that the first blessings are short, and if the phrase "Blessed..." were not mentioned, they would appear to be a single blessing (Tosafot, Ketubot, ibid.).

10.

Rashi (ibid.) interprets this as a reference to the creation of woman, who was created from man ("his own self"), and gives him the potential for reproduction ("a structure that will last for all time").

11.

"The barren one" refers to Jerusalem. Psalms 137:6 states: "Let my tongue cleave to my palate if I do not place Jerusalem above my highest joy." Thus, at the height of the wedding celebration, we recall the holy city and pray that it be rebuilt.

12.

This is a prayer that the bride and groom enjoy the happiness experienced by Adam and Eve before the first sin.

13.

Cf. Jeremiah 33:11. This blessing joins our wishes for the happiness of the particular couple with our hope for the Messianic redemption and the rebuilding of Jerusalem. The ultimate marriage relationship is the bond between God and the Jewish people, which will be realized in the Messianic age. Thus, the two themes, marriage and redemption, share an intrinsic link.

14.

Rashi, Ketubot 8a, explains the difference between the last two blessings. The fifth of the blessings concludes with a request that the bride and groom enjoy a lifetime of happiness and success together. The sixth and final blessing concludes with a request that they find happiness in each other, that their wedding joy be extended throughout their lives. Alternatively, the final blessing is a blessing for the Jewish people as a whole, who find fulfillment in married life.

15.

These seven blessings are also recited after grace at the festive meals held during the seven days of celebration after a couple's marriage. (See Hilchot Berachot 2:9-11.)

16.

Ketubot 7b derives this from Ruth 4:2, "And he took ten men from the elders of the city," which is interpreted to refer to the marriage between Boaz and Ruth.

In the Guide for the Perplexed, Vol. III, Chapter 49, the Rambam explains that our Sages required ten men to be present to publicize all weddings, so that a man will live together with a woman only after their marriage has become public knowledge. Their intent was to make it socially unacceptable for couples to live together without marriage.

17.

As mentioned in the notes on Halachah 2, although all efforts are made not to schedule a marriage when the woman is in the niddah state, if this is unavoidable the wedding may be held and the blessings recited. Nevertheless, the consummation of the marriage is possible only when the woman is purified.

18.

Rav Ovadiah of Bertinoro (Pe'ah 8:8) states that this is the sum of money required for a person to support himself for one year.

19.

This point is a matter of debate, for there are certain opinions (among them that of Rabbenu Tam) that maintain that the obligation to pay the fundamental requirement of the ketubah stems from the Torah. Support for the latter opinion may be drawn from the wording commonly used in most Ashkenazic ketubot "200 silver zuz that are rightfully yours [as required by] the Torah." [Significantly, even the text of the ketubah in the standard printed texts of the Mishneh Torah (Hilchot Yibbum VaChalitzah 4:34) includes this phrase. Nevertheless, many authorities maintain that this is a printer's addition and not the Rambam's own words.]

Most authorities (including Rabbenu Asher) agree that the obligation to pay the fundamental requirement of the Ketubah is Rabbinic in origin. Nevertheless, the abovementioned phrase is traditionally included in the ketubah to teach us the value of the silver to which we are referring, as is explained in the notes on the following halachah.

20.

I.e., when the man understands that divorcing his wife will cost him a significant sum of money, he will think twice before doing so.

21.

The Ashkenazic authorities (even those who agree with the Rambam with regard to the Rabbinic origin of the fundamental requirement of the ketubah) differ with him regarding the value the man is required to pay [Tur, Ramah (Even HaEzer 66:6)]. According to these authorities, our Sages ordained that a man pay his virgin bride 200 zuz of pure silver. With regard to a bride who is not a virgin, however, they differ and maintain that the obligation is 100 zuz of the Talmudic period. In practice, however, the custom is to give such a bride half the sum given to a virgin (Beit Shmuel 66:14).

22.

Chapter 1, Halachah 12. According to most authorities, the equivalent of a dinar in contemporary measure is 4.8 grams. According to Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (Piskei Siddur), it is 5.1 grams.

23.

I.e., a kinyan chalifin, in which the recipient gives the seller a handkerchief and thus reaffirms his commitment. After this act, the transaction is binding. (See Hilchot Mechirah 5:5.)

Once a person reaffirms his commitment by performing a contractual act in the presence of witnesses, the witnesses have the right to draw up a document attesting to the obligation he accepted upon himself. They need not consult him before doing so (Ketubot 55a).

24.

Implied by the Rambam's wording is that this is only a temporary measure, and that a ketubah must be composed at the earliest possible opportunity. (See Ramah, Even HaEzer 66:2.)

25.

I.e., he does not have to give her the full value of her original ketubah. He must, however, give her a ketubah in which he obligates himself for the minimal amount required by our Sages. Note the Beit Shmuel 66:10, who questions whether he must write the ketubah for 100 or 200 zuz.

The Beit Shmuel (op. cit.) and the Chelkat Mechokek 66:14 state that the man is obligated for the minimal amount only in the latter two instances mentioned by the Rambam. When the woman loses her ketubah, her husband must write her a new ketubah for the initial amount.

26.

I.e., she sells the rights to her ketubah to a purchaser for a price below its face value. Should her husband die or divorce her, the purchaser receives the full value of the ketubah. If the woman dies before her husband, the purchaser does not receive anything.

27.

I.e., after a marriage has been consummated, a woman may collect her due even from property that has been sold, for all her husband's property is on lien to her ketubah. Before the marriage bond is consummated, however, she does not have this right (Ketubot 43b).

Rabbenu Asher and Rabbenu Nissim differ with the Rambam in this regard and maintain that the woman should be able to collect her ketubah from property that has been sold as well. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 55:6) follows the Rambam's view.

28.

Ketubot 54b explains that the additional amount was granted the woman in consideration of the couple's sexual relationship.

29.

In this matter as well, Rabbenu Asher differs with the Rambam and maintains that a woman is entitled to a ketubah from erusin onward. The Shulchan Aruch (ibid.) quotes the Rambam's view. Although the Ramah mentions Rabbenu Asher's opinion, he states that it is customary to follow the Rambam's ruling.

30.

Halachah 11.

31.

Hilchot Eivel 1:1 states that Moses ordained the seven days of mourning and the seven days of wedding celebrations for the Jewish people.

32.

During these days, it is customary for the friends and family of the bride and groom to host them at celebrations referred to as sheva berachot ("seven blessings") for the seven wedding blessings recited after the meal at these celebrations, as explained in Hilchot Berachot, Chapter 2.

33.

The Maggid Mishneh states that if the groom was not married previously, he should celebrate with his bride for seven days even when she had been married before. He draws support from Hilchot Berachot 2:9, which states that in such an instance the seven wedding blessings are recited for the week following the wedding.

34.

See Halachah 14, which explains the source for this ruling.

35.

Even during Chol Hamo'ed (Hilchot Sh'vitat Yom Tov 7:16).

36.

The mourning customs of that day do not prevent one from consecrating a wife. The rationale: another man may consecrate the woman instead of him (Jerusalem Talmud, Ketubot 1:1).

37.

Although many of the early Sephardi authorities object, the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 64:3, based on the ruling of the Tur) states that in the present age, it is customary to hold weddings on Friday, provided the groom spends three days preparing for the wedding feast.

(A wedding may be held on Sunday or Monday. The fact that the Sabbath is interposed in between does not mean that three days were not spent in preparation for the wedding.)

38.

With regard to weddings on the Sabbath, there is an additional reason for the prohibition. A wedding involves a kinyan, the acquisition of the rights of the marriage contract, and it is forbidden to make a kinyan on the Sabbath (Hilchot Shabbat 23:14).

39.

Hilchot Sh'vitat Yom Tov, loc. cit.

40.

This subject is discussed in detail in the following chapter.

41.

Our Sages desired that he take the matter to court so the matter be investigated, lest the bride had in fact committed adultery (for in the Talmudic age, erusin preceded nisu'in). If the wedding were held on another day, our Sages feared that in the time the husband was waiting for the court to hold sessions, his wife would soothe his anger (Rashi, Ketubot 2a).

42.

Since the wedding blessings are recited for only one day when both the bride and the groom have been married before, our Sages feared that the man would ignore his wife on the day following their wedding and immediately return to work. To prevent this, they suggested that the wedding be held on Thursday. For the husband will not consider going to work on Friday and the Sabbath (Ibid.).

43.

I.e., if the husband forces the bride to agree, the wedding is binding. The Drishah (Even HaEzer 56) interprets the Rambam's wording to mean that the father desires to have his daughter wed before she comes of age. Some maintain that there is a slight printing error in the standard text of the Mishneh Torah, and the proper version is "if they desire" - i.e., the bride and her father. (See Chelkat Mechokek 56:6.)

44.

Instead, the father should wait until his daughter comes of age and willingly agrees to marry her spouse. (See Chapter 3, Halachah 19.)

45.

I.e., to buy garments and jewelry (Ketubot 57b).

46.

I.e., even if she is not yet a bogeret. The Maggid Mishneh and others explain that the Rambam is referring to a widow who is consecrated. (Therefore, she is given only 30 days, for she had already prepared herself for her first marriage.) He uses the term "non-virgin" to exclude a bride who had previously been widowed after consecration, but had never wed.

47.

I.e., to prepare for the wedding celebrations and to prepare a home and furnishings.

48.

The Maggid Mishneh states that the Rambam's wording implies that everything depends on the woman's status. If she would be given twelve months to prepare herself, her husband is given that amount of time. The Jerusalem Talmud (Ketubot 5:3) states that it is his status that is the determining factor: if he has never been married, he is given twelve months. If he is a widower, he is given thirty days. The Tur (Even HaEzer 56) follows that position.

49.

See Halachah 14. With regard to this and the other examples that follow, the rationale is that since he is prevented by forces beyond his control from wedding her, he is not liable. Note the Ramah (Even HaEzer 56:3), who states that if the man voluntarily delays the wedding and thus, becomes obligated to support his arusah, he must continue to support her even if she falls ill, and the wedding must be postponed because of her illness.

50.

See Halachah 2.

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