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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Zechiyah uMattanah - Chapter Four, Zechiyah uMattanah - Chapter Five, Zechiyah uMattanah - Chapter Six

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Zechiyah uMattanah - Chapter Four

1

Once a person acquires a gift, he cannot nullify his acquisition. To cite an example: A person received a gift and acquired it. After it entered his domain while he remained silent, he retracted and said: "I do not desire it," "It is nullified," or "I see this blemish in it," his statements are of no consequence. Just as the giver cannot retract, so too, the recipient cannot retract once he has acquired it.

The gift that the recipient stated that he did not desire after it entered his possession becomes ownerless. The first person to take possession of it acquires it. For the recipient declared it ownerless after he acquired it. If, however, the recipient protested from the very outset, he does not acquire it , and it should be returned to its original owners.

א

הַמְקַבֵּל אֶת הַמַּתָּנָה וְזָכָה בָּהּ. וְאַחַר שֶׁבָּאָה לְיָדוֹ וְהוּא שׁוֹתֵק חָזַר בּוֹ וְאָמַר אֵינִי רוֹצֶה בָּהּ. אוֹ אֵינִי מְקַבְּלָהּ. אוֹ הֲרֵי הִיא בְּטֵלָה. אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר מוּם זֶה נִרְאֶה לִי בָּהּ. לֹא אָמַר כְּלוּם. וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁאֵין הַנּוֹתֵן יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ כָּךְ הַמְקַבֵּל אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ אַחַר שֶׁזָּכָה. מַתָּנָה זוֹ שֶׁאָמַר הַמְקַבֵּל אֵינִי רוֹצֶה בָּהּ אַחַר שֶׁבָּאת לְיָדוֹ הֲרֵי הִיא הֶפְקֵר וְכָל הַקּוֹדֵם בָּהּ זָכָה בָּהּ שֶׁהֲרֵי הִפְקִירָהּ הַמְקַבֵּל אַחַר שֶׁזָּכָה בָּהּ. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה צוֹוֵחַ מֵעִקָּרוֹ לֹא קָנָה הַמְקַבֵּל וְחוֹזֶרֶת לַבְּעָלִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים:

2

The following rules apply when a person transfers ownership over an article to a colleague through the agency of a third party. Once the third party takes possession of it - e.g., he performs meshichah on movable property, a deed of transfer of landed property reaches his hand, or he manifests ownership over the land - his colleague acquires the gift, even though it does not reach his hand. The giver can no longer retract.

The recipient by contrast has the option in his hand. If he desires, he may accept it. If he does not desire, he need not accept it. For a positive acquisition may be made for his person without his consent, and an obligation cannot be undertaken on his behalf without his consent. If a person desires that a gift be given to him, it is considered to be a positive acquisition. If, however, he does not desire it, a person cannot be forced to accept a gift that is given to him.

ב

הַמְזַכֶּה לַחֲבֵרוֹ בְּמַתָּנָה עַל יְדֵי אַחֵר כֵּיוָן שֶׁהֶחְזִיק בָּהּ אַחֵר כְּגוֹן שֶׁמָּשַׁךְ הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין אוֹ הִגִּיעַ שְׁטַר הַקַּרְקַע לְיָדוֹ אוֹ הֶחֱזִיק בַּקַּרְקַע זָכָה חֲבֵרוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הִגִּיעַ הַמַּתָּנָה לְיָדוֹ וְאֵין הַנּוֹתֵן יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ. אֲבָל הַמְקַבֵּל יָדוֹ עַל הָעֶלְיוֹנָה אִם רָצָה מְקַבֵּל אִם לֹא רָצָה אֵינוֹ מְקַבֵּל שֶׁזָּכִין לְאָדָם שֶׁלֹּא בְּפָנָיו וְאֵין חָבִין לוֹ אֶלָּא בְּפָנָיו וּזְכוּת הוּא שֶׁתִּנָּתֵן לוֹ מַתָּנָה אִם יִרְצֶה. אֲבָל אִם לֹא יִרְצֶה אֵין נוֹתְנִין מַתָּנָה לְאָדָם בְּעַל כָּרְחוֹ:

3

There is an unresolved question among our Sages when another person accepts a gift on behalf of the recipient, when the recipient hears about the gift and remains silent, and afterwards he protests and states that he does not desire to receive it. We do not know whether the reason he remained silent at first is that he desired to accept it, and the reason he protested was that he retracted. Or perhaps he remained silent at the outset because nothing had reached his hand at that time. When the article did reach his hand, he protested, and his ultimate statements reveal his original intent.

Therefore, if another person comes first and acquires the article himself, it should not be expropriated from his possession. For perhaps the recipient originally acquired the article, and when he said: "I do not desire it," he declared it ownerless, as explained above. Thus, the person who came and took possession of it while it was ownerless acquires it.

If, however, the original owner comes and takes the article out of the possession of the person who took it, it should not be expropriated from his possession. The rationale is that perhaps the recipient did not acquire it, for when he said: "I do not desire it," his ultimate statements reveal his original intent. Thus, the person who took possession of it did not acquire it, and it remained in the possession of its original owner.

ג

זִכָּה לוֹ עַל יְדֵי אַחֵר וּכְשֶׁשָּׁמַע הַמְקַבֵּל שָׁתַק וְאַחַר כָּךְ צָוַח וְאָמַר אֵינִי מְקַבְּלָהּ. הֲרֵי זֶה סָפֵק אִם זֶה שֶׁשָּׁתַק כְּבָר רָצָה וְזֶה שֶׁחָזַר וְצָוַח חָזַר בּוֹ. אוֹ שֶׁשָּׁתַק מִפְּנֵי שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא הִגִּיעַ לְיָדוֹ כְּלוּם וְזֶה שֶׁצָּוַח הוֹכִיחַ סוֹפוֹ עַל תְּחִלָּתוֹ. לְפִיכָךְ אִם קָדַם אַחֵר וְזָכָה בָּהּ לְעַצְמוֹ אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיָּדוֹ. שֶׁמָּא הַמְקַבֵּל זָכָה וְכֵיוָן שֶׁאָמַר אֵינִי רוֹצֶה בָּהּ הֲרֵי הִפְקִירָהּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וְזֶה שֶׁקָּדַם וּלְקָחָהּ מִן הַהֶפְקֵר זָכָה. וְאִם חָזְרוּ הַבְּעָלִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים וּתְפָשׂוּהָ מִיַּד זֶה שֶׁקָּדַם וְזָכָה בָּהּ אֵין מוֹצִיאִין אוֹתָהּ מִיָּדָם. שֶׁמָּא הַמְקַבֵּל לֹא זָכָה וְכֵיוָן שֶׁאָמַר אֵינִי רוֹצֶה הוֹכִיחַ סוֹפוֹ עַל תְּחִלָּתוֹ וְלֹא קָנָה אוֹתָהּ וּבִרְשׁוּת בְּעָלִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים הִיא קַיֶּמֶת עֲדַיִן:

4

The above principles can be applied in the following situation: Reuven desired to give 100 dinarim to Shimon. He sent him the 100 dinarim with Levi. If Reuven told Levi: "Acquire these 100 zuz on behalf of Shimon," or "Give these 100 zuz to Shimon," Reuven cannot retract his gift.

If, however, he tells him: "Bring these 100 zuz to Shimon," he has the option of retracting until the 100 zuz reach Shimon.

ד

רְאוּבֵן שֶׁרָצָה לִתֵּן מֵאָה דִּינָרִין לְשִׁמְעוֹן וְשָׁלַח לוֹ הַמֵּאָה עַל יְדֵי לֵוִי. אִם אָמַר לוֹ זְכֵה בְּמֵאָה זוּז לְשִׁמְעוֹן. אוֹ תֵּן מֵאָה זוּז לְשִׁמְעוֹן. אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר לוֹ הוֹלֵךְ מֵאָה זוּז לְשִׁמְעוֹן יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ הַמֵּאָה לְיַד שִׁמְעוֹן:

5

In the above instance, if Levi took the 100 zuz that he was sent to bring to Shimon and looked for Shimon, but could not find him, he should return the money to Reuven.

If Shimon died during Reuven's lifetime, Levi should return the money to Reuven or to his heirs. But if Reuven died in Shimon's lifetime, the 100 zuz should be given to Shimon or his heirs.

The rationale is that it is a mitzvah to carry out the instructions of a deceased person, even though he gave those instructions while he was healthy. And in this instance, the 100 zuz are still in the possession of the agent.

ה

הָלַךְ לֵוִי בְּמֵאָה זוּז שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּלְּחוּ עִמּוֹ לְהוֹלִיכָן לְשִׁמְעוֹן וּבִקֵּשׁ שִׁמְעוֹן וְלֹא מְצָאָהוּ יַחְזִיר לִרְאוּבֵן. מֵת שִׁמְעוֹן בְּחַיֵּי רְאוּבֵן יַחְזִיר לִרְאוּבֵן אוֹ לְיוֹרְשָׁיו. מֵת רְאוּבֵן בְּחַיֵּי שִׁמְעוֹן יִתֵּן הַמֵּאָה לְשִׁמְעוֹן אוֹ לְיוֹרְשָׁיו שֶׁמִּצְוָה לְקַיֵּם דִּבְרֵי הַמֵּת וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאָמַר הַדְּבָרִים וְהוּא בָּרִיא. שֶׁהֲרֵי הַמֵּאָה בְּיָדוֹ שֶׁל שָׁלִיחַ עֲדַיִן:

6

A person cannot acquire a gift on behalf of a colleague unless the person acquiring the gift is past majority and mentally competent. Both a man and a woman - indeed, even a married woman or a servant or maidservant can acquire property on behalf of another person.

A gentile, by contrast, cannot acquire property for a Jew. Since he is not fit to serve as an agent, he can never acquire property on behalf of a Jew. Similarly, just as a Jew cannot serve as an agent for a gentile, he cannot acquire property for a gentile.

ו

אֵין אָדָם זוֹכֶה בְּמַתָּנָה לַחֲבֵרוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַזּוֹכֶה גָּדוֹל וּבֶן דַּעַת. וְאֶחָד אִישׁ וְאֶחָד אִשָּׁה וַאֲפִלּוּ אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ וְעֶבֶד וְשִׁפְחָה. אֲבָל הָעַכּוּ''ם אֵינוֹ זוֹכֶה הוֹאִיל וְאֵין רָאוּי לִשְׁלִיחוּת לְעוֹלָם כָּךְ אֵינוֹ זוֹכֶה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל. וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁאֵין יִשְׂרָאֵל נַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלִיחַ לְעַכּוּ''ם כָּךְ אֵינוֹ זוֹכֶה לְעַכּוּ''ם:

7

When a child reaches the state of understanding that when he is given a stone he throws it away, but when he is given a nut he keeps it, he can acquire property on his own behalf, but he cannot acquire on behalf of others. If he is less mature than this, he cannot even acquire property on his own behalf.

Similarly, a mentally or emotionally incompetent person cannot acquire property, neither on his own behalf nor on behalf of others. When a person gives property to a mentally or emotionally incompetent person through the agency of a mentally competent person, the incompetent acquires it.

A deaf mute can acquire property on his own behalf, as explained in Hilchot Gezelah.

ז

קָטָן שֶׁנּוֹתְנִין לוֹ צְרוֹר וְזוֹרְקוֹ אֱגוֹז וְנוֹטְלוֹ זוֹכֶה לְעַצְמוֹ וְאֵינוֹ זוֹכֶה לַאֲחֵרִים. פָּחוֹת מִזֶּה לֹא זָכָה לְעַצְמוֹ וְלֹא לַאֲחֵרִים. וְכֵן הַשּׁוֹטֶה אֵינוֹ זוֹכֶה לֹא לוֹ וְלֹא לַאֲחֵרִים. וְהַמְזַכֶּה לְשׁוֹטֶה עַל יְדֵי בֶּן דַּעַת זָכָה. אֲבָל הַחֵרֵשׁ זוֹכֶה לְעַצְמוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת גְּזֵלָה:

8

One may acquire property for a minor - even a newborn child - or an adult, in his presence or outside his presence.

A person's courtyard can acquire property on his behalf even though he is not standing there. The rationale is that since the gift reached the person's courtyard, it is as if another person acquired it on his behalf.

ח

זָכִין לְקָטָן אֲפִלּוּ בֶּן יוֹם אֶחָד. וּלְגָדוֹל בֵּין בְּפָנָיו בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא בְּפָנָיו. וַחֲצֵרוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם קוֹנָה לוֹ שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעְתּוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ עוֹמֵד שָׁם כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִגִּיעַ הַמַּתָּנָה לַחֲצֵרוֹ כְּאִלּוּ זָכָה בָּהּ אַחֵר:

9

When does the above apply? With regard to a courtyard that is safeguarded. Different rules apply with regard to a courtyard that is not safeguarded - e.g., a field or a ruin. In such an instance, a person does not acquire an article unless he is standing next to the courtyard and says: "Let my field acquire the article for me."

Similarly, the area within a radius of the four cubits next to where a person is standing can acquire property on his behalf, if he is standing in an alleyway, at the sides of the public domain, which are not crowded with many people or in a field that is ownerless. However, when a person stands in the public domain or in a field belonging to a colleague, he does not acquire the article until it reaches his hand.

A female minor may acquire an article by virtue of its presence in her courtyard or within the area within a radius of four cubits of her. A male minor, by contrast, cannot acquire a gift unless it reaches his hand or is acquired on his behalf by another person.

ט

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּחָצֵר הַמִּשְׁתַּמֶּרֶת. אֲבָל בְּחָצֵר שֶׁאֵינָהּ מִשְׁתַּמֶּרֶת כְּגוֹן שָׂדֵהוּ וְחֻרְבָּתוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה עוֹמֵד בְּצִדָּהּ וְיֹאמַר זָכְתָה לִי שָׂדִי. וְכֵן אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת שֶׁל אָדָם שֶׁהוּא עוֹמֵד בְּצִדָּן קוֹנִין לוֹ בְּסִמְטָא אוֹ בְּצִדֵּי רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים אוֹ בְּחָצֵר שֶׁאֵין לָהּ בְּעָלִים. אֲבָל בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים אוֹ בִּשְׂדֵה חֲבֵרוֹ אֵינוֹ זוֹכֶה עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ מַתָּנָה לְיָדוֹ. וּקְטַנָּה תִּזְכֶּה לָהּ חֲצֵרָהּ וְאַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת שֶׁלָּהּ. אֲבָל הַקָּטָן אֵינוֹ זוֹכֶה עַד שֶׁתַּגִּיעַ מַתָּנָה לְיָדוֹ אוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּזְכֶּה לוֹ אַחֵר:

10

A gift is like a bill of divorce, in that a person cannot transfer words alone to an agent.

What is implied? If a person tells three people: "Tell so and so and so and so to compose and sign a deed recording a gift and give it to so and so," his statement is of no consequence. If these people convey these instructions to those witnesses and the witnesses write the deed and give it to the intended recipient, the recipient does not acquire anything.

Similarly, if a person tells two people, "Compose and sign a deed recording a gift and give it to so and so," they cannot tell a scribe to compose such a deed. Instead, they must compose it themselves, as applies with regard to a bill of divorce.

י

הַמַּתָּנָה כְּגֵט, שֶׁאֵין אָדָם יָכוֹל לִמְסֹר דְּבָרִים לְשָׁלִיחַ. כֵּיצַד. אָמַר לִשְׁלֹשָׁה אִמְרוּ לִפְלוֹנִי וּפְלוֹנִי שֶׁיִּכְתְּבוּ וְיַחְתְּמוּ בִּשְׁטַר מַתָּנָה וְיִתְּנוּהָ לִפְלוֹנִי אֵין זֶה כְּלוּם. וְאִם אָמְרוּ לְאוֹתָן הָעֵדִים וְכָתְבוּ וְנָתְנוּ לַמְקַבֵּל לֹא קָנָה. וְכֵן אִם אָמַר לִשְׁנַיִם כִּתְבוּ וְחִתְמוּ בִּשְׁטַר מַתָּנָה וּתְנוּהוּ לִפְלוֹנִי אֵינָן יְכוֹלִין לוֹמַר לַסּוֹפֵר לִכְתֹּב אֶלָּא הֵן עַצְמָן כּוֹתְבִין כְּמוֹ בְּגֵט:

11

When a person writes a deed saying: "I gave such and such a field to so and so," "I gave it to him," or "Behold, it is his," the person named acquires the field when the deed reaches his hand.

When, by contrast, the prospective donor writes in a deed: "I will give it to him," the intended recipient does not acquire the property even if witnesses testify with regard to the document.

The intended recipient does not acquire the property until the giver tells the witnesses: "Compose a deed recording a gift, and give it to him." Then they should compose the deed and give it. The rationale is that a recipient does not acquire the property given to him until a deed recording the gift reaches his hand or until the giver transfers ownership of the property to him via a third party, as explained.

יא

הַכּוֹתֵב בִּשְׁטָר נָתַתִּי שָׂדֶה פְּלוֹנִית לִפְלוֹנִי. אוֹ שֶׁכָּתַב נְתַתִּיהָ לוֹ אוֹ הֲרֵי הִיא שֶׁלּוֹ. הֲרֵי זוֹכֶה בָּהּ כְּשֶׁיַּגִּיעַ הַשְּׁטָר לְיָדוֹ. אֲבָל אִם כָּתַב בַּשְּׁטָר אֶתְּנֶנָּה לוֹ. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵעִידוּ עָלָיו הָעֵדִים. לֹא זָכָה הַמְקַבֵּל עַד שֶׁיֹּאמַר לָעֵדִים כִּתְבוּ שְׁטַר מַתָּנָה וּתְנוּ לוֹ וְכוֹתְבִין וְנוֹתְנִין לוֹ. שֶׁאֵין הַמְקַבֵּל זוֹכֶה עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ שְׁטַר הַמַּתָּנָה לְיָדוֹ אוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּזְכֶּה לוֹ בּוֹ עַל יְדֵי אֲחֵרִים כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

12

When a person says: "I gave this and this field to so and so," but the recipient says: "He did not give it to me," we suspect that perhaps the giver had another person acquire it for him.

Different rules apply if the giver states: "I composed a deed and gave it to him," and the recipient states: "He did not compose such a deed, nor did he give it to me." If the recipient of the gift himself makes such a statement, the admission of the principal himself is equivalent to the testimony of 100 witnesses. Therefore the giver is entitled to receive the produce of the field.

If the son of the recipient is the one who states: "You did not give this field to my father," while the giver maintains: "I wrote a deed and gave it to him," the produce should be entrusted to a third party until the status of the field becomes known.

יב

הָאוֹמֵר נָתַתִּי שָׂדֶה פְּלוֹנִית לִפְלוֹנִי וְהוּא אוֹמֵר לֹא נָתַן לִי. חוֹשְׁשִׁין שֶׁמָּא זִכָּה לוֹ עַל יְדֵי אַחֵר. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר כָּתַבְתִּי וְנָתַתִּי לוֹ וְהוּא אוֹמֵר לֹא כָּתַב וְלֹא נָתַן לִי. אִם הַמְקַבֵּל מַתָּנָה הוּא שֶׁאָמַר כֵּן. הוֹדָאַת בַּעַל דִּין כְּמֵאָה עֵדִים הוּא וְהַנּוֹתֵן אוֹכֵל פֵּרוֹת שָׂדֵהוּ. וְאִם בֶּן הַמְקַבֵּל הוּא שֶׁאָמַר לֹא נָתַתָּ לְאָבִי שָׂדֶה זוֹ וְהוּא אוֹמֵר כָּתַבְתִּי וְנָתַתִּי לוֹ. מַנִּיחִין אֶת הַפֵּרוֹת עַל יְדֵי שָׁלִישׁ עַד שֶׁיִּוָּדַע הַדָּבָר הֵיאַךְ הוּא:

13

When a person thought to have received a gift claims: "The object in my possession was not given to me as a gift; instead, I am a watchman for it," or the like, or he says: "The gift was nullified from the outset, because I did not accept it," "I was forced to accept it against my will," "I accepted it by mistake," or the like, his claim is accepted. He is required to take a sh'vuat hesset, and the gift is returned to its original owners.

יג

מְקַבֵּל מַתָּנָה שֶׁטָּעַן וְאָמַר זוֹ שֶׁתַּחַת יָדִי אֵינָהּ מַתָּנָה בְּיָדִי אֶלָּא שׁוֹמֵר אֲנִי עָלֶיהָ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ. אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר בְּטֵלָה הָיְתָה מִתְּחִלָּתָהּ לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא קִבַּלְתִּיהָ אוֹ בְּעַל כָּרְחִי בְּאֹנֶס אוֹ בְּטָעוּת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בִּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ דְּבָרָיו קַיָּמִין. וְנִשְׁבָּע עַל זֶה שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת וְתַחְזֹר לִבְעָלֶיהָ:

14

If the alleged giver of a gift denies giving it, and instead, claims: "You are a watchman over it," "I gave it to you unwillingly," or "It is stolen property that you have," and the person in possession of the disputed article states: "You gave it to me as a gift," the alleged recipient must support his claim with a Rabbinic oath. Afterwards, he is under no obligation.

יד

טָעַן הַנּוֹתֵן וְאָמַר שׁוֹמֵר אַתָּה עָלֶיהָ אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעְתִּי נְתַתִּיהָ אוֹ גְּזוּלָה הִיא בְּיָדְךָ וְזֶה אוֹמֵר אַתָּה נָתַתָּ לִי. נִשְׁבָּע הַמְקַבֵּל שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת וְנִפְטָר:

Zechiyah uMattanah - Chapter Five

1

Whenever a person - whether healthy or sick - gives a gift, the gift must be made publicly and conspicuously.

If a person tells witnesses: "Write a deed recording a gift in hiding and give it to the intended recipient," his statement is of no consequence. For he is acting subtly in order to take money belonging to others, for he will sell the property after giving the gift.

א

הַנּוֹתֵן מַתָּנָה בֵּין בָּרִיא בֵּין חוֹלֶה צָרִיךְ שֶׁתִּהְיֶה גְּלוּיָה וּמְפֻרְסֶמֶת. אָמַר לְעֵדִים כִּתְבוּ בַּסֵּתֶר וּתְנוּ לוֹ אֵינָהּ כְּלוּם. שֶׁזֶּה מַעֲרִים כְּדֵי לְאַבֵּד מָמוֹן אֲחֵרִים שֶׁיַּחֲזֹר וְיִמְכֹּר אַחַר שֶׁיִּתֵּן:

2

Therefore, whenever a deed recording a gift of land does not state: "So and so, the giver, said to us: 'Sit down in the market place and the streets and write a deed recording a gift in a public and conspicuous manner,' " or does not use a similar expression, we suspect that perhaps the gift was given in a hidden manner. Therefore, the recipient does not acquire it.

ב

לְפִיכָךְ כָּל שְׁטַר מַתְּנַת קַרְקַע שֶׁאֵין כָּתוּב בּוֹ וְאָמַר לָנוּ פְּלוֹנִי הַנּוֹתֵן שְׁבוּ בַּשְּׁוָקִים וּבָרְחוֹבוֹת וְכִתְבוּ לוֹ מַתָּנָה גְּלוּיָה וּמְפֻרְסֶמֶת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בְּעִנְיָנִים אֵלּוּ חוֹשְׁשִׁין לָהּ שֶׁמָּא מַתָּנָה מְסֻתֶּרֶת הִיא וְלֹא זָכָה הַמְקַבֵּל:

3

When a person writes two deeds recording a gift for the same field, the first one hidden, and the second public and conspicuous, the person to whom the latter deed was given acquires it. This applies even if the deed recording the first gift does not mention that the gift should be hidden or that it be conspicuous, but just states that a gift should be given, the recipient of the latter document acquires the property,

ג

הַכּוֹתֵב שְׁתֵּי מַתָּנוֹת עַל שָׂדֶה אַחַת הָרִאשׁוֹנָה מְסֻתֶּרֶת וְהָאַחֲרוֹנָה גְּלוּיָה וּמְפֻרְסֶמֶת אַחֲרוֹן קָנָה וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה סְתָם וְאֵין בָּהּ לֹא עִנְיַן סְתִירָה וְלֹא עִנְיַן גִּלּוּי אֶלָּא מַתָּנָה סְתָם הָאַחֲרוֹן קָנָה:

4

As explained, when a person issues a protest and then gives a gift, the gift is nullified, even though the person is not being forced to give the gift against his will.

The rationale is that with regard to a gift, we follow solely the intent of the giver. Since the giver revealed his intent that he did not desire to give the gift, his gift is nullified.

Accordingly, when it is evident that a person did not desire to give a gift, even when he gave the gift in a conspicuous manner, but it was discovered that he had previously given a hidden gift, both gifts he gave are nullified: the first because it was given in a hidden manner, and the second because it is obvious that he did not want to give the gift. For the hidden gift that was discovered is considered like a protest for the second gift.

ד

כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁהַמּוֹסֵר מוֹדָעָה וְאַחַר כָּךְ נָתַן הַמַּתָּנָה בְּטֵלָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין זֶה אֹנֶס. שֶׁאֵין הוֹלְכִין בְּמַתָּנָה אֶלָּא אַחַר דַּעַת הַנּוֹתֵן. הוֹאִיל וְגִלָּה דַּעְתּוֹ שֶׁאֵינוֹ רוֹצֶה בָּהּ מַתְּנָתוֹ בְּטֵלָה. לְפִיכָךְ מִי שֶׁהָיוּ הַדְּבָרִים מוֹכִיחִין שֶׁאֵין דַּעְתּוֹ לִתֵּן מַתָּנָה זוֹ אֲפִלּוּ שֶׁנְּתָנָהּ מַתָּנָה גְּלוּיָה וְנִמְצֵאת שֶׁנִּתְּנָה מִקֹּדֶם מַתָּנָה מְסֻתֶּרֶת הֲרֵי שְׁתֵּי הַמַּתָּנוֹת בְּטֵלוֹת. הָרִאשׁוֹנָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא מְסֻתֶּרֶת. וְהַשְּׁנִיָּה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַדָּבָר מוֹכִיחַ שֶׁאֵינוֹ רוֹצֶה וַהֲרֵי קָדְמָה זוֹ הַמַּתָּנָה שֶׁנִּמְצְאָה כְּמוֹ מוֹדָעָה לָהּ:

5

An incident occurred with regard to a person who desired to marry a woman. She told him: "I will not marry you unless you write me a deed giving me all your property." The man's elder son heard this and objected at being left empty handed.

The man said to witnesses: "Go and hide and write a document, granting him all my property as a gift." Afterwards, he wrote a document granting all his property to his prospective bride and married her.

The incident was brought before the Sages. They ruled: The son did not acquire the property, nor did the woman acquire the property. The woman did not acquire the property because the man did not willingly compose the document granting her his property. It is as if he had been acting under duress. For by giving the first gift, even though it was nullified - because it was hidden, he revealed his intent. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

ה

מַעֲשֶׂה בְּאֶחָד שֶׁרָצָה לִשָּׂא אִשָּׁה. אָמְרָה לוֹ אֵינִי נִשֵּׂאת לְךָ עַד שֶׁתִּכְתֹּב לִי כָּל נְכָסֶיךָ. שָׁמַע בְּנוֹ הַגָּדוֹל וְצָוַח עַל שֶׁמַּנִּיחוֹ רֵיקָן. אָמַר לָעֵדִים לְכוּ וְהֵחָבְאוּ וְכִתְבוּ לוֹ כָּל נְכָסַי בְּמַתָּנָה. וְאַחַר כָּךְ כָּתַב לָהּ כָּל נְכָסָיו וּנְשָׂאָהּ. וּבָא מַעֲשֶׂה לִפְנֵי חֲכָמִים וְאָמְרוּ הַבֵּן לֹא קָנָה וְהָאִשָּׁה לֹא קָנְתָה. שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא בִּרְצוֹנוֹ כָּתַב לָהּ וּכְאָנוּס בַּדָּבָר הוּא. שֶׁהֲרֵי גִּלָּה דַּעְתּוֹ בַּמַּתָּנָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא בְּטֵלָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא מְסֻתֶּרֶת. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בְּעִנְיָנִים אֵלּוּ:

6

The following rules apply when there are two legal documents with the same date, either deeds of sale or deeds recording a gift, applying to one field. If it is customary for the people of that locale to record the hour of the day when the document was signed in the document, the person with the document dated earlier acquires it. If it is not customary for the people of that locale to record the hour in the document, the matter is left to the discretion of the judges. The field is granted to the person whom they feel it is proper to recognize as the owner.

ו

שְׁנֵי שְׁטָרוֹת שֶׁזְּמַנָּן בְּיוֹם אֶחָד וְהֵן כְּתוּבִין עַל שָׂדֶה אַחַת בֵּין בְּמֶכֶר בֵּין בְּמַתָּנָה. אִם דֶּרֶךְ אַנְשֵׁי הַמָּקוֹם לִכְתֹּב שָׁעוֹת כָּל הַקּוֹדֵם זָכָה. וְאִם אֵין דֶּרֶךְ הַמָּקוֹם לִכְתֹּב שָׁעוֹת הֲרֵי הַדָּבָר מָסוּר לַדַּיָּנִים. כָּל שֶׁדַּעְתָּם נוֹטָה לְהַעֲמִיד שָׂדֶה זוֹ בְּיָדוֹ יַעֲמִידוּ:

7

When does the above apply? With regard to a legal document that does not mention a kinyan, but rather the recipient desired to acquire the field through the transfer of this legal document. In such an instance, we do not know who received the legal document first. If, however, both of the legal documents mention a kinyan, the one with whom a kinyan was made first acquires the property. The witnesses should be asked about the matter.

Similarly, if there were witnesses who know who received the deed recording the gift first, that person acquires the field.

ז

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בִּשְׁטָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ קִנְיָן אֶלָּא קָנָה שָׂדֶה זוֹ בִּשְׁטָר זֶה. שֶׁאֵין אָנוּ יוֹדְעִין מִי הוּא מִשְּׁנֵיהֶם שֶׁהִגִּיעַ שְׁטָרוֹ לְיָדוֹ תְּחִלָּה. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה בְּכָל שְׁטָר מֵהֶן קִנְיָן כָּל שֶׁקָּדַם לוֹ הַקִּנְיָן זָכָה וְיִשְׁאֲלוּ הָעֵדִים. וְכֵן אִם הָיוּ שָׁם עֵדִים שֶׁזֶּה הִגִּיעַ לְיָדוֹ שְׁטַר מַתְּנָתוֹ תְּחִלָּה קָנָה הָרִאשׁוֹן:

8

The following laws apply when there are two legal documents concerning the transfer of one field to one buyer, and they are dated differently.

If one legal document records a sale and the other a gift, we do as follows: When the earlier dated document records a gift and the later document a sale, the later document does not nullify the former one. For we assume that the giver wrote the document recording a sale to add his acceptance of responsibility for the field, if expropriated by a creditor. This applies even when the document does not mention this responsibility. For the omission of such responsibility is considered to be a scribal error.

Similarly, if the earlier document records a sale and the later document a gift, the recipient acquires the field from the date of the first document. We assume that the seller had the document regarding a gift composed to strengthen the purchaser's position, and to protect him against a possible claim of a neighbor.

ח

שְׁנֵי שְׁטָרוֹת הַיּוֹצְאִים עַל שָׂדֶה אַחַת בְּשֵׁם קוֹנֶה אֶחָד וְאֵין זְמַנָּם שָׁוֶה. אִם הָיָה שְׁטָר אֶחָד מֶכֶר וְאֶחָד מַתָּנָה. אִם הָיָה הַשְּׁטָר הָרִאשׁוֹן מַתָּנָה וְהַשֵּׁנִי שֶׁאַחֲרָיו מֶכֶר לֹא בִּטֵּל הָאַחֲרוֹן אֶת הָרִאשׁוֹן. שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹמַר לְהוֹסִיף לוֹ אַחֲרָיוּת חָזַר וְכָתַב בְּשֵׁם מֶכֶר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה כּוֹתֵב שָׁם אַחֲרָיוּת שֶׁאַחֲרָיוּת טָעוּת סוֹפֵר הוּא. וְכֵן אִם הָרִאשׁוֹן מֶכֶר וְהַשֵּׁנִי מַתָּנָה קָנָה הַשָּׂדֶה מִזְּמַן רִאשׁוֹן. שֶׁלֹּא כָּתַב לוֹ שְׁטַר מַתָּנָה אֶלָּא לְיַפּוֹת כֹּחוֹ וּמִשּׁוּם דִּין בֶּן הַמֵּצַר:

9

Different rules apply if both legal documents mention a sale, or both mention a gift. If the second document adds any fact enhancing the position of the recipient or the purchaser, the first document is valid. We assume that the second was composed only because of the additional points.

If no additional points were made in the second document, the second document nullifies the first, and the first owner's responsibility does not begin until the date mentioned in the second document.

For this reason, the purchaser must return all the produce that he consumed until the date mentioned in the second document. If there is an annual levy from the king on that field, the giver or the seller is required to pay that levy until the date mentioned in the second document.

ט

הָיוּ שְׁנֵי הַשְּׁטָרוֹת בְּמֶכֶר אוֹ שְׁנֵיהֶם בְּמַתָּנָה. אִם הוֹסִיף בַּשֵּׁנִי כְּלוּם הֲרֵי הָרִאשׁוֹן קַיָּם שֶׁלֹּא כָּתַב הַשֵּׁנִי אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי הַתּוֹסֶפֶת. וְאִם לֹא הוֹסִיף בִּטֵּל שְׁטָר שֵׁנִי אֶת הָרִאשׁוֹן וְאֵין לוֹ אַחֲרָיוּת אֶלָּא מִזְּמַן הַשֵּׁנִי. לְפִיכָךְ כָּל הַפֵּרוֹת שֶׁאָכַל הַלּוֹקֵחַ מִזְּמַן רִאשׁוֹן עַד זְמַן שֵׁנִי מַחְזִיר אוֹתָם. וְאִם הָיָה עַל אוֹתָהּ שָׂדֶה חֹק לַמֶּלֶךְ בְּכָל שָׁנָה. הַנּוֹתֵן אוֹ הַמּוֹכֵר נוֹתֵן אוֹתוֹ הַחֹק עַד זְמַן הַשְּׁטָר הַשֵּׁנִי:

Zechiyah uMattanah - Chapter Six

1

Whenever a gift is given, we assess the intent of the giver. If the situation indicates his ultimate intent, we act according to that intent, even if it is not stated explicitly.

What is implied? A person's son traveled overseas and the father heard a report that his son had died. The father then signed over all his property as a public and binding gift to a third party, and afterwards his son returned. The gift is not binding, for the situation indicates that if the father had known that his son was alive, he would not have signed over all of his property to the third party. Therefore, if he retained ownership over any of his property - whether landed property or movable property - the gift is binding.

א

לְעוֹלָם אוֹמְדִין דַּעַת הַנּוֹתֵן. אִם הָיוּ הַדְּבָרִים מַרְאִין סוֹף דַּעְתּוֹ עוֹשִׂין עַל פִּי הָאֹמֶד אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא פֵּרֵשׁ. כֵּיצַד. מִי שֶׁהָלַךְ בְּנוֹ לִמְדִינַת הַיָּם וְשָׁמַע שֶׁמֵּת וְכָתַב כָּל נְכָסָיו לְאַחֵר מַתָּנָה גְּלוּיָה גְּמוּרָה וְאַחַר כָּךְ בָּא בְּנוֹ אֵין מַתְּנָתוֹ קַיֶּמֶת. שֶׁהַדְּבָרִים מוֹכִיחִין שֶׁאִלּוּ יָדַע שֶׁבְּנוֹ קַיָּם לֹא הָיָה נוֹתֵן כָּל נְכָסָיו. לְפִיכָךְ אִם שִׁיֵּר מִנְּכָסָיו כָּל שֶׁהוּא בֵּין קַרְקַע בֵּין בְּמִטַּלְטְלִין מַתְּנָתוֹ קַיֶּמֶת:

2

Similarly, when a person assigns all his property to one of his sons, whether the giver is healthy or on his death bed, we assume that he merely made that son the executor of the estate. He receives the same share as the other sons in his estate. It can be presumed that the father's intent was merely that the other brothers should listen to this son. This assumption is followed even if the son in question is an infant, lying in a cradle.

If, however, he retained any of his property - whether landed property or movable property - the son acquires the gift given him.

ב

וְכֵן הַכּוֹתֵב כָּל נְכָסָיו מַתָּנָה לְאֶחָד מִבָּנָיו בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה בָּרִיא בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה שְׁכִיב מֵרַע. אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה בֵּן קָטָן הַמֻּטָּל בָּעֲרִיסָה לֹא עָשָׂהוּ אֶלָּא אַפּוֹטְרוֹפּוֹס. וַהֲרֵי הוּא בְּכָל הַנְּכָסִים כְּאֶחָד מֵאֶחָיו. אֻמְדַּן דַּעַת הוּא שֶׁלֹּא נִתְכַּוֵּן אֶלָּא לִהְיוֹת אֶחָיו נִשְׁמָעִין לוֹ. וְאִם שִׁיֵּר כָּל שֶׁהוּא בֵּין קַרְקַע בֵּין בְּמִטַּלְטְלִין זָכָה הַבֵּן בְּמַתָּנָה:

3

When does the above apply? When he mentioned one son among many sons. If, however, he mentioned one son among many daughters, one daughter among many daughters, or one or another heir among many others, the gift is binding even though he did not retain any property.

ג

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים שֶׁכָּתַב לְבֵן בֵּין הַבָּנִים. אֲבָל אִם כָּתַב כָּל נְכָסָיו לְבֵן בֵּין הַבָּנוֹת אוֹ לְבַת בֵּין הַבָּנוֹת אוֹ לְאֶחָד מִן הַיּוֹרְשִׁין בֵּין שְׁאָר הַיּוֹרְשִׁין. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא שִׁיֵּר כְּלוּם מַתְּנָתוֹ קַיֶּמֶת:

4

Similarly, when a person assigns all his property to his wife - whether the husband is healthy or on his death bed - we assume that he merely made his wife the executor for the heirs. This applies even when he confirmed this with a kinyan.

Moreover, this applies regardless of whether the husband's heirs are her descendants, those of another wife or other relatives. If, however, he retained ownership of any property - either landed property or movable property - his wife acquires everything he assigned to her.

ד

וְכֵן הַכּוֹתֵב כָּל נְכָסָיו לְאִשְׁתּוֹ בֵּין בָּרִיא בֵּין שְׁכִיב מֵרַע אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁקָּנוּ מִיָּדוֹ לֹא עֲשָׂאָהּ אֶלָּא אַפּוֹטְרוֹפָּא עַל יוֹרְשָׁיו. בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ יוֹרְשֵׁי בָּנָיו מִמֶּנָּה אוֹ מֵאִשָּׁה אַחֶרֶת אוֹ אֶחָיו אוֹ שְׁאָר יוֹרְשָׁיו. וְאִם שִׁיֵּר כָּל שֶׁהוּא בֵּין קַרְקַע בֵּין מִטַּלְטְלִין קָנְתָה כָּל שֶׁכָּתַב לָהּ:

5

To whom does the above apply? To a woman who has already been married. If, however, a person assigns all his property to his wife whom he has merely consecrated or to his divorcee, even if he did not retain any property, she is considered as any other person, and the gift is binding.

ה

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בִּנְשׂוּאָה. אֲבָל אִם כָּתַב כָּל נְכָסָיו לְאִשְׁתּוֹ אֲרוּסָה אוֹ לִגְרוּשָׁה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא שִׁיֵּר כְּלוּם הֲרֵי הִיא כִּשְׁאָר בְּנֵי אָדָם וּמַתְּנָתוֹ קַיֶּמֶת:

6

When a person assigns all his property to one of his sons and another person, that other person acquires half of the property, and the other half is given to all his sons. The son who is assigned the property is appointed an executor for the other sons.

ו

הַכּוֹתֵב כָּל נְכָסָיו לְאֶחָד מִבָּנָיו וּלְאַחֵר. זֶה הָאַחֵר קָנָה חֲצִי הַנְּכָסִים בְּמַתָּנָה. וְנִשְׁאַר הַחֵצִי לְבָנָיו. וְהַבֵּן שֶׁנָּתְנוּ לוֹ אַפּוֹטְרוֹפּוֹס מִנָּהוּ עַל שְׁאָר אֶחָיו:

7

Similarly, if a person assigns all his property to his wife and to another person, the other person acquires half, and his wife is appointed as an executor for the other half.

ז

וְכֵן אִם כָּתַב כָּל נְכָסָיו לְאִשְׁתּוֹ וּלְאַחֵר. זֶה הָאַחֵר קָנָה מֶחֱצָה וְאִשְׁתּוֹ אַפּוֹטְרוֹפָּא עַל מֶחֱצָה:

8

Whenever a woman acquires all her husband's property as a gift, she forfeits her right to the money due her by virtue of her ketubah. Therefore, the ketubah should be torn.

Accordingly, if a promissory note is claimed against her deceased husband's estate, and the entire estate is expropriated to pay the debt that predated the gift, she is left without anything. She does not collect the money due her by virtue of her ketubah.

The rationale is that we presume that the satisfaction she receives upon hearing that her husband assigned all his property to her is sufficient to cause her to forfeit any other claim she has to his property with the exception of this gift.

ח

כָּל אִשָּׁה שֶׁקָּנְתָה כָּל נִכְסֵי בַּעְלָהּ בְּמַתָּנָה. אִבְּדָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ וְתִקָּרַע. לְפִיכָךְ אִם יָצָא שְׁטַר חוֹב עָלָיו וְהָלְכוּ כָּל הַנְּכָסִים בְּחוֹבוֹ שֶׁקָּדַם הַמַּתָּנָה תִּשָּׁאֵר הִיא בְּלֹא כְּלוּם וְלֹא תִּקַּח בִּכְתֻבָּתָהּ שֶׁקָּדְמָה הַחוֹב. שֶׁאֻמְדַּן דַּעַת הוּא שֶׁבַּהֲנָאָה שֶׁבָּאָה לָהּ בִּשְׁמוּעָה זוֹ שֶׁכָּתַב לָהּ כָּל נְכָסָיו אִבְּדָה כָּל זְכוּת שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהּ בַּנְּכָסִים חוּץ מִמַּתָּנָה זוֹ:

9

Similarly, when a man assigns property to his children - either his sons or his daughters, whether he does so while healthy or on his death bed - and assigns even the slightest amount of landed property to his wife together with them, if she does not protest she forfeits her right to the money due her by virtue of her ketubah.

The rationale is that the satisfaction she receives from being made a partner together with his children is great enough to cause her to forfeit her rights to this property. She may not expropriate anything from the property in the estate at the time of her husband's death. She may, however, collect the money due her by virtue of her ketubah from money accrued by his estate afterwards.

ט

וְכֵן הַכּוֹתֵב נְכָסָיו לְבָנָיו בֵּין זְכָרִים בֵּין נְקֵבוֹת בֵּין בָּרִיא בֵּין שְׁכִיב מֵרַע וְכָתַב לְאִשְׁתּוֹ עִמָּהֶן קַרְקַע כָּל שֶׁהוּא. הוֹאִיל וְעָשָׂה אוֹתָהּ שֻׁתָּף בֵּין הַבָּנִים וְלֹא מָחֲתָה אִבְּדָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ וְאֵינָהּ טוֹרֶפֶת מִנְּכָסִים אֵלּוּ כְּלוּם. אֲבָל מִנְּכָסָיו שֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ לוֹ אַחַר אֵלּוּ נוֹטֶלֶת מֵהֶן כְּתֻבָּתָהּ:

10

If, however, the husband merely assigned movable property to her, or he retained a certain portion of his landed property for himself, her ketubah is still valid.

It is an enactment of the Geonimw that even if he retained some movable property, she is given the right to collect the money due her by virtue of her ketubah . The rationale is that she will say: "I will collect the money due me from what he retained." Since she is allowed to expropriate from what he retained, she is also given the privilege of expropriating from the remainder of the estate.

י

כָּתַב לָהּ עִמָּהֶן מִטַּלְטְלִין בִּלְבַד אוֹ שֶׁשִּׁיֵּר לְעַצְמוֹ קַרְקַע כָּל שֶׁהוּא. כְּתֻבָּתָהּ קַיֶּמֶת. וְתַקָּנַת הַגְּאוֹנִים הִיא שֶׁאֲפִילוּ שִׁיֵּר מִטַּלְטְלִים כָּל שֶׁהוּא. שֶׁהֲרֵי הִיא אוֹמֶרֶת מִמַּה שֶּׁשִּׁיֵּר אֲנִי גּוֹבָה וּמִתּוֹךְ שֶׁתֵּרֵד לְמַה שֶּׁשִּׁיֵּר תֵּרֵד לִשְׁאָר נְכָסִים וְתִטְרֹף:

11

When a person assigns all his property to his children and assigns a portion of his property to his wife together with them, and then one of the children dies during his father's life, the woman is allowed to collect the money due her by virtue of her ketubah from the share of the child who died. For she forfeited only her right to collect the money due her by virtue of her ketubah from the property inherited by her husband's heirs at the time of his death.

יא

הַכּוֹתֵב כָּל נְכָסָיו לְבָנָיו וְכָתַב לְאִשְׁתּוֹ חֵלֶק עִמָּהֶן. וּמֵת אֶחָד מִן הַבָּנִים בְּחַיֵּי אָבִיו. הֲרֵי זוֹ תִּגְבֶּה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ מֵחֵלֶק זֶה שֶׁמֵּת. שֶׁלֹּא אִבְּדָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ אֶלָּא מִלִּטְרֹף מֵהֶן:

12

When a woman desires to marry, she may assign all her property to her son or to another person. If afterwards she marries and becomes divorced or her husband dies, the gift she gave is nullified. For she was merely attempting to circumvent the laws of inheritance. She assigned her property to the other person solely so that her husband would not inherit it. Implicit in the agreement was that if she needed it at any time, it would be returned to her. Therefore, if she died during her husband's lifetime, the recipient of the gift inherits it in its entirety. If she retained anything for herself, even movable property, her gift is binding. Even if she is divorced, the property does not revert to her ownership.

יב

הָרוֹצָה לְהִנָּשֵׂא וְכָתְבָה כָּל נְכָסֶיהָ בֵּין לִבְנָהּ בֵּין לְאַחֵר. וְאַחַר כָּךְ נִשֵּׂאת וְנִתְגָּרְשָׁה אוֹ שֶׁמֵּת בַּעְלָהּ. מַתְּנָתָהּ בְּטֵלָה שֶׁזּוֹ מַבְרַחַת הִיא וְלֹא כָּתְבָה כָּל נְכָסֶיהָ אֶלָּא לְהַבְרִיחַ מִבַּעְלָהּ שֶׁלֹּא יִירָשֶׁנָּה. וּכְשֶׁתִּהְיֶה צְרִיכָה לָהֶן יַחְזְרוּ לָהּ. לְפִיכָךְ אִם מֵתָה הִיא בְּחַיֵּי בַּעְלָהּ קָנָה הַמְקַבֵּל מַתָּנָה אֶת הַכּל. וְאִם שִׁיְּרָה כְּלוּם אֲפִלּוּ מִטַּלְטְלִין מַתְּנָתָהּ קַיֶּמֶת וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּתְגָּרְשָׁה אֵינָהּ חוֹזֶרֶת:

13

Whenever a person gives away all his property, when the gift is nullified and the property reverts to the original owner, the recipient of the gift is not required to return the produce that he ate. For even if a person explicitly states that he is giving a gift with the intent that it be returned after the duration of so and so's life, the recipient is entitled to derive benefit from the fruits produced by the gift, as we have explained.

יג

כָּל הַנּוֹתְנִין כָּל נִכְסֵיהֶם. מִשֶּׁתִּבָּטֵל הַמַּתָּנָה וְיַחְזְרוּ כָּל הַנְּכָסִין לַבְּעָלִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים אֵין הַמְקַבֵּל מַתָּנָה מַחְזִיר פֵּרוֹת. שֶׁאֲפִילוּ נָתַן הָאָדָם מַתָּנָה בְּפֵרוּשׁ עַל מְנָת לְהַחְזִיר כָּל יְמֵי חַיֵּי פְּלוֹנִי הֲרֵי זֶה אוֹכֵל פֵּרוֹת כָּל זְמַן הַמַּתָּנָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

14

The following rules apply when a person sends articles from overseas to his household and instructs: "Give these to my children." They should be given to both his sons and his daughters. The gifts that are appropriate for the sons - e.g., books or weapons - should be given to the sons. Those that are appropriate for the daughters - e.g., colored silk garments and golden bracelets - should be given to the daughters. If they are appropriate both for sons and daughters, they are taken by the sons.

Similar laws apply when a person sends articles to his home without any instructions. If there are utensils that are appropriate for his daughters, they should be taken by his daughters. It is logical to assume that he sent the gifts for them. If he does not have daughters, or his daughters are married, they may be taken by the wives of his sons, for it is logical to assume that he sent them for them.

יד

מִי שֶׁשָּׁלַח כֵּלִים מִמְּדִינַת הַיָּם וְאָמַר יִנָּתְנוּ אֵלּוּ לְבָנַי. הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ יִנָּתְנוּ לַבָּנִים וְלַבָּנוֹת. הָרָאוּי לַבָּנִים כְּגוֹן סְפָרִים וּכְלֵי מִלְחָמָה לַבָּנִים. וְהָרָאוּי לַבָּנוֹת כְּגוֹן כְּלֵי מֶשִׁי הַצְּבוּעִים וַחֲלִי זָהָב יִטְּלוּם הַבָּנוֹת. הָיוּ רְאוּיִין לִזְכָרִים וְלִנְקֵבוֹת יִטְּלוּ אוֹתָן הַזְּכָרִים. וְכֵן הַמְשַׁלֵּחַ כֵּלִים לְבֵיתוֹ סְתָם וְהָיוּ בָּהֶן כֵּלִים הָרְאוּיִין לְבָנוֹת. יִטְּלוּ אוֹתָן בְּנוֹתָיו. אֻמְדַּן דַּעַת הוּא שֶׁלָּהֶן שָׁלַח. וְאִם אֵין לוֹ בָּנוֹת אוֹ שֶׁהָיוּ בְּנוֹתָיו נְשׂוּאוֹת. יִטְּלוּ אוֹתָן נְשֵׁי בָּנָיו. שֶׁהַדַּעַת נוֹטָה שֶׁלָּהֶן שָׁלַח:

15

When a person celebrates the marriage of his eldest son to a virgin maiden in a home, the son acquires the home. This applies when this is the first time this son is marrying, the father did not marry off another son before him, and the father did not leave any property of his own in the home designated for the son.

This ruling resembles a halachah instituted without a reason. Our Sages came to this decision put of their assessment of the person's attitude, feeling that because of his great happiness and love, he decided to transfer the house to him. This is indicated by the fact that he did not leave any of his own property in the home. For this reason, if he left anything of his own, even a small cruse, the son does not acquire the home.

If the father designated for the wedding a house and household utensils, although he left a utensil in the home belonging to himself or he kept a storeroom or the like in that home, the son acquires the household utensils he designated. He does not, however, acquire the house.

טו

הַמַּשִּׂיא בְּנוֹ גָּדוֹל לִבְתוּלָה בַּבַּיִת קָנָה הַבַּיִת. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיוּ נִשּׂוּאִין רִאשׁוֹנִים לְזֶה הַבֵּן. וְלֹא הִשִּׂיא הָאָב בֵּן אַחֵר קֹדֶם לוֹ וְלֹא שִׁיֵּר הָאָב בְּזֶה הַבַּיִת שֶׁיִּחֵד לוֹ כְּלוּם. וּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ כַּהֲלָכָה שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם טַעַם הֵם. וְנָגְעוּ חֲכָמִים בַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה מֵאֻמְדַּן הַדַּעַת. שֶׁמֵּרֹב שִׂמְחָתוֹ וְאַהֲבָתוֹ גָּמַר וְהִקְנָהוּ הַבַּיִת. שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא שִׁיֵּר בָּהּ לְעַצְמוֹ כְּלוּם. לְפִיכָךְ אִם שִׁיֵּר שָׁם אֲפִלּוּ פַּךְ אֶחָד לֹא קָנָה הַבַּיִת. יִחֵד לוֹ בַּיִת וּכְלֵי בַּיִת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁשִּׁיֵּר בַּבַּיִת כְּלִי אֶחָד לְעַצְמוֹ אוֹ הָיָה לוֹ שָׁם אוֹצָר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ. קָנָה כְּלֵי הַבַּיִת אֲבָל הַבַּיִת לֹא קָנָה:

16

If he designated both a house and a loft for his son, he acquires the house, but he does not acquire the loft.

Similarly, if he designated both a house and a porch, he acquires the house, but not the porch. If the house contained two apartments, one behind the other, the son acquires only the one in which he was married.

טז

יִחֵד לוֹ בַּיִת וַעֲלִיָּה. בַּיִת קָנָה עֲלִיָּה לֹא קָנָה. וְכֵן אִם יִחֵד לוֹ בַּיִת וְאַכְסַדְרָה בַּיִת קָנָה אַכְסַדְרָה לֹא קָנָה. שְׁנֵי בָּתִּים זֶה לְפָנִים מִזֶּה לֹא קָנָה אֶלָּא הָאֶחָד שֶׁנָּשָׂא בּוֹ:

17

With regard to marriages, we have already explained that a special indulgence is granted when a couple is engaged, and the father of the son and father of the bride make commitments, saying: "How much will you give to your son?", "So and so much. And how much will you give for your daughter?", "So and so much." If, afterwards, the groom consecrates the bride, the couple acquire what the parents promised by virtue of their statements alone.

Nevertheless, the transfer of property brought about by this consecration does not take effect until the time of the couple's marriage. For the intent of the promise was that the property be given to the couple when married.

Also, for the transfer to be effective, the articles that the person promised must exist within his domain, for a person may not transfer an article that does not as yet exist, as we have explained.

These promises may not be written down so that the commitment would have the power of a legal document. Therefore, if such a record is made, it is not considered to be a legal document that would give the couple the power to expropriate the property if sold to others.

יז

כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ בְּנִשּׂוּאִין שֶׁשְּׁנַיִם שֶׁהָיָה בֵּינֵיהֶם שִׁדּוּכִין וּפָסַק זֶה עַל יְדֵי בְּנוֹ וְזֶה עַל יְדֵי בִּתּוֹ. וְאָמְרוּ כַּמָּה אַתָּה נוֹתֵן לְבִנְךָ. כָּךְ וְכָךְ. וְכַמָּה אַתָּה נוֹתֵן לְבִתְּךָ. כָּךְ וְכָךְ. וְעָמְדוּ וְקִדְּשׁוּ. קָנוּ בַּאֲמִירָה. וְאֵין קוֹנִין בַּאֲמִירָה זוֹ עַד שְׁעַת נִשּׂוּאִין שֶׁכָּל הַפּוֹסֵק דַּעְתּוֹ לִכְנֹס. וּצְרִיכִין שֶׁיִּהְיוּ הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁהֵן פּוֹסְקִין מְצוּיִין בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ. שֶׁאֵין אָדָם מַקְנֶה דָּבָר שֶׁלֹּא בָּא לָעוֹלָם כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ לֹא נִתְּנוּ לְהִכָּתֵב. לְפִיכָךְ אֵינָן כִּשְׁטָר עַד שֶׁיִּטְרֹף בָּהֶן:

18

When a man consecrates a woman, even if he consecrates her by giving her 1000 dinarim, whether she retracts, he retracts, he dies or she dies, the money or article given to effect the consecration never needs to be returned. Instead, it is considered to be an outright gift, which need not be returned.

יח

הַמְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת הָאִשָּׁה. אֲפִלּוּ קִדְּשָׁהּ בְּאֶלֶף דִּינָר. בֵּין שֶׁחָזְרָה הִיא בֵּין שֶׁחָזַר הוּא. בֵּין שֶׁמֵּת הוּא בֵּין שֶׁמֵּתָה הִיא. אֵין הַקִּדּוּשִׁין חוֹזְרִין לְעוֹלָם. אֶלָּא הֲרֵי הֵן מַתָּנָה גְּמוּרָה שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם חֲזָרָה:

19

If the consecration was made erroneously, the money given for that purpose must be returned.

יט

וְאִם הָיוּ קִדּוּשֵׁי טָעוּת חוֹזְרִין הַמָּעוֹת:

20

When a man consecrates his sister, the money he gives her is a gift. The rationale is that every man knows that the consecration of one's close relatives is not valid; the person is not making an error. We therefore assume that he made up his mind to give her the money as a gift.

כ

והַמְקַדֵּשׁ אֲחוֹתוֹ הַמָּעוֹת מַתָּנָה. אָדָם יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁאֵין קִדּוּשִׁין תּוֹפְסִין בַּעֲרָיוֹת וְאֵין זֶה טוֹעֶה אֶלָּא גָּמַר וְנָתַן לְשֵׁם מַתָּנָה:

21

When a person sends betrothal gifts to his intended bride while she is in his father-in-law's home, whether significant or insignificant in size, whether he partook of a betrothal feast there or not, whether he died, she died, or he retracted, all the engagement gifts should be returned with the exception of food and drink.

כא

הַשּׁוֹלֵחַ סִבְלוֹנוֹת לְבֵית חָמִיו בֵּין מְרֻבִּין בֵּין מוּעָטִין. בֵּין שֶׁאָכַל שָׁם סְעוּדַת אֵרוּסִין בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא אָכַל. בֵּין שֶׁמֵּת הוּא בֵּין שֶׁמֵּתָה הִיא. אוֹ שֶׁחָזַר בּוֹ הָאִישׁ. יַחְזְרוּ הַסִּבְלוֹנוֹת כֻּלָּן חוּץ מִן הַמַּאֲכָל וְהַמַּשְׁקֶה:

22

Similar principles apply with regard to garments of minor value that the prospective groom sent his prospective bride to wear while she was living in her father's home. If she used them and they became worn or lost, they need not be returned. If, however, they are still intact, everything should be returned. They may be expropriated in court. For it is well known that he sent them only as a complimentary gesture.

כב

וְכֵן כֵּלִים מֻעָטִים שֶׁשָּׁלַח לָהּ לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ שָׁם בְּבֵית אָבִיהָ. אִם נִשְׁתַּמְּשָׁה בָּהֶן וּבָלוּ אוֹ אָבְדוּ אֵינָן מִשְׁתַּלְּמִין. אֲבָל אִם הָיוּ קַיָּמִין חוֹזֵר הַכּל וְגוֹבֶה אוֹתָם בְּבֵית דִּין. שֶׁהַדָּבָר יָדוּעַ שֶׁלֹּא שְׁלָחָם אֶלָּא דֶּרֶךְ נוֹי בִּלְבַד:

23

If, by contrast, the woman retracts, everything must be returned, even the food and drink. For the latter, however, she is required only to pay a lesser amount. The Geonim have agreed that if the food and the drink were worth six zuz, she should pay four if she retracts. For he gave her these gifts only with the understanding that she would not retract.

כג

חָזְרָה הִיא בָּהּ חוֹזֵר הַכּל. וַאֲפִלּוּ הַמַּאֲכָל וְהַמַּשְׁקֶה נוֹתֶנֶת דָּמָיו בְּזוֹל. וּכְבָר הִסְכִּימוּ הַגְּאוֹנִים שֶׁאִם הָיוּ דְּמֵי מַאֲכָל וּמַשְׁקֶה [שָׁוֶה] שִׁשָּׁה מִשְׁתַּלֶּמֶת אַרְבָּעָה אִם חָזְרָה בָּהּ. שֶׁלֹּא נָתַן לָהּ מַתָּנָה זוֹ אֶלָּא לְדַעַת שֶׁלֹּא תַּחְזֹר בָּהּ:

24

My masters ruled that when the local custom is that when an engagement is announced every prospective groom makes a feast and hosts all his friends or distributes funds to his helpers, attendants and the like, if he follows the popular custom and she retracts, she should pay the entire amount. For she caused him a financial loss, and whoever causes money belonging to a colleague to be lost must reimburse him.

This applies provided he has witnesses to how much he spent. For we do not allow him the option of taking an oath and collecting the sum he claims.

כד

הוֹרוּ רַבּוֹתַי שֶׁאִם הָיָה מִנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה כָּל אָדָם סְעוּדָה וְיַאֲכִיל לְרֵעָיו אוֹ יְחַלֵּק מָעוֹת לַשַּׁמָּשִׁין וְלַחַזָּנִין וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן וְעָשָׂה כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁעוֹשִׂין כָּל הָעָם וְחָזְרָה בָּהּ מְשַׁלֶּמֶת הַכּל. שֶׁהֲרֵי גָּרְמָה לוֹ לְאַבֵּד מָמוֹן וְכָל הַגּוֹרֵם לְאַבֵּד מָמוֹן חֲבֵרוֹ מְשַׁלֵּם. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיוּ לוֹ עֵדִים כַּמָּה הוֹצִיא. שֶׁאֵין זֶה נִשְׁבָּע וְנוֹטֵל:

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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