Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Ishut - Chapter Twenty, Ishut - Chapter Twenty One, Ishut - Chapter Twenty Two

Video & Audio Classes
Show content in:

Ishut - Chapter Twenty


Our Sages decreed that a man give a certain portion of his holdings to his daughter as a dowry.1 This is referred to as parnasah. When [a man] marries off his daughter, he should provide her with at least the wardrobe that is given to the wife of a poor Jewish man, as we have explained.2

When does the above apply? When [the bride's] father is poor. If he is wealthy, he should provide for his daughter according to his standards.


צוו חכמים שיתן אדם מנכסיו מעט לבתו כדי שתנשא בו וזה הוא הנקרא פרנסה. המשיא את בתו סתם לא יפחות לה מכסות שפוסקין לאשת עני שבישראל כמו שביארנו. בד"א בשהיה האב עני אבל אם היה עשיר הרי זה ראוי ליתן לה כפי עשרו:


If a father explicitly tells the prospective husband that his daughter does not possess anything, and that [his intent is that] he marry her although she does not possess a wardrobe, [the bride] is not entitled to anything of her father's.

[In such a situation, the prospective] husband should not say: "When she comes to my home, I will provide her with a wardrobe." Instead, he should provide her with a wardrobe while she is living in her father's home.


פירש על הבעל שאין לה כלום ושיכניסנה ערומה אין לה כלום. ולא יאמר הבעל כשתבוא לביתי אכסנה אלא מכסנה והיא בבית אביה:


When a father dies and leaves [at least one son and] a daughter [she is provided with a dowry from his estate]. We estimate what the father would have desired to give the daughter as a dowry, and she is given [that sum].

How is it possible to arrive at such an estimate? [We survey the habits of] his friends and acquaintances, his business affairs and his standard of living. If he married off a daughter during his lifetime, we base our estimate [on what she was given]. If the court is unable to determine what he would have desired [to give his daughter], she is given a tenth of his estate as a dowry.3


האב שמת והניח בת אומדין דעתו כמה היה בלבו ליתן לה לפרנסה ונותנין לה. ומנין יודעין אומדן דעתו. מריעיו ומיודעיו ומשאו ומתנו וכבודו. וכן אם השיא בת בחייו אומדין בה. ואם לא ידעו לו ב"ד אומדן דעת נותנין לה מנכסיו עישור לפרנסתה:


When a man leaves [a son and] many daughters, the first [daughter] who desires to marry4 is given a tenth of the estate. The second [daughter to marry] receives a tenth of what was left after providing the first [daughter with her dowry]. And the third daughter receives a tenth of what was left after providing the second [daughter].

If all [a man's] daughters come to marry at the same time, [money is set aside for them according to the above pattern,] even if there are ten daughters [or more]. Afterwards, [all the allotments are pooled], and then divided equally among the daughters. The remainder of the estate is given to the sons.


הניח בנות רבות כל שתבא להנשא נותנין לה עישור הנכסים. ושלאחריה עישור מה ששיירה ראשונה. ושל אחריה עישור מה ששיירה שנייה. ואם באו כולן להנשא כאחת ראשונה נוטלת עישור. והשנייה עישור מה ששיירה ראשונה. והשלישית עישור מה ששיירה שניה וכן אפילו הן עשר וחוזרות וחולקות כל העישורים בשוה ושאר הנכסים לאחים:


The allotment of a tenth [of the estate] as a dowry is not one of the provisions of the ketubah. Therefore, even according to the enactment of the later Sages,5 it is only to be collected from landed property.6 It may, however, be collected from rent due for landed property.7 If, however, [a girl's] brothers desire to give her money in lieu of a tenth of the landed property, they have that right.


עישור זה שהוא לפרנסה אינו מתנאי כתובה לפיכך אפילו לפי תקנת חכמים (הראשונים) ואחרונים אינה נוטלת אלא מן הקרקע ויש לה לגבות עישור זה משכירות הקרקע ואם רצו האחין ליתן לה מעות כנגד עישור הקרקע נותנין:


With regard to this allotment of a tenth [of the estate], the daughter is considered to be a creditor of her brothers. Therefore, she is entitled to collect it from property of intermediate quality. An oath is not required of her.

If her brothers die, she is entitled to collect it from their sons, [expropriating] property of inferior quality, and an oath8 is required of her. For she is collecting property from heirs, and [it is an accepted principle that] a person who comes to collect property from heirs may collect only from that of inferior quality and is required to take an oath [before doing so], as will be explained in the laws of loans.9


הבת בעישור זה כב"ח של אחין היא לפיכך נוטלת אותו מן הבינונית בלא שבועה. ואם מתו האחין נוטלת אותו מן בניהם מזיבורית ובשבועה שהרי היא נפרעת מנכסי יתומים והבא ליפרע מנכסי יתומים לא יפרע אלא מזיבורית ובשבועה כמו שיתבאר בהלכות הלואה:


Should her brothers have sold the landed property of their father's estate, or given it as collateral, the daughter may collect her dowry from the purchasers,10 just as other creditors are entitled to collect from the purchasers, as will be explained in the laws of loans.11


והאחים שמכרו או משכנו קרקע אביהם הבת טורפת מן הלקוחות פרנסתה כדרך שטורפים כל בעלי חובות מן הלקוחות כמו שיתבאר בהלכות הלואה:


When a man has [several daughters, but] no sons, [his estate] is divided equally [among his daughters at the time of his death]. Although he married off the older daughters during his lifetime [and provided them with dowries], we do not grant dowries to the younger daughters and then divide the estate.


מי שהשיא בנות גדולות ונשארו קטנות ומת בלא בן אין נוטלין פרנסה לקטנות ואח"כ חולקות הנכסים אלא חולקות כולן בשוה:


[The following rules apply when a man] has died, leaving two daughters and a son. The older daughter received a tenth of the estate as a dowry, but before the younger daughter had collected her dowry, the son died [without leaving any heirs], and [the two sisters] inherited the entire estate. [In this situation,] the younger sister is not entitled to her tenth of the estate.12 Instead, the entire estate is divided equally, but the older sister is granted the tenth [she had received previously].13


מי שמת והניח שתי בנות ובן וקדמה ראשונה ונטלה עישור נכסים ולא הספיקה השנית לגבות עד שמת הבן ונפלו כל הנכסים לשתיהן אין השניה נוטלת עישור אלא חולקות בשוה וזכתה הראשונה בעישור שלה:


When a man gives an order at the time of his death: "Do not give my daughters a dowry from my estate," his words are heeded. [The rationale is that a dowry] is not one of the provisions of a ketubah.14


מי שצוה בשעת מיתה אל תפרנסו בנותי מנכסי שומעים לו שאין זה מתנאי כתובה:


[The following rules apply when] a man dies, leaving a widow and a daughter. It has already been explained15 that the support of a man's widow16 takes precedence over the support of his daughter. Similarly, if the daughter marries, she is not entitled to collect her tenth [of the estate], because of [the obligation to] support the widow.17

Even if the daughter dies after she marries, her husband is not entitled to inherit the dowry that should have been given her.18 For the entire estate is considered to be in the possession of the widow so that she can derive her sustenance.


מי שמת והניח אלמנה ובת כבר ביארנו שמזונות האלמנה קודמין למזונות הבת. וכן אם נשאת הבת אינה נוטלת עישור נכסים מפני מזונות האלמנה. ואפילו מתה הבת אחר שנשאת אין הבעל יורש פרנסה הראויה להנתן לה שהרי הנכסים כולן בחזקת האלמנה שתהא ניזונת מהן:


When an orphan girl is married off by her brothers or her mother as a child with her consent, and she is given 50 or 100 zuz as a dowry, she is entitled to collect the dowry that is due her - according to the estimation of her father's desires or one tenth of the landed property19 [of his estate] - from them after she attains the age of majority.

[This applies] even if her brothers did not provide her with sustenance,20 and even if she did not object at the time of the wedding. For a minor is not capable of making an objection [in court].21


קטנה יתומה שהשיאתה אמה או אחיה לדעתה ונתנו לה מאה או חמשים זוז יכולה היא משתגדיל להוציא מידם פרנסה הראויה לה. או באומדן דעת האב או בעישור הקרקעות. ואפילו לא היו האחין זנין אותה ואע"פ שלא מחתה בשעת נישואין מפני שהקטנה אינה בת מחאה:


When a daughter marries after she reaches majority - whether as a na'arah or as a bogeret - and does not demand her dowry, she forfeits her dowry. If, however, she protested at the time of her marriage, she may collect her due whenever she desires.

[A further point must be considered when] she reaches the age of bagrut and remains in her father's house - regardless of whether she reaches bagrut after his death, or [he died] when she had already reached the age of bagrut.22 If her brothers have already ceased providing her with her sustenance, which is their prerogative, as we have explained,23 and [the girl] remained silent and did not demand her dowry, she forfeits her dowry. If she protests, she does not forfeit her dowry.

If, however, her brothers had not ceased providing her with her sustenance [although] she reached bagrut, she is not considered to have forfeited her dowry as long as they continue to provide her with her sustenance, even though she did not protest. For she can claim that she did not demand her dowry because [her brothers] are supporting her although they are not obligated to do so,24 and she has not yet married.25


נשאת הבת אחר שגדלה בין נערה בין בוגרת ולא תבעה פרנסתה אבדה פרנסתה. ואם מיחתה בעת נשואיה הרי זו מוציאה את הראוי לה כל זמן שתרצה. בגרה ועודה בבית אביה בין שבגרה אחר מותו בין שהניחה בוגרת אם פסקו האחין מלתת מזונותיה שהרי אין לה מזונות כמו שביארנו ושתקה ולא תבעה פרנסתה אבדה פרנסתה. ואם מיחתה לא אבדה פרנסתה. לא פסקו האחים מזונותיה וזנו אותה בבגר אע"פ שלא מיחתה לא אבדה פרנסתה כל זמן שהן זנין אותה. שיש לה לטעון מפני שהן זנין אותה אע"פ שאינן חייבין והיא עדיין לא נשאת מפני זה לא תבעה פרנסתה:


[The following rules apply when a man] stated - whether while making an oral will before death or while healthy - that his daughter should be given a specific sum of money as a dowry, and that this sum should be used to purchase landed property, and [then] died [afterwards].

When the money is in the possession of a third party and the daughter states: "Give the money to my husband and let him do with it as he desires," [the third party should do as follows]. If [the daughter] has reached the age of majority and has married, she is granted this prerogative.26If she is [past majority, but merely] consecrated, the third party should follow the instructions he was given.27 And if she is a minor, even if she is already married, her request is not heeded.28Instead, the third party should carry out her father's instructions.29


מי שצוה לתת לבתו כך וכך מעות לפרנסתה ליקח בהן קרקע בין שהיה שכיב מרע בין שהיה בריא ומת והרי המעות ביד השליש ואמרה הבת תנו אותם לבעלי כל מה שירצה יעשה בהן אם היתה גדולה ונשאת הרשות בידה. ואם עדיין מאורסת היא יעשה שליש מה שהושלש בידו. ואם עדיין קטנה היא אפילו נשאת אין שומעין לה אלא יעשה שליש כמו שצוה האב:


Ketubot 52b states that an allusion to this concept can be found in Jeremiah 29:6: "Give your daughters to men." "Is it possible for a father to initiate marriage proceedings?" our Sages ask. And they explain that the intent of the verse is that a man should provide his daughter with a dowry attractive enough for a man to desire her.


I.e., 50 zuz, as stated in Chapter 13, Halachah 1.


From the Rambam's wording, it appears that one tenth is the average, but that if a man is known to be generous, his daughter may be given more than a tenth. The Ramah (Even HaEzer 113:1) mentions the opinion of certain authorities who maintain that a girl should never be given more than a tenth of the estate, but states that the common practice is not to follow this view.


The dowry is given to the daughter only when she prepares to marry, not beforehand. Nevertheless, she is given a tenth of the value of the estate at the time of her father's death, regardless of its present value (Maggid Mishneh; Ramah, Even HaEzer 113:4).


I.e., even according to the Sages who ordained that the payment of the money due a woman by virtue of her ketubah may come from movable property (Chapter 16, Halachah 8), the payment of the dowry is from landed property alone. Note, however, the opinion of Tosafot (Ketubot 51a), who differ and maintain that this allotment may also be collected from movable property.


Based on the wording of Halachah 12, the Maggid Mishneh states that the Rambam's opinion is that the movable property in the estate is not included in the calculation of the size of the estate on which the amount of the dowry is based. Rav Moshe HaCohen and Rabbenu Asher differ, emphasizing that although the dowry allotment is not collected from movable property, the movable property is included in this appraisal. Both authorities agree, however, that if an assessment is made of the amount that the father would have given his daughter, that assessment includes the movable property in the estate.


This refers to rent due the father for landed property that was uncollected at the time of his death. The Ramah (loc. cit.) states that if the heirs have already collected the rental fee, they are not obligated to give it to their sister.


That she has not received any of the estate.


Hilchot Malveh V'Loveh 14:1, 19:1.


The rationale is that it is known that a girl is entitled to receive a dowry, and the purchasers of the property of the estate should have taken precautions before buying the property.


Hilchot Malveh V'Loveh 18:1.


Ketubot 69a explains that the rationale for this ruling is that the daughter has received a far larger portion of the estate than she could have hoped for.


The Rambam's opinion is quoted by the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 113:8). The Ramah quotes the opinion of Rabbenu Asher, who maintains that the second daughter is given her dowry and then the estate is divided.


The provisions of the ketubah - e.g., the support of the daughters - become binding at the time of the marriage, and the man's statements have no effect regarding them (Chapter 19, Halachah 13). The dowry, by contrast, is a gift that we assume a man would make. Therefore if he explicitly states that he does not desire that it be made, his wishes are heeded.


Chapter 19, Halachah 21.


The Chelkat Mechokek 113:17 and the Beit Shmuel 113:16 state that the same ruling applies with regard to the daughters. I.e., if there are older daughters who wish to collect their dowry and marry, and younger daughters who still have to receive support from the estate, the younger daughters are entitled to object to the property's being given to their sisters. The rationale is that the support for the widow and for the daughters is considered to be a debt owed by the estate, while their dowry is considered to be a debt owed by the heirs.


Once the widow has remarried or received payment for her ketubah, the daughter is entitled to inherit the tenth of the estate that should have been given to her. Even when she has already married, her brothers are required to give her these funds from the remainder of the estate.


At times a woman's husband is considered to be a purchaser of the property he inherits from his wife, and at times an heir. If he were considered to be a purchaser, he would be entitled to take possession of the dowry due his wife, for a widow is not entitled to collect her support from property that has been sold. Nevertheless, in this instance, out of consideration for the widow, our Sages considered him like an heir, and thus enabled the widow to continue receiving her sustenance (Bava Batra 139b).


The Maggid Mishneh cites this phrase as proof that the tenth of the estate set aside as a dowry is expropriated from landed property alone.


See the following halachah.


And thus the fact that she did not object at the time of the marriage is not significant. The Maggid Mishneh adds that even if the girl did not object immediately at the time she reached majority, she is entitled to object afterwards. This decision is quoted by the Ramah (Even HaEzer 113:7).


Rabbenu Asher writes that a girl who reached the age of bagrut in her father's lifetime is not entitled to a dowry from her brothers. The later Ashkenazic authorities (see Beit Shmuel 113:19) state, however, that this ruling is not applied.


Chapter 19, Halachah 10.


Hence, she is ashamed to come to them with this request (Ketubot 68b).


Implied is that once a bogeret marries without demanding her dowry, she has forfeited it even though her brothers continue to provide her with her sustenance (Maggid Mishneh). In his Kessef Mishneh, Rav Yosef Karo writes that if the brothers of a na'arah continue to provide her with her sustenance after marriage, she does not forfeit her dowry, even if she does not protest. Although his wording in the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 113:7) is slightly problematic, the later authorities explain that this is his intent. A source for both the statements of the Maggid Mishneh and the Kessef Mishneh can be seen in the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Ketubot 6:6).


We assume that the father's intent was that the money should be entrusted to a third party only until after her marriage (Rashi, Ketubot 69b).


For it is a mitzvah to carry out the directives of a person who dies, even if he was healthy at the time he gave these directives (Hilchot Zechiyah UMatanah 4:5).


We assume that the father's intent was to safeguard his daughter and her husband against wasting the funds intended for them.


The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 54:1) quotes the Rambam's ruling. The Ramah refers to this ruling in Choshen HaMishpat 252:2, which states that this applies only if the funds were specifically entrusted to the third party for this purpose by the deceased at the time he made this statement. If they came into his possession afterwards, the concept that it is a mitzvah to carry out the directives of a person who dies does not apply.

Ishut - Chapter Twenty One


A husband is entitled to [any ownerless objects] discovered by [his] wife,1 and the proceeds of her labor.2 What [type of work] must she perform on his behalf? Everything follows the custom of the country. In a place where it is customary for women to weave, she should weave. [In a place where they] embroider, she should embroider. [In a place where they] spin wool or flax, she should spin.

If it is not customary for women in that place to perform these labors, he may compel her only to spin wool; [wool, but not flax,] because flax damages [a woman's] mouth and lips. [This occupation is chosen because] spinning is a task designated for women, as [implied by Exodus 35:25]: "And all the skilled women put their hands to spinning...."


מציאת האשה ומעשה ידיה לבעלה. ומה היא עושה לו הכל כמנהג המדינה. מקום שדרכן לארוג אורגת. לרקום רוקמת. לטוות צמר או פשתים טווה. ואם לא היה דרך נשי העיר לעשות כל המלאכות האלו אינו כופה אלא לטוות הצמר בלבד. שהפשתן מזיק את הפה ואת השפתים והטויה היא המלאכה המיוחדת לנשים שנאמר וכל אשה חכמת לב בידיה טוו:


If a woman exerts herself and produces more than would be expected of her,3 her husband is entitled to the extra amount.4

Even when her husband5 is very wealthy and even when the woman has several maids, she may not sit idle, without work. For idleness leads to lewdness. [Her husband] may not, however, compel her to work for the entire day. Instead, according to the extent of his wealth, her obligation to work is minimized.


דחקה עצמה ועשתה יותר מן הראוי לה המותר לבעל. היה לו ממון הרבה אפילו היה לה כמה שפחות אינה יושבת לבטלה בלא מלאכה שהבטלה מביאה לידי זמה. אבל אין כופין אותה לעשות מלאכה כל היום כולו אלא לפי רוב הממון ממעטת במלאכה:


When a mantakes a vow that prevents his wife from doing any work at all, he is obligated to divorce her and pay her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah. [The rationale is that] idleness leads to lewdness.6

Every wife is obligated [to perform the following household tasks] on behalf of her husband: to wash his face, feet and hands, to pour him beverages, to make his bed,7 and to do his bidding - e.g., to bring him water or a utensil, to remove an article from his presence, or to perform similar tasks. She is not, however, required to do the bidding of his father or his son.


המדיר את אשתו שלא תעשה מלאכה כלל יוציא ויתן כתובה שהבטלה מביאה לידי זמה. וכן כל אשה רוחצת לבעלה פניו ידיו ורגליו ומוזגת לו את הכוס ומצעת לו את המטה ועומדת ומשמשת בפני בעלה כגון שתתן לו מים או כלי או תטול מלפניו וכיוצא בדברים אלו. אבל אינה עומדת ומשמשת בפני אביו או בפני בנו:


These tasks should be performed only by a man's wife alone.8 Even if she possesses several maids, these tasks are performed for a man only by his wife.


ומלאכות אלו עושה אותן היא בעצמה ואפילו היו לה כמה שפחות אין עושין מלאכות אלו לבעל אלא אשתו:


There are other tasks that a woman performs for her husband when they are poor; they are: to bake bread in an oven9 - Ezra ordained that a woman get up early and bake bread so that there will be bread available to give the poor.

She should cook food, wash clothes, nurse her child, place straw before her husband's beast10 - but not before his cattle - and grind [flour].

What does grinding [flour] involve? [Not that the woman actually operates the mill herself,] but that she stays at the mill, sifts11the flour and prods the animal [who turns the mill], so that [the operation of] the mill will not be hampered. If it is the [local] custom, for women to grind [flour] using a hand mill, [a woman] should grind [flour in this manner].


יש מלאכות אחרות שהאשה עושה לבעלה בזמן שהן עניים ואלו הן. אופה הפת בתנור ועזרא תיקן שתהיה אשה משכמת ואופה כדי שתהיה הפת מצויה לעניים ומבשלת את התבשילין ומכבסת את הבגדים ומניקה את בנה ונותנת תבן לפני בהמתו אבל לא לפני בקרו. ומטחנת. כיצד מטחנת יושבת בריחים ומשמרת הקמח ואינה טוחנת. או מחמרת אחר הבהמה כדי שלא יבטלו הרחים. ואם היה דרכן לטחון ברחים של יד טוחנת:


When does the above apply? With regard to a poor [couple]. If, however, a woman brings a maid to [the household] or property with which a maid could be purchased, or if the man possesses a maid or funds with which a maid could be purchased, the wife is not required to grind [flour], to bake, to do laundry or to place straw before her husband's beast.

If the wife brings two maids to [the household] or property with which two maids could be purchased, or if the man possesses two maids or is [wealthy] enough to purchase two maids, the wife is not required to cook or to nurse her child. Instead, she gives him to a maid to nurse.12


בד"א בעניים אבל אם הכניסה לו שפחה אחת או נכסים שראוי לקנות מהן שפחה אחת או שהיתה לו שפחה אחת או שהיה לו ממון כדי לקנות ממנו שפחה אחת אינה מטחנת ולא אופה ולא מכבסת ולא נותנת תבן לפני בהמתו. הכניסה לו שתי שפחות או נכסים הראויין לקנות מהן שתי שפחות או שהיו לו שתי שפחות או שהיה ראוי לקנות שתי שפחות אינה מבשלת ואינה מניקה את בנה אלא נותנת אותו לשפחה להניק:


Thus, there are five tasks that every woman must perform on behalf of her husband: to spin [thread], to wash his face, hands and feet, to pour beverages for him, to make his bed and to do his bidding. And there are six tasks that some women perform and some women do not perform. They are: to grind [flour], to cook, to bake, to do laundry, to nurse, and to place straw before her husband's beast.


נמצאו כל המלאכות שכל אשה עושה אותן לבעלה חמש מלאכות. טווה ורוחצת פניו ידיו ורגליו ומוזגת את הכוס ומצעת את המטה ועומדת ומשמשת בפניו. והמלאכות שמקצת הנשים עושות אותן ומקצתן אינן עושות שש מלאכות. מטחנת ומבשלת ואופה ומכבסת ומניקה ונותנת תבן לפני בהמתו:


All the tasks that a woman must perform on behalf of her husband must also be performed by a woman while she is in the niddah state, with the exception of pouring beverages, making his bed and washing his face, hands and feet. [The rationale for the exceptions is that] this is a decree, [enacted] lest [sexual] thoughts arise, and the husband be prompted to engage in relations.

Therefore, when she is in the niddah state, she should make his bed when he is not present. When pouring a beverage for him, she should not place it in his hand as is her usual practice, but rather leave it on the ground, on a utensil or on a table, and he will take it.13


כל מלאכות שהאשה עושה לבעלה נדה עושה לבעלה חוץ ממזיגת הכוס והצעת המטה והרחצת פניו ידיו ורגליו גזירה משום הרהור שמא יבא לבעול. לפיכך מצעת מטתו כשהיא נדה שלא בפניו ומוזגת את הכוס ואינה נותנת אותו בידו כדרכה תמיד אלא מנחת אותו על הארץ או על הכלי או על השלחן והוא נוטלו:


When a woman breaks utensils while performing household tasks,14 she is not held liable. This ruling does not reflect the dictates of the law, but is instead an enactment [of our Sages]. For if this were not the case, there would never be peace in a household. For a woman would be overly cautious and would refrain from performing many tasks, and there would thus be strife between [the couple].15


האשה ששברה כלים בעת שעשתה מלאכותיה בתוך ביתה פטורה ואין זה מן הדין אלא תקנה שאם אין אתה אומר כן אין שלום בתוך הבית לעולם אלא נמצאת נזהרת ונמנעת מרוב המלאכות ונמצאת קטטה ביניהם:


Whenever a woman refrains from performing any of the tasks that she is obligated to perform, she may be compelled to do so, even with a rod.16 When a husband complains that [his wife] does not perform [her required tasks], and [the wife] claims that she does, [the dispute should be clarified by having] a [neutral] woman dwell with them or [by asking] the neighbors.17 The judges should clarify the matter in the best way they see fit.


כל אשה שתמנע מלעשות מלאכה מן המלאכות שהיא חייבת לעשותן כופין אותה ועושה אפילו בשוט. טען הוא שאינה עושה והיא אומרת שאינה נמנעת מלעשות מושיבין אשה ביניהן או שכנים. ודבר זה כפי מה שיראה הדיין שאפשר בדבר:


During the time a woman nurses her child, she is not compelled to perform as many tasks [as usual], and wine and foods that are beneficial to nursing are added to her support.

If, despite the fact that she was allotted the foods appropriate for her, she desires to eat more or desires to eat other foods, because of the craving in her stomach, she is entitled to eat everything she desires [provided she pays for the additional food] from her own funds. The husband cannot prevent her, saying: "Perhaps she will overeat or eat harmful foods18 and the child will die." [The rationale is] that the physical pain the woman feels takes priority.


האשה כל זמן שהיא מניקה את בנה פוחתין לה ממעשה ידיה ומוסיפין לה על מזונותיה יין ודברים שיפין לחלב. פסקו לה מזונות הראויות לה והרי היא מתאוה לאכול יותר או לאכול מאכלות אחרות מפני חלי התאוה שיש לה בבטנה הרי זו אוכלת משלה כל מה שתרצה ואין הבעל יכול לעכב ולומר שאם תאכל יותר מדאי או תאכל מאכלים רעים ימות הולד מפני שצער גופה קודם:


When a woman bears twins, she cannot be compelled to nurse both of them. Instead, she is required to nurse one, while the husband is required to hire a nursemaid for the second child.19

If a woman desires to nurse another woman's child together with her own, her husband may object and restrict her to nursing only her own child.20


ילדה תאומים אין כופין אותה להניק שניהם אלא מניקה אחד ושוכר הבעל מניקה לשני. הרי שרצתה האשה להניק בן חבירתה עם בנה הבעל מעכב ואינו מניחה אלא להניק בנו בלבד:


Although a woman takes a vow not to nurse her child, she may be compelled to do so until the child - whether a boy or a girl - is 24 months old.21

If a woman desires to nurse her child, but her husband objects, claiming that this will mar her beauty, she is given this prerogative, for it is painful for her to part from her child.22 [This law applies] even if she owns several maids.


נדרה שלא להניק את בנה כופה אותה ומניקתו עד שיהיה בן כ"ד חדש אחד הזכר ואחד הנקבה. היא אומרת אני אניק את בני והוא אינו רוצה שתניק אשתו כדי שלא תתנוול אע"פ שיש לה כמה שפחות שומעין לה שצער הוא לה לפרוש מבנה:


If she is poor and would thus be obligated to nurse her child, but her husband is rich, and it is appropriate that his wife not be obligated to nurse his child - if his wife does not desire to nurse, he must hire a nursemaid or buy a maid, even if he did not possess any maidservants beforehand. [The rationale is] that the woman's social standing rises together with that of her husband and does not descend with his.


היתה ענייה שהיא חייבת להניק את בנה והרי הוא עשיר שראוי לו שלא תניק אשתו אע"פ שאין לו שפחות אם לא רצתה להניק שוכר מניקה או קונה שפחה מפני שהאשה עולה עם בעלה ואינה יורדת:


If a woman claims that [her husband] is of [a social standing that] requires him to hire or purchase a maid, and he claims that he is not, the burden of proof is on the woman. [The husband] is not [required] to take an oath.


היא אומרת ראוי הוא לשכור או לקנות שפחה והוא אומר אינו ראוי. עליה להביא ראיה ואין כאן מקום לשבועה:


When a woman is divorced, she cannot be compelled to nurse [her child]. If she desires to nurse the child, [her ex-husband] must pay her a wage.23 If she does not desire [to nurse], she should give the son to his father, and he should care for him.24

When does the above apply? When she did not nurse the child long enough for him to recognize her. If, however, [the child is able] to recognize his mother, even if [the child] is blind,25 he should not be separated from his mother because of the [possible] danger [the separation will cause] the child.26 Instead, the woman is compelled to nurse the child for a wage until he reaches the age of 24 months.


האשה שנתגרשה אין כופין אותה להניק. אלא אם רצתה נותן לה שכרה ומניקתו. ואם לא רצתה נותנת לו את בנו והוא מטפל בו. בד"א שלא הניקה אותו עד שהכירה. אבל אם הכירה ואפי' הוא סומא אין מפרישין אותו מאמו מפני סכנת הולד. אלא כופין אותה ומניקה אותו בשכר עד כ"ד חדש:


[A husband] is not [obligated to] support his divorcee, even when she is nursing his child. In addition to the wage she receives [as a nursemaid], he must, however, provide her with those things that the child needs for clothing, food, drink, salves and the like. A woman who is pregnant is not entitled to any [payment] at all [from her ex-husband].

[The following rules apply after the 24] months have been completed, and the child has been weaned. If the divorcee desires that her son remain in her custody, he is not separated from her until he completes his sixth year [of life].27 Instead, his father is compelled to provide him with his sustenance while he lives with his mother.

After the child completes his sixth year, the father has the right to say: "If [my son] is in my custody, I will support him. If, however, he continues to live with his mother,28 I will not give him anything."29

A mother, by contrast, is given custody of her daughter forever, even after [she passes] the age of six.30


הגרושה אין לה מזונות אע"פ שהיא מניקה את בנה אבל נותן לה יותר על שכרה דברים שהקטן צריך להן מכסות ומאכל ומשקה וסיכה וכיוצא בזה. אבל המעוברת אין לה כלום. שלמו חדשיו וגמלתו אם רצתה המגורשת שיהיה בנה אצלה אין מפרישין אותו ממנה עד שיהיה בן שש שנים גמורות. אלא כופין את אביו ונותן לו מזונות והוא אצל אמו. ואחר שש שנים יש לאב לומר אם הוא אצלי אתן לו מזונות ואם הוא אצל אמו לא אתן לו מזונות. והבת אצל אמה לעולם ואפילו לאחר שש:


What is implied? If the father is [wealthy enough] to be obligated to give charity, the money necessary for his daughter's support should be expropriated from him and used to support the daughter, while she is in her mother's custody.

Even if the mother marries another [man], her daughter remains in her custody, and the father is obligated to provide for her sustenance until his death, as an act of charity. [Moreover, even if the girl's] father dies, she is entitled to receive her sustenance from his estate, as a provision of [her mother's] ketubah, although she remains in his mother's custody.

If a mother does not want her children - either males or females - to remain in her custody after she weans them, she has this prerogative, and she can give their father their custody, or make them wards of the community if there is no father, and [the community] must care for them.31


כיצד היה האב ראוי לצדקה מוציאין ממנו הראוי לו בעל כרחו וזנין אותה והיא אצל אמה ואפילו נשאת האם לאחר בתה אצלה ואביה זן אותה משום צדקה עד שימות האב ותזון מנכסיו אחר מותו בתנאי כתובה והיא אצל אמה. ואם לא רצתה האם שיהיו בניה אצלה אחר שגמלתן אחד זכרים ואחד נקבות הרשות בידה ונותנת אותן לאביהן או משלכת אותן לקהל אם אין להן אב והן מטפלין בהן:


Ketubot 47a states that since a woman's husband supports her, he might object if she were granted ownership over the items that she discovers. The Jerusalem Talmud (Ketubot 6:1) offers a slightly different explanation: that if women were entitled to the objects that they discover, a woman might conceal her earnings and later claim that the funds came to her for ownerless objects that she discovered.


As mentioned in Chapter 12, Halachah 4, in exchange for the obligation incumbent on the man to support his wife, our Sages granted him the right to the income she generates.


There are two interpretations of "more than would be expected of her": a) that she worked overtime, more hours than common custom requires, b) that she performed several tasks at one time.


There are authorities who differ with the Rambam and maintain that a woman is entitled to keep the additional amount she earns. The Bayit Chadash (Even HaEzer 80) states that it is not Ashkenazic custom to require a woman to give her husband any of her additional earnings.


Literally, "he is." Many manuscript copies and early printings of the Mishneh Torah state "he and she are," instead of "he is."


Hence, rather than compel a woman to follow a course of conduct that will lead to wanton behavior, Ketubot 59b requires the husband to divorce his wife.


The commentaries discuss whether the intent is to make her husband's bed or to make all the beds in the house. The difference is with regard to a rich woman, who could have maids perform household services. She is, nevertheless, obligated to make her husband's bed as a reflection of their personal closeness. The question is whether this applies to making the other beds in the house. Ketubot 61a uses the expression "makes the bed for him," indicating that the emphasis is on the husband's bed.


I.e., they are a reflection of their personal closeness.


In contrast to bread baked in a pan or over coals - i.e., the woman must bake in an ordinary manner (Ma'aseh Rokeach).


I.e., the animal on which he rides. This reflects the version of Ketubot 61b possessed by the Sephardic authorities. The Shitah Mekubetzet explains that this is included in a woman's household duties, because those duties involve tasks that affect her husband's person. The standard printed text of that Talmudic passage reverses the decisions regarding his beast and cattle. (See the rationale offered by Rashi.)


Alternatively, guards the flour (Tur, Even HaEzer 80).


The commentaries mention the importance of selecting a Jewish nursemaid. For milk that comes from non-kosher food will breed undesirable tendencies in the son's character.


The Rambam does not mention washing her husband, because his wife is forbidden to touch him while in the niddah state. (See Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah 11:18-19.)


The Chelkat Mechokek 80:29 states that based on the Jerusalem Talmud, this law applies even when she breaks household articles while she is not in the midst of her household chores.


While he accepts the Rambam's ruling, the Ra'avad offers a different rationale. The commentaries, however, justify the Rambam's view.


Rav Kapach emphasizes that the Rambam's intent is not that the husband should beat his wife himself, but that he should bring her to the court, which should administer corporal punishment if they see fit.

The Ra'avad objects to this ruling, explaining that it is unheard of to compel a woman by corporal punishment. Instead, her support should be cut back until she accepts her household duties. The Rashba offers other options - to place her under a ban of ostracism or to sell her ketubah and use the proceeds to hire a maid.

When quoting this law, the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 80:15) mentions that the woman is compelled to perform her tasks, but omits reference to the means of compulsion employed. The Ramah quotes the opinion of the Rambam together with that of the Ra'avad and the Rashba, but appears to favor the latter views.


The woman is not required to support her claim with an oath, because a pattern of the husband's complaining and the woman's being compelled to take an oath would arise, and peace would not reign within the household (Chelkat Mechokek 80:28).


Although a woman is enjoined not to eat foods that would harm her milk supply, she is allowed to do so if she feels physical pain, because her needs take priority over those of the child. In his Kessef Mishneh, Rav Yosef Karo objects to the Rambam's ruling; in the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 80:11), he quotes dissenting views together with that of the Rambam, without favoring either view.

Note the Chelkat Mechokek 80:22, who emphasizes that when there is a real danger to the child's life, and no danger to the mother, the woman must adjust her diet to help the child.


Rabbenu Asher states that she is required to nurse both children, but this view is not accepted by the later authorities.


The Ramah (Even HaEzer 80:14) quotes the Tur, which states that a husband may even prevent a woman from nursing her own child who was born to her from a previous husband.


Implied in the marital contract is that the woman will nurse her children. Hence, she may not object.


Rashi (Ketubot 61a) mentions another rationale: having milk without nursing causes pain.


For a father is obligated to pay for his child's sustenance until the age of six, as stated in Chapter 12, Halachah 14.


The husband cannot, however, be compelled to pay for a nursemaid if the mother is given custody.


For even a blind child can recognize his mother from her smell and the flavor of her milk.


The pain of separation from his mother could cause the child to undergo travail that might lead to weakness. Rashi (Ketubot 59b) states that it is possible that the infant might reject another nursemaid and hence starve to death.


The Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's decision, explaining that a father is obligated to begin educating his child at an early age, and this is impossible when the child is in the mother's custody. The Maggid Mishneh refutes that argument, explaining that the amount of teaching that the father is obligated to give the child can be communicated at visits.

It must be emphasized, however, that the Rambam is referring to a situation in which the mother shares the same standards of observance as the father. If that is not the case, and the mother's observance is lacking, the father should be given the right to custody.


From the Rambam's wording, it appears that if a son desires to stay in his mother's custody, and the mother is willing to support him, he is entitled to do so. (See Chelkat Mechokek 82:9.)


At present, there are many courts that require the father to continue supporting his son, even if he desires to remain with his mother.


For her mother is more prepared to train her to grow up as a woman.

The Ramah (Even HaEzer 82:7) states that this law applies only when the court feels that it is in the daughter's best interests to remain in her mother's custody. If, however, it appears that the daughter's interests will be served better when she is in her father's custody, he is awarded that privilege.


The Maggid Mishneh states that this implies that a woman does not have any responsibility to raise her children. The Ma'aseh Rokeach maintains that if the mother has means, she is required to provide for her children's support and cannot cast the burden on the community. She need not, however, raise them in her home, lest this deter other men from desiring to marry her. This latter opinion is not, however, mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 82:8) or its commentaries when dealing with this situation.

Ishut - Chapter Twenty Two


The husband takes precedence over any other person with regard to the inheritance of his wife's estate.1

When does the husband acquire this right? When his wife leaves her father's domain, even though she has not entered the chuppah.2 Since the woman has entered her husband's domain, he [has the right] to inherit [her estate].


הבעל קודם לכל אדם בירושת אשתו. ומאימתי יזכה בירושתה משתצא מרשות האב ואע"פ שעדיין לא נכנסה לחופה הואיל ונעשית ברשות בעלה יירשנה:


What is implied? When a woman has been consecrated and her father hands her over to her husband or to his agents, or the agents of the woman's father hand her over to her husband or to his agents, and the woman dies on the way, before she enters the chuppah, her husband inherits her estate, even though her dowry is still in her father's home.3

Similarly, if the father or his agents went together with the husband, and the husband entered into privacy in a courtyard together with [his bride] with the intent of marriage,4 and afterwards she dies, her husband inherits [her estate].

If, however, [the woman and] her husband or his agents are still accompanied by her father or his agents on their journey to the husband's house, her father inherits [her estate] if she dies, even if her dowry is already in her husband's home. [This law applies even if the woman] and her husband entered a courtyard together to spend the night, as travelers lodge together in one inn.5 [The rationale is that] she is accompanied by her father or his agents, and [her husband] has not entered into privacy with her for the sake of marriage.


כיצד האשה שנתארסה ומסרה אביה לבעלה או לשלוחי בעלה. או מסרוה שלוחי האב לבעלה או לשלוחיו ומתה בדרך קודם שתכנס לחופה אף ע"פ שכתובתה עדיין בבית אביה בעלה יורשה. וכן אם הלך האב או שלוחי האב עם הבעל ונכנס עמה בעלה בדרך לחצר ונתיחד עמה שם לשם נשואין ומתה הרי זה יירשנה בעלה. אבל אם עדיין האב עם הבעל להוליכה לבית בעלה או שהלכו שלוחי האב עם שלוחי הבעל או עם הבעל אפילו נכנס הבעל עמה לחצר ללון כדרך שלנין עוברי דרכים בפונדק אחד הואיל והאב או שלוחיו עמה ועדיין לא נתייחד עמה לשם נשואין אם מתה יירשנה אביה אע"פ שכתובתה בבית בעלה:


Similarly, when a bogeret, an orphan, or a widow6goes from her father's house to her husband's home on her own initiative without being accompanied by her husband or his agents, and dies on the way, her husband does not inherit [her estate].7


וכן אם היתה בוגרת או יתומה או אלמנה והלכה היא בעצמה מבית אביה לבית בעלה ואין עמה לא בעלה ולא שלוחיו ומתה בדרך אין הבעל יורש אותה:


Although a man marries a woman with whom he is forbidden [to have relations], if she dies [during his lifetime], he inherits her estate when his consecration of her is binding.8 Similarly, a man who marries a k'tanah [after her father's death]9 inherits her estate if she dies in his lifetime, even though his consecration of her is not binding entirely.

When, by contrast, a mentally capable man marries a deaf mute, he is not entitled to inherit her estate when she dies.10 When, however, a deaf mute marries a mentally capable woman and dies, he should inherit her estate. For she is capable of understanding and married him voluntarily. [In doing so,] she gave him a right to her property.11


הנושא אשה שהיא אסורה לו הואיל ויש לו בה קידושין אם מתה תחתיו יירשנה. וכן הנושא את הקטנה אעפ"י שאין קידושיה קידושין גמורים אם מתה תחתיו יירשנה. אבל הפקח שנשא חרשת אם מתה לא יירשנה. והחרש שנשא פקחת ומתה יירשנה שהרי היא בת דעת ולדעתה נשאת וזיכתה לו ממונה:


When a k'tanah was consecrated with her father's consent, but married without his consent - whether in his presence or outside his presence - her father has a right to object, as we have explained.12 [In such a situation,] if the girl dies, her husband should not inherit her estate, even if the father remains silent, unless he expressed his consent to her marriage.


קטנה שנתקדשה לדעת אביה ונשאת שלא לדעת אביה בין בפניו בין שלא בפניו יכול האב למחות כמו שביארנו. ואפילו שתק האב אם מתה אין הבעל יורשה אלא אם כן רצה האב בנישואיה:


The geonim ruled that when a woman falls sick and asks her husband to divorce her so that he will not inherit her estate, her words are of no consequence, [even if] she [agrees to] forfeit her ketubah. Even if she says: "I hate him and no longer desire to live with him," her words are not heeded, and she is not judged as a woman who rebels against her husband.13 This is a desirable ruling.


הורו הגאונים שהאשה שחלתה ובקשה מבעלה שיגרשנה ותצא בלא כתובה כדי שלא יירשנה אין שומעין לה. ואפילו אמרה אני שונאה אותו ואיני רוצה לעמוד עמו אין שומעין לה ואין דנין אותה כדין מורדת. ודין יפה הוא זה:


During a woman's lifetime, her husband enjoys the benefits of all the property she owns, regardless of whether it is classified as nichsei tzon barzel or nichsei m'log. If she dies in her husband's lifetime, her husband inherits everything.

Therefore, if the woman sold property classified as nichsei m'log after she married, even if she became the owner of that property before she became consecrated, her husband may expropriate the income from that property from the purchasers throughout his wife's lifetime. He may not, however, expropriate the land itself, for he has no right to the land itself, if it is classified as nichsei m'log, until his wife dies.14

If she dies in his lifetime, he may expropriate the land from the purchasers15 without paying them for it.16 If the actual money that [the woman] took from the purchasers still exists, however, it must be returned to the purchasers. The husband cannot say: "Perhaps this money was found [by my wife]" [and on that basis take it as his own].17


כל נכסים שיש לאשה בין נכסי צאן ברזל בין נכסי מלוג הבעל אוכל כל פירותיהן בחייה ואם מתה בחיי בעלה יורש בעלה הכל. לפיכך אם מכרה האשה נכסי מלוג אחר שנשאת אעפ"י שאותן הנכסים נפלו לה קודם שתתארס הבעל מוציא הפירות מיד הלקוחות כל ימי חייה. אבל לא גוף הקרקע שאין לו כלום בגוף נכסי מלוג עד שתמות. מתה בחייו מוציא הגוף מיד הלקוחות בלא דמים. ואם הדמים שלקחה מיד הלקוחות קיימין בעצמן מחזירן ללקוחות. ואינו יכול לומר שמא מציאה הן:


When does the above apply? With regard to property about which the husband knew.18 When, however, a woman inherits property in another country without her husband's knowledge and sells it, the sale is binding.19

Similarly, if a woman sells [property]20 between her consecration and the consummation of the marriage bond, the sale is binding. For the husband has no right to his wife's property until their marriage is consummated.


בד"א בנכסים הידועין לבעל אבל אם נפלו לה נכסים במדינה אחרת ולא ידע בהן הבעל ומכרה אותן מכרה קיים. וכן ארוסה שמכרה קודם הנישואין מכרה קיים שאין לבעל בנכסי ארוסתו כלום עד שיכנוס:


When a woman signs over all21 of her property to another person - regardless of whether or not that person is a relative - before she marries, even when there is a provision that if she is divorced or if she becomes a widow, this present is nullified - as will be explained in Hilchot Matanah22 - her husband is not entitled to benefit from the income of this property. And if she dies in his lifetime, he does not inherit it.

[The rationale is] that she gave this property away before she married. When she dies during her husband's lifetime, the recipient of the present acquires full title to it.

Moreover, [the same laws apply] even if she gave away a portion of her property - or all her holdings - before she married and wrote [in the deed of transfer] to the recipient: "Acquire the property from this time onward, [dependent] on my consent."23 [Although] the recipient does not acquire complete ownership until the woman expresses her consent,24 her husband is not entitled to benefit from the income of this property. And if she dies in his lifetime, he does not inherit it.25


האשה שכתבה כל נכסיה לאחר בין קרוב בין רחוק קודם שתנשא אע"פ שאם נתגרשה או נתאלמנה תבטל המתנה כמו שיתבאר בהלכות מתנה. אין הבעל אוכל פירותיהן ואם מתה בחייו אינו יורשן שהרי נתנה אותן קודם שתנשא. וכשתמות בחיי בעלה יקנה מקבל המתנה מתנתו קנין גמור. ולא עוד אלא אפילו נתנה מקצת נכסיה או כולם קודם נישואיה וכתבה למקבל קנה מהיום ולכשארצה שהרי לא קנה קנין גמור עד שתרצה אין הבעל אוכל פירות אותה המתנה. ואם מתה אינו יורשה:


While a woman is waiting for her yavam [to marry her according to the rite of yibbum], she may sell or give as a present property that she acquires during the time she is in this status.26 Until he marries the yevamah, the yavam has no right to benefit from the property, even the nichsei tzon barzel,27 that she brought to his [deceased] brother's household.

If the yevamah dies in this status, her heirs from her father's household inherit her nichsei m'log28 and half of her nichsei tzon barzel.29 Her husband's heirs inherit [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah30 and the remaining half of her nichsei tzon barzel, and they are responsible for her burial.31


שומרת יבם יש לה למכור וליתן במתנה נכסים שנפלו לה כשהיא שומרת יבם ואין ליבם פירות אפילו בנכסי צאן ברזל שהכניסה לאחיו עד שיכנוס. מתה כשהיא שומרת יבם יורשיה מאביה יורשין בנכסי מלוג שלה וחצי נכסי צאן ברזל ויורשי הבעל יורשים כתובתה וחצי נכסי צאן ברזל. ויורשי הבעל חייבין בקבורתה:


The money due a yevamah by virtue of her ketubah is considered to be a lien on her [late] husband's estate. Therefore, a yavam is not entitled to sell any of his brother's property32 - neither before yibbum nor after yibbum.

If he sells the deceased's property, gives it away as a present, divides it with his brothers - whether before yibbum or after yibbum - his actions are of no consequence. For it is already obligatory to make this property available to the widow so that she can collect [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah from it.


שומרת יבם כתובתה על כל נכסי בעלה. לפיכך אין היבם יכול למכור בנכסי אחיו בין קודם יבום בין אחר יבום. ואם מכר או נתן מתנה או חלק עם אחיו בנכסי המת בין קודם יבום בין אחר יבום לא עשה כלום שכבר נתחייבו נכסים אלו לאלמנה לגבות מהן כתובתה:


When a man marries his yevamah at a time when there is produce growing on the land left by her husband, this produce should be sold,33 and the proceeds used to purchase land from which the yavam will derive the benefit that accrues.


כנס את יבמתו והניח אחיו פירות מחוברין לקרקע ימכרו וילקח בהן קרקע והיבם אוכל פירותיהן:


When, [by contrast, the deceased] left produce that was already harvested, money or movable property, it becomes the property of the yavam. He may use it as he sees fit, and [the yevamah's] objections are of no consequence.

[The rationale is that the woman's right] to collect [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah from movable property stems only from an enactment of the geonim, and this enactment does not have the power to prevent [the yavam from taking possession] of his brother's property,34 and cause him to be restrained from dealing with them because of this lien.


הניח פירות תלושין מן הקרקע וכן אם הניח מעות ומטלטלין הכל של יבם. ומשתמש בהן כמו שירצה ואינה יכולה לעכב. שהמטלטלין אין הכתובה נגבית מהן אלא בתקנת הגאונים ואין כח בתקנה זו למונעו מנכסי אחיו ולאוסרן עליו באחריות זו שלא ישא ויתן בהם:


[The following rules apply when] a yevamah's [first husband was not obligated to] grant her a ketubah35 or [when] she waived her ketubah in his favor. The yavam acquires his brother's estate and may sell [portions of it] or give them away as he desires. When he marries his yevamah, he is obligated to compose a ketubah for 100 [zuz]. All of his property will be considered as being on lien for the ketubah, [i.e., the same laws apply to her] as apply to other women who have a ketubah.36


יבמה שלא היתה לה כתובה או שמחלה כתובתה זכה בנכסי אחיו ומוכר ונותן כחפצו. וכשיכנוס את יבמתו יכתוב לה כתובה מאה ויהיו כל נכסיו אחראין לכתובתה כשאר כל הנשים שיש להן כתובה:


When a woman sells nichsei tzon barzel - whether to her husband or to others - after she marries, her act is of no consequence.37

Similarly, if her husband sells landed property belonging to his wife - whether it be nichsei tzon barzel or nichsei m'log - his act is of no consequence.38


האשה שמכרה או שנתנה אחר שנשאת בנכסי צאן ברזל בין לבעלה בין לאחרים לא עשתה כלום. וכן בעל שמכר קרקע בנכסי אשתו בין נכסי צאן ברזל בין נכסי מלוג לא עשה כלום:


[Should the husband] sell movable property that is classified as nichsei tzon barzel39 - although he is not allowed to make such a sale - the sale is binding.40

If both [the husband and the wife] sell nichsei m'log, the sale is binding,41 regardless of whether the purchaser purchased the property from the husband first and then from the wife, or if he first purchased it from the wife and then from the husband.


מכר מטלטלין של נכסי צאן ברזל אף ע"פ שאינו רשאי אם מכר ממכרו ממכר. מכרו שניהם בנכסי מלוג בין שלקח מן האיש תחלה וחזר ולקח מן האשה בין שלקח מן האשה וחזר ולקח מן האיש מכרן קיים:


Similarly, when a woman sells her nichsei m'log to her husband or gives them to him as a present, the sale or the gift is binding. She cannot rationalize her actions by saying, "[This was not my true intent.] I did it [only] to appease my husband."42 With regard to other property, however, she may offer such a rationalization.


וכן האשה שמכרה או נתנה נכסי מלוג לבעלה ממכרה ומתנתה קיימין ואינה יכולה לומר בנכסי מלוג נחת רוח עשיתי לבעלי. אבל בשאר נכסים יש לה לומר:


What is implied? When a woman sells her nichsei tzon barzel to her husband or gives them to him as a present, her husband does not acquire this property. [This applies to] landed property and movable property [in this category], to a field that was designated for her from which [she could collect the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah, a field belonging to her that was specifically mentioned in her ketubah or a field that [her husband mentioned in her ketubah] as his present to her [to be included in her dowry].43

[In all the above instances,] even though [the husband] formalized the transaction with his wife through an act of contract that she voluntarily agreed to, she has the prerogative of recanting whenever she desires.44 [We assume that] she gave the present or made the sale only for the sake of maintaining peace in her home.45

Accordingly, a husband has no way of substantiating his claim to his wife's property46 except with regard to nichsei m'log, as explained [in the previous halachah].47


כיצד האשה שמכרה או נתנה לבעלה מנכסי צאן ברזל בין קרקע בין מטלטלין או שדה שייחד לה בכתובתה או שדה שכתב לה בכתובתה או שדה שהכניס לה שום משלו לא קנה בעלה. ואע"פ שקנו מיד האשה ברצונה חוזרת בכל עת שתרצה. שלא נתנה ולא מכרה אלא מפני שלום ביתה. לפיכך אין לבעל ראיה בנכסי אשתו כלל חוץ מנכסי מלוג כמו שביארנו:


It appears to me that a woman is not entitled [to nullify her statements, based on the rationale]: "I did it [only] to appease my husband," when her nichsei tzon barzel were lost or stolen, and she waived the debt in favor of her husband. [This applies even when the commitment] is formalized in the presence of witnesses.48

To what can this be compared? To a man and a woman who formalized an agreement in which she forgoes the responsibility [he had taken for property that had been classified as nichsei tzon barzel] and considers it instead nichsei m'log.49 For the husband is not bringing a proof for the sake of taking possession or maintaining possession of property, merely to free himself of the obligation to pay a claim [his wife will issue].50

If, by contrast, she gives him movable property that exists and was considered to be nichsei tzon barzel, the husband does not acquire it. For the wife may rationalize her conduct saying: "I did this to appease my husband."


נכסי צאן ברזל שאבדו או שנגנבו ומחלה האשה אותם לבעלה וקנו ממנה בעדים יראה לי שאינה יכולה לומר נחת רוח עשיתי לבעלי. הא למה זה דומה למי שקנו מידה שאין לה אחריות שהחזירה נכסים אלו נכסי מלוג. שהרי אין הבעל מביא ראייה ליטול כלום ולא להחזיק בנכסים אלא להפטר מתביעתה מלשלם. אבל אם נתנה לו מתנה מטלטלי צאן ברזל הקיימין לא קנה מפני שיש לה לומר נחת רוח עשיתי לבעלי:


When a husband sells [the right to] the benefits from landed property [that belongs to his wife, to another person, while the legal owner of the property remains his wife, the sale] is of no consequence. [The rationale is that] the reason our Sages granted a man [the right to] the benefit that accrues from his wife's property is [to afford him additional income] so that he will spend more generously on the household expenses.51

[Based on that rationale,] if he sells the benefit to be derived [from the landed property to another person] and takes the money and invests it in a business [which offers profit], he is given that prerogative.


בעל שמכר קרקע לפירות לא עשה כלום. מפני שלא התקינו פירות לאיש אלא כדי להרויח בהוצאת הבית. לפיכך אם מכר לפירות ולקח אותן המעות לסחורה שומעין לו:


[The following laws apply if] the woman possesses financial resources [that she brings to the household]. If they are nichsei tzon barzel, her husband may use them for commercial enterprises.52

If they are nichsei m'log - regardless of whether she brought them to the household at the time of marriage or she inherited them or received them as a present53 [- landed property should be purchased with them, from which her husband is entitled to the benefit that accrues].54 [Similarly,] if she inherited or was given movable property, it should be sold, and the proceeds of the sale should be used to purchase landed property, from which her husband is entitled to the benefit that accrues.


היו לאשה כספים. אם נכסי צאן ברזל הן הרי זה נושא ונותן בהן. ואם נכסי מלוג הן בין שהכניסה אותן לו בין שנפלו לה בירושה או נתנו לה במתנה או נפלו לה מטלטלין או נתנו לה הרי אלו ימכרו וילקח בהן קרקע והוא אוכל פירותיהן:


Similarly, if a woman was injured by others,55 all the money that is ordained to be given to her should be used to purchase land, from which her husband is entitled to the benefit that accrues, as stated in Hilchot Chovel.56


וכן האשה שחבלו בה אחרים כל המעות הראויות לתת לה ילקח בהן קרקע והבעל אוכל פירותיהן כמו שיתבאר בהלכות חובל:


[The following law applies when] a woman inherits servants [while she is married]. Even if they are old, they should not be sold, because they bring honor to her family's household.

[The following law applies when] she inherits olive trees or vines, but did not [inherit] the land on which these trees were planted. If they produce enough to pay for their upkeep, they should not be sold, because they bring honor to her family's household. If they do not, they should be sold as firewood, land should be purchased with the proceeds, from which the husband is entitled to the benefit that accrues.


נפלו לה עבדים אע"פ שהן זקנים לא ימכרו מפני שבח בית אביה. נפלו לה זיתים וגפנים ולא היה לה בגוף הקרקע שהאילנות בה כלום. אם עושין כדי טיפולן לא ימכרו מפני שבח בית אביה ואם לאו הרי אלו ימכרו לעצים וילקח בהן קרקע והוא אוכל פירות:


When [a married woman] inherits produce that is still attached to the land [on which it is growing], it becomes her husband's [property].57 When the produce has been uprooted from the land, it should be sold and used to purchase landed property, from which her husband is entitled to the benefit that accrues.

When, however, a husband divorces his wife, and there was produce that was still attached to the ground, it belongs to the woman. If it has already been reaped, it belongs to the man.58


נפלו לה פירות מחוברין לקרקע הרי אלו של בעל. תלושין מן הקרקע שלה וימכרו וילקח בהן קרקע והוא אוכל פירות. אבל המגרש את אשתו והיו לה פירות מחוברין לקרקע בשעת גירושין הרי אלו שלה ואם היו תלושין הרי אלו שלו:


A husband is obligated to provide for the sustenance and all the needs of the servants59 and livestock that belong to his wife and are classified as nichsei m'log. They must work for him, and he is entitled to the benefit that accrues. Therefore, a baby born to a maid classified as nichsei m'log belongs to the husband. And a calf born to a cow that is classified as nichsei m'log belongs to the husband.

If, however, the husband divorces his wife and she desires to pay the worth of a child born from a maidservant who is classified as nichsei m'log and take the child as her property because this brings honor to her family's household, she is given that prerogative.60


עבדי נכסי מלוג ובהמת נכסי מלוג הבעל חייב במזונות שלהן ובכל צרכיהם והן עושין לו והוא אוכל פירותיהם. לפיכך ולד שפחת מלוג לבעל. ולד בהמת מלוג לבעל. ואם גירשה ורצתה האשה ליתן דמים וליטול ולד השפחה מפני שבח בית אביה שומעין לה:


[The following laws apply when] a woman brings two utensils or two maidservants to the household and has them classified as nichsei tzon barzel. They were [originally] evaluated at 1000 zuz; afterwards, their value increased and they were evaluated at 2000 zuz. If the woman's husband divorces her, she is entitled to one [utensil or maidservant] for the 1000 zuz that she is owed. With regard to the other - if she desires to pay its value and take it because of the honor it brings to her father's household, she has that prerogative.


הכניסה לו שני כלים או שתי שפחות בתורת נכסי צאן ברזל ושמו אותן עליו באלף זוז והוקרו ועמדו באלפים וגירשה נוטלת אחד באלף שלה. והשני אם רצתה שתתן דמיו ותטול משום שבח בית אביה שומעין לה:


When a man gives a present to his wife - regardless of whether he gave her landed property, or he gave her money and she bought landed property - her husband is not entitled to the benefits that accrue from the present [that was given].61

Similarly, when a man gives a woman a present on the condition that her husband not be entitled to derive the benefits from it, but rather the benefits that accrue will belong to the wife to be used for whatever she desires,62 [the provision is binding, and] the husband is not entitled to the benefits that accrue from this present.

Similarly, if a woman sells the rights to her ketubah [in the event of her divorce or her husband's death],63 the money she receives belongs to her, and her husband is not entitled to derive the benefit that accrues from it.


הנותן מתנה לאשתו בין שנתן לה קרקע בין שנתן לה מעות ולקחה בהן קרקע אין לבעל פירות במתנה זו. וכן הנותן מתנה לאשה ע"מ שלא יהיה הבעל אוכל פירותיה אלא יהיו פירותיה לאשה למה שתרצה אין הבעל אוכל פירות מתנה זו. וכן המוכרת כתובתה בטובת הנאה אותן הדמים לאשה ואין הבעל אוכל פירותיהן:


When a calf born from cattle that was classified as nichsei m'log is stolen, and the thief is apprehended and forced to pay twice the amount, the woman receives the extra payment. [The rationale is that] this is not the benefit that our Sages granted [the husband].64

When a man injures his wife, the entire [amount he must pay] - the damages and the restitution for the pain and the embarrassment - belongs to the woman,65 and the husband is not entitled to the benefits that accrue from [property purchased with this money], as explained in Hilchot Chovel.66


ולד בהמת מלוג שנגנב ונמצא הגנב ושלם שנים הכפל לאשה שאין זה פרי שתקנו לו חכמים. החובל באשתו כל הנזק והצער והבושת שלה ואין הבעל אוכל פירות כמו שיתבאר בהלכות חובל:


[The following rules apply when] a husband sells landed property [that he owns] to his wife. If the husband knew about the funds with which she purchased the land previously, the sale is binding,67 and the husband is entitled to the benefit that accrues from that land.

If, however, [the existence of] these funds was concealed, she does not acquire the land. For the husband may [explain that he did not really intend to complete the sale]. [His intent was] to reveal the existence of funds that his wife had hidden. The funds that were revealed should be used to purchase landed property,68 from which the husband is entitled to the benefits that accrue.69


המוכר קרקע לאשתו אם היו המעות שלקחה בהן את הקרקע מבעל גלויין וידועין לבעל קנתה והבעל אוכל פירות אותה הקרקע. ואם היו מעות טמונין לא קנתה שהבעל אומר לא מכרתי אלא כדי להראות המעות שטמנה ואותן המעות שנראו ילקח בהן קרקע והבעל אוכל פירות:


When funds or movable property are discovered in a woman's possession, and she claims that they were given her as a present, while her husband claims that they stem from the fruits of her labor and hence belong to him, it is the woman's claim that is accepted.70 [The husband] may, however, have a ban of ostracism [conditionally] issued against anyone who makes false statements.71[The funds should be used] to purchase landed property, from which [the husband] is entitled to the benefit that accrues.72

If the woman claims that the funds were given to her with the provision that her husband have no control over them, but rather that they be used for whatever purpose she desires, she must bring proof [that such a provision was made].73 [The rationale is that] the prevailing assumption is that a husband has the right to the benefits from all the funds found in a woman's possession, unless she brings proof otherwise.


הרי שנמצאו מעות או מטלטלין ביד האשה היא אומרת במתנה נתנו לי והוא אומר ממעשה ידיך הם שהם שלי הרי זו נאמנת. ויש לו להחרים על מי שטוענת דבר שאינו כן. וילקח בהן קרקע והוא אוכל פירות. ואם אמרה על מנת כן נתנו לי על מנת שלא יהיה לבעלי רשות בהן אלא אעשה בהן כל מה שארצה עליה להביא ראיה. שכל ממון שנמצא ביד האשה בחזקת הבעל הוא שיאכל פירותיו עד שתביא ראיה:


If [a wife] tells [her husband]: "You gave me [these funds] as a present," she is required to take a Rabbinic oath that her husband gave her [the funds]. [After she takes that oath,] her husband is not entitled to the benefit [from the property purchased with these funds].74


אמרה לו אתה נתת לי במתנה נשבעת שבועת היסת שנתן לה הבעל ואינו אוכל פירותיהן:


One should not accept an article for safekeeping that was given by a wife, a servant or a minor.75 If one transgressed and accepted [an article given by] a woman, one should return it to the woman.76 If she dies, one should return it to her husband.77

If one accepted [an article given by] a servant, one should return it to the servant. If he dies, one should return it to his master. If one accepted [an article given by] a minor, one should purchase a Torah scroll with the proceeds or an article that will provide [the minor] with benefit.78

[The following rules apply] with regard to all [the abovementioned individuals], if at the time of their death, they say: "The article I gave for safekeeping belongs to so and so." If the person caring for the article operates under the presumption that the person who entrusted it to him is true to his word, he should carry out the command he was given. If not, he should give [the article] to the person's heirs.


אין מקבלין פקדונות לא מן הנשים ולא מן העבדים ולא מן הקטנים. ואם עבר וקיבל מן האשה יחזיר לאשה. מתה יחזיר לבעלה. קיבל מן העבד יחזיר לעבד ואם מת יחזיר לרבו. קיבל מן הקטן יקנה לו בו ס"ת או דבר שאוכל פירותיהם. וכולם שאמרו בשעת מיתתן פקדון זה של פלוני הוא אם היו בחזקת נאמנין אצל זה שהפקדון אצלו יעשה כמו שצוו ואם לאו יתן ליורשיהם:


[The following rules apply when] a woman has financial resources sufficient [to purchase property] from which the husband would derive the benefits [but they disagree with regard to the property fit to purchase]; he suggests that this type of property be purchased, and she desires that another type be purchased. A property should be purchased that brings a large revenue and requires little upkeep,79 regardless of whether this is the article desired by [the husband] or by [the wife]. We do not purchase any article that does not renew itself,80 lest the entire property be used and the principal lost.


האשה שהיו לה כספים הראויות לבעל לאכול פירותיהם הוא אומר כך וכך ילקח בהם והיא אומרת איני לוקחת בהן אלא כך וכך לוקחים דבר שפירותיו מרובים ויציאתו מעוטה. בין שהיה הדבר כרצונו או שהיה כרצונה. ואין לוקחין אלא דבר שגזעו מחליף שמא יאכל הכל ונמצא הקרן אבד:


[The following rule applies when] a woman brings to her husband's household a goat [that she is entitled] to milk, a sheep [that she is entitled] to shear or a date palm whose fruit [she is entitled to take], although she is entitled only to these benefits [and not to the principal]. [Her husband] is entitled to [these benefits] although the principal is dwindling.81

Similarly, if she brought utensils or articles of clothing to his household that were classified as nichsei m'log, he may use them, wearing them or using them as spreads or as covers until the articles themselves are destroyed. If he divorces [his wife], he is not required to pay for any nichsei m'log that became worn out.


האשה שהכניסה לבעלה עז לחלבה ורחל לגיזתה ודקל לפירותיו אע"פ שאין לה אלא פירות אלו בלבד הרי זה אוכל והולך עד שתכלה הקרן. וכן אם הכניסה לו כלי תשמיש בתורת נכסי מלוג הרי זה משתמש בהן ולובש ומציע ומכסה עד שיכלה הקרן. וכשיגרש אינו חייב לשלם הבלאות של נכסי מלוג:


The geonim [issued the following] ruling. A husband takes responsibility for the diminished value of nichsei tzon barzel. Nevertheless, if [such property] exists [at the time a woman's ketubah is due for payment,] and still serves its initial purpose, the woman must take it regardless of its condition at that time.82

If they are no longer fit to serve their initial purpose, it is as if they were stolen or lost, and the husband is obligated to pay the value appraised originally at the time of the marriage.

This is the common custom. Whenever a man marries, he accepts responsibility for [the woman's] dowry as contingent on this custom.83 On the basis of this custom, just as the husband does not pay for the depreciation of the article, so too, he does not take the appreciation of the property if it increases in value.

A husband has the right to compel some of the servants and maidservants who belong to his wife to serve him84 in the home of another woman he has married.85 [This applies] regardless of whether the servants are classified as nichsei m'log or nichsei tzon barzel. The husband may not, however, take these servants to another city without his wife's consent.


הורו הגאונים שנכסי צאן ברזל אע"פ שפחיתתן על הבעל אם היו הבלאות קיימין והיו עושין מעין מלאכתן נוטלת כליה כמה שהן. ואם לא היו עושין מעין מלאכתן הרי הן כמו שנגנבו או אבדו שהוא חייב לשלם בדמיהם ששמו אותן עליו בשעת נישואין. ומנהג פשוט הוא זה. וכל הנושא על מנהג זה קיבל עליו אחריות הנדוניא. וכשם שאינו משלם הפחת כך אינו נוטל את השבח אם הותירו דמיהן לפי מנהג זה. יש לבעל לכוף מקצת עבדי אשתו ואמהותיה שיהיו משמשין אותו בבית אשה אחרת שנשא בין שהיו עבדי מלוג בין שהיו עבדי צאן ברזל. אבל אינו יכול להוליכן לעיר אחרת שלא מדעת אשתו:


As explained in Chapter 12, Halachah 3 and notes, this is one of the four privileges our Sages granted a husband as part of the marriage contract. (See also Hilchot Nachalot 1:8.)


The second phase of marriage, nisu'in, does not start until the woman enters the chuppah, and it is only at that time that the marriage contract takes effect. Nevertheless, an exception is made in this instance, as explained in the following halachot and notes.


The Ramah (Even HaEzer 57:1) cites the opinion of the Tur and other Ashkenazic authorities, which is that the husband does not have a right to inherit his wife's dowry until it enters his possession.


Moreover, if the courtyard belongs to the husband, it is assumed that the couple entered for the sake of marriage, even when they do not explicitly state so. This is the view of all authorities, and the Maggid Mishneh explains that it is also shared by the Rambam.


If the courtyard belonged to her, this intent is understood even when it is not explicitly stated.


This law applies even if the widow is still a minor, as reflected in Chapter 3, Halachah 12.


Once she is met by her husband or his agents, however, he is entitled to inherit her estate.


See Chapter 1, Halachot 6 and 7; Chapter 4, Halachah 14.


Or after she becomes divorced or widowed in her father's lifetime (Chapter 4, Halachot 7 and 8).


The rationale is that she is not entitled to a ketubah (Chapter 11, Halachah 4). Moreover, since she is not responsible for her actions, she has no right to transfer her property.


Although the Ra'avad objects to this ruling, the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 90:3) quotes the Rambam's view.


Chapter 3, Halachah 13.


See Chapter 14, Halachah 8.


The advantage in the purchaser's continuing to own the land itself is that if the husband dies before his wife, her sale is binding, and the land becomes the purchaser's property. From this time onward, he is entitled to benefit from the land as well.

Rabbenu Asher differs with the Rambam on this issue and maintains that the husband has the right to take the property from the purchaser, even during his wife's lifetime. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 90:9) follows the Rambam's view, while the Ramah quotes that of Rabbenu Asher.


Even the Ramah and Rabbenu Asher accept this ruling.


There is a difference of opinion with regard to this matter among the geonim, but all the later authorities accept this view. The rationale is that the husband's right to the land supersedes that of the purchaser. The money that the purchaser paid is considered to have become a debt owed him by the woman's estate, and the husband is not required to pay his wife's debts.


A husband is entitled to any ownerless object discovered by his wife. His claim is not accepted, however, if he states that money that appears to have come from the sale of property came from the discovery of a lost object. There is no need for witnesses to testify that this is the money from the sale. It is sufficient that it appears to be so. If, however, the money has been changed into a different coinage or currency, the husband is not required to return it (Maggid Mishneh).


In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Ketubot 8:2), the Rambam states that this refers to property located in the bride and groom's city or the surrounding locale, as opposed to property owned by her in more distant locales. It is questionable, however, if the same geographic restrictions apply in today's global village.


The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 90:11) states that preferably, a woman should not sell this property, because her husband is entitled to inherit it.

The commentaries explain that when the husband knows of his wife's financial holdings, it is an implicit part of the marriage contract - and perhaps part of his intent in entering into the marriage relationship - that he will inherit this property. When, however, he is unaware of her ownership of property, this motive cannot be given as the reason for his desire to enter this relationship.

It must be added that as soon as the husband becomes aware of this property, it is considered to be part of the woman's nichsei m'log and is bound by all the laws pertaining to such property (Shulchan Aruch, loc. cit.:12). Moreover, if the woman dies without selling this property, her husband is entitled to inherit it, although he was never aware of his wife's ownership of it during her lifetime.


The Tur (Even HaEzer 90) states that the woman has the full right to sell any property that she owned before she was consecrated. With regard to property that she acquired after she was consecrated, it is preferable that she not sell it - but if she sells it, the husband has no claim to it.


As explained in Hilchot Zechiyah UMatanah, slightly different rules apply if the woman signed over only a portion of her property.


Hilchot Zechiyah UMatanah 6:12. It is clearly obvious that the woman's intent in giving the present is to protect her holdings from being inherited by her husband.


In his gloss on Ketubot 79a, Rabbenu Nissim explains that the Rambam equates this provision with the one mentioned in the previous clause. The only difference between the two is one of tact. The provision in this clause is more gently worded, so that the intent to free the woman's holdings from her husband is less obvious.


Unlike the Rambam, Rabbenu Asher and other authorities maintain that the woman need not explicitly mention her consent to the present. All that is necessary is that she refrain from nullifying it.


Rabbenu Nissim asks, according to the approach of the Rambam (in contrast to the approach of Rabbenu Asher mentioned in the previous note): If the woman did not explicitly mention her consent to the present before her death, why does her husband have no right to inherit her property? The provision on which the present was based was never fulfilled.

Seemingly, this property can be compared to a woman's property of which her husband was unaware. As mentioned in the notes on the previous halachah, the husband has the right to inherit such property, and thus he should also inherit the property mentioned in this clause.

Rabbenu Nissim explains that since the Rambam maintains that a husband's right to inherit his wife's property is a Rabbinical ordinance, there is room for leniency when, as in the present case, it is obvious that the woman did not desire her husband to inherit her estate. Obviously motivated by the same question, but unwilling to offer such a resolution, Rav David Arameah explains that the Rambam's ruling applies in an instance when the woman in fact expressed her consent to the present before her death.


As mentioned in the notes on Halachah 8, preferably a woman should not sell property she acquires after her consecration. One might think that the same principle applies to a yevamah, for she also shares a bond to her yavam. There is, however, a distinction between the two: a woman who is consecrated will most likely be married, while a yevamah may be freed from her obligation through chalitzah. Hence, there are no restrictions placed upon her with regard to the sale of her holdings.


The difference between nichsei m'log and nichsei tzon barzel is that with regard to nichsei m'log, the object itself belongs to the woman, while the property regarded as nichsei tzon barzel is considered to belong to her late husband. He was, however, obligated to pay his wife for the value designated at the time of marriage (Chapter 16, Halachah 1).

Since the nichsei tzon barzel are considered to belong to the yevamah's late husband's estate, one might think that the yavam would have a right to them. Hence, it is necessary to clarify that he is given this right only after marriage.

As mentioned by the Ra'avad and the Maggid Mishneh, most authorities differ with the Rambam on this point. The Maggid Mishneh maintains that the yavam is entitled to half of the benefit that accrues from the nichsei tzon barzel. This opinion is quoted by the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 160:6). (The Rambam's opinion is also quoted, but it appears that the other opinion is favored.) The Ramah mentions the opinion of the Ra'avad which goes even further and gives the yavam rights to half the benefits of nichsei m'log that the yevamah acquired while she was married to her deceased husband.


For this property belongs to her outright.


A division is necessary because this property is considered to belong to the yevamah's late husband, as explained above. Therefore, his heirs have a claim to it. Nevertheless, since he died in his wife's lifetime, and she did not receive payment for this property, her own heirs also have a claim.

This ruling is also disputed by other authorities, who maintain that all the nichsei tzon barzel are considered the property of the husband's heirs, together with the woman's ketubah. The Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.:7) quotes the Rambam's view, while the Ramah quotes that of the other authorities.

The Ramah also adds that these laws do not apply in the Ashkenazic community in the present era - or in other communities - where the rite of yibbum is not practiced, and instead, the yevamah is freed from her obligation through the rite of chalitzah. Since the yevamah will not marry the yavam, he has no rights with regard to her property.


I.e., both the essential requirement of the ketubah and any additional amount added by her deceased husband.


For our Sages associated a woman's burial with the inheritance of her ketubah (Chapter 12, Halachah 14).


Even if the value of the property left by the deceased brother is many times the value of the woman's ketubah, none of the property may be sold, lest the remaining property be destroyed and the woman have difficulty collecting the money due her by virtue of her ketubah from the purchasers (Ketubot 81b).


I.e., since the produce requires the land, it is considered as if it were landed property, and the money received from the sale has the same status as the landed property mentioned in the previous halachah.


The Maggid Mishneh, the Rivash (Responsa 365 and 366), and the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 168:5) emphasize that the law stated by the Rambam applies only when the husband did not follow the suggestion (Chapter 16, Halachah 8) of stating explicitly in the ketubah that the woman may collect from movable property the money due her by virtue of her ketubah. (There are other authorities who differ with the Rambam and maintain that even if the provision is not stated explicitly in the woman's ketubah, the movable property should be sold and land purchased.)


E.g., he died after he consecrated her, but before he consummated the marriage - in which instance, the woman is obligated to undergo either yibbum or chalitzah, and yet her deceased husband was not obligated to grant her a ketubah.


Since she has no claim to her deceased husband's property, she is not judged by the laws pertaining to a yevamah, but rather by those pertaining to other women.


If she sells the land to her husband, the sale is rescinded because she can claim that she did not sell it willingly; she did so only to appease her husband (Bava Batra 49b). If she sells the land to others, the sale is rescinded because her husband has a right to benefit from her property, and she cannot take away this right from him without his consent. If, however, the husband agrees to her sale, it is binding, as stated in Hilchot Mechirah 30:3).

Note the ruling of the Ramah (Even HaEzer 90:13), who writes that if the husband dies, the sale made by the woman is effective retroactively. (But see also the gloss of the Beit Shmuel 90:46.)


With regard to nichsei m'log, it is obvious that the husband's sale is of no consequence, for the woman owns this type of property. With regard to nichsei tzon barzel, which are considered to be the husband's property, there are authorities (e.g., the Ra'avad) who differ with the Rambam and maintain that the sale is valid until the time comes when the woman desires to collect the money due her by virtue of her ketubah.

The commentaries support the Rambam's opinion, explaining that even though the woman has the potential to expropriate the property afterwards by force of law, the sale should be nullified. For women are not comfortable presenting claims in court. If the sale were allowed to remain binding, the only way the woman could receive her due would be by lodging a legal claim. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 90:13) quotes the Rambam's view.


If the woman is divorced, she is entitled to this property. Hence, the husband does not have the prerogative of selling it.


The husband is allowed to destroy this property through frequent use. Therefore, the woman does not rely on receiving this property, and thus if he sells it the sale is binding (Maggid Mishneh, gloss on Hilchot Mechirah 30:5; Chelkat Mechokek 90:45).

This is the opinion of the Rambam and Rabbenu Tam, and is quoted by the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 90:14). Rabbenu Asher, the Rashba and others differ and maintain that the sale is of no consequence. Their view is quoted by the Ramah.


Although both the husband and his wife have a share in the property, since the purchaser dealt with both of them, the sale is binding.


Since this property itself belongs to her, there is no reason for her husband to become upset if she does not desire to sell it to him.


See Chapter 23, Halachah 11; Hilchot Mechirah 30:3.

There is a difference of opinion among the Rabbis if similar laws apply when a woman waives her claim to property mentioned in her ketubah in favor of her husband. The Ra'avad and Rabbenu Asher maintain that her deed is of consequence, while the Rashba and the Ramban state that it is not. The Maggid Mishneh maintains that the Rambam subscribes to the latter view.


The Kessef Mishneh emphasizes that until the woman recants, the transaction is binding. The Beit Meir, however, objects, explaining that the Rambam's wording in Hilchot Mechirah 30:3 does not indicate such a distinction.


Her husband will pressure her by saying, "You are either planning my death or considering a divorce. Otherwise, you would not hesitate to sell this property to me" (Bava Batra 49b, 50a).


Even if he has a deed or witnesses that testify to the claim, his wife may also negate his claim based on the above rationale.


The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 90:16) states that if the woman explicitly accepts responsibility for the field if expropriated from the husband, then the transaction is binding.


Based on the Rambam's statements in Chapter 17, Halachah 19, it is questionable why witnesses are necessary. See Chelkat Mechokek 90:1, Beit Shmuel 90:6.


A husband is not obligated to pay for nichsei m'log that have been destroyed, lost or stolen, while in such situations, he is obligated to pay the original value for nichsei tzon barzel. Thus, by changing the status of her property, the woman is in effect waiving a financial obligation due her from her husband.

There is reason to say that just as a woman can say that she was forced to give or sell this property to her husband to appease him, she could also say that she was also forced to waive her husband's obligation in the loss or theft of this property. The Rambam, however, does not accept this rationale. Since this obligation is due only after the husband's death or divorce, there is nothing pressuring her husband to pay it. If he demands that his wife waive this obligation, she may refuse, asking him: "Is it because you want to divorce me that you are asking me to waive this obligation?" (Maggid Mishneh).


The Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's ruling. Nevertheless, it is the Rambam's decision which is accepted by the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 90:18).


If, at the outset, the husband sold the rights to benefit from the property for a lump sum, it is possible that all that money would be spent in a short period of time and that afterwards, there would be nothing left for household expenses (Chelkat Mechokek 85:41).


For their value is explicitly stated in the woman's ketubah and will be returned to her in the event of divorce or her husband's death.


For money that a woman acquires while married is automatically considered to be nichsei m'log.


In this way, the woman is assured that the principal will remain hers. If the husband desires to use the money for commercial enterprises, he may afterwards sell the right to benefit from the property, as mentioned in the previous halachah.


E.g., people other than her husband. If her husband himself injures her, he is not entitled to benefit from the proceeds of her property, as mentioned in Halachah 28.


Hilchot Chovel UMazik 4:15. As stated in that source, the husband also has a right to receive a certain portion of the damages as his own funds to which his wife has no right.


Although in most instances, produce that is still attached to land is considered equivalent to landed property, an exception is made in this case, because the husband is entitled to the benefit that accrues from his wife's property.


For he is entitled to receive all the benefit from her property throughout the duration of their marriage.


See Hilchot Avadim 9:7, which states that a husband does not have the prerogative of telling a servant: "Work for me, but I will not provide for your sustenance."


The Rambam's wording implies that the concept of maintaining the honor of one's household applies only with regard to the children of one's servants, and not to the offspring of one's livestock. See the Beit Shmuel 85:38, which quotes a difference of opinion among the Rabbis on this issue.


Bava Batra 51b states that a person who gives a present gives with a generous spirit. Therefore, we may assume that the husband gives the gift to his wife without wanting to restrict her in any way.


The specific wording of the provision that the giver must make is discussed in Hilchot Zechiyah UMatanah 3:13.


The person purchasing the rights to the woman's ketubah is taking a risk, because it is possible that she will die in her husband's lifetime and then he will not receive anything.


Our Sages entitled a husband to derive the benefit that would ordinarily accrue from property belonging to his wife - e.g., produce that grows on a field, rent from a home, labor from a servant. They did not grant him rights to benefits that arise from abnormal circumstances.


The Rambam does not mention two other payments that a person who inflicts an injury would ordinarily pay: shevet - reimbursement for the wages that were not earned during the period of convalescence, because the husband is entitled to his wife's wages - and ripui - payment for the medical treatment required, because a husband is always required to pay for his wife's medical care.


Hilchot Chovel UMazik 4:16. This differs from instances in which the injury is inflicted by other parties, in which case the husband also has a right to receive a certain portion of the damages as his own funds, to which his wife has no right.


The husband cannot claim that the funds belonged to him, but since he could not take them from his wife in any other way, he sold the property to her as a ruse. This applies even if he makes a definite claim (ta'anat bari) that the funds belong to him (Chelkat Mechokek 85:22,24).


This ruling depends on the halachah to follow, which states that a woman's claim is accepted with regard to money found in her possession.


The Rambam's ruling is cited by the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 85:9). The Ramah mentions the opinion of Rabbenu Asher, who states that if the husband makes a definite claim that the hidden funds belong to him, his claim is accepted.


The Jerusalem Talmud (Ketubot 6:1) states that a present will be spoken about. Therefore, the woman will be afraid to claim that she was given a present unless the claim was true.


He cannot, however, require his wife to take an oath unless he lodges a definite claim against her (Maggid Mishneh).


If, however, a woman was given responsibility to deal freely with the property belonging to her husband's household, and she claims that funds discovered in her possession belong to her privately, her claim is not accepted (Bava Batra 52b; Ramah, Even HaEzer 85:12).


Although the giving of a present will become public knowledge, the details of the present might not. Therefore, the woman is required to substantiate her statements. Otherwise, we assume that this present was given without any extraordinary conditions (Ma'aseh Rokeach).

The Maggid Mishneh mentions the opinion of the Rashba, who differs and maintains that the woman's claim is also accepted in this instance as well. This opinion is mentioned by the later authorities.


The rationale is that a woman will not be brazen enough to make false statements in her husband's presence with regard to a matter that he knows to be true (Maggid Mishneh).


For the likelihood is that the article belongs to the husband, master or father, respectively. It is forbidden to assist a person who takes property that is not his or her own. Moreover, if no one accepts the article for safekeeping, it is likely that it will be returned (Bava Batra 51b).


For there is no proof that the article was stolen.


For even if the article is rightfully hers, he inherits her property.


The entrusted article should not be given to the minor, for it is possible that he will not care for it properly and it will be destroyed (Rashbam, Bava Batra 52a).


In every society, the nature of the type of article purchased depends on the conditions prevalent at that time (Chelkat Mechokek 85:33).


The Hebrew literally means "whose bark is renewed" - i.e., reaping the benefits one year will not prevent them from being reaped in the future.


I.e., in this instance, the goat's milk is not sold and the money used to purchase property that produces benefit, but rather the goat's milk is used for the household.


Even if they are worth substantially less than they were originally.


As the Kessef Mishneh emphasizes, at different times and in different countries, other customs have prevailed. It is the prevalent custom in one's own locale that is binding.


The servants may be compelled to serve the husband; they may not, however, be compelled to serve his second wife (Beit Yosef, Even HaEzer 85).


For having the woman's servants serve her husband in his other wife's home, also elevates the woman's own standard of living (Ketubot 80b).

Published and copyright by Moznaim Publications, all rights reserved.
To purchase this book or the entire series, please click here.
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.