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Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Zechiyah uMattanah - Chapter Six

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Zechiyah uMattanah - Chapter Six


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

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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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

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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


וְאִם הָיוּ קִדּוּשֵׁי טָעוּת חוֹזְרִין הַמָּעוֹת:


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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

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