ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Ishut - Chapter Twenty Five

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Ishut - Chapter Twenty Five

1

When a man marries a woman without having made any specifications about that matter, and it is discovered that she is bound by vows, he [may] divorce her without having to pay [her the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah - neither the fundamental requirement nor the additional amount.1

With regard to which vows does this rule apply? [I.e., a vow] not to eat meat, not to drink wine, or not to adorn herself with colored garments or with other objects with which women of her locale customarily adorn themselves.2 If, however, she is bound by other vows, she does not forfeit anything.

א

הַנּוֹשֵׂא אִשָּׁה סְתָם וְנִמְצְאוּ עָלֶיהָ נְדָרִים תֵּצֵא בְּלֹא כְּתֻבָּה לֹא עִקָּר וְלֹא תּוֹסֶפֶת. בְּאֵלּוּ נְדָרִים אָמְרוּ שֶׁלֹּא תֹּאכַל בָּשָׂר אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא תִּשְׁתֶּה יַיִן אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא תִּתְקַשֵּׁט בְּמִינֵי צִבְעוֹנִין וְהוּא הַדִּין לִשְׁאָר הַמִּינִים שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ כָּל נְשֵׁי הַמָּקוֹם לְהִתְקַשֵּׁט בָּהֶן. אֲבָל נִמְצָא עָלֶיהָ נֵדֶר אַחֵר חוּץ מֵאֵלּוּ לֹא הִפְסִידָה כְּלוּם:

2

Similar [rules apply when] a man marries a woman without having made any specifications about the matter, and it is discovered that she has one of the blemishes [that mar] a woman's [appeal to her husband], as outlined above.3 If the husband neither knew nor heard about this blemish, and did not willingly accept it, he [may] divorce [his wife] without having to pay [her the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah - neither the fundamental requirement nor the additional amount.

What is implied? If there is a bathhouse in the city, and he has relatives [in the town], he does not have the prerogative of saying: "I did not know about these blemishes." [This applies even if] the blemishes were located in hidden places. For we assume that he checks with his relatives [and asks them about his wife's condition]. [If he marries her nonetheless,] we can assume that he heard [about the blemishes] and accepted them.

If the town does not possess a bathhouse, or if he does not have relatives, he may issue a claim with regard to blemishes that are usually unseen. Regular fits of epilepsy are considered to be a blemish that is unseen.4

By contrast, with regard to physical blemishes that are openly seen, the husband cannot claim [not to have known about the blemish]. For they can be seen by everyone, and it may be assumed that he heard about them and accepted [the matter]. This law applies only in those places where it is customary for women to walk in the marketplace with their faces uncovered, and everyone recognizes each other and will say: "This is so and so's daughter," and "This is so and so's sister," as in the European cities of the present era.

In places where, by contrast, women do not go out to the marketplace at all, and if a girl goes out to the bathhouse in the evening she goes out veiled, and no one will see her except her relatives, a claim may be issued with regard to blemishes that can be openly seen as well.

[Such a claim may be issued] when there is no bathhouse in the city, or [the husband] does not have a relative with whom he can check. If, however, there is a bathhouse in the city, [even] when it is not customary for women to go out with their faces uncovered, if [the husband] has a relative in the city he may not issue such a claim, for everyone sees her naked in the bathhouse.

If the woman's habit is to cover herself and to hide even in the bathhouse, or she washes at night, or in a small private room in the bathhouse, so she will not be seen, and no one will know of her, [her husband] may issue a claim, even with regard to blemishes that can be seen openly.

These matters are concepts that reason dictates; they are not decrees of the Torah [to be accepted on faith].

ב

וְכֵן הַכּוֹנֵס אִשָּׁה סְתָם וְנִמְצָא בָּהּ מוּם מִמּוּמֵי הַנָּשִׁים שֶׁכְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּם וְלֹא יָדַע הַבַּעַל בְּמוּם זֶה וְלֹא שָׁמַע בּוֹ וְרָצָה הֲרֵי זוֹ תֵּצֵא בְּלֹא כְּתֻבָּה לֹא עִקָּר וְלֹא תּוֹסֶפֶת. כֵּיצַד. הָיָה מֶרְחָץ בָּעִיר וְהָיוּ לוֹ קְרוֹבִים אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לוֹמַר לֹא יָדַעְתִּי מוּמִין אֵלּוּ וַאֲפִלּוּ מוּמִין שֶׁבַּסֵּתֶר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא בּוֹדֵק בִּקְרוֹבוֹתָיו וַחֲזָקָה שֶׁשָּׁמַע וְרָצָה. וְאִם אֵין שָׁם מֶרְחָץ אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא הָיוּ לוֹ קְרוֹבִים טוֹעֵן בְּמוּמִין שֶׁבַּסֵּתֶר. וְנִכְפָּה בְּעִתִּים יְדוּעִים הֲרֵי הוּא מִמּוּמֵי סֵתֶר. אֲבָל בְּמוּמִין שֶׁבְּגָלוּי אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִטְעֹן שֶׁהֲרֵי הַכּל רוֹאִין אוֹתָן וְאוֹמְרִין לוֹ וְחֶזְקָתוֹ שֶׁשָּׁמַע וְנִתְפַּיֵּס. דָּבָר יָדוּעַ הוּא שֶׁאֵין דִּין זֶה אֶלָּא בְּאוֹתָן הַמְּקוֹמוֹת שֶׁהָיָה מִנְהַג הַנָּשִׁים שָׁם לְהַלֵּךְ בַּשּׁוּק וּפְנֵיהֶן גְּלוּיוֹת וְהַכּל יוֹדְעִין אוֹתָן וְאוֹמְרִין זוֹ הִיא בִּתּוֹ שֶׁל פְּלוֹנִי וְזוֹ הִיא אֲחוֹתוֹ שֶׁל פְּלוֹנִי כְּמוֹ עָרֵי אֱדוֹם בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה. אֲבָל מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁאֵין דֶּרֶךְ הַבָּנוֹת שָׁם לָצֵאת לַשּׁוּק כְּלָל וְאִם תֵּצֵא הַבַּת לַמֶּרְחָץ בַּנֶּשֶׁף תֵּצֵא מִתְנַכֵּרָה וְלֹא יִרְאֶה אוֹתָהּ אָדָם חוּץ מִקְּרוֹבוֹתֶיהָ הֲרֵי זֶה טוֹעֵן אַף בְּמוּמִין שֶׁבְּגָלוּי. וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה שָׁם מֶרְחָץ וְשֶׁלֹּא הָיְתָה לוֹ קְרוֹבָה לִבְדֹּק בָּהּ. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה שָׁם מֶרְחָץ בְּעִיר זוֹ שֶׁאֵין דֶּרֶךְ הַנָּשִׁים לָצֵאת בָּהּ וּפְנֵיהֶם מְגֻלּוֹת אִם יֵשׁ לוֹ קְרוֹבָה אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִטְעֹן שֶׁהֲרֵי הַכּל רוֹאִין אוֹתָהּ עֲרֻמָּה בַּמֶּרְחָץ. וְאִם דַּרְכָּן לְהִתְנַכֵּר וּלְהִתְחַבֵּא אַף בַּמֶּרְחָץ וְשֶׁתִּהְיֶה הַבַּת רוֹחֶצֶת בַּלַּיְלָה אוֹ בְּבַיִת קָטָן בַּמֶּרְחָץ לְבַדָּהּ עַד שֶׁלֹּא תֵּרָאֶה וְלֹא תִּוָּדַע הֲרֵי זֶה טוֹעֵן אַף בְּמוּמִין שֶׁבַּגָּלוּי. וְהַדְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ דְּבָרִים שֶׁל טַעַם הֵם וְאֵינָם גְּזֵרַת הַכָּתוּב:

3

Some of the geonim have ruled that our Sages' statement that a husband can check [concerning his wife's appearance] with his relatives does not apply only to his relatives, but also to his friends. [According to their thesis,] even if a man lives in a city in which he does not have any relatives at all, if there is a bathhouse in the city he does not have the right to issue a claim, for it is impossible that he will not have friends, and he can tell one of his friends to have his wife or sister check the appearance of so and so [i.e., the woman he thinks of marrying]. Therefore, we assume that he had heard of [any blemishes she had] and accepted them.

I do not agree with this conclusion.5 For a man will not reveal all the concerns he has regarding matters such as these to anyone other than his relatives. Moreover, he will rely only on the word of his relatives.

ג

הוֹרוּ מִקְצָת הַגְּאוֹנִים שֶׁזֶּה שֶׁאָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא בּוֹדֵק בִּקְרוֹבוֹתָיו אֵינוֹ קְרוֹבוֹתָיו בִּלְבַד אֶלָּא אֲפִלּוּ מְיֻדָּעָיו. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה גָּר בְּעִיר שֶׁאֵין לוֹ קָרוֹב כְּלָל אִם יֵשׁ שָׁם מֶרְחָץ אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִטְעֹן. שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיוּ לוֹ רֵעִים וְאוֹמֵר לְאֶחָד מֵרֵעָיו שֶׁתִּבְדֹּק לוֹ אִשְׁתּוֹ אוֹ אֲחוֹתוֹ עַל פְּלוֹנִית. וּלְפִיכָךְ חֶזְקָתוֹ שֶׁשָּׁמַע וְנִתְפַּיֵּס. וְלֹא יֵרָאֶה לִי דִּין זֶה שֶׁאֵין כָּל אָדָם מוֹצִיא כָּל מַה שֶּׁיֵּשׁ בְּלִבּוֹ מִדְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ לַכּל אֶלָּא לִקְרוֹבָיו וְעוֹד שֶׁאֵין דַּעְתּוֹ סוֹמֶכֶת אֶלָּא לְדִבְרֵי קְרוֹבָיו בְּיוֹתֵר:

4

What is meant by a claim issued because of physical blemishes? If the blemishes that were found were such that it is certain that they existed before she was consecrated - e.g., an extra finger or the like - the burden of proof is on the father. He must prove that the husband knew about them and accepted them, or that they were such that we may assume that he knew.6 If he cannot bring proof, the woman may be divorced without receiving any [of the money due her by virtue] of her ketubah at all.7

[The following rules apply when] the blemishes were such that they could have come about after she was consecrated. If the blemishes were discovered after the woman entered her husband's home, the burden of proof is on the husband. He must show that she possessed these blemishes before she was consecrated, and that he entered into the relationship under false premises. If the blemishes were discovered while she still was in her father's home, the burden of proof is on [the father]. He must show that the blemishes came about after the consecration, and the husband suffered the loss.8

ד

כֵּיצַד הִיא טַעֲנַת הַמּוּמִין. אִם הָיוּ הַמּוּמִין שֶׁנִּמְצְאוּ בָּהּ מוּמִין שֶׁוַּדַּאי הָיוּ בָּהּ קֹדֶם שֶׁתִּתְאָרֵס כְּגוֹן אֶצְבַּע יְתֵרָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ. עַל הָאָב לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה שֶׁיָּדַע בָּהֶן הַבַּעַל וְרָצָה. אוֹ שֶׁחֶזְקָתוֹ שֶׁיָּדַע. וְאִם לֹא הֵבִיא רְאָיָה תֵּצֵא בְּלֹא כְּתֻבָּה כְּלָל. הָיוּ מוּמִים שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁנּוֹלְדוּ בָּהּ אַחַר הָאֵרוּסִין אִם נִמְצְאוּ בָּהּ אַחַר שֶׁנִּכְנְסָה לְבֵית הַבַּעַל עַל הַבַּעַל לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה שֶׁעַד שֶׁלֹּא נִתְאָרְסָה הָיוּ בָּהּ וְהָיָה מִקָּחוֹ מִקַּח טָעוּת. וְאִם נִמְצְאוּ בָּהּ וְהִיא בְּבֵית אָבִיהָ עַל הָאָב לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה שֶׁאַחַר הָאֵרוּסִין נוֹלְדוּ וְנִסְתַּחֲפָה שָׂדֵהוּ:

5

If the husband brought proof that [the woman] had [the blemishes] before she was consecrated, or she admitted that fact, and the father brought proof that the husband had seen the blemishes and accepted them in silence, or that one could assume that he knew about them and accepted them, [the husband] is obligated with regard to the ketubah.

ה

הֵבִיא הַבַּעַל רְאָיָה שֶׁעַד שֶׁלֹּא תִּתְאָרֵס הָיוּ בָּהּ אוֹ שֶׁהוֹדָה לוֹ בְּכָךְ. וְהֵבִיא הָאָב רְאָיָה שֶׁרָאָה וְשָׁתַק וְנִתְפַּיֵּס אוֹ שֶׁחֶזְקָתוֹ שֶׁיָּדַע בָּהֶן וְנִתְפַּיֵּס הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב בִּכְתֻבָּה:

6

If [a husband] had relations with his wife and waited several days,9 and [afterwards,] claimed that he discovered a blemish only then, his words are disregarded. [This applies] even if [the blemish] is in the folds [of the woman's skin] or on the sole of her foot. [The rationale is that] we presume that a man will not drink from a cup unless he checks it well first.10 [Therefore,] we assume that he knew [of the blemish] and accepted it.11

ו

בָּא עַל אִשְׁתּוֹ וְשָׁהָה כַּמָּה יָמִים וְטָעַן שֶׁמּוּם זֶה לֹא נִרְאָה לִי עַד עַתָּה אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה בְּתוֹךְ הַקְּמָטִים אוֹ בְּכַף הָרֶגֶל אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ. חֲזָקָה שֶׁאֵין אָדָם שׁוֹתֶה בְּכוֹס אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן בּוֹדְקוֹ יָפֶה וְחֶזְקָתוֹ שֶׁיָּדַע וְרָצָה:

7

[The following rules apply when a man] marries a woman and it is discovered that she does not have a fixed time for the onset of her menstrual period, but rather she does not feel anything until she begins to menstruate. She may engage in sexual relations only if she uses two cloths with which she checks herself, one before relations and one afterwards. In addition, her husband must also check himself with a cloth, as will be explained in Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah.12

ז

הַנּוֹשֵׂא אִשָּׁה וְנִמְצָא שֶׁאֵין לָהּ וֶסֶת קָבוּעַ לְנִדָּתָהּ אֶלָּא לֹא תַּרְגִּישׁ בְּעַצְמָהּ עַד שֶׁתִּרְאֶה דַּם נִדָּה הֲרֵי זוֹ לֹא תְּשַׁמֵּשׁ אֶלָּא בִּשְׁנֵי עֵדִים שֶׁבּוֹדֶקֶת בָּהֶן עַצְמָהּ אֶחָד לִפְנֵי תַּשְׁמִישׁ וְאֶחָד לְאַחַר תַּשְׁמִישׁ חוּץ מִן הָעֵד שֶׁל אִישׁ שֶׁמְּקַנֵּחַ בּוֹ עַצְמוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת אִסּוּרֵי בִּיאָה:

8

Even though this is a great blemish, it does not cause the woman to forfeit anything [with regard to her ketubah], for she can inspect herself and engage in relations.

[The following rules apply if] she inspected herself and then engaged in relations, and when she and her husband cleaned themselves afterwards, blood was found on either his cloth or her cloth.13 If this phenomenon recurred on three consecutive occasions, she is forbidden to remain married to her husband. Instead, she must be divorced, and she is not entitled to the money due [her by virtue of] her ketubah - neither the fundamental requirement nor the additional amount.14 Nor do any of the provisions of the ketubah apply to her. [She suffers these losses] because she is not fit to engage in sexual relations.15

When he divorces her, he may never remarry her. [This restriction was instituted,] lest her condition heal, in which instance his decision to divorce her would not have been final.16

She is permitted to marry another man,17, as will be explained with regard to [the laws of] niddah.18

ח

וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמּוּם גָּדוֹל הוּא זֶה לֹא הִפְסִידָה כְּלוּם שֶׁהֲרֵי בּוֹדֶקֶת עַצְמָהּ תְּחִלָּה וּמְשַׁמֶּשֶׁת. הֲרֵי שֶׁבָּדְקָה עַצְמָהּ וְנִבְעֲלָה וּבְעֵת שֶׁקִּנְּחָה עַצְמָהּ הִיא וְהוּא נִמְצָא דָּם עַל עֵד שֶׁלָּהּ אוֹ עַל עֵד שֶׁלּוֹ אִם אֵרַע זֶה פַּעַם אַחַר פַּעַם שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים סְמוּכוֹת זוֹ לָזוֹ הֲרֵי זוֹ אֲסוּרָה לֵישֵׁב עִם בַּעְלָהּ וְתֵצֵא בְּלֹא כְּתֻבָּה לֹא עִקָּר וְלֹא תּוֹסֶפֶת. וְאֵין לָהּ תְּנַאי מִתְּנָאֵי כְּתֻבָּה שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינָהּ רְאוּיָה לְתַשְׁמִישׁ וְיוֹצִיא וְלֹא יַחֲזִיר לְעוֹלָם. שֶׁמָּא תִּתְרַפֵּא וְנִמְצָא שֶׁלֹּא גָּמַר לְגָרְשָׁהּ בִּשְׁעַת גֵּרוּשִׁין. וּמֻתֶּרֶת לְהִנָּשֵׂא לְאַחֵר כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּעִנְיַן הַנִּדָּה:

9

When does the above apply? When the woman had this condition from the beginning of her marriage, and on the first occasion that she engaged in relations she menstruated.

If, however, this ailment occurred after she married, it is the husband who suffers the loss.19 Therefore, if [the couple] engaged in relations once and the woman did not menstruate, and afterwards she began to menstruate whenever they engaged in relations, he must divorce her and pay her all [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah. He may never remarry her, as explained above.

ט

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁהָיְתָה כָּךְ מִתְּחִלַּת נִשּׂוּאֶיהָ וּמִבְּעִילָה רִאשׁוֹנָה רָאֲתָה דָּם. אֲבָל אִם אֵרַע לָהּ חלִי זֶה אַחַר שֶׁנִּשֵּׂאת נִסְתַּחֲפָה שָׂדֵהוּ. לְפִיכָךְ אִם בָּעַל פַּעַם אַחַת וְלֹא נִמְצָא דָּם וְאַחַר כָּךְ חָזְרָה לִהְיוֹת רוֹאָה דָּם בְּכָל עֵת תַּשְׁמִישׁ יוֹצִיא וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה כֻּלָּהּ וְלֹא יַחֲזִיר עוֹלָמִית כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

10

Similarly, if a woman suffers blemishes after marriage, even if she becomes a leper [the loss is her husband's]. If he desires to remain married to her, he may. If he desires to divorce her, he must pay [her the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah.

י

וְכֵן אִשָּׁה שֶׁנּוֹלְדוּ בָּהּ מוּמִין אַחַר שֶׁנִּשֵּׂאת אֲפִלּוּ נַעֲשֵׂית מֻכַּת שְׁחִין אִם רָצָה לְקַיֵּם יְקַיֵּם וְאִם רָצָה לְהוֹצִיא יִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה:

11

[The following rules apply when] a husband suffers blemishes after he marries. Even if his hand or foot is cut off, or he becomes blinded in one eye,20 and his wife no longer desires to live with him, he is not forced to divorce her and pay [her the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah. Instead, if she desires to remain married, she may. If she does not desire this, she may obtain a divorce without receiving [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah, as is the law concerning any woman who rebels against her husband.21

If, however, he becomes22 afflicted by [constant] bad breath or a smell from his nose, or becomes a collector of dog feces, a miner of copper, or a tanner,23 he is forced to divorce his wife and pay [her the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah [if she desires to terminate the marriage].24 If she desires, she may remained married to her husband.

יא

הָאִישׁ שֶׁנּוֹלְדוּ בּוֹ מוּמִין אַחַר שֶׁנִּשָּׂא אֲפִלּוּ נִקְטְעָה יָדוֹ אוֹ רַגְלוֹ אוֹ נִסְמֵית עֵינוֹ וְלֹא רָצְתָה אִשְׁתּוֹ לֵישֵׁב עִמּוֹ אֵין כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ לְהוֹצִיא וְלִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה אֶלָּא אִם רָצְתָה תֵּשֵׁב וְאִם לֹא רָצְתָה תֵּצֵא בְּלֹא כְּתֻבָּה כְּדִין כָּל מוֹרֶדֶת. אֲבָל אִם נוֹלַד לוֹ רֵיחַ הַפֶּה אוֹ רֵיחַ הַחֹטֶם אוֹ שֶׁחָזַר לִלְקֹט צוֹאַת כְּלָבִים אוֹ לַחְצֹב נְחשֶׁת מֵעִקָּרוֹ אוֹ לְעַבֵּד עוֹרוֹת. כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ לְהוֹצִיא וְלִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה. וְאִם רָצְתָה תֵּשֵׁב עִם בַּעְלָהּ:

12

If a man becomes a leper,25 he is compelled to divorce his wife and pay [her the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah. Even if she desires to remain married to him, her request is not heeded. Instead, they are compelled to separate, because [having relations with] her will cause his flesh to be consumed. If she says: "I will remain married to him, [and we will live in the presence of] witnesses, so that we will not engage in relations," her request is heeded.

יב

נַעֲשָׂה הָאִישׁ מֻכֶּה שְׁחִין כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ לְהוֹצִיא וְלִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא רוֹצָה לֵישֵׁב אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לָהּ אֶלָּא שֶׁמַּפְרִישִׁין אוֹתָן בְּעַל כָּרְחָן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא מְמִיקַתּוֹ. וְאִם אָמְרָה אֵשֵׁב עִמּוֹ בְּעֵדִים כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יָבוֹא עָלֶיהָ שׁוֹמְעִין לָהּ:

13

[The following rules apply when] a woman's husband had [constant] bad breath or a smell from his nose, or he was a collector of dog feces, or the like, and he died [childless, causing his wife to be obligated to fulfill the mitzvah of either yibbum or chalitzah]. If [the yavam] possesses the same difficulty that his brother, [the late husband,] had, she has the right to say: "I was willing to accept this difficulty with regard to your brother. I am not willing to accept it with regard to you." He should perform the rite of chalitzah and pay [her the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah.26

"May you see your children [father] children, and may there be peace over Israel."27

יג

מִי שֶׁהָיָה בַּעְלָהּ בַּעַל רֵיחַ הַפֶּה אוֹ רֵיחַ הַחֹטֶם אוֹ מְלַקֵּט צוֹאַת כְּלָבִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן וּמֵת וְנָפְלָה לִפְנֵי אָחִיו וְיֵשׁ בּוֹ אוֹתוֹ מוּם שֶׁהָיָה בְּבַעְלָהּ. יְכוֹלָה הִיא לוֹמַר לְאָחִיךָ הָיִיתִי יְכוֹלָה לְקַבֵּל וּלְךָ אֵינִי יְכוֹלָה לְקַבֵּל וְיַחֲלֹץ וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה. וּרְאֵה בָנִים לְבָנֶיךָ שָׁלוֹם עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל:

בְּרִיךְ רַחֲמָנָא דְּסַיְּעָן

Test Yourself on This Chapter

Footnotes
1.

The husband is not required to pay his wife the money due her by virtue of her ketubah, because their marriage agreement is considered to be a mekach ta'ut, an agreement entered into under false premises. For he did not expect to marry a woman bound by such vows. Nevertheless, in contrast to the law stated in Chapter 7, Halachah 6, in this instance - since the husband did not make an explicit statement to this effect when he consecrated the woman - he is required to divorce her formally.

2.

These vows are considered by Ketubot 72b to cause innui nefesh, "the oppression of the soul." When a woman is bound by these restrictions, she will be depressed, and she will not be pleasant company for her husband. Hence, he is entitled to divorce her.

3.

See Chapter 7, Halachah 7. In the instance described in the present halachah, a divorce is necessary because the husband did not make an explicit statement of intent.

4.

The intent is epileptic fits that follow a set pattern. At these times the woman will not go out in public, and her affliction will therefore not be known.

5.

The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 117:5) follows the Rambam's rulings. Rabbenu Asher follows the other opinion that the Rambam mentioned. It is also cited by the Ramah (loc. cit.).

6.

E.g., a blemish on her face that her prospective husband obviously must have seen.

7.

The Ramah (Even HaEzer 117:8) quotes opinions that maintain that if the father issues a definite claim, the burden of proof is on the husband.

8.

The Rambam's wording literally means "his field became flooded." The intent is that the woman had already become his wife, and her suffering the blemish is his loss.

9.

The Kessef Mishneh emphasizes that, as evident from the rationale the Rambam gives, what is important is that the couple engage in relations. For then we may assume that the husband looked at his wife's body first. The Rambam mentions waiting several days only to show that even if he waited - and thus it would appear that there is some basis to his claim - his words are disregarded.

10.

The Rambam is obviously using a euphemism. The intent is that a husband will not enter into relations until he has looked at his wife's body.

11.

The Maggid Mishneh notes the similarity to the laws regarding a husband's claim that his wife was not a virgin, as mentioned in Chapter 11, Halachah 15.

12.

In that source (Chapter 4, Halachah 16), the Rambam states that the woman must insert a cloth into her vagina before relations and inspect it to make sure that there is no sign of bleeding. Similarly, after relations, both she and her husband must wipe themselves with cloths and check whether there is any sign of bleeding.

The Rambam's opinion is not accepted by all other authorities. Although his view is mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 186:2), the Shulchan Aruch favors the view that requires such an inspection only on the first three occasions of intercourse after marriage.

13.

Since the inspection was made directly after relations, we assume that she menstruated in the midst of the relations. It is forbidden to continue relations in such a situation.

14.

Although there are authorities who maintain that she is entitled to the additional amount, the Rambam (and similarly, the Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 117:1) frees the husband of the obligation. The rationale is that in contrast to an aylonit, he is forbidden to have relations with her. And in contrast to a sh'niyah, he could not have known that this condition existed beforehand. Hence, he is not obligated at all.

15.

The recurrence of this phenomenon on three consecutive occasions is considered to be a chazakah, causing us to presume that the woman will continue to experience menstrual bleeding in the midst of relations. Hence, these relations are forbidden.

16.

I.e., the husband might consider his divorce as if it were made conditionally - i.e., that if her condition heals, it is not effective. For this reason, it is made clear that he may never marry her again.

17.

For the sexual experience is different with each man, and it is possible that she will not menstruate in the midst of relations with another man. If, however, this occurs three times, with three different men, she is no longer permitted to marry.

18.

Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah 4:21.

19.

Since there was no difficulty at the time of marriage, it is the husband who bears the burden of the loss. (See Halachah 4.)

20.

If, however, he becomes blinded in both eyes, or both his hands are cut off, he is compelled to divorce his wife (Ramah, Even HaEzer 154:4).

21.

As explained in Chapter 14, Halachah 8, above.

22.

If, before marriage, his prospective bride knew that he had these difficulties, or was involved in these professions and married him nevertheless, they are not considered to be grounds for divorce (Ramah, Even HaEzer 154:1).

23.

All these professions cause a man to have a foul odor.

24.

Although divorce proceedings must be commenced by the man, in these and certain other situations the court compels a man to commence these proceedings.

25.

Here, the intent is not leprosy as described in the Torah (tzara'at), but rather the illness that is referred to as leprosy in contemporary terms.

26.

I.e., pay this money from her deceased husband's estate.

27.

This verse is lacking in all manuscript copies and early printings of the Mishneh Torah. It appears to be a printer's addition so that the text will conclude on a positive note. (The connection to the previous subject is based on the exegesis of the verse in Ketubot 50a.)

We find several halachot of the Mishneh Torah in which the Rambam concludes with a thought whose relevance goes beyond that of the laws that he outlined in that work, and others like this text, that conclude with the final relevant law without adding such thoughts.

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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