ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Ishut - Chapter Nineteen

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Ishut - Chapter Nineteen

1

One of the provisions of [a woman's] ketubah is that her male offspring will inherit the money due their mother by virtue of her ketubah and the nedunyah she brought to the household as nichsei tzon barzel.1 Afterwards, these children divide the remainder of the estate with their brothers equally.2

א

מִתְּנָּאֵי הַכְּתֻבָּה שֶׁיִּהְיוּ בָּנִים הַזְּכָרִים יוֹרְשׁים כְּתֻבַּת אִמָּן וּנְדֻנְיָתָהּ שֶׁהִכְנִיסָה בְּתוֹרַת נִכְסֵי צֹאן בַּרְזֶל וְאַחַר כָּךְ חוֹלְקִין שְׁאָר הַיְרֻשָּׁה עִם אֲחֵיהֶם בְּשָׁוֶה:

2

What is implied? A man married a woman whose ketubah and nedunyah were together valued at 1000 [zuz]. She bore a son, and then she died within [her husband's] lifetime. Afterwards, the man married another woman whose ketubah and nedunyah were together valued at 200 [zuz]. She bore a son, and then she died within [her husband's] lifetime. Afterwards, the man died, leaving an estate worth 2000 [zuz].

His first wife's son should inherit 1000 [zuz] by virtue of his mother's ketubah, and his second wife's son should inherit 200 [zuz] by virtue of his mother's ketubah, and the remainder they should [both] inherit and [divide] equally. Thus, the first wife's son will receive 1400 [zuz], and the second wife's son will receive 600 [zuz].

ב

כֵּיצַד. נָשָׂא אִשָּׁה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ וּנְדֻנְיָתָהּ אֶלֶף וְיָלְדָה בֵּן וּמֵתָה בְּחַיָּיו. וְאַחַר כָּךְ נָשָׂא אִשָּׁה אַחֶרֶת כְּתֻבָּתָהּ וּנְדֻנְיָתָהּ מָאתַיִם וְיָלְדָה בֵּן וּמֵתָה בְּחַיָּיו. וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵת הוּא וְהִנִּיחַ אַלְפַּיִם. בְּנוֹ מִן הָרִאשׁוֹנָה יוֹרֵשׁ אֶלֶף שֶׁבִּכְתֻבַּת אִמּוֹ. וּבְנוֹ מִן הַשְּׁנִיָּה יוֹרֵשׁ מָאתַיִם שֶׁבִּכְתֻבַּת אִמּוֹ וְהַשְּׁאָר יוֹרְשִׁים אוֹתוֹ בְּשָׁוֶה. נִמְצָא בְּיַד בֶּן הָרִאשׁוֹנָה אֶלֶף וְאַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת. וּבְיַד בֶּן הַשְּׁנִיָּה שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת:

3

When does the above apply? When [the estate] is worth at least one dinar more than the amount [due the children by virtue of their mothers'] ketubot. If, however, there is not a dinar or more remaining [in the estate],3 the entire estate should be divided equally [without applying the provision mentioned above].

[The rationale is that] if [the children of one of the mothers] will inherit [what is due them by virtue of] their mother's ketubah, [the other mother's children] will inherit [what is due them by virtue of] their mother's ketubah, and at least one dinar will not remain to be divided among the heirs, then this provision [which is of Rabbinic origin] will supersede [entirely] the equal division of the estate among the children that is required by Scriptural law.

ג

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁהִנִּיחַ יוֹתֵר עַל כְּדֵי שְׁתֵּי כְּתֻבּוֹת דִּינָר אֶחָד אוֹ יוֹתֵר כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּחְלְקוּ הַשְּׁאָר בְּשָׁוֶה. אֲבָל אִם לֹא הִנִּיחַ יוֹתֵר דִּינָר חוֹלְקִים הַכּל בְּשָׁוֶה שֶׁאִם יִירְשׁוּ אֵלּוּ כְּתֻבַּת אִמָּן וְאֵלּוּ כְּתֻבַּת אִמָּן וְלֹא יִשָּׁאֵר דִּינָר אֶחָד לַחֲלֹק אוֹתוֹ בֵּין הַיּוֹרְשִׁים נִמְצָא תְּנַאי זֶה מְבַטֵּל חִלּוּק יְרֻשָּׁה בֵּין הַבָּנִים בְּשָׁוֶה שֶׁהוּא מִן הַתּוֹרָה:

4

The same law applies to a man who married many wives, whether one after the other or several at one time. If they have all died in his lifetime, and they have all borne male children from this man, if his estate contains at least a dinar more than the ketubot of all his wives, each of the [sets of] sons inherits the money due their mother by virtue of her ketubah. The remainder [of the estate] is divided equally.

ד

וְהוּא הַדִּין לְמִי שֶׁנָּשָׂא נָשִׁים רַבּוֹת בֵּין בָּזוֹ אַחַר זוֹ בֵּין בְּבַת אַחַת וּמֵתוּ כֻּלָּן בְּחַיָּיו וְלוֹ מֵהֶן בָּנִים זְכָרִים אִם הָיָה שָׁם יוֹתֵר עַל כְּדֵי כָּל הַכְּתֻבּוֹת דִּינָר כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד יוֹרֵשׁ כְּתֻבַּת אִמּוֹ וְהַשְּׁאָר חוֹלְקִין בְּשָׁוֶה:

5

[Should the estate not be large enough to satisfy the obligations of both ketubot and the additional dinar,] and the heirs say: "We will increase the value of our father's estate so that there will be more than a dinar [in addition to the value of the ketubot]," so that they can collect [the money due their mother by virtue of] her ketubah, their request is not accepted. Instead, the estate should be evaluated in court according to its value at the time of their father's death [and the decision rendered on the basis of this figure].

Even if the value of the estate increases or decreases [in the time between] the death of their father and the actual division of the property, [the decision whether to grant the heirs their mothers' ketubot] depends only on the value of the estate at the time of their father's death.

ה

אָמְרוּ הַיְתוֹמִים הֲרֵי אָנוּ מַעֲלִין עַל נִכְסֵי אָבִינוּ יוֹתֵר דִּינָר כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּטְּלוּ כְּתֻבַּת אִמָּן אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לָהֶם. אֶלָּא שָׁמִין אֶת הַנְּכָסִים בְּבֵית דִּין כַּמָּה שֶׁהָיוּ שָׁוִין בִּשְׁעַת מִיתַת אֲבִיהֶן וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּתְרַבּוּ אוֹ נִתְמַעֲטוּ אַחֲרֵי מִיתַת אֲבִיהֶן קֹדֶם שֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ לַחֲלֹק אֵין שָׁמִין אוֹתָן אֶלָּא כִּשְׁעַת מִיתַת אֲבִיהֶן:

6

If the value of the estate was a dinar or more than the sum of the two ketubot, each of the sons inherits the money due his mother by virtue of her ketubah. Even if there is a promissory note due against the estate for the amount that exceeds the value of the ketubot, it is not considered to have reduced [the value of the estate].

ו

הָיָה שָׁם יוֹתֵר עַל כְּדֵי כָּל הַכְּתֻבּוֹת דִּינָר אוֹ יוֹתֵר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ עָלָיו שְׁטַר חוֹב כְּנֶגֶד הַיּוֹתֵר אֵינוֹ מְמַעֵט אֶלָּא כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן יוֹרֵשׁ כְּתֻבַּת אִמּוֹ:

7

[The following rules apply when a man] was married to two wives. One died within his lifetime and one died afterwards, and he has sons from both wives. Although the value of the estate he left does not exceed the value of the two ketubot, the sons of the [wife who died after her husband's death] have the right to inherit the money due their mother by virtue of her ketubah first, [provided] she took the oath required of a widow before she died.

[The rationale is] that they do not inherit their mother's ketubah by virtue of this provision, but rather through the Torah's laws of inheritance.4 Afterwards, the sons of the wife [who died during her husband's lifetime] inherit [the money due their mother by virtue of her] ketubah on the basis of this provision. If anything remains in the estate afterwards, it should be divided equally.5

If [the woman who died after her husband] died before she was able to take the oath [required of her], only the sons of [the woman who died in her husband's lifetime] are entitled to inherit [the money due their mother by virtue of] her ketubah.6 The remainder is divided equally.

ז

מִי שֶׁהָיָה נָשׂוּי שְׁתֵּי נָשִׁים וּמֵתָה אַחַת מֵהֶן בְּחַיָּיו וְאַחַת אַחַר מוֹתוֹ וְלוֹ בָּנִים מִשְּׁתֵּיהֶן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הִנִּיחַ יֶתֶר עַל שְׁתֵּי הַכְּתֻבּוֹת אִם נִשְׁבְּעָה הַשְּׁנִיָּה שְׁבוּעַת אַלְמָנָה קֹדֶם שֶׁתָּמוּת בָּנֶיהָ קוֹדְמִים לִירֻשַּׁת כְּתֻבָּתָהּ. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינָן יוֹרְשִׁין כְּתֻבַּת אִמָּן בִּתְנַאי זֶה אֶלָּא יְרֻשָּׁה שֶׁל תּוֹרָה וְאַחַר כָּךְ יוֹרְשִׁין בְּנֵי הָרִאשׁוֹנָה כְּתֻבַּת אִמָּן בִּתְנַאי זֶה. וְאִם נִשְׁאַר שָׁם כְּלוּם חוֹלְקִין אוֹתוֹ בְּשָׁוֶה. וְאִם מֵתָה קֹדֶם שֶׁתִּשָּׁבַע בְּנֵי הָרִאשׁוֹנָה יוֹרְשִׁים כְּתֻבַּת אִמָּן בִּלְבַד וְהַשְּׁאָר חוֹלְקִין בְּשָׁוֶה:

8

[The following rules apply when a man] was married to two wives, fathered sons with both of them and then died. If the wives died after the father did, but after taking the oath [required of widows], each of their sons is entitled to inherit [the money due his mother by virtue of] her ketubah according to the Torah's laws of inheritance, and not by virtue of this provision. Therefore, in this instance it is not significant whether the estate is more valuable than the sum of the two ketubot or not. [The claim of] the heirs of the wife married first takes precedence over the claim of the wife married afterwards.

If neither of the wives took [the required] oath, the sons [of both women] divide the entire estate equally. Neither has the right to inherit [his mother's] ketubah, for a widow is not entitled to her ketubah until she takes the [required] oath.7

ח

הָיָה נָשׂוּי שְׁתֵּי נָשִׁים וְהָיוּ לוֹ בָּנִים מֵהֶן וָמֵת וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵתוּ הַנָּשִׁים אִם נִשְׁבְּעוּ וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵתוּ כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד יוֹרֵשׁ כְּתֻבַּת אִמּוֹ בִּירֻשָּׁה שֶׁל תּוֹרָה וְלֹא בִּתְנַאי זֶה. לְפִיכָךְ אֵין מַשְׁגִּיחִין אִם יֵשׁ שָׁם מוֹתָר אוֹ אֵין שָׁם. וְיוֹרְשֵׁי הָרִאשׁוֹנָה קוֹדְמִין לְיוֹרְשֵׁי הַשְּׁנִיָּה. וְאִם לֹא נִשְׁבְּעוּ חוֹלְקִין הַבָּנִים הַכּל בְּשָׁוֶה וְאֵין שָׁם יְרֻשַּׁת כְּתֻבָּה לְפִי שֶׁאֵין לָאַלְמָנָה כְּתֻבָּה עַד שֶׁתִּשָּׁבַע:

9

[In the above instance,] if one of the widows took the [required] oath and one did not, the sons of the one who took the oath inherit [the money due their mother by virtue of] her ketubah first, and then the remainder of the estate is divided equally [among all the heirs].8

Whenever [a son] inherits [the money due his mother by virtue of] her ketubah after she died in his father's lifetime, he does not have the right to expropriate property that was sold to others; [he inherits] only property in the possession of the estate.

ט

אַחַת נִשְׁבְּעָה וְאַחַת לֹא נִשְׁבְּעָה זוֹ שֶׁנִּשְׁבְּעָה בָּנֶיהָ יוֹרְשִׁין כְּתֻבָּתָהּ תְּחִלָּה וְהַשְּׁאָר חוֹלְקִין אוֹתוֹ בְּשָׁוֶה. וְכָל הַיּוֹרֵשׁ כְּתֻבַּת אִמּוֹ שֶׁמֵּתָה בְּחַיֵּי אָבִיו אֵינוֹ טוֹרֵף מִנְּכָסִים מְשֻׁעְבָּדִים אֶלָּא מִבְּנֵי חוֹרִין כְּכָל הַיּוֹרְשִׁין:

10

Among the provisions of the ketubah is that after the death of their father, [his wife's] daughters have the right to receive support for their sustenance from their father's estate9 until they become consecrated10 or until they reach the age of bagrut.11

If a daughter reaches the age of bagrut but has not been consecrated, or if she is consecrated before she reaches the age of bagrut,12 she is not entitled to receive her sustenance.

When a daughter receives her sustenance from her father's estate after his death, her earnings and the ownerless objects she discovers belong to her, not to her brothers.13

י

וּמִתְּנָאֵי כְּתֻבָּה שֶׁתִּהְיֶינָה הַבָּנוֹת נִזּוֹנוֹת מִנִּכְסֵי אֲבִיהֶן אַחַר מוֹתוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּתְאָרְסוּ אוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּבְגְּרוּ. בָּגְרָה הַבַּת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נִתְאָרְסָה אוֹ נִתְאָרְסָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא בָּגְרָה אֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת. וּבַת הַנִּזּוֹנֶת מִנִּכְסֵי אָבִיהָ לְאַחַר מוֹתוֹ מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיהָ וּמְצִיאָתָהּ לְעַצְמָהּ לֹא לָאַחִים:

11

An allotment of support, garments and living quarters should be made for a man's daughters from his estate, just as it is made for his widow. His [landed property] may be sold to provide his daughters with their sustenance and garments without a public announcement, just as it is sold to provide for his widow's sustenance and garments.

[There is, however, one difference between the two.] The allotment to the widow is made according to her social standing and that of her husband, while his daughters are given only their necessities. The daughters are not, however, required to take an oath.14

יא

פּוֹסְקִין לַבַּת מְזוֹנוֹת וּכְסוּת וּמָדוֹר מִנִּכְסֵי אָבִיהָ כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁפּוֹסְקִין לָאַלְמָנָה. וּמוֹכְרִין לִמְזוֹן הַבָּנוֹת וּכְסוּתָן בְּלֹא הַכְרָזָה כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁמּוֹכְרִין לִמְזוֹן הָאַלְמָנָה וּכְסוּתָהּ. אֶלָּא שֶׁהָאִשָּׁה פּוֹסְקִין לָהּ לְפִי כְּבוֹדָהּ וּכְבוֹד הַבַּעַל וְלַבָּנוֹת פּוֹסְקִין לָהֶן דָּבָר הַמַּסְפִּיק לָהֶן בִּלְבַד. וְאֵין הַבָּנוֹת נִשְׁבָּעוֹת:

12

A man's sons are not entitled to inherit [the money due their mother by virtue of] her ketubah, nor are his daughters entitled to receive their sustenance according to the provisions mentioned above unless they manifest possession of the document [recording their mother's] ketubah.15 If, however, they do not manifest possession of the document, they are not entitled to anything, for it is possible that their mother waived her ketubah [in favor of her husband]. In a locale where it is not customary to record the ketubah in a document, however, the children are entitled to [the benefits stemming from] these provisions.

יב

אֵין הַבָּנִים יוֹרְשִׁין כְּתֻבַּת אִמָּן. וְלֹא הַבָּנוֹת נִזּוֹנוֹת בִּתְנָאִים אֵלּוּ עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה שְׁטַר כְּתֻבָּה יוֹצֵא מִתַּחַת יָדָם. אֲבָל אִם אֵין שָׁם שְׁטַר כְּתֻבָּה אֵין לָהּ כְּלוּם. שֶׁמָּא מָחֲלָה אִמָּן כְּתֻבָּתָהּ. וְאִם אֵין דַּרְכָּם לִכְתֹּב כְּתֻבָּה יֵשׁ לָהֶן כְּפִי הַתְּנָאִים:

13

When, shortly before his passing, a man orders that one of the provisions of [his wife's] ketubah be ignored - e.g., he said: "My daughters should not derive their sustenance from my estate," "My widow should not derive her sustenance from my estate," or "My sons should not inherit the money due their mother by virtue of her ketubah" - his words are of no consequence.16

[Although] a person gives his entire estate to others through an oral will17 [all the provisions of his wife's ketubah must be met]. [The rationale is] that the transfer of property through an oral will does not take effect until after death, as will be explained.18 Thus, the mandate of the will and the obligations of the estate due to the provisions [of the ketubah] take effect simultaneously. Therefore, the widow and [the deceased's] daughters receive support for their sustenance from the estate, and [the deceased's] sons inherit the money due their mother by virtue of her ketubah if she dies during her husband's lifetime.19

יג

מִי שֶׁצִּוָּה בִּשְׁעַת מִיתָתוֹ לַעֲקֹר אֶחָד מִתְּנָאֵי כְּתֻבָּה. כְּגוֹן שֶׁאָמַר אַל יִזּוֹנוּ בְּנוֹתָיו מִנְּכָסָיו אוֹ אַל תִּזּוֹן אַלְמָנָתוֹ מִנְּכָסָיו אוֹ אַל יִירְשׁוּ בָּנָיו כְּתֻבַּת אִמָּן אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ. נָתַן כָּל נְכָסָיו בְּמַתָּנָה לַאֲחֵרִים הוֹאִיל וּמַתְּנַת שְׁכִיב מֵרַע אֵינָהּ קוֹנָה אֶלָּא לְאַחַר מִיתָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר הֲרֵי הַמַּתָּנָה וְחִיּוּב הַנְּכָסִים בִּתְנָאִין אֵלּוּ בָּאִין כְּאֶחָד וּלְפִיכָךְ אַלְמָנָתוֹ וּבְנוֹתָיו נִזּוֹנוֹת מִנְּכָסָיו וּבָנָיו יוֹרְשִׁים כְּתֻבַּת אִמָּן שֶׁמֵּתָה בְּחַיֵּי בַּעְלָהּ:

14

A daughter of a girl who nullifies her marriage through mi'un is considered like any other daughter, and she is entitled to support for her sustenance [after her father's death].20 Nevertheless, the daughter of a yevamah,21 the daughter of a sh'niyah,22 the daughter of one's arusah,23 and the daughter of a woman who has been raped24 are not entitled to support for their sustenance after their father's death by virtue of this provision. During their father's lifetime, however, he is obligated to support them like any of his other sons and daughters.

יד

בַּת הַמְמָאֶנֶת הֲרֵי הִיא כִּשְׁאָר הַבָּנוֹת וְיֵשׁ לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת. אֲבָל בַּת הַיְבָמָה וּבַת הַשְּׁנִיָּה וּבַת הָאֲרוּסָה וּבַת הָאֲנוּסָה אֵין לָהֶן מְזוֹנוֹת אַחַר מִיתַת אֲבִיהֶן בִּתְנַאי זֶה. אֲבָל בְּחַיֵּי אֲבִיהֶן הוּא חַיָּב בִּמְזוֹנוֹתָן כְּדִין שְׁאָר הַבָּנִים וְהַבָּנוֹת בְּחַיֵּי אֲבִיהֶן:

15

A man who consecrates a girl who is receiving her sustenance from her brothers is obligated to provide her with support from the time of consecration onward. [Although a husband is ordinarily required to support his wife only after nisu'in, an exception is made in this instance, because] the girl is not entitled to support from her brothers after she becomes consecrated. Nor is she past the age of majority, when she is capable of providing for her own sustenance, but rather she is a minor, or a na'arah.25 [Hence, her husband is obligated to support her, because] a man would not desire that the woman he consecrated be put to shame [by having to] wander and beg [for her support].26

טו

הַמְאָרֵס בַּת הַנִּזּוֹנֶת מִן הָאַחִין חַיָּב בִּמְזוֹנוֹתֶיהָ מִשְּׁעַת הָאֵרוּסִין שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת מֵאַחֶיהָ (אֶלָּא עַד שֶׁתִּתְאָרֵס אוֹ עַד שֶׁתִּבָּגֵר וְזוֹ) אֵינָהּ בּוֹגֶרֶת כְּדֵי שֶׁתִּזּוֹן עַצְמָהּ אֶלָּא קְטַנָּה אוֹ נַעֲרָה וְאֵין אָדָם רוֹצֶה שֶׁתִּתְבַּזֶּה אֲרוּסָתוֹ וְתֵלֵךְ וְתִשְׁאַל עַל הַפְּתָחִים:

16

Should a daughter marry and then leave her husband through the rite of mi'un, or be divorced, or be widowed - even if she is obligated to marry a yavam - since she returns to her father's home and has not reached the age of bagrut, she is entitled to support from her father's estate until she reaches the age of bagrut or until she becomes consecrated.27

טז

נִשֵּׂאת הַבַּת וּמֵאֲנָה אוֹ נִתְגָּרְשָׁה אוֹ נִתְאַלְמְנָה אֲפִלּוּ הִיא שׁוֹמֶרֶת יָבָם הוֹאִיל וְחָזְרָה לְבֵית אָבִיהָ וַעֲדַיִן לֹא בָּגְרָה הֲרֵי זוֹ נִזּוֹנֶת מִנִּכְסֵי אָבִיהָ עַד שֶׁתִּבָּגֵר אוֹ עַד שֶׁתִּתְאָרֵס:

17

When a man dies leaving both sons and daughters, the sons inherit his estate,28 and it is their responsibility to provide their sisters with support until they reach the age of bagrut, or until they become consecrated.

When does this apply? When the estate is large enough to provide both the sons and the daughters with their sustenance until the daughters reach the age of bagrut. This is called an ample estate.

If, however, the estate contains only a lesser amount, the funds necessary to support the daughters until they reach the age of bagrut are set aside,29 and the remainder is given to the sons. If the estate contains only enough to provide for the support of the daughters, the daughters are entitled to their sustenance until they reach bagrut or until they become consecrated, and the sons should beg for their support.30

יז

מִי שֶׁמֵּת וְהִנִּיחַ בָּנִים וּבָנוֹת יִירְשׁוּ הַבָּנִים כָּל הַנְּכָסִים וְהֵם זָנִין אֶת אַחְיוֹתֵיהֶם עַד שֶׁיִּבְגְּרוּ אוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּתְאָרְסוּ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁהִנִּיחַ נְכָסִים שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּזּוֹנוּ מֵהֶם הַבָּנִים וְהַבָּנוֹת כְּאַחַת עַד שֶׁיִּבְגְּרוּ הַבָּנוֹת וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הַנִּקְרָאִין נְכָסִים מְרֻבִּין. אֲבָל אִם אֵין בַּנְּכָסִים שֶׁהִנִּיחַ אֶלָּא פָּחוֹת מִזֶּה מוֹצִיאִין מֵהֶם מְזוֹנוֹת לַבָּנוֹת עַד שֶׁיִּבְגְּרוּ וְנוֹתְנִין הַשְּׁאָר לַבָּנִים. וְאִם אֵין שָׁם אֶלָּא כְּדֵי מְזוֹן הַבָּנוֹת בִּלְבַד הַבָּנוֹת נִזּוֹנוֹת מֵהֶן עַד שֶׁיִּבְגְּרוּ אוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּתְאָרְסוּ וְהַבָּנִים יִשְׁאֲלוּ עַל הַפְּתָחִים:

18

When does the above apply? When the estate contains landed property. If, however, the estate contains movable property, since it is only by virtue of the ordinance of the geonim that the daughters are entitled to derive their support from the movable property, the sons and the daughters should receive their support equally from this meager estate. For with regard to movable property, [the daughters] were given the right to be considered like the sons, but not superior to them. The geonim have ruled in this manner.31

יח

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁהִנִּיחַ קַרְקַע אֲבָל אִם לֹא הִנִּיחַ אֶלָּא מִטַּלְטְלִין הוֹאִיל וּבְתַקָּנַת הַגְּאוֹנִים הוּא שֶׁיִּזּוֹנוּ הַבָּנוֹת מִן הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין הֲרֵי הַבָּנִים וְהַבָּנוֹת נִזּוֹנוֹת כְּאֶחָד מִן הַנְּכָסִים הָאֵלּוּ הַמּוּעָטִין. שֶׁלֹּא תִּקְּנוּ לָהֶם בְּמִטַּלְטְלִין אֶלָּא שֶׁיִּהְיוּ כְּבָנִים וְכָזֶה הוֹרוּ הַגְּאוֹנִים:

19

If [a man] left an ample estate of landed property, and afterwards [the value of the estate decreased until] it became meager, the heirs have already acquired [the property].32

If [the estate was deemed] meager [in value] at the time of the man's death, and [the value increased afterwards]33 to the point that it is considered ample, the heirs are given the right to inherit it. Even if the value did not increase, if the sons sold an estate that was considered meager, the sale is binding.34

יט

הִנִּיחַ קַרְקַע וְהָיוּ הַנְּכָסִים מְרֻבִּין וְנִתְמַעֲטוּ אַחַר כֵּן כְּבָר זָכוּ בָּהֶן יוֹרְשִׁים. הָיוּ מוּעָטִין בִּשְׁעַת מִיתָה וְנִתְרַבּוּ אַחַר כָּךְ הַבָּנִים יוֹרְשִׁין אוֹתָן. וַאֲפִלּוּ לֹא נִתְרַבּוּ אִם קָדְמוּ הַבָּנִים וּמָכְרוּ נְכָסִים מוּעָטִין מִכְרָן קַיָּם:

20

If the estate was ample but a debt was owed, or [the man] had made a provision with his wife, [promising] to support her daughter [from a previous marriage], the debt or [the obligation to] support the widow's daughter35 does not prevent the estate from being considered ample.36 Instead, the sons inherit the entire estate. [It is their responsibility] to pay the creditor his debt, to support the widow's daughter for the time stipulated and to support their sisters until they reach majority, or until they become consecrated and leave their domain.37

כ

הָיוּ הַנְּכָסִים מְרֻבִּין וְיֵשׁ עָלָיו חוֹב אוֹ שֶׁהִתְנָה עִם אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁיָּזוּן אֶת בִּתָּהּ אֵין הַחוֹב וְלֹא מְזוֹנוֹת בַּת אִשְׁתּוֹ מְמַעֲטִין בַּנְּכָסִים אֶלָּא יִירְשׁוּ הַבָּנִים הַכּל וְיִתְּנוּ לְבַעַל חוֹב חוֹבוֹ וְיָזוּנוּ בַּת אֵשֶׁת אֲבִיהֶן עַד זְמַן שֶׁפָּסַק וְיָזוּנוּ אַחְיוֹתֵיהֶן עַד שֶׁיִּבְגְּרוּ אוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּתְאָרְסוּ וְיֵצְאוּ מִתַּחַת יְדֵיהֶם:

21

[The following rules apply when a man] left a widow and a daughter, either from her or from another wife, and his estate is not large enough to provide support for both of them. The widow should derive her support from the estate, and the daughter should beg [for alms].38

Similarly, I maintain that support for [a man's] daughter takes precedence over [his] sons' inheritance of their mother's ketubah if she died in her husband's lifetime, although both [rights] are provisions of the ketubah. [This can be derived by making] an inference from a more serious responsibility to a less serious one: If the inheritance [of a man's estate to which the sons are entitled] by virtue of Scriptural law is superseded by [the obligation to provide] the daughter with her support, how much more so should [the sons'] inheritance of [their mother's] ketubah, which is only a Rabbinic ordinance, be superseded by [the obligation to provide] the daughter with her support.

כא

הִנִּיחַ אַלְמָנָה וּבַת מִמֶּנָּה אוֹ מֵאִשָּׁה אַחֶרֶת וְאֵין בַּנְּכָסִים כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּזּוֹנוּ שְׁתֵּיהֶן הָאַלְמָנָה נִזּוֹנֶת וְהַבַּת תִּשְׁאַל עַל הַפְּתָחִים. וְכֵן אֲנִי אוֹמֵר שֶׁמְּזוֹנוֹת הַבַּת קוֹדְמִין לִירֻשַּׁת הַבֵּן אֶת כְּתֻבַּת אִמּוֹ שֶׁמֵּתָה בְּחַיֵּי אָבִיו וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁשְּׁנֵיהֶם מִתְּנָאֵי הַכְּתֻבָּה. וְקַל וָחֹמֶר הַדְּבָרִים אִם נִדְחֵית יְרֻשָּׁה שֶׁל תּוֹרָה מִפְּנֵי מְזוֹנוֹת הַבַּת לֹא תִּדָּחֶה יְרֻשַּׁת הַכְּתֻבָּה שֶׁהִיא תְּנַאי בֵּית דִּין מִפְּנֵי מְזוֹנוֹת הַבַּת:

22

When a man dies and leaves older daughters and younger daughters, without leaving a son, we do not say that the younger daughters should be granted their sustenance until they reach the age of bagrut, and then the entire estate should be divided equally. Instead, the entire estate should be divided equally [immediately].

כב

מִי שֶׁמֵּת וְהִנִּיחַ בָּנוֹת גְּדוֹלוֹת וּקְטַנּוֹת וְלֹא הִנִּיחַ בֵּן אֵין אוֹמְרִים יִזּוֹנוּ הַקְּטַנּוֹת עַד שֶׁיִּבְגְּרוּ וְיַחְלְקוּ שְׁאָר הַנְּכָסִים בְּשָׁוֶה אֶלָּא כֻּלָּן חוֹלְקוֹת בְּשָׁוֶה:

Test Yourself on This Chapter

Footnotes
1.

This and the laws that follow are relevant only in situations where a man has children from two different wives and he did not divorce the wives before their death. When a man's wives die before he does, he inherits their nedunyah and is not required to pay them the money due them by virtue of their ketubot. Nevertheless, our Sages ordained that a woman's children should benefit from her investment in the household and the commitment made to her. Hence, before the father's estate is divided among all the heirs, the children of each of his wives are entitled to receive the monies mentioned above.

2.

Note the statements of the Ramah (Even HaEzer 111:16), who states that this practice is not followed in the present age. The rationale is that the practice was instituted in the Talmudic era to encourage a father to give his daughter a generous nedunyah. (For because of this practice, he can be assured that the money he gives will remain within his family.) In the present age, however, this encouragement is not necessary, for it has become customary for parents to endow their daughters generously before marriage.

3.

As the Rambam stated in Chapter 16, Halachah 7, the children's inheritance of the money due their mother by virtue of her ketubah applies only when there is enough landed property remaining in the estate to pay for both ketubot.

From the wording of the Rambam, it would, nevertheless, appear that it is sufficient that the additional dinar be movable property; it need not be landed property. This indeed is the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 111:14). If this is the intent, it would reflect a change in the Rambam's decision from his ruling in his Commentary on the Mishnah (Ketubot 10:3).

4.

I.e., once the woman took the oath required of her, the money due her by virtue of her ketubah is considered to be justly hers. Her children then inherit her property.

5.

In this instance, they are entitled to inherit the money due their mother by virtue of her ketubah even if the estate is not large enough to allow for the division of the inheritance according to Scriptural law afterwards (Ketubot 91a; Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 111:8).

6.

Since the woman did not take the oath required of a widow, there is room to suspect that her husband already gave her the money due her by virtue of her ketubah, or that she took possession of it herself. Therefore, her sons are not entitled to collect her ketubah.

7.

Nor are the sons entitled to inherit the money due their mothers by virtue of their ketubot based on the provision mentioned above, because this is applicable only when the woman dies in her husband's lifetime.

8.

The sons of the widow who did not take the oath are not entitled to inherit the money due their mother by virtue of her ketubah.

9.

See Chapter 21, Halachah 18, which states that the daughters are granted this right even when their father divorced their mother before his death, and they took up residence with their mother.

10.

Once the daughter is consecrated by a husband, her support is no longer the responsibility of her father's estate. (See also Halachah 15.)

11.

During a man's lifetime, he is required only to provide his daughters with their sustenance until the age of six (Chapter 12, Halachah 14). After his death, however, they are entitled to support until the age of twelve and a half.

12.

From the Rambam's wording, it would appear that he maintains that a girl forfeits her right to support if she becomes consecrated while she is a minor. This ruling is not universally accepted by the Rishonim. The Maggid Mishneh quotes Rabbenu Chananel and the Rashba as saying that she does not forfeit this right in such an instance. The Tur (Even HaEzer 112) mentions a third view: that if she consecrates herself, she forfeits her support, but if her brothers are involved in her consecration, she is still entitled to support. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 112:3) quotes the Rambam's view, while the Ramah mentions the other opinions.

13.

Although during his lifetime, her father is entitled to her earnings and the objects she discovers, this right is not given to his sons. The rationale is that the father would prefer for his daughter to receive her own earnings than to have them given to his sons.

14.

Although a widow is not required to take an oath when collecting her support, this is because she is required to take an oath when she collects the money due her by virtue of her ketubah. Therefore, one might think that a daughter would be required to take such an oath. Indeed, the Beit Shmuel 112:15, based on the statements of Tosafot, requires that such an oath be taken.

15.

The Ra'avad and the Maggid Mishneh question the Rambam's ruling with regard to the support the man's daughters receive for their sustenance. They maintain that this support is not dependent on whether the mother receives the money due her by virtue of her ketubah (and therefore, the waiver of that payment has no effect). The Rambam's opinion appears to be based on his statements in Chapter 17, Halachah 19, in which he states that a woman who waives payment of her ketubah forgoes all the provisions of her ketubah. The Shulchan Aruch does not mention this issue, and the Ramah (Even HaEzer 112:1) cites the opinion of the Ra'avad.

16.

The rationale is that the obligation took effect at the time of his marriage, and he is incapable of negating it at a later time.

17.

An oral will refers to a person's disposition of his property verbally before his death. As explained in Hilchot Zechiyah UMatanah, Chapter 8, our Sages ordain that such a disposition of property is acceptable.

18.

Hilchot Zechiyah UMatanah 8:8. (See also Hilchot Nachalot 8:9.)

19.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam with regard to the rights of a person's sons and daughters. Nevertheless, the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 111:17) follows the Rambam's view.

20.

This ruling has been contested by other authorities on several grounds. First, the Ra'avad challenges the Rambam, asking: how is it possible for a girl who nullifies her marriage through mi'un to have a child? By definition, mi'un is possible when a girl is a k'tanah, a minor (see Chapter 4, Halachah 7), and while she is a minor it is impossible for her to conceive a child. He explains that Ketubot 53b is speaking about a girl who leaves her husband through mi'un - she is entitled to return to her deceased father's home and receive support for her sustenance.

Second, the Maggid Mishneh accepts the fact that a girl can conceive a child while a minor, but asks: Since the mother nullifies the marriage through mi'un, it is as if her husband had never had any obligations to her at all. Her ketubah and all of its provisions are nullified entirely. Why then is his estate liable for the support of his daughter after his death? See the Beit Shmuel 112:11 for a possible explanation.

21.

When a man dies childless, his brother (the yavam) inherits his entire estate, and that estate is responsible for the ketubah of the yevamah (the widow who is married by the yavam). If a yevamah bears a girl, the deceased brother's estate is not liable for the girl's support after her father's (the yavam's) death, for she is not the daughter of the deceased brother. Nor is the yavam's estate responsible for her support, for he never gave a ketubah to the yevamah.

Note, however, the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 112:5), which states that if the deceased brother did not leave an estate, the yavam must give the yevamah a ketubah from his own property. Hence, in this instance, his estate becomes liable for the support of his daughters.

22.

Since the mother's marriage is forbidden, our Sages did not grant her a ketubah. Ketubot 54a questions whether they also did not grant her the rights stemming from the ketubah's provisions, including her daughter's right to support in this instance. Since the question is left unresolved, her daughter is not granted this privilege.

23.

Who was born before the couple entered the phase of nisu'in (Shulchan Aruch, loc. cit.). Since the ketubah takes effect only after nisu'in, this daughter is not entitled to support.

24.

The term anusah refers to a virgin who was raped. The rapist is required to marry her and is forbidden to divorce her (Deuteronomy 22:28). Since he is forbidden to divorce her, she is not granted a ketubah. Our Sages (ibid.) question whether or not she was not granted the provisions of a ketubah. This question is also left unresolved, and her daughter is not granted the privilege of deriving her livelihood from her father's estate. Similarly, the daughter of a woman who was raped and never married by the rapist is not entitled to support from her father's estate.

25.

The Beit Shmuel 112:6 interprets the Rambam's wording as implying that after the girl reaches the age of bagrut, she is required to support herself.

The Beit Shmuel also mentions that other Rishonim interpret Ketubot 53b, the source for this halachah, differently. According to their interpretation, the husband is not liable for the girl's support. If the husband desires, continues the Beit Shmuel, he may rely on this opinion.

26.

It is as if he had made a commitment to support her when he consecrated her.

27.

The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 112:4) cites the Rambam's view. The Ramah differs, however, citing the opinion of Rabbenu Asher, who maintains that from the time a girl becomes consecrated after her father's death, and onward, she is not entitled to support from his estate.

28.

The estate is given to them, and they may use it as they see fit. They are, however, forbidden to sell the property except in an extreme situation - e.g., to use the proceeds to redeem captives (Ramah, Even HaEzer 112:11). Moreover, if the court sees that the sons are spending lavishly and abusing the resources of the estate, they should set aside the daughters' portion.

29.

They are entrusted to a guardian appointed by the court.

30.

For it is more common for males to beg for alms than for females to do so (Ketubot 67a). This principle is also followed with regard to the distribution of charity. If there is a needy male and a needy female, and the communal fund cannot provide both of them with their needs, the female is given priority (Hilchot Matnot Aniyim 8:15).

31.

The Ramah (Even HaEzer 112:12) states that according to the custom to include within the ketubah a clause stating that the obligations of the estate are binding on movable property as well, the estate is considered to be meager and the support for the daughters is set aside.

32.

I.e., the property should remain in the possession of the sons, and they must continue to provide for their sisters' sustenance. It is not expropriated from the sons and given to a guardian.

33.

The Maggid Mishneh mentions a difference of opinion with regard to the interpretation of the word "afterwards." Rashi (Ketubot 91a) maintains that this means "after the man's death, but before the matter is brought to the court and a guardian appointed." Others (Rabbenu Yitzchak Alfasi and the Rashba) maintain that even after a guardian is appointed, the property can be given to the heirs if its value increases.

The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 112:14) quotes the Rambam's wording without relating to this issue. The Ramah mentions the latter view.

34.

The opinion of Tosafot, et al. is that even if the property has been entrusted to a guardian, if it is sold by the heirs the sale is binding. The Ramah (loc. cit.), however, appears to follow the view that the sale is binding only before the property has been entrusted to a guardian.

According to Rabbenu Asher, the daughters have no lien on the money received from the sale. Although Rav Hai Gaon differs, it appears that Rabbenu Asher's view is favored (Chelkat Mechokek 112:30).

35.

See Chapter 23, Halachah 17.

36.

The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 112:15) states that the payment of the money due the widow by virtue of her ketubah is, however, considered in determining whether the estate is ample or not.

37.

This ruling entitles the sons to derive their sustenance from the estate together with the daughters until the funds are depleted.

38.

According to the Rambam, the property set aside for the widow's support should be given to a third party, and he should follow the guidelines set in Chapter 18, Halachah 21 (Maggid Mishneh).

There are opinions that maintain that property is set aside for the widow's support only when there is a son and a daughter, and the estate is too meager to support both of them. In that instance, since property is being set aside for the daughters' support, and the widow takes precedence over the daughters, property is also set aside for her. When property is not required to be set aside for the daughters, it is not set aside for the widow's support either. Instead, she, the daughters and the sons, all derive their sustenance from the estate together.

The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 93:4) mentions both opinions, and the Beit Shmuel 93:9 states that the latter view is favored by most authorities. This difference of opinion also leads to another (Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 112:15): Does the obligation to support the widow cause the estate to be considered meager or not? According to the Rambam it does, but according to the other authorities it does not.

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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