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Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Ishut - Chapter Thirteen

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Ishut - Chapter Thirteen


To what extent is he required to provide her with garments? Annually, he must purchase for her clothes that were worth 50 zuz in the coinage prevalent [in the Talmudic period], these being worth six and one fourth dinarim of pure silver.1

He should provide her with new [garments] during the rainy season. After these garments become worn, she should wear them in the summer. Frayed garments - that which remains from her garments from the previous year - belong to her; she should wear them while she is in the niddah state.

She is granted a belt for her loins, a cap for her head and new shoes on each festival.


כַּמָּה הַכְּסוּת שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לִתֵּן לָהּ. בְּגָדים שֶׁל חֲמִשִּׁים זוּז מִשָּׁנָה לְשָׁנָה מִמַּטְבֵּעַ אוֹתָן הַיָּמִים שֶׁנִּמְצְאוּ הַחֲמִשִּׁים שִׁשָּׁה דִּינָרִין וּרְבִיעַ דִּינַר כֶּסֶף. נוֹתְנִין לָהּ חֲדָשִׁים בִּימוֹת הַגְּשָׁמִים וְלוֹבֶשֶׁת בְּלָאוֹתֵיהֶן בִּימוֹת הַחַמָּה. וְהַשְּׁחָקִים וְהֵם מוֹתַר הַכְּסוּת הֲרֵי הֵן שֶׁלָּהּ כְּדֵי שֶׁתִּתְכַּסֶּה בָּהֶם בִּימֵי נִדָּתָהּ. וְנוֹתְנִין לָהּ חֲגוֹרָה לְמָתְנֶיהָ וְכִפָּה לְרֹאשָׁהּ וּמִנְעָל מִמּוֹעֵד לְמוֹעֵד:


When does the above apply? In [the Talmudic period,] and in Eretz Yisrael, but in other ages or in other countries, there is no fixed amount of money [determined for this purpose]. For there are some places where garments are very expensive, and others where they are inexpensive.

The fundamental principle is2 that he is obligated to provide her with appropriate clothes for the winter and the summer, the minimal that are worn by a married woman in that country.


בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּאוֹתָן הַיָּמִים וּבְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲבָל בִּשְׁאָר זְמַנִּים וּשְׁאָר הַמְּקוֹמוֹת אֵין הַדָּמִים עִקָּר. יֵשׁ מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁיִּהְיוּ שָׁם הַבְּגָדִים בְּיֹקֶר הַרְבֵּה אוֹ בְּזוֹל הַרְבֵּה. אֶלָּא הָעִקָּר שֶׁסּוֹמְכִין עָלָיו שֶׁמְּחַיְּבִין אוֹתוֹ לִתֵּן לָהּ בְּגָדִים הָרְאוּיִים בִּימוֹת הַגְּשָׁמִים וּבִימוֹת הַחַמָּה בְּפָחוֹת שֶׁלּוֹבֶשֶׁת כָּל אִשָּׁה בַּעֲלַת בַּיִת שֶׁבְּאוֹתָהּ הַמְּדִינָה:


Included in the [obligation to provide her with] garments is the requirement to provide her with household goods and a dwelling place.3

With which household goods is he obligated to provide her? With a bed and its spreads, a reed or woven rug to sit on, and utensils with which to eat and drink - e.g., a pot, a plate, a cup, a bottle and the like.

With regard to her dwelling? He must rent a dwelling at least four cubits by four cubits. It must have a yard outside for her use and a latrine [nearby].


וּבִכְלַל הַכְּסוּת שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לִתֵּן לָהּ כְּלֵי בַּיִת וּמָדוֹר שֶׁיּוֹשֶׁבֶת בּוֹ. וּמַה הֵן כְּלֵי בַּיִת מִטָּה מֻצַּעַת וּמַפָּץ אוֹ מַחְצֶלֶת לֵישֵׁב עָלֶיהָ. וּכְלֵי אֲכִילָה וּשְׁתִיָּה כְּגוֹן קְדֵרָה וּקְעָרָה וְכוֹס וּבַקְבּוּק וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. וְהַמָּדוֹר שֶׁשּׂוֹכֵר לָהּ בַּיִת שֶׁל אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת עַל אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת וְתִהְיֶה רְחָבָה חוּצָה לוֹ כְּדֵי לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בָּהּ. וְיִהְיֶה לוֹ בֵּית הַכִּסֵּא חוּץ מִמֶּנּוּ:


Similarly, he is obligated to provide her with ornaments - e.g., colored cloths to wrap her head and forehead, eye-makeup, rouge and the like - so that she will not appear unattractive to him.


וְכֵן מְחַיְּבִין אוֹתוֹ לִתֵּן לָהּ תַּכְשִׁיטִים כְּגוֹן בִּגְדֵי צִבְעוֹנִין לְהַקִּיף עַל רֹאשָׁהּ וּפַדַּחְתָּהּ וּפוּךְ וְשָׂרָק וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תִּתְגַּנֶּה עָלָיו:


When does the above apply? With regard to a poor Jewish man. Concerning a rich man, by contrast, all [of his obligations are judged] according to the extent of his wealth.4 If it would be appropriate for him to buy her silk and embroidered clothing and golden articles, he is compelled to provide her with these.

Similarly, the dwelling [he is required to give her] is judged according to his wealth, as are the ornaments and the household goods. If he does not have the means to provide her with the minimum required of a poor Jewish man, he is compelled to divorce her.5 The money due her by virtue of her ketubah is considered to be a debt that he is required to pay when he gains the means.


בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּעָנִי שֶׁבְּיִשְׂרָאֵל אֲבָל בְּעָשִׁיר הַכּל לְפִי עָשְׁרוֹ. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה רָאוּי לִקְנוֹת לָהּ כְּלֵי מֶשִׁי וְרִקְמָה וּכְלֵי זָהָב כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ וְנוֹתֵן. וְכֵן הַמָּדוֹר לְפִי עָשְׁרוֹ וְהַתַּכְשִׁיט וּכְלֵי הַבַּיִת הַכּל לְפִי עָשְׁרוֹ. וְאִם קָצְרָה יָדוֹ לִתֵּן לָהּ אֲפִלּוּ כְּעָנִי שֶׁבְּיִשְׂרָאֵל כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ לְהוֹצִיא וְתִהְיֶה הַכְּתֻבָּה עָלָיו חוֹב עַד שֶׁיַּעֲשִׁיר:


[A man] is obligated to provide the necessary clothing, dwelling and household goods, not only for his wife, but also for his sons and daughters who are six years old or less.6 He is not, however, required to provide for them according to his wealth; all that is necessary is that he provide for their needs.

This is the governing principle: whenever a husband [or his estate] is required to provide for a person's subsistence - whether the husband is alive or deceased - the husband [or his estate] is also obligated to provide for the person's clothing, household goods and dwelling. Whenever a court must sell [a person's property] to provide for [a dependent's] subsistence,7 they also sell [his property] to provide [the dependent] with clothing, household goods and a dwelling.


וְלֹא הָאִשָּׁה בִּלְבַד אֶלָּא בָּנָיו וּבְנוֹתָיו הַקְּטַנִּים בְּנֵי שֵׁשׁ אוֹ פָּחוֹת חַיָּב לִתֵּן לָהֶם כְּסוּת הַמַּסְפֶּקֶת לָהֶם וּכְלֵי תַּשְׁמִישׁ וּמָדוֹר לִשְׁכֹּן בּוֹ. וְאֵינוֹ נוֹתֵן לָהֶם לְפִי עָשְׁרוֹ אֶלָּא כְּפִי צָרְכָּן בִּלְבַד. זֶה הַכְּלָל כָּל מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ עָלָיו מְזוֹנוֹת בֵּין בְּחַיָּיו בֵּין אַחַר מוֹתוֹ יֵשׁ לוֹ כְּסוּת וּכְלֵי בֵּית וּמָדוֹר. וְכָל שֶׁבֵּית דִּין מוֹכְרִין לִמְזוֹנוֹתָיו כָּךְ מוֹכְרִין לִכְסוּתוֹ וּכְלֵי בֵּיתוֹ וּמְדוֹרוֹ:


When a woman's husband has departed on a journey, and the court allots [money from his property] for her subsistence, her clothes, her household goods and the renting of a dwelling, they do not allot her money for ornaments. For she does not have a husband [present] for whom to make herself attractive. If, by contrast, a woman's husband loses his mental faculties or becomes a deaf mute, she is granted an allotment for ornaments.8

The laws that apply to the claims and counterclaims between a woman and her husband with regard to garments, clothing and the rental of a dwelling [in the event of the husband's departure on an extended journey] are the same as those that apply with regard to her subsistence. If he claims to have provided for her and she denies [his claim], the same rulings apply to all claims.


הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁהָלַךְ בַּעְלָהּ וּפָסְקוּ לָהּ בֵּית דִּין מְזוֹנוֹת וּכְסוּת וּכְלֵי בַּיִת וּשְׂכַר מָדוֹר אֵין פּוֹסְקִין לָהּ תַּכְשִׁיט שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין לָהּ בַּעַל שֶׁתִּתְקַשֵּׁט לוֹ. אֲבָל מִי שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּטָּה בַּעְלָהּ אוֹ שֶׁנִּתְחָרֵשׁ פּוֹסְקִין לָהּ תַּכְשִׁיט. וְדִין הַבַּעַל עִם אִשְׁתּוֹ בְּטַעֲנַת הַכְּסוּת וְהַכֵּלִים וּשְׂכַר הַמָּדוֹר כְּדִינָם בְּטַעֲנַת הַמְּזוֹנוֹת אִם אָמַר הוּא נָתַתִּי וְהִיא אוֹמֶרֶת לֹא נָתַתָּ דִּין אֶחָד לַכּל:


[The following rules apply if a husband] takes a vow that prevents9 his wife from wearing any type of ornament. If the couple are poor, they may remain married for a year while the vow is in effect.10 If [it remains in effect] for a longer period, he must either absolve himself of the vow, or divorce [his wife] and pay her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah.

If the couple are wealthy, they may remain married for a month while the vow is in effect. If [it remains in effect] for a longer period, he must either absolve himself of the vow or divorce [his wife] and pay her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah.


הַמַּדִּיר אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁלֹּא תִּתְקַשֵּׁט בְּאֶחָד מִכָּל הַמִּינִין. בַּעֲנִיּוּת שָׁנָה אַחַת יְקַיֵּם. יֶתֶר עַל כֵּן אוֹ יַתִּיר אֶת נִדְרוֹ אוֹ יוֹצִיא וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה. וּבַעֲשִׁירוּת שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם יְקַיֵּם. יֶתֶר עַל כֵּן יַתִּיר אֶת נִדְרוֹ אוֹ יוֹצִיא וְיִתֵּן כְתוּבָה:


[The following rules apply if a husband] takes a vow that prevents his wife from going to the bathhouse. [The couple may remain married for only] one week in a large city and two weeks in a village [if the vow remains in effect]. If he takes a vow that prevents his wife from wearing shoes [the couple may remain married for only] three days11 in a village and one day in a large city.12 If [the vow remains in effect] for a longer period, he must either absolve himself of the vow or divorce [his wife] and pay her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah.


הִדִּירָהּ שֶׁלֹּא תֵּלֵךְ לְמֶרְחָץ. בִּכְרַכִּים שַׁבָּת אַחַת בִּכְפָרִים שְׁתֵּי שַׁבָּתוֹת. שֶׁלֹּא תִּנְעל מִנְעָל. בִּכְפָרִים שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים וּבִכְרַכִּים מֵעֵת לְעֵת. יֶתֶר עַל זֶה יַתִּיר אֶת נִדְרוֹ אוֹ יוֹצִיא וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה:


If [a husband] takes a vow that prevents his wife from borrowing or lending household goods that are frequently lent and borrowed between neighbors - e.g., a sifter, a sieve, a mill, an oven or the like - he must either absolve himself of the vow, or divorce [his wife] and pay her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah.13 [The rationale is that his vow] causes her to have a bad reputation among her neighbors.

Similarly, if she takes an oath14 not to borrow or lend [neighbors] a sifter, a sieve, a mill, an oven or the like, or not to weave attractive garments for her sons in places where it is customary to do so, he may divorce her without paying her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah. [The rationale is that her vow] causes him to have a reputation as a miser among his neighbors.


הִדִּירָהּ שֶׁלֹּא תִּשְׁאַל וְלֹא תַּשְׁאִיל מִכְּלֵי הַבַּיִת שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ כָּל הַשְּׁכֵנוֹת לִשְׁאל אוֹתָן וּלְהַשְׁאִילָן כְּגוֹן נָפָה וּכְבָרָה רֵחַיִם וְתַנּוּר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶם. יַתִּיר אֶת נִדְרוֹ אוֹ יוֹצִיא וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּשִּׁיאָהּ שֵׁם רַע בִּשְׁכֵנוֹתֶיהָ. וְכֵן הִיא שֶׁנָּדְרָה שֶׁלֹּא תִּשְׁאַל וְלֹא תַּשְׁאִיל נָפָה וּכְבָרָה וְרֵחַיִם וְתַנּוּר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶם וְשֶׁלֹּא תֶּאֱרֹג בְּגָדִים נָאִים לְבָנִים בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁדַּרְכָּן לֶאֱרֹג אוֹתָם לְבָנִים תֵּצֵא בְּלֹא כְּתֻבָּה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּשִּׁיאָתוֹ שֵׁם רַע בִּשְׁכוּנָתוֹ שֶׁהוּא כִּילַי:


In a place where it is customary for a woman not to go out to the market place wearing merely a cap on her head, but also a veil that covers her entire body like a cloak, her husband must provide at least the least expensive type of veil for her. If he is wealthy, [he must provide her with a veil whose quality] is commensurate with his wealth.

[He must give her this veil] so that she can visit her father's home, a house of mourning or a wedding celebration. For every woman should be given the opportunity to visit her father and to go to a house of mourning or a wedding celebration as an expression of kindness to her friends and relatives, for [this will have a reciprocal effect], and they will return the visits. For a woman [at home] is not confined in a jail, from which she cannot come and go.

Nevertheless, it is uncouth for a woman always to leave home - this time to go out and another time to go on the street. Indeed, a husband should prevent a wife from doing this and not allow her to go out more than once or twice a month, as is necessary.15 For there is nothing more attractive for a woman than to sit in the corner of her home, as [implied by Psalms 45:14]: "All the glory of the king's daughter is within."


מָקוֹם שֶׁדַּרְכָּן שֶׁלֹּא תֵּצֵא אִשָּׁה לַשּׁוּק בְּכִפָּה שֶׁעַל רֹאשָׁהּ בִּלְבַד עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה עָלֶיהָ רְדִיד הַחוֹפֶה אֶת כָּל גּוּפָהּ כְּמוֹ טַלִּית נוֹתֵן לָהּ בִּכְלַל הַכְּסוּת רְדִיד הַפָּחוּת מִכָּל הָרְדִידִין. וְאִם הָיָה עָשִׁיר נוֹתֵן לָהּ לְפִי עָשְׁרוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁתֵּצֵא בּוֹ לְבֵית אָבִיהָ אוֹ לְבַיִת הָאָבֵל אוֹ לְבֵית הַמִּשְׁתֶּה. לְפִי שֶׁכָּל אִשָּׁה יֵשׁ לָהּ לָצֵאת וְלֵילֵךְ לְבֵית אָבִיהָ לְבַקְּרוֹ וּלְבֵית הָאָבֵל וּלְבֵית הַמִּשְׁתֶּה לִגְמל חֶסֶד לְרֵעוֹתֶיהָ אוֹ לִקְרוֹבוֹתֶיהָ כְּדֵי שֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ הֵם לָהּ. שֶׁאֵינָהּ בְּבֵית הַסֹּהַר עַד שֶׁלֹּא תֵּצֵא וְלֹא תָּבוֹא. אֲבָל גְּנַאי הוּא לְאִשָּׁה שֶׁתִּהְיֶה יוֹצְאָה תָּמִיד פַּעַם בַּחוּץ פַּעַם בָּרְחוֹבוֹת. וְיֵשׁ לַבַּעַל לִמְנֹעַ אִשְׁתּוֹ מִזֶּה וְלֹא יְנִיחֶנָּהּ לָצֵאת אֶלָּא כְּמוֹ פַּעַם אַחַת בְּחֹדֶשׁ אוֹ כְּמוֹ פַּעֲמַיִם בְּחֹדֶשׁ לְפִי הַצֹּרֶךְ. שֶׁאֵין יֹפִי לָאִשָּׁה אֶלָּא לֵישֵׁב בְּזָוִית בֵּיתָהּ שֶׁכָּךְ כָּתוּב (תהילים מה יד) "כָּל כְּבוּדָּה בַת מֶלֶךְ פְּנִימָה:"


[The following rules apply when a husband] takes a vow that prevents his wife from going to her father's home. If he lives in the same city, [the husband] is granted a respite of one month. [If he desires to maintain his vow at the beginning of] the second month, he must divorce [his wife] and pay her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah. If [the wife's father lives] in another city, [the husband] is granted respite until the first festival.16 [If he desires to maintain his vow until] the second [festival], he must divorce [his wife] and pay her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah.


הַמַּדִּיר אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁלֹּא תֵּלֵךְ לְבֵית אָבִיהָ. בִּזְמַן שֶׁהוּא עִמָּהּ בָּעִיר חֹדֶשׁ אֶחָד מַמְתִּינִין לוֹ שְׁנַיִם יוֹצִיא וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה. וּבִזְמַן שֶׁהוּא בְּעִיר אַחֶרֶת רֶגֶל אֶחָד מַמְתִּינִין לוֹ שְׁנַיִם יוֹצִיא וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה:


[The following rules apply when a husband] takes a vow that prevents his wife from going to a house of mourning or to wedding celebrations. He must either absolve himself of the vow or divorce [his wife] and pay her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah. For this is like placing her in jail and locking her in.

If [the husband] claims: "[I forbade her from going] because of indecent people who were present at that house of mourning or wedding," and it was discovered that indeed, indecent people were present, he is given the prerogative [of making that vow].


הַמַּדִּיר אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁלֹּא תֵּלֵךְ לְבַיִת הָאָבֵל אוֹ לְבֵית הַמִּשְׁתֶּה. אוֹ יַתִּיר אֶת נִדְרוֹ אוֹ יוֹצִיא וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה שֶׁזֶּה כְּמִי שֶׁאֲסָרָהּ בְּבֵית הַסֹּהַר וְנָעַל בְּפָנֶיהָ. וְאִם הָיָה טוֹעֵן מִפְּנֵי בְּנֵי אָדָם פְּרוּצִים שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּאוֹתוֹ בֵּית הָאָבֵל אוֹ בְּבֵית הַמִּשְׁתֶּה וְהֻחְזְקוּ שָׁם פְּרוּצִים שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ:


When a person tells his wife, "I do not desire that your father, your mother, your brothers and your sisters come into my domain," he is given that prerogative. Instead, she should visit them when an [unusual] event occurs to them. And she should visit her father's house once a month and on each festival. They, by contrast, should visit her only when an unusual event of great import occurs - e.g., sickness or birth. For a person should not be forced to have others enter his domain.

Similarly, if [the wife] says: "I do not want your mother and your sisters to visit, nor will I live together with them in one courtyard, because they cause me difficulties and distress," she is given that prerogative.17 For a person should not be forced to have others dwell with him in his domain.


הָאוֹמֵר לְאִשְׁתּוֹ אֵין רְצוֹנִי שֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ לְבֵיתִי אָבִיךְ וְאִמֵּךְ אַחַיִךְ וְאַחְיוֹתַיִךְ שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ וְתִהְיֶה הִיא הוֹלֶכֶת לָהֶם כְּשֶׁיֶּאֱרַע לָהֶם דָּבָר. וְתֵלֵךְ לְבֵית אָבִיהָ פַּעַם בְּחֹדֶשׁ וּבְכָל רֶגֶל וְרֶגֶל. וְלֹא יִכָּנְסוּ הֵם לָהּ אֶלָּא אִם אֵרַע לָהּ דָּבָר כְּגוֹן חלִי אוֹ לֵדָה. שֶׁאֵין כּוֹפִין אֶת הָאָדָם שֶׁיִּכָּנְסוּ אֲחֵרִים בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ. וְכֵן הִיא שֶׁאָמְרָה אֵין רְצוֹנִי שֶׁיִּכָּנְסוּ אֶצְלִי אִמְּךָ וְאַחְיוֹתֶיךָ וְאֵינִי שׁוֹכֶנֶת עִמָּהֶם בְּחָצֵר אַחַת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמְּרֵעִין לִי וּמְצֵרִין לִי שׁוֹמְעִין לָהּ. שֶׁאֵין כּוֹפִין אֶת הָאָדָם שֶׁיֵּשְׁבוּ אֲחֵרִים עִמּוֹ בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ:


When a husband says: "I will not dwell in this home, because there are wicked or indecent people or gentiles in this neighborhood, and I fear them," he is given that prerogative. This applies even if it has not been established that there are indecent people living there. For our Sages ordained:18 "Keep away from a bad neighbor." Even if the dwelling belongs to the woman, she is forced to leave it, and they should establish their dwelling among worthy people.19

The same law applies if the woman makes such a demand. Although [the husband] says, "I do not object to them," her will is followed. [The rationale is that] she can say, "I do not want to get a bad reputation in these neighborhoods."


הָאִישׁ שֶׁאָמַר אֵינִי דָּר בְּמָדוֹר זֶה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁבְּנֵי אָדָם רָעִים אוֹ פְּרוּצִים אוֹ עַכּוּ''ם בִּשְׁכוּנָתִי וַאֲנִי מִתְיָרֵא מֵהֶם שׁוֹמְעִים לוֹ. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הֻחְזְקוּ בִּפְרִיצוּת שֶׁכָּךְ צִוּוּ חֲכָמִים הַרְחֵק מִשָּׁכֵן רַע. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה הַמָּדוֹר שֶׁלָּהּ מוֹצִיאִין אוֹתָהּ מִמֶּנּוּ וְשׁוֹכֵן בֵּין בְּנֵי אָדָם כְּשֵׁרִים. וְכָךְ הִיא שֶׁאָמְרָה כֵּן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא אוֹמֵר אֲנִי אֵינִי מַקְפִּיד עֲלֵיהֶם שׁוֹמְעִין לָהּ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא אוֹמֶרֶת אֵין רְצוֹנִי שֶׁיֵּצֵא עָלַי שׁוּם רַע בִּשְׁכֵנוּת אֵלּוּ:


All of the earth is divided into different lands - e.g., the Land of Canaan, the Land of Egypt, the Land of Yemen, the Land of Ethiopia, the Land of Babylonia and the like.20 Every land is subdivided into large cities21 and villages. With regard to the subject of marriage, the cities of Eretz Yisrael are considered to be divided into three different lands: Judea, Transjordan and the Galilee.


כָּל הַיִּשּׁוּב אֲרָצוֹת אֲרָצוֹת הוּא. כְּגוֹן אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן וְאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם וְאֶרֶץ תֵּימָן וְאֶרֶץ כּוּשׁ וְאֶרֶץ שִׁנְעָר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. וְכָל אֶרֶץ וְאֶרֶץ מִמְּדִינוֹת וּכְפָרִים. וְעָרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְעִנְיַן נִשּׂוּאִין שָׁלֹשׁ אֲרָצוֹת הָיוּ. יְהוּדָה וְעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן וְהַגָּלִיל:


When a man from one of these lands marries a woman in another land, she is compelled to follow him to his land, or to accept a divorce without receiving [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah. [The rationale is that,] although it was not specifically stated, [it can be assumed] that he married her on this condition.22

When, however, a person marries a woman in a particular land and he23 is from that land, he does not have the right to [compel] her to move to another land. He may, nevertheless, [compel] her to move from city to city and from village to village within that land.

He may not, however, [compel] her to move from a city to a village, or from a village to a city. For there are certain advantages to living in a city, and other advantages to living in a village.


אִישׁ שֶׁהָיָה מֵאֶרֶץ מִן הָאֲרָצוֹת וְנָשָׂא אִשָּׁה בְּאֶרֶץ אַחֶרֶת כּוֹפִין אוֹתָהּ וְיוֹצְאָה עִמּוֹ לְאַרְצוֹ אוֹ תֵּצֵא בְּלֹא כְּתֻבָּה שֶׁעַל מְנָת כֵּן נִשְּׂאָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא פֵּרֵשׁ. אֲבָל הַנּוֹשֵׂא אִשָּׁה בְּאַחַת מִן הָאֲרָצוֹת וְהִיא מֵאַנְשֵׁי אוֹתָהּ הָאָרֶץ אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהוֹצִיאָהּ לְאֶרֶץ אַחֶרֶת. אֲבָל מוֹצִיאָהּ מִמְּדִינָה לִמְדִינָה וּמִכְּפָר לִכְפָר בְּאוֹתָהּ הָאָרֶץ. וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהוֹצִיאָהּ מִמְּדִינָה לִכְפָר וְלֹא מִכְּפָר לִמְדִינָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ דְּבָרִים שֶׁיְּשִׁיבַת הַמְּדִינָה טוֹבָה לָהֶם וְיֵשׁ דְּבָרִים שֶׁיְּשִׁיבַת הַכְּפָרִים טוֹבָה לָהֶם:


When he [compels] her to move from one city to another, or from one village to another within a particular land, he may not compel her to move from pleasant surroundings24 to unpleasant surroundings, nor from unpleasant [surroundings] to pleasant ones. [Although the latter move would seemingly be to her benefit, she still must consent,] because she must care for and check herself in the pleasant surroundings, so that she will not be considered inferior and unattractive.25

Similarly, [her husband] may not [compel] her to move from an area inhabited primarily by Jews to an area inhabited primarily by gentiles. Wherever [the couple lives], they should move26 from an area inhabited primarily by gentiles to an area inhabited primarily by Jews.


וּכְשֶׁמּוֹצִיאָהּ מִמְּדִינָה לִמְדִינָה וּמִכְּפָר לִכְפָר בְּאוֹתָהּ הָאָרֶץ אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהוֹצִיאָהּ מִנָּוֶה הַיָּפֶה לַנָּוֶה הָרַע וְלֹא מֵרַע לְיָפֶה. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא צְרִיכָה לְהִטָּפֵל וְלִבְדֹּק עַצְמָהּ בַּנָּוֶה הַיָּפֶה כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תִּהְיֶה בּוֹ קַלָּה וּכְעוּרָה. וְכֵן לֹא יוֹצִיאָהּ מִמָּקוֹם שֶׁרֻבּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמָקוֹם שֶׁרֻבּוֹ עַכּוּ''ם. וּבְכָל מָקוֹם מוֹצִיאִין מִמָּקוֹם שֶׁרֻבּוֹ עַכּוּ''ם לְמָקוֹם שֶׁרֻבּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל:


When does the above apply? When moving from one place in the diaspora to another, or from one place in Eretz Yisrael to another. But if [the husband desires to move] from the diaspora to Eretz Yisrael, the woman should be compelled to move.27 [This applies even when moving involves leaving] pleasant surroundings for unpleasant ones. Even [when it is necessary to leave] an area inhabited primarily by Jews for an area inhabited primarily by gentiles, one should [move to Eretz Yisrael].

One should not leave Eretz Yisrael for the diaspora,28 even if the move enables one to relocate from unpleasant [surroundings] to pleasant ones, and even when it enables one to move from an area inhabited primarily by gentiles to an area inhabited primarily by Jews.


בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים מִחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ לְחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ אוֹ מֵאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲבָל מִחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל כּוֹפִין אוֹתָהּ לַעֲלוֹת אֲפִלּוּ מִנָּוֶה הַיָּפֶה לַנָּוֶה הָרַע וַאֲפִלּוּ מִמָּקוֹם שֶׁרֻבּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמָקוֹם שֶׁרֻבּוֹ עַכּוּ''ם מַעֲלִין. וְאֵין מוֹצִיאִין מֵאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ וַאֲפִלּוּ מִנָּוֶה הָרַע לַנָּוֶה הַיָּפֶה [וַאֲפִלּוּ מִמָּקוֹם] שֶׁרֻבּוֹ עַכּוּ''ם לְמָקוֹם שֶׁרֻבּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל:


When a husband desires to move to Eretz Yisrael and [his wife] does not desire to do so, he may divorce her without paying her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah. If she desires to move [to Eretz Yisrael] and he does not desire to do so, he must divorce her and pay her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah.29

The same laws apply with regard to moving from other places in Eretz Yisrael to Jerusalem. [Just as] everyone should move to Eretz Yisrael, and no one should leave there, [so too,] everyone should move to Jerusalem, and no one should leave there.30


אָמַר הָאִישׁ לַעֲלוֹת לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהִיא אֵינָהּ רוֹצָה תֵּצֵא בְּלֹא כְּתֻבָּה. אָמְרָה הִיא לַעֲלוֹת וְהוּא אֵינוֹ רוֹצֶה יוֹצִיא וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה. וְהוּא הַדִּין לְכָל מָקוֹם מֵאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל עִם יְרוּשָׁלַיִם. שֶׁהַכּל מַעֲלִין לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֵין הַכּל מוֹצִיאִין מִשָּׁם. הַכּל מַעֲלִין לִירוּשָׁלַיִם וְאֵין הַכּל מוֹצִיאִין מִשָּׁם:


For a zuz was only one eighth pure silver.


See Halachah 5.


I.e., the obligation to provide one's wife with household goods and a dwelling stems from the Torah itself and is not merely a Rabbinic ordinance.


I.e., a man is obligated to provide his wife with the clothes appropriate for a woman of her social standing (or his social standing, if he is of higher social standing than she) in the country in which they dwell.


For she should be given the opportunity to marry a man who can provide her with her basic necessities. (See Chapter 12, Halachah 11 and notes.)


Similarly, if he is capable of giving charity, he should provide for his sons and daughters above the age of six, as explained in Chapter 12, Halachah 15 (Chelkat Mechokek 73:5).


See Chapter 12, Halachah 16.


Rashi, Ketubot 48a, explains the difference between the two instances. When the husband left on the journey, he decided to leave his wife without adornments. Hence, we may not expropriate the money for them from his property. When, by contrast, a man loses his mental faculties, the court attempts to support the man's wife as her husband would have liked to. And we assume that he would have preferred that his wife have ornaments to adorn herself.


See the notes on Chapter 12, Halachah 24.


A poor woman does not wear ornaments very frequently and will not feel deprived if she does not adorn herself for a year. A rich woman, by contrast, cannot bear not to wear ornaments for such an extended period.


This law is based on the Jerusalem Talmud (Ketubot 7:4). The standard printed text of that source, however, has a slightly different version, stating "three months" instead of three days.


These rulings were dependent on the socio-economic conditions prevalent in the Talmudic period. If the norms are different in other societies, the rulings also change.


The Maggid Mishneh states that the husband is given thirty days to consider absolving his vow. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 74:3) states he must divorce her immediately. If the husband makes the vow dependent on marital relations, he is given a week to consider the matter (Shulchan Aruch, loc. cit. 74:3).


Note the slight deviation between the wording chosen by the Rambam and that employed by the Tur and the Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.).


While the spirit of the Rambam's words is appreciated, in most communities the norm is for women to leave their homes far more frequently.


For it is customary for a daughter to visit her parents during the festivals.


Based on the views of the Ra'avad and others, the Ramah (Even HaEzer 74:10) explains that the woman's rights are different from her husband's. Since the dwelling belongs to him, he may invite his mother and sisters. Nevertheless, efforts should be made to mediate between them and his wife. If necessary, a man or a woman should be placed in the home to see who is the cause of the difficulty.


Avot 1:7.


See Hilchot De'ot 6:1, where the Rambam emphasizes the importance of eschewing an undesirable environment and dwelling in a favorable one.


The Ramah (Even HaEzer 75:1) states that it is a difference in language that divides one land from another. The Rivash (Responsum 177) states that the determining factor is the government of the land. This matter is discussed by the later authorities, particularly in light of the emergence of large countries comprising many times the area of Eretz Yisrael in the Talmudic period. Many commentaries define a land as a place inhabited by people who speak the same language and are governed by the same authority. Even that is common today.


Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Ketubot 13:10). The contemporary translation of מדינה as "state" or "country" is not appropriate in this context.


The Ramah (Even HaEzer 75:1) quotes the opinion of Rabbenu Tam (Ketubot 110b), which states that when the two come from different lands and the marriage is held in one of these lands, the place where the couple marries determines their future dwelling. If, however, they each come from a different land from that in which the marriage is held, the woman may compel her husband to live in her native land. See also the opinion of Terumat HaDeshen (Responsum 416, quoted by the Ramah, loc. cit.), which states that if the man cannot earn a livelihood in the locale in which he is living, he may compel his wife to follow him to any place where he can.


Our text follows the version found in many manuscripts and early printings of the Mishneh Torah and that which is quoted by the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 75:1). The standard published version states "she" instead of "he."


I.e., the neighborhood and its scenery. Our translation is based on the Ma'aseh Rokeach. Others translate נוה as "dwelling" - i.e., the home in which the couple reside.


The Rambam appears to be saying that the woman must dress and present herself in an appropriate way in an attractive setting, and she might not desire to make such an effort. Rashi (Ketubot 110b) explains that the change in lifestyle may cause illness.


Our translation is based on the Bayit Chadash (Even HaEzer 75), which states that the woman may compel her husband to make such a move. Note, however, the Chelkat Mechokek 75:12, which states that this interpretation need not be accepted.


As reflected in Hilchot Melachim, Chapter 5, the Rambam does not consider living in Eretz Yisrael a mitzvah [in contrast to the view of the Ramban (Hosafot l'Sefer HaMitzvot, Positive Mitzvah 4) and others, who do]. Nevertheless, he states (Hilchot Melachim 5:12): "At all times... a person should dwell in Eretz Yisrael... rather than in the diaspora."

The commentaries interpret the expression "At all times" to include even the present age. Tosafot, Ketubot 110b, explains that because we are unsure how to fulfill the agricultural laws of Eretz Yisrael, there is no obligation to live there in the present age. Others explain that because of the dangers that exist in Eretz Yisrael, there is no obligation. (See Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 75:5.) As reflected in this ruling and in one of his responsa, the Rambam negates those views and advocates living in Eretz Yisrael, even in the present age.


See Hilchot Melachim 5:9, which states that it is forbidden to leave Eretz Yisrael for the purpose of settling in the diaspora, unless there is a famine of extreme severity. Even then, abandoning the land is not considered desirable. In Hilchot Melachim 5:12, he states: "Whoever leaves [Eretz Yisrael] for the diaspora is considered as though he worships idols."


As mentioned above, there are opinions that maintain that in the present age, there is no obligation to dwell in Eretz Yisrael. According to these views, this ruling does not apply. Although the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 75:4-5) also mentions the opposing view, it appears to follow the opinion stated by the Rambam. Nevertheless, many Ashkenazic authorities maintain (see Ba'er Heteiv 75:19) that at present one may not divorce a woman without paying her the money due her for her ketubah because she does not desire to move to Eretz Yisrael. Although the Pitchei Teshuvah 75:7 speaks extensively about the positive value of living in Eretz Yisrael in the present age, it mentions another factor - the difficulty of earning a living in Eretz Yisrael - and states that unless one is assured of being able to sustain himself through work - as opposed to receiving charity - one may not compel one's family to relocate.


There are opinions (Mordechai, at the conclusion of Ketubot) that maintain that in the present age, when there is no Temple, there is no difference between Jerusalem and other cities in Eretz Yisrael. Nevertheless, the fact that this law is quoted by the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 75:4), a text that deals only with laws applicable at present, appears to imply that the Rambam's ruling should be applied in the present age as well.

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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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