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Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Ishut - Chapter Eight

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Ishut - Chapter Eight

1

When [a man] tells a woman: "Behold, you are consecrated to me with this cup of wine," and the cup is discovered to contain honey [she is not consecrated]. [Similarly, if he tells her: "...Behold, you are consecrated to me with this cup] of honey," and the cup is discovered to contain wine;1 "...with this dinar of silver," and it is discovered to be gold; "...[with this dinar] of gold," and it is discovered to be silver; "...on condition that I am a priest," and he was discovered to be a Levite; "[on condition that I am] a Levite," and he was discovered to be a priest; "...[on condition that I am] a Givonite,"2 and he was discovered to be a bastard; "...[on condition that I am] a bastard," and he was discovered to be a Givonite; "...[on condition that I am] an inhabitant of a town," and he was discovered to be an inhabitant of a metropolis; "...[on condition that I am] an inhabitant of a metropolis," and he was discovered to be an inhabitant of a town; "...on condition that I am poor," and he was discovered to be rich; "...[on condition that I am] rich," and he was discovered to be poor; "...on condition that my house is close to the bathhouse," and it is discovered to be distant from it; "...[on condition that my house is] distant from the bathhouse," and it is discovered to be close to it; "...on condition that I have a maid," "...a daughter who knows how to braid hair," or "...who bakes," and [it is discovered that] he does not have one; "...on condition that he does not have [one of the above,] and [it is discovered that] he does; "...on condition that he has a wife and children," and [it is discovered that] he does not; "...on condition that he does not have [the above,] and [it is discovered that] he does - in all these and in any similar instance, the woman is not consecrated. The same rule applies if she [makes a condition based on] false information.

א

הָאוֹמֵר לְאִשָּׁה הֲרֵי אַתְּ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לִי בְּכוֹס זֶה שֶׁל יַיִן וְנִמְצָא שֶׁל דְּבַשׁ. שֶׁל דְּבַשׁ וְנִמְצָא שֶׁל יַיִן. בְּדִינָר זֶה שֶׁל כֶּסֶף וְנִמְצָא שֶׁל זָהָב. שֶׁל זָהָב וְנִמְצָא שֶׁל כֶּסֶף. עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֲנִי כֹּהֵן וְנִמְצָא לֵוִי. לֵוִי וְנִמְצָא כֹּהֵן. נָתִין וְנִמְצָא מַמְזֵר. מַמְזֵר וְנִמְצָא נָתִין. בֶּן עִיר וְנִמְצָא בֶּן כְּרַךְ. בֶּן כְּרַךְ וְנִמְצָא בֶּן עִיר. עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֲנִי עָנִי וְנִמְצָא עָשִׁיר. עָשִׁיר וְנִמְצָא עָנִי. עַל מְנָת שֶׁבֵּיתִי קָרוֹב לַמֶּרְחָץ וְנִמְצָא רָחוֹק. רָחוֹק וְנִמְצָא קָרוֹב. עַל מְנָת שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִי שִׁפְחָה אוֹ בַּת גּוֹדֶלֶת אוֹ אוֹפָה וְאֵין לוֹ. עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֵין לוֹ וְיֵשׁ לוֹ. עַל מְנָת שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִי אִשָּׁה וּבָנִים וְאֵין לוֹ. עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֵין לִי וְיֵשׁ לוֹ. בְּכָל אֵלּוּ וְכָל הַדּוֹמֶה לָהֶן אֵינָהּ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת. וְכֵן הִיא שֶׁהִטְעַתּוּ:

2

In all the above instances, she is not consecrated even though she says: "In my heart, I was willing to be consecrated to him even though he deceived me and gave me wrong information." Similarly, [if she gave him false information,] she is not consecrated even though he says: "In my heart, I was willing to consecrate her even though she deceived me." [The rationale is that] feelings in one's heart are not [the same as explicit] statements.

ב

וּבְכֻלָּם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאָמְרָה בְּלִבִּי הָיָה לְהִתְקַדֵּשׁ לוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִטְעַנִי וְאֵין הַדָּבָר כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמַר. וְכֵן אִם אָמַר הוּא בְּלִבִּי הָיָה לְקַדְּשָׁהּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִטְעַתְנִי אֵינָהּ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לְפִי שֶׁהַדְּבָרִים שֶׁבַּלֵּב אֵינָם דְּבָרִים:

3

[When a man tells a woman:] "Behold, you are consecrated to me on condition that I am a perfumer," and it is discovered that he is both a perfumer and a leather craftsman;3 "...on condition that I am an inhabitant of a town," and he was discovered to be an inhabitant of both a town and a metropolis;4 or "...on condition that my name is Yosef," and it was discovered that his name was Yosef and Shimon; she is consecrated.

If, however, he told her: "[Behold, you are consecrated to me] on condition that my name is only Yosef," and it was discovered that his name was Yosef and Shimon; "...on condition that I am solely a perfumer," and it is discovered that he is both a perfumer and a leather craftsman; or "...on condition that I am solely an inhabitant of a town," and he was discovered to be an inhabitant of both a town and a metropolis; she is not consecrated.

ג

הֲרֵי אַתְּ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לִי עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֲנִי בַּסָּם וְנִמְצָא בַּסָּם וּבוּרְסַי. עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֲנִי בֶּן עִיר וְנִמְצָא בֶּן עִיר וּבֶן כְּרַךְ. עַל מְנָת שֶׁשְּׁמִי יוֹסֵף וְנִמְצָא שְׁמוֹ יוֹסֵף וְשִׁמְעוֹן הֲרֵי זוֹ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר לָהּ עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֵין שְׁמִי אֶלָּא יוֹסֵף וְנִמְצָא שְׁמוֹ יוֹסֵף וְשִׁמְעוֹן. שֶׁאֵינִי אֶלָּא בַּסָּם וְנִמְצָא בַּסָּם וּבוּרְסַי. שֶׁאֵינִי אֶלָּא בֶּן עִיר וְנִמְצָא בֶּן כְּרַךְ וּבֶן עִיר אֵינָהּ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת:

4

When [a man] tells a woman: "Behold, you are consecrated to me on condition that I know how to read," [for the stipulation to be fulfilled] it is necessary that he know how to read from the Torah and translate what he reads according to the translation of Onkelos the convert.

If he tells her: "...on condition that I am a reader," he must know how to read the Torah, the works of the Prophets and the Holy Writings with proper grammatical precision. [If he tells her:] "...on condition that I know how to study the Mishnah," he must know how to read the Mishnah. "...On condition that I am a sage of the Mishnah," he must know how to read the Mishnah, the Sifra,5 the Sifre,6 and the Tosefta of Rabbi Chiyya.7

ד

הָאוֹמֵר לְאִשָּׁה הֲרֵי אַתְּ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לִי עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ לִקְרוֹת. צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּקְרָא הַתּוֹרָה וִיתַרְגֵּם אוֹתָהּ תַּרְגּוּם אֻנְקְלוּס הַגֵּר. וְאִם אָמַר לָהּ עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֲנִי קוֹרֵא צָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת יוֹדֵעַ לִקְרוֹת תּוֹרָה נְבִיאִים וּכְתוּבִים בְּדִקְדּוּק יָפֶה. עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ לִשְׁנוֹת צָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת יוֹדֵעַ לִקְרוֹת הַמִּשְׁנָה. וְאִם אָמַר עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֲנִי תַּנָּאָה צָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת יוֹדֵעַ לִקְרוֹת הַמִּשְׁנָה וְסַפְרָא וְסִפְרִי וְתוֹסֶפְתָּא שֶׁל רַבִּי חִיָּא:

5

[When a man tells a woman: "Behold, you are consecrated to me] on condition that I am a student [of the Torah]," we do not say that [he must be a student] of the caliber of ben Azzai and ben Zoma.8 Instead, it is sufficient that when one asks him a question regarding his studies, he is able to answer. [This includes] even the laws of the festivals that are studied in public; these are easy matters that are studied close to the festival, so that people at large will be familiar with them.

[When a man tells a woman: "Behold, you are consecrated to me] on condition that I am a wise man," we do not say that [he must be] like Rabbi Akiva and his colleagues. Instead, it is sufficient that when one asks him a point of logic with regard to any subject, he is able to answer. "...On condition that I am mighty," we do not say that [he must be] like Avner ben Ner9 or Yoav.10 Rather, it is sufficient that his colleagues fear him because of his might. "...On condition that I am rich," we do not say that [he must be as wealthy] as Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah.11 Rather, it is sufficient that the inhabitants of his city honor him because of his wealth.

[When a man tells a woman: "Behold, you are consecrated to me] on condition that I am righteous," even if the person is known to be thoroughly wicked, there is doubt [regarding the status of the kiddushin, and] the woman is considered as consecrated. For it is possible that he had thoughts of repentance in his heart at that time.12

"...On condition that I am wicked," even if the person is known to be thoroughly righteous, there is doubt [regarding the status of the kiddushin, and] the woman is considered as consecrated, since it is possible that he had thoughts of idol worship in his heart at that time. For the sin of idol worship is so great that even when a person thinks of serving [idols] in his heart,13 he is considered wicked, as [implied by Deuteronomy 11:16, which] states: "lest your hearts be tempted [and you go astray and serve other gods]," and [Ezekiel 14:5, which] states: "that I may detect the House of Israel in their hearts [for they are all estranged from Me because of their idols]."

ה

עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֲנִי תַּלְמִיד אֵין אוֹמְרִין כְּבֶן עֲזַאי וּבֶן זוֹמָא אֶלָּא כָּל שֶׁשּׁוֹאֲלִין אוֹתוֹ דָּבָר אֶחָד בְּתַלְמוּדוֹ וְאוֹמְרוֹ וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת הֶחָג שֶׁמְּלַמְּדִין אוֹתָן בָּרַבִּים מִדְּבָרִים הַקַּלִּים סָמוּךְ לֶחָג כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ כָּל הָעָם בְּקִיאִין בָּהֶן. עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֲנִי חָכָם אֵין אוֹמְרִין כְּרַבִּי עֲקִיבָא וַחֲבֵרָיו אֶלָּא כָּל שֶׁשּׁוֹאֲלִין אוֹתוֹ בְּכָל מָקוֹם דְּבַר חָכְמָה וְאוֹמֵר. עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֲנִי גִּבּוֹר אֵין אוֹמְרִין כְּאַבְנֵר בֶּן נֵר וּכְיוֹאָב אֶלָּא כָּל שֶׁחֲבֵרָיו מִתְיָרְאִים מִמֶּנּוּ מִפְּנֵי גְּבוּרָתוֹ. עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֲנִי עָשִׁיר אֵין אוֹמְרִין [כְּרַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן חַרְסוֹם] וּכְרַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן עֲזַרְיָה אֶלָּא כָּל שֶׁבְּנֵי עִירוֹ מְכַבְּדִין אוֹתוֹ מִפְּנֵי עָשְׁרוֹ. עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֲנִי צַדִּיק אֲפִלּוּ רָשָׁע גָּמוּר הֲרֵי זוֹ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת מִסָּפֵק שֶׁמָּא הִרְהֵר תְּשׁוּבָה בְּלִבּוֹ. עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֲנִי רָשָׁע אֲפִלּוּ צַדִּיק גָּמוּר הֲרֵי זוֹ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת מִסָּפֵק שֶׁמָּא הִרְהֵר בְּעַכּוּ''ם בְּלִבּוֹ שֶׁעֲוֹן עַכּוּ''ם גָּדוֹל הוּא וּמִשֶּׁיְּהַרְהֵר לַעֲבֹד בְּלִבּוֹ נַעֲשֶׂה רָשָׁע שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יא טז) "פֶּן יִפְתֶּה לְבַבְכֶם". וְכָתוּב (יחזקאל יד ה) "לְמַעַן תְּפשֹׁ אֶת בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּלִבָּם":

6

[When a man] consecrates a woman and says, "I thought she was from a priestly family, and instead she is from a family of Levites," "...from a family of Levites, and instead she is from a priestly family," "...poor, and instead she is rich," or "...rich, and instead she is poor," she is consecrated, for she did not cause him to err.14

Similarly, if she says, "I thought he was a priest, and instead he is a Levite," "...a Levite, and instead he is a priest," "...poor, and instead he is rich," or "...rich, and instead he is poor," she is consecrated, for he did not cause her to err.

ו

הַמְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת הָאִשָּׁה וְאָמַר הָיִיתִי סָבוּר שֶׁהִיא כֹּהֶנֶת וַהֲרֵי הִיא לְוִיָּה. לְוִיָּה וַהֲרֵי הִיא כֹּהֶנֶת. עֲנִיָּה וַהֲרֵי הִיא עֲשִׁירָה. עֲשִׁירָה וַהֲרֵי הִיא עֲנִיָּה. הֲרֵי זוֹ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא הִטְעַתּוּ. וְכֵן הִיא שֶׁאָמְרָה סְבוּרָה הָיִיתִי שֶׁהוּא כֹּהֵן וַהֲרֵי הוּא לֵוִי. לֵוִי וַהֲרֵי הוּא כֹּהֵן. עָשִׁיר וַהֲרֵי הוּא עָנִי. עָנִי וַהֲרֵי הוּא עָשִׁיר. הֲרֵי זוֹ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא הִטְעָה אוֹתָהּ:

Footnotes
1.

Even though honey is more valuable than wine, the kiddushin are not binding, because the stipulation was not fulfilled, and it is possible that the woman indeed desired wine rather than honey. Similarly, with regard to the sets that follow, Kiddushin (48b) explains reasons why it is possible to say that the woman favored either of the alternatives, and she is therefore not consecrated unless the stipulation that is made is met.

2.

Who, like bastards, are forbidden to marry into the Jewish people. (See the notes on Chapter 1, Halachah 7.)

3.

Animal feces were used in the processing of leather, and thus leather craftsmen were known for their unpleasant odor.

4.

I.e., he maintains two homes.

5.

A compendium of halachic exegesis of the Book of Leviticus, composed by Rav, a student of Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi, who compiled the Mishnah. Rav was the leader of the first generation of Amoraim in Babylonia.

6.

A compendium of the halachic exegesis of the Books of Numbers and Deuteronomy, composed by Rav.

7.

A collection of teachings intended to "explain the Mishnah and expound upon concepts that would require much effort to be derived from the Mishnah." Rabbi Chiyya was one of Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi's primary disciples.

8.

Students of Rabbi Akiva, renowned for their scholarship in their youth. Their promising futures were effaced after they entered a mystical experience together with their master. (See Chaggigah 14b.)

9.

The commander of King Saul's armies.

10.

Yoav ben Tz'ruyah, the commander of King David's armies.

11.

Who was renowned for his wealth. Each year he would give 12,000 calves as the tithes of his herd (Shabbat 54b). Another version of the text also mentions Elazar ben Chersom whose wealth is described in Yoma 35b.

12.

The doubt exists only because we cannot be aware of what is happening within the person's heart or mind. If we could be sure that he had repented within his heart, he is considered a righteous man, regardless of his previous conduct. This demonstrates the power of teshuvah, how one thought of repentance can transform one's spiritual level from one extreme to the other.

13.

In general, a person is not punished for a sin unless he commits a deed. The worship of false gods is different. (See Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 2:6, which states: "Whoever accepts a false god as true, even when he does not actually worship it, disgraces and blasphemes [God's] glorious and awesome name." See also Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 2:1,3.)

14.

Since he did not explicitly state the matter as a stipulation, his misconception does not cause the kiddushin to be nullified.

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