Enter your email address to get our weekly email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life.

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Ishut - Chapter Seventeen, Ishut - Chapter Eighteen, Ishut - Chapter Nineteen

Video & Audio Classes
Show content in:

Ishut - Chapter Seventeen

1

[The following laws apply when] a person dies after having been married to several wives. Whichever of his wives was married first has the right to collect [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah [before the others]. None may collect [her due] without taking an oath.1

The [wives who married] last are entitled to [collect their due] only from what remains after [those who married previously collect theirs].2 Even the last wife [to collect] must take an oath [before] she collects what remains.3

Similarly, when there is [also] a promissory note [owed by the husband's estate], if the promissory note was dated before [the ketubot], the promissory note should be collected first. If the ketubot were each dated before [the promissory note], the woman should collect [her due] first, and the person owed the promissory note [should collect from] the remainder.

א

מִי שֶׁהָיָה נָשׂוּי נָשִׁים רַבּוֹת וּמֵת. כָּל שֶׁנִּשֵּׂאת בַּתְּחִלָּה קוֹדֶמֶת לִטּל כְּתֻבָּתָהּ. וְאֵין אַחַת מֵהֶן נוֹטֶלֶת אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבוּעָה. וְאֵין לָאַחֲרוֹנָה אֶלָּא מַה שֶּׁשִּׁיְּרָה שֶׁלְּפָנֶיהָ וְגַם הִיא נִשְׁבַּעַת וְנוֹטֶלֶת הַשְּׁאָר. וְכֵן אִם הָיָה עָלָיו שְׁטַר חוֹב. אִם הָיָה הַחוֹב קוֹדֵם גּוֹבֶה בַּעַל חוֹב תְּחִלָּה. וְאִם הַכְּתֻבָּה קָדְמָה גּוֹבָה הָאִשָּׁה בַּתְּחִלָּה וְהַנִּשְׁאָר לַבַּעַל חוֹב:

2

When does the above apply? When the land from which [the wives and the creditor] desire to collect was owned by [the deceased] at the time he married the women and took the loan. For [in such a situation], the law is that whoever's document is dated first takes precedence.

If, however, a man married several women in succession, and borrowed money - whether before marrying the women or afterwards - and [then - i.e.,] after marrying and borrowing he purchased land - it should be divided among all of them equally, for all their liens took effect at the same time. At the time he purchased the land, each one established a lien on it. None has precedence over the others.4

ב

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁהָיְתָה הַקַּרְקַע שֶׁבָּאוּ לִגְבּוֹת מִמֶּנָּה קְנוּיָה לוֹ בִּשְׁעַת נִשּׂוּאִים וּבְשָׁעָה שֶׁלָּוָה הוּא. שֶׁהַדִּין נוֹתֵן שֶׁכָּל הַקּוֹדֵם בִּשְׁטָר תְּחִלָּה זָכָה תְּחִלָּה. אֲבָל אִם נָשָׂא נָשִׁים זוֹ אַחַר זוֹ וְלָוָה בֵּין קֹדֶם נִשּׂוּאִין בֵּין אַחַר נִשּׂוּאִין וְאַחַר שֶׁנָּשָׂא וְלָוָה קָנָה קַרְקַע כֻּלָּן חוֹלְקִין כְּאֶחָד שֶׁשִּׁעְבּוּד כֻּלָּן כְּאֶחָד בָּא. שֶׁבְּשָׁעָה שֶׁקָּנָה הָיָה מְשֻׁעְבָּד לַכּל וְאֵין כָּאן דִּין קְדִימָה:

3

Similarly, if all the ketubot and promissory notes were dated on one day - or at a specific time, in a place where it is customary to [include] the time [of a legal document] - it should be divided among all of them equally; none has precedence over the others.

Under all circumstances, [if one of the creditors or one of the wives] took possession of movable property [belonging to the estate as payment for] the loan or ketubah, the property that they took should not be expropriated from him or her. For no creditor has precedence over another with regard to movable property.5

ג

וְכֵן אִם הָיָה זְמַן הַכְּתֻבּוֹת וְהַשְּׁטָרוֹת כֻּלָּן יוֹם אֶחָד אוֹ שָׁעָה אַחַת בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁכּוֹתְבִים שָׁעוֹת חוֹלְקִין כְּאֶחָד שֶׁאֵין שָׁם קוֹדֵם. וּלְעוֹלָם כָּל שֶׁקָּדַם וְזָכָה בְּמִטַּלְטְלִין כְּדֵי חוֹבוֹ אוֹ כְּדֵי כְּתֻבָּתָהּ אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיָּדוֹ שֶׁאֵין דִּין קְדִימָה בְּמִטַּלְטְלִין:

4

[The following rules apply when] a person divorces his wife at the time he has an outstanding promissory note, and his creditor and his divorcee come to collect [their due]. If the husband owns [enough] money and land to settle the debt and the obligations stemming from the ketubah, the creditor should be awarded the money,6 and his divorcee should collect [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah from the landed property.7

If all [the husband] possesses is land that is not of sufficient value to settle both debts, and neither [his divorcee nor his creditor] has a prior claim to this land, it should be given [toward the payment of the debt owed to] the creditor. If any [land] remains [after the settlement of the debt], it should be given to the divorcee. If nothing remains, the divorcee must yield to the creditor. [The rationale is that] the creditor suffered a loss; he [lent] money [to the husband]. The woman, by contrast,did not lose anything. For more than a man desires to marry, a woman desires to be married.

ד

מִי שֶׁגֵּרֵשׁ אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ וְעָלָיו שְׁטַר חוֹב וּבָא בַּעַל חוֹב וְהָאִשָּׁה לִגְבּוֹת וְהָיוּ לוֹ מָעוֹת וְקַרְקַע כְּדֵי הַחוֹב וְהַכְּתֻבָּה. בַּעַל חוֹב נוֹטֵל מָעוֹת וְהָאִשָּׁה נוֹטֶלֶת כְּתֻבָּתָהּ מִן הַקַּרְקַע. וְאִם אֵין לוֹ אֶלָּא קַרְקַע שֶׁאֵין בָּהּ כְּדֵי לִגְבּוֹת שְׁנֵיהֶם וְלֹא הָיָה בָּהּ דִּין קְדִימָה נוֹתְנִין אוֹתוֹ לְבַעַל חוֹב. וְאִם נִשְׁאַר לָאִשָּׁה כְּלוּם תִּטּל וְאִם לָאו תִּדָּחֶה מִפְּנֵי בַּעַל חוֹב. שֶׁהֲרֵי בַּעַל חוֹב הִפְסִיד וְהוֹצִיא מְעוֹתָיו וְהָאִשָּׁה לֹא חָסְרָה דָּבָר שֶׁיּוֹתֵר מִשֶּׁהָאִישׁ רוֹצֶה לִשָּׂא אִשָּׁה רוֹצֶה לְהִנָּשֵׂא:

5

Similarly, if a man dies leaving a widow and a creditor, and land to which neither of them has a prior claim, the widow must yield to the creditor, and he collects the debt owed him first.

ה

וְכֵן מִי שֶׁמֵּת וְהִנִּיחַ אִשָּׁה וּבַעַל חוֹב וְקַרְקַע שֶׁאֵין בָּהּ דִּין קְדִימָה הָאִשָּׁה נִדְחֵית מִפְּנֵי בַּעַל חוֹב וְהוּא גּוֹבֶה חוֹבוֹ תְּחִלָּה:

6

Since the geonim ordained8 that a woman and a creditor may collect their due from movable property, and as is well known, no creditors are given precedence with regard to movable property9 [the following rules apply]. If the husband did not leave enough movable property to settle both accounts, the creditor is allowed to collect the entire debt [owed him] first. If anything remains [after the settlement of the debt] for the wife to receive [by virtue of] her ketubah, it should be given to her. If nothing remains, the wife must yield.

ו

וְכֵיוָן שֶׁתִּקְּנוּ הַגְּאוֹנִים שֶׁתִּגְבֶּה הָאִשָּׁה וּבַעַל חוֹב מִן הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין וְהַדָּבָר יָדוּעַ שֶׁאֵין דִּין קְדִימָה בְּמִטַּלְטְלִין אִם לֹא הִנִּיחַ מִטַּלְטְלִין כְּדֵי לִתֵּן לִשְׁנֵיהֶם נוֹתְנִין לְבַעַל חוֹב כָּל חוֹבוֹ תְּחִלָּה. וְאִם נִשְׁאַר לָאִשָּׁה מַה שֶּׁתִּטּל בִּכְתֻבָּתָהּ תִּטּל וְאִם לָאו תִּדָּחֶה:

7

[The following rule applies when] nichsei tzon barzel were recorded in a woman's ketubah and she claims that they were lost or taken by her husband. With regard to nichsei tzon barzel, a woman is regarded like any other creditor.10

Therefore, she is required to take an oath that she did not take possession of them, give them away or forego the obligation [to her husband]. Afterwards, she receives a share in the estate together with the other creditors.

ז

הָיוּ כְּתוּבִין בִּכְתֻבָּתָהּ נִכְסֵי צֹאן בַּרְזֶל וְטָעֲנָה שֶׁאָבְדוּ אוֹ שֶׁלְּקָחָם הַבַּעַל הֲרֵי הִיא בְּנִכְסֵי צֹאן בַּרְזֶל שֶׁלָּהּ כִּשְׁאָר בַּעֲלֵי חוֹבוֹת וְנִשְׁבַּעַת שֶׁלֹּא לָקְחָה אוֹתָן וְלֹא נָתְנָה וְלֹא מָחֲלָה וְחוֹלֶקֶת עִם בַּעֲלֵי חוֹבוֹת:

8

When a person who has many wives and who dies or divorces them when none of them has a claim of higher priority to his property than the others, and his holdings are not of sufficient value to pay them each the money due them by virtue of their ketubot, how are his holdings divided? If his holdings are sufficiently valuable to provide only the wife with the ketubah of the least value, or if they are less valuable than that, all of his wives divide [his holdings] equally.

If his holdings are more valuable than that, they should be divided equally to provide the wife with [the money due her by virtue of] the ketubah of the least value. Afterwards, the remainder is divided among the remaining wives according to the same pattern.

What is implied? [To explain by example:] A man was married to four wives. The ketubah of the first was for 400 [zuz], that of the second for 300, that of the third for 200, and that of the first for 100. The total sum is thus 1000 [zuz]. [The following rules apply] if he divorces all of them or dies. If his holdings are worth 400 [zuz] or less, they divide his holdings equally, and each receives 100 or less. If his holdings are worth 800 [it would be improper to divide them equally]. For if they were divided equally, the fourth wife would receive 200 [zuz], and [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah is only 100.

What is done instead? 400 [zuz] are set aside and divided equally, each receiving 100. Thus, the fourth wife has received [the full amount due her by virtue of] her ketubah and she withdraws [from the suit]. Thus, 400 [zuz] are left for three wives, each of whom has already received 100 zuz]. If the 400 were divided equally among the three of them [it would be unfair]. For the third wife would receive 233 and [the amount due her by virtue of] her ketubah was only 200. Therefore, 300 [zuz] are separated from the 400, and these are divided equally among the three. Thus, the third wife receives her 200 and withdraws [from the suit]. There remain two wives and 100 [zuz]. This sum is divided equally between the first and second wife. Thus, the first and second wife each received 250 zuz; the third wife received 200; and the fourth wife, 100. This pattern of allocation is followed even when there are 100 [wives].11

ח

מִי שֶׁמֵּת אוֹ גֵּרֵשׁ וְיֵשׁ לוֹ נָשִׁים רַבּוֹת וְאֵין שָׁם דִּין קְדִימָה וְאֵין לוֹ כְּדֵי כָּל הַכְּתֻבּוֹת כֵּיצַד הֵן חוֹלְקוֹת. רוֹאִים אִם כְּשֶׁיֵחָלֵק הַמָּמוֹן עַל מִנְיַן הַנָּשִׁים יְגִיעַ לַפְּחוּתָה שֶׁבָּהֶן כְּדֵי כְּתֻבָּתָהּ אוֹ פָּחוֹת חוֹלְקוֹת בְּשָׁוֶה. וְאִם הָיָה הַמָּמוֹן יוֹתֵר עַל זֶה חוֹלְקִים מִמֶּנּוּ כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ לַפְּחוּתָה שֶׁבָּהֶן כַּשִּׁעוּר כְּתֻבָּתָהּ. וְחוֹזְרוֹת וְחוֹלְקוֹת אֶת הַמּוֹתָר בֵּין הַנּוֹתָרוֹת עַל דֶּרֶךְ הָרִאשׁוֹן. כֵּיצַד. מִי שֶׁהָיָה נָשׂוּי אַרְבַּע נָשִׁים כְּתֻבָּתָהּ שֶׁל רִאשׁוֹנָה אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת וְשֶׁל שְׁנִיָּה שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת וְשֶׁל שְׁלִישִׁית מָאתַיִם וְשֶׁל רְבִיעִית מֵאָה נִמְצָא הַכּל אֶלֶף וְגֵרֵשׁ כֻּלָּן אוֹ מֵת. אִם הִנִּיחַ אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת אוֹ פָּחוֹת חוֹלְקוֹת בְּשָׁוֶה וְכָל אַחַת נוֹטֶלֶת מֵאָה אוֹ פָּחוֹת. הִנִּיחַ שְׁמוֹנֶה מֵאוֹת אִם תֵּחָלֵק בֵּין כֻּלָּן בְּשָׁוֶה נִמְצֵאת הָרְבִיעִית נוֹטֶלֶת מָאתַיִם וַהֲרֵי אֵין בִּכְתֻבָּתָהּ אֶלָּא מֵאָה אֶלָּא כֵּיצַד עוֹשִׂין. לוֹקְחִין אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת זוּז וְחוֹלְקִין אוֹתָן בֵּינֵיהֶן בְּשָׁוֶה מֵאָה מֵאָה נִמְצֵאת הָרְבִיעִית נָטְלָה כְּדֵי כְּתֻבָּתָהּ וְהָלְכָה לָהּ נִשְׁאַר כָּאן אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת זוּז וְשָׁלֹשׁ נָשִׁים שֶׁבְּיַד כָּל אַחַת מִשְּׁלָשְׁתָּן מֵאָה זוּז אִם תַּחֲלֹק הָאַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת בֵּין שְׁלָשְׁתָּן בְּשָׁוֶה נִמְצָא הַשְּׁלִישִׁית נוֹטֶלֶת מָאתַיִם וּשְׁלֹשִׁים וְשָׁלֹשׁ וּשְׁלִישׁ וַהֲרֵי אֵין בִּכְתֻבָּתָהּ אֶלָּא מָאתַיִם. לְפִיכָךְ לוֹקְחִין מֵאַרְבַּע הַמֵּאוֹת שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת וְחוֹלְקִין בֵּין שְׁלָשְׁתָּן בְּשָׁוֶה שֶׁנִּמְצֵאת הַשְּׁלִישִׁית שֶׁנָּטְלָה מָאתַיִם שֶׁלָּהּ וְהָלְכָה לָהּ נִשְׁאַר כָּאן מֵאָה וּשְׁתֵּי נָשִׁים חוֹלְקִין אֶת הַמֵּאָה בְּשָׁוֶה בֵּין רִאשׁוֹנָה וּשְׁנִיָּה. נִמְצָא בְּיַד הָרִאשׁוֹנָה מָאתַיִם וַחֲמִשִּׁים וְכֵן בְּיַד הַשְּׁנִיָּה. וְנִמְצָא בְּיַד הַשְּׁלִישִׁית מָאתַיִם וּבְיַד הָרְבִיעִית מֵאָה וְעַל דֶּרֶךְ זוֹ חוֹלְקוֹת לְעוֹלָם אֲפִלּוּ הֵן מֵאָה:

9

A person who guarantees the value of a woman's ketubah is not obligated to pay [her the money due her in the event that her husband's holdings are not sufficient if he dies or divorces her]. [This applies] even when he affirmed his commitment with a contractual act.12 [The rationale is that] his [intent is to] perform a mitzvah,13 and he did not cause the woman to lose anything.14

If, however, a person guarantees the ketubah of his son and affirms his commitment with a contractual act,15 he is obligated to pay. For a father will make a binding commitment on behalf of his son and decide to obligate himself.

A person who underwrites a ketubah, by contrast, is obligated to pay, even though he did not affirm his commitment with a contractual act. What is meant by a person who underwrites a ketubah? One who tells a woman: "Marry this man. I will give [the money for] this ketubah." If, however, he says: "I will guarantee this ketubah," "I will pay this ketubah," "I am obligated for it" or the like, he is not liable unless he is the father [of the groom].

When a person divorces a wife [whose ketubah has been underwritten in the above fashion], he must first take a vow16 that she is forbidden to derive benefit from him. Only then may she collect her ketubah from the underwriter or the [husband's] father, if he guaranteed it. [This precaution was instituted,] lest the husband remarry her,17 and thus the two will [have acquired] the property of [the underwriter] through subterfuge.

ט

הֶעָרֵב לְאִשָּׁה בִּכְתֻבָּתָהּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁקָּנוּ מִיָּדוֹ אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם שֶׁמִּצְוָה עָשָׂה וַהֲרֵי לֹא חָסְרָה כְּלוּם. וְאִם עָרֵב שֶׁל כְּתֻבַּת בְּנוֹ הוּא וְקָנוּ מִיָּדוֹ חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם שֶׁהָאָב בִּגְלַל בְּנוֹ מְשַׁעְבֵּד עַצְמוֹ וְגוֹמֵר וּמַקְנֶה. וְקַבְּלָן שֶׁל כְּתֻבָּה חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא קָנוּ מִיָּדוֹ. וְאֵי זֶה הוּא קַבְּלָן זֶה שֶׁאָמַר לְאִשָּׁה הִנָּשְׂאִי לְזֶה וַאֲנִי נוֹתֵן כְּתֻבָּה זוֹ. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר לָהּ הֲרֵינִי עָרֵב כְּתֻבָּה זוֹ. אֲנִי פּוֹרֵעַ כְּתֻבָּה זוֹ. אֲנִי חַיָּב בָּהּ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה פָּטוּר אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָיָה אָבִיו. הַמְגָרֵשׁ אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ יַדִּירֶנָּה הֲנָאָה וְאַחַר כָּךְ תִּפָּרַע כְּתֻבָּתָהּ מִן הַקַּבְּלָן אוֹ מֵאָבִיו אִם הָיָה עָרֵב. שֶׁמָּא יַחֲזִירֶנָהּ וְנִמְצְאוּ עוֹשִׂין קְנוּנְיָא עַל נְכָסָיו שֶׁל זֶה:

10

Similarly, a person who consecrates his property and then divorces his wife must take a vow that she is forbidden to derive benefit from him. Only then may she collect [the money due her by virtue of her ketubah] from the person who redeems the property from the Temple treasury.18 [This precaution was instituted,] lest the two attempt to deceive the Temple treasury.19

When, however, a person divorces his wife, and she comes to collect [the money due her by virtue of her ketubah] from the [property that was sold to] purchasers, he is not required to take a vow that she is forbidden to derive benefit from him. Instead, she must take the oath required of her, and then she [is entitled to] collect [her due]. If afterwards she desires, she may return to her husband. For the purchasers know that the property was under lien to the ketubah of a woman, and they caused themselves the loss by taking property that was under such a lien.

י

וְכֵן הַמַּקְדִּישׁ נְכָסָיו וְגֵרֵשׁ אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ יַדִּירֶנָּה הֲנָאָה וְאַחַר כָּךְ תִּפָּרַע מִן הַפּוֹדֶה מִיַּד הַהֶקְדֵּשׁ שֶׁמָּא יַעֲשׂוּ קְנוּנְיָא עַל הַהֶקְדֵּשׁ. אֲבָל הַמְגָרֵשׁ אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ וּבָאָה לִטְרֹף מִן הַלָּקוֹחוֹת אֵין מְחַיְּבִין אוֹתוֹ לְהַדִּירָהּ אֶלָּא נִשְׁבַּעַת וְטוֹרֶפֶת. וְאִם רָצְתָה תַּחֲזֹר לְבַעְלָהּ שֶׁכְּבָר יָדְעוּ הַלָּקוֹחוֹת שֶׁיֵּשׁ עָלָיו כְּתֻבַּת אִשָּׁה וְהֵם הִפְסִידוּ עַל עַצְמָם שֶׁלָּקְחוּ נְכָסִים שֶׁתַּחַת שִׁעְבּוּדָהּ:

11

When a husband sold his property, and afterwards the woman agreed to [her husband's] act and wrote the purchaser: "I have no claim against you," she may, nevertheless, collect [the money due her by virtue of her ketubah by expropriating this property].20 [This applies] even when she affirmed [her commitment] with a contractual act.21 [The rationale is] that she wrote this [statement to the purchaser] only so that there will not be strife between her and her husband. She can [therefore excuse herself,] saying: "I was [merely intending] to please my husband."22

[A different rule applies, however, when the purchaser] enters into an agreement with the woman that she foregoes her lien on this property [before purchasing it from her husband]. If this agreement is affirmed with a contractual act, and afterwards the husband sells the property [to him], [the woman is not entitled to] expropriate this property.23

Similarly, [a woman is not entitled to expropriate property sold by her husband in the following circumstance]. Her husband sold a property [on a previous occasion, and at that time] asked his wife to write the purchaser, "I have no claim to this property," and the woman refused, causing the sale to be nullified.24 [If,] afterwards, the husband sells [property] - whether the same field he had sold previously or another field - to another person, and after the husband's sale the woman agreed, [made a commitment] that she has no claim to this field and affirmed it with a contractual act, she may not expropriate it. For she cannot say, "I did this [merely] to please my husband," since on the previous occasion, when she did not want [to waive her rights], she did not follow her husband's desires.

יא

הַבַּעַל שֶׁמָּכַר נְכָסָיו וְאַחַר כָּךְ כָּתְבָה אִשְׁתּוֹ לַלּוֹקֵחַ דִּין וּדְבָרִים אֵין לִי עִמְּךָ וְהִסְכִּימָה לְמַעֲשָׂיו אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁקָּנוּ מִמֶּנָּה הֲרֵי זוֹ טוֹרֶפֶת. שֶׁלֹּא כָּתְבָה לוֹ אֶלָּא שֶׁלֹּא תִּהְיֶה בֵּינָהּ לְבֵין בַּעְלָהּ קְטָטָה וְיֵשׁ לָהּ לוֹמַר נַחַת רוּחַ עָשִׂיתִי לְבַעְלִי. אֲבָל אִם קָנוּ מִיַּד הָאִשָּׁה תְּחִלָּה שֶׁאֵין לָהּ שִׁעְבּוּד עַל מָקוֹם זֶה וְאַחַר כָּךְ מָכַר אוֹתוֹ הַבַּעַל אֵינָהּ טוֹרֶפֶת אוֹתוֹ. וְכֵן אִם מָכַר הַבַּעַל וְאָמַר לְאִשְׁתּוֹ לִכְתֹּב לַלּוֹקֵחַ דִּין וּדְבָרִים אֵין לִי עִמְּךָ וְלֹא כָּתְבָה וְלֹא הִסְכִּימָה לְמַעֲשָׂיו וְנִפְסַד הַמֶּכֶר וְחָזַר הַבַּעַל וּמָכַר לְאִישׁ אַחֵר בֵּין אוֹתָהּ שָׂדֶה בֵּין שָׂדֶה אַחֶרֶת וְאַחַר שֶׁמָּכַר הַבַּעַל הִסְכִּימָה לְמַעֲשָׂיו וְקָנוּ מִיָּדָהּ, שֶׁאֵין לָהּ שִׁעְבּוּד עַל שָׂדֶה זוֹ, אֵינָהּ יְכוֹלָה לִטְרֹף שֶׁאֵינָהּ יְכוֹלָה לוֹמַר נַחַת רוּחַ עָשִׂיתִי לְבַעְלִי שֶׁהֲרֵי בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה כְּשֶׁלֹּא רָצְתָה לֹא הָלְכָה בִּרְצוֹן בַּעְלָהּ:

12

[The above ruling is also relevant in the following situation.] A man had two wives. He sold a field, and the purchaser had entered into a contractual act with one of [the husband's] wives, waiving her lien to this field in a manner in which the agreement was effective and the woman no longer had the privilege of claiming, "I did this [merely] to please my husband." Afterwards, the husband died or divorced both his wives.

The second wife may expropriate the property from the purchaser, for she did not enter into any agreement with him. The first wife may then expropriate [the property] from the second wife, for she had a prior claim to it, and she waived her lien only with regard to the purchaser [and not with regard to anyone else]. When the property comes into the possession of the first [wife], the purchaser may expropriate it from her, since she made an agreement with him. [The second wife can then expropriate it from the purchaser,] and the cycle continues until they reach a compromise among themselves.25

יב

מִי שֶׁהָיוּ לוֹ שְׁתֵּי נָשִׁים וּמָכַר אֶת שָׂדֵהוּ וְקָנוּ מִיַּד הָרִאשׁוֹנָה שֶׁאֵין לָהּ שִׁעְבּוּד עַל שָׂדֶה זוֹ וְאֵינָהּ טוֹרֶפֶת אוֹתוֹ מִן הַלּוֹקֵחַ וְהָיָה הַקִּנְיָן מוֹעִיל שֶׁאֵינָהּ יְכוֹלָה לִטְעֹן בּוֹ נַחַת רוּחַ עָשִׂיתִי לְבַעְלִי וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵת הַבַּעַל אוֹ גֵּרֵשׁ שְׁתֵּיהֶן הַשְּׁנִיָּה מוֹצִיאָה מִיַּד הַלּוֹקֵחַ שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא קָנוּ מִיָּדָהּ לַלּוֹקֵחַ. וְהָרִאשׁוֹנָה מוֹצִיאָה מִיַּד הַשְּׁנִיָּה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא קָדְמָה וְלֹא הֵסִירָה שִׁעְבּוּדָהּ אֶלָּא מֵעַל הַלּוֹקֵחַ. וּכְשֶׁתַּחְזֹר הַשָּׂדֶה לָרִאשׁוֹנָה חוֹזֵר הַלּוֹקֵחַ וּמוֹצִיאָהּ מִיָּדָהּ שֶׁהֲרֵי קָנוּ לוֹ. וְחוֹזְרוֹת חֲלִילָה עַד שֶׁיַּעֲשׂוּ פְּשָׁרָה בֵּינֵיהֶן:

13

[In the event of her husband's death,] a widow - regardless of whether she was widowed from erusin or nisu'in - may take the oath [required of her], sell land belonging to her husband and collect [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah. [The sale may be carried out] in a court of expert judges, or in a court whose judges are not expert,26 provided it consists of three trustworthy men who are knowledgeable with regard to the evaluation of land. The responsibility for the sale falls on the estate belonging to the heirs.27 A divorcee, by contrast, may sell [her ex-husband's property] only in a court of expert judges.28

Whenever a woman has property sold in court, she must have it sold after a public announcement has been made. In the laws of loans,29 the guidelines for the sale [of property] will be explained. When, by contrast, a woman sells property without the participation of the court,30 a public announcement [of the sale] need not be made. It is, nevertheless, necessary [to consult] with three trustworthy men who are knowledgeable with regard to the evaluation [of property].

יג

אַלְמָנָה בֵּין מִן הַנִּשּׂוּאִין בֵּין מִן הָאֵרוּסִין נִשְׁבַּעַת וּמוֹכֶרֶת מִקַּרְקַע בַּעְלָהּ וְנִפְרַעַת כְּתֻבָּתָהּ בֵּין בְּבֵית דִּין מֻמְחִין בֵּין בְּבֵית דִּין שֶׁאֵינָן מֻמְחִין. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיוּ הַשְּׁלֹשָׁה הָאֲנָשִׁים נֶאֱמָנִין וְיוֹדְעִין בְּשׁוּמַת הַקַּרְקַע. וְאַחֲרָיוּת הַמֶּכֶר עַל נִכְסֵי יְתוֹמִים. אֲבָל הַגְּרוּשָׁה לֹא תִּמְכֹּר אֶלָּא בְּבֵית דִּין מֻמְחִין. וְכָל הַמּוֹכֶרֶת בְּבֵית דִּין לֹא תִּמְכֹּר אֶלָּא בְּהַכְרָזָה. וּבְהִלְכוֹת הַלְוָאָה יִתְבָּאֵר מִשְׁפַּט מְכִירַת בֵּית דִּין הֵיאַךְ הִיא. אֲבָל הַמּוֹכֶרֶת שֶׁלֹּא בְּבֵית דִּין אֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה הַכְרָזָה וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן צָרִיךְ שְׁלֹשָׁה שֶׁהֵם נֶאֱמָנִים וְיוֹדְעִים בְּשׁוּמָא:

14

[The following rules apply when] a widow sells [her husband's] landed property privately in order to collect the money due her by virtue of her ketubah:31 If she sold the property at its proper value, the sale is binding.32 [All that is necessary is for] her to take the oath required of widows after the sale.33

The above applies when she sells the property to another individual. If she takes it as her own after evaluating it, her act is of no significance.34 [This applies even when] she had announced the sale of the property [and received no better offer].

יד

אַלְמָנָה שֶׁמָּכְרָה קַרְקַע בִּכְתֻבָּתָהּ בֵּינָהּ לְבֵין עַצְמָהּ אִם מָכְרָה שָׁוֶה בְּשָׁוֶה מִכְרָהּ קַיָּם וְנִשְׁבַּעַת שְׁבוּעַת אַלְמָנָה אַחַר שֶׁמָּכְרָה. וְהוּא שֶׁמָּכְרָה לְאַחֵר אֲבָל אִם שָׁמָה לְעַצְמָהּ לֹא עָשְׂתָה כְּלוּם וַאֲפִלּוּ הִכְרִיזָה:

15

[In the above situation,] if the woman's ketubah was for 200 [zuz], and she sold [property] that was worth 100 [zuz] for 200,35 or property that was worth 200 for 100,36 she has received the value of her ketubah and is no longer owed anything. She must, however, take the oath required of a widow.

If her ketubah was for 100 [zuz] and she sold [property] worth 101 [zuz] for 100, the sale is nullified.37 [This applies] even if she says, "I will [accept the loss and] return the [outstanding] dinar to the heirs."

טו

הָיְתָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ מָאתַיִם וּמָכְרָה שְׁוֵה מֵאָה בְּמָאתַיִם אוֹ שְׁוֵה מָאתַיִם בְּמֵאָה נִתְקַבְּלָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ וְאֵין לָהּ כְּלוּם וּבִלְבַד שֶׁתִּשָּׁבַע שְׁבוּעַת אַלְמָנָה. הָיְתָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ מֵאָה וּמָכְרָה שְׁוֵה מֵאָה וְדִינָר בְּמֵאָה מִכְרָהּ בָּטֵל וַאֲפִלּוּ אָמְרָה אֲנִי אַחֲזִיר אֶת הַדִּינָר לַיּוֹרְשִׁים:

16

If her ketubah was for 400 zuz and she sold [four pieces of property], three that were each worth 100 [zuz] for 100 [zuz] each, and one that was worth 101 zuz for 100 [zuz - the final sale is nullified, but the [first three] are all binding.

טז

הָיְתָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת זוּז וּמָכְרָה לָזֶה בְּמָנֶה וְלָזֶה בְּמָנֶה שָׁוֶה בְּשָׁוֶה וְלָאַחֲרוֹן שְׁוֵה מֵאָה וְדִינָר בְּמֵאָה שֶׁל אַחֲרוֹן בָּטֵל וְשֶׁל כֻּלָּם קַיָּם:

17

A woman has the privilege of selling [the rights to] her ketubah or giving [them] as a present.38 If her husband dies or divorces her, [the purchaser or the recipient] is entitled to come and collect [the money due her by virtue of her ketubah].39 If she dies in the lifetime of her husband or [after his death, but] before she takes the oath [required of widows], he is not entitled to anything.

יז

יֵשׁ לָאִשָּׁה לִמְכֹּר כְּתֻבָּתָהּ אוֹ לִתְּנָהּ בְּמַתָּנָה אִם מֵת הַבַּעַל אוֹ גֵּרְשָׁהּ יָבֹא הַלָּה וְיִטּל וְאִם מֵתָה הִיא בְּחַיֵּי בַּעְלָהּ אוֹ קֹדֶם שֶׁנִּשְׁבְּעָה אֵין לוֹ כְּלוּם:

18

Although a woman sold [the rights to] a portion of her ketubah, used them as security [for a loan] or gave them as a present, she may sell landed property belonging to her husband and collect the remainder of [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah. [This sale may be carried out] in a court of three expert judges or through three trustworthy men.

[A woman] may sell [portions of her husband's property] many times. [These sales may be carried out] in a court of three expert judges or through three trustworthy men who are knowledgeable with regard to the evaluation of property.

יח

הֲרֵי שֶׁמָּכְרָה מִקְצָת כְּתֻבָּתָהּ אוֹ מִשְׁכְּנָה מִקְצָת כְּתֻבָּתָהּ אוֹ נָתְנָה לְאַחֵר מִקְצָת כְּתֻבָּתָהּ מוֹכֶרֶת מִקַּרְקַע בַּעְלָהּ וְתִגְבֶּה הַשְּׁאָר בֵּין בְּבֵית דִּין מֻמְחִין בֵּין בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה נֶאֱמָנִים. וּמוֹכֶרֶת לִכְתֻבָּתָהּ אֲפִלּוּ פְּעָמִים רַבּוֹת בֵּין בְּבֵית דִּין בֵּין בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה נֶאֱמָנִים וְיוֹדְעִים שׁוּמַת הַקַּרְקַע:

19

When a woman sells [the rights to] her ketubah - whether to another person or to her husband - she does not forfeit the other privileges of her ketubah.40 [As such,] if she has a son, [and she dies before her husband does,] he inherits the worth of her ketubah - [although it] was sold from his father's estate - in addition to his share [in the estate, as will be explained].41

If, by contrast, a woman waives her ketubah in favor of her husband, she forfeits all the privileges associated with her ketubah. [Her husband] is not required to provide her even with her subsistence.42

The waiver of a ketubah [in favor of the woman's husband] need not [be affirmed by] a contractual act nor [be observed by] witnesses,43 just as the forfeiture [of any obligations] does not require affirmation by] a contractual act nor [the observation of] witnesses. Through one's words alone [the forfeiture is binding], provided the statement is made seriously, [in a manner that] can be relied upon, rather than facetiously, as a joke, or rhetorically.44

יט

הַמּוֹכֶרֶת כְּתֻבָּתָהּ בֵּין לַאֲחֵרִים בֵּין לְבַעְלָהּ לֹא אִבְּדָה שְׁאָר תְּנָאֵי כְּתֻבָּה. וְאִם הָיָה לָהּ בֵּן זָכָר יוֹרֵשׁ כְּנֶגֶד הַכְּתֻבָּה הַזֹּאת שֶׁנִּמְכְּרָה מִנִּכְסֵי אָבִיו יוֹתֵר עַל חֶלְקוֹ כְּדִין תְּנַאי זֶה. אֲבָל הַמּוֹחֶלֶת כְּתֻבָּתָהּ לְבַעְלָהּ אִבְּדָה כָּל תְּנָאֵי כְּתֻבָּתָהּ וַאֲפִלּוּ מְזוֹנוֹת אֵין לָהּ עָלָיו. וּמוֹחֶלֶת כְּתֻבָּתָהּ אֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה קִנְיָן וְלֹא עֵדִים כִּשְׁאָר כָּל הַמּוֹחֲלִים שֶׁאֵינָן צְרִיכִין לֹא עֵדִים וְלֹא קִנְיָן אֶלָּא בִּדְבָרִים בִּלְבַד. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיוּ דְּבָרִים שֶׁהַדַּעַת סוֹמֶכֶת עֲלֵיהֶן וְלֹא יִהְיוּ דִּבְרֵי שְׂחוֹק וְהִתּוּל אוֹ דִּבְרֵי תֵּימָהּ אֶלָּא בְּדַעַת נְכוֹנָה:

Footnotes
1.

In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Ketubot 10:4), the Rambam explains that this oath differs from the oath that all widows take before collecting from an estate, as mentioned in Chapter 16, Halachah 4, and must be taken even when the wives are not obligated to take that oath. The woman must take this oath for the other widows, stating that she did not collect any money from their husband's estate previously. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 96:16), however, states that the first widow takes an oath to the second, the second to the third, the third to the fourth, and the fourth to the heirs.

2.

This procedure is followed even if doing so prevents one of the wives from collecting all that is due her. Indeed, even if there is nothing left for her at all, this order should be followed.

3.

This ruling follows the opinion of ben Nanas in the above-mentioned mishnah. It involves a reversal of opinion for the Rambam, who, in his Commentary on the Mishnah favored the view of the other Sages.

4.

This refers to a situation where the property owned by the estate is sufficient to cover all the obligations. Otherwise, the creditor takes precedence over the widows, as explained in Halachot 4-5 (Maggid Mishneh).

5.

If one of the wives or creditors did not wait for the formal deposition of the estate's property, but took possession of some of the movable property on his or her own initiative, they are allowed to retain possession. For in contrast to landed property, the ownership of movable property is not a matter of public knowledge. Hence a creditor does not know whether another creditor preceded him, and therefore no creditor is given the right to collect his due from such property.

As reflected in the rulings of the Tur and the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 102:2), this ruling applies only when the movable property was not acquired together with and via the acquisition of landed property (kinyan agav). In the latter situation, the ownership of the movable property also becomes public knowledge, and therefore the order in which the liens were established is significant.

The Ramah quotes the opinion of the Mordechai, who states that, in the latter instance, if one of the widows seizes possession of the property, it should be expropriated from her.

6.

For it was money that he gave him.

7.

For a woman relies on the fact that she will ultimately be able to collect the money due her by virtue of her ketubah from the landed property in her husband's estate (Ketubot 86a).

8.

See Chapter 16, Halachah 7.

9.

See the notes on Halachah 3 with regard to a kinyan agav.

10.

The term nichsei tzon barzel refers to property that the woman brought to the household, for which the husband obligated himself to pay a fixed value. In this instance, since the woman, like a creditor, gave up something of value, she is considered on a higher level of precedence than usual.

11.

This pattern is also followed in the allocation of a person's holdings when they are not sufficient to pay the debts he owes, as explained in Hilchot Malveh V'Loveh, Chapter 20. The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam's approach and follows the minority view that the Rambam cites in that source, which maintains that the money should be divided proportionately. The Rambam's view is followed by most other Rishonim (Rashi, Rabbenu Yitzchak Alfasi, the Rashba and Rabbenu Asher) and is accepted by the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 96:18).

12.

Bava Batra 174b explains that the guarantor is not serious about his commitment. He feels that the couple needs only a small push to get married, and that is his intent, rather than making a serious financial commitment. Even a contractual act, which in other contexts serves as an indication of seriousness of purpose, is not sufficient in this instance.

The Ra'avad and the Tur (Even HaEzer 102) differ, and maintain that if a guarantor affirms his commitment with a contractual act, he is liable. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 102:6) quotes the Rambam's view, while the Ramah cites that of the Ra'avad.

13.

I.e., he brought about the marriage between the couple.

14.

As can be deduced from the Rambam's wording, the Maggid Mishneh states that if a person guarantees a woman's nedunyah (the goods she brought to the household), his commitment is binding. For in this instance, the woman did give up something of value.

15.

In this instance as well, the Ra'avad and the Tur differ and hold the father liable, even when he did not affirm his commitment with a contractual act. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 102:6) follows the Rambam's view, while the Ramah cites that of the Ra'avad.

16.

Moreover, this vow must be taken al da'at rabbim, based on the judgement of the public, and it thus cannot be nullified (Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 102:7).

17.

I.e., after the woman collected the money due her by virtue of her ketubah from him.

18.

The woman may not collect the money due her by virtue of her ketubah from the property while it is the possession of the Temple treasury. After it is redeemed, however, she may collect her due from the property. The person who redeems the property must, however, be advised that the property is on lien to a woman's ketubah. (See Hilchot Malveh V'Loveh 18:7; Hilchot Arachin VaCharamin 7:14-15.)

19.

I.e., the woman will collect her husband's property because it is on lien on her ketubah. Afterwards, she will remarry her husband, and he will be able to use his property, because of his rights as the woman's husband.

20.

The sale is valid, however, until the woman seeks to claim the property. If, by contrast, the husband sells property that belonged to the woman, or property from which she was designated to collect the money due her by virtue of her ketubah, the sale is nullified immediately (Maggid Mishneh). (See Hilchot Mechirah 30:3.)

21.

Note the Ramah (Even HaEzer 90:17), who states that if the woman received money from the purchaser, her commitment is binding.

22.

I.e., the woman is saying that her commitment was not sincere and was made only to satisfy her husband.

23.

Since she entered into the agreement with the purchaser before her husband made the sale, she cannot excuse herself by saying that she made her statements only to please her husband.

24.

The Maggid Mishneh questions the reason for this phrase. When this law is cited in the Tur and the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 90:17), this phrase is omitted. Nevertheless, based on the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Ketubot 10:5), the Ma'aseh Rokeach maintains that, according to the Rambam, a sale must have been nullified in order for the woman's commitment to be binding later on.

25.

A three-way compromise would obviously be most desirable. Nevertheless, any compromise between two of the three parties that causes one to renounce his right to expropriate the property is sufficient to stop the cycle (Chelkat Mechokek 100:26).

26.

Our Sages understood that the necessity to pursue judicial proceedings is a cause of hardship and embarrassment for women. They felt that rather than subject his wife to such distress, any husband would willingly grant her the right to collect the money due her by virtue of her ketubah by selling his property without appearing in court (Ketubot 97b).

Therefore, rather than require her to take the matter to a formal court, they enabled her to resolve the issue by having the property evaluated by three acquaintances who possess the qualities mentioned above. Although these men would not be considered capable of participating in an ordinary court, an exception was made in this case. If, however, the widow has already remarried, she is required to undergo the ordinary judicial procedure.

27.

I.e., should the property be expropriated by a creditor of the deceased, his heirs must reimburse the purchaser.

28.

With regard to a divorcee, by contrast, our Sages (op. cit.) felt that her ex-husband would not be disturbed by her being subjected to hardship when this is necessary to protect his own interests.

Although there are Rishonim who maintain that the provision made for a widow also applies to a divorcee, the Rambam's ruling is accepted by the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 103:3).

29.

See Hilchot Malveh V'Loveh 12:8,10, which explains that public announcements that a property will be sold are made daily for thirty days (or on Mondays and Thursdays, for a period of sixty days).

30.

I.e., without the participation of a formal court.

31.

I.e., without even the participation of the three acquaintances mentioned in the previous halachah.

32.

Although the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 103:1) appears to favor the Rambam's view, it does mention other opinions that differ.

33.

It would appear that the Rambam requires her merely to take the oath required of all widows before collecting the money due her by virtue of her ketubah. In this instance, the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 103:4) requires the woman to take an additional oath, stating that she did not sell the property for less than its worth.

34.

The Maggid Mishneh and Chelkat Mechokek 103:11 state that, according to the Rambam, if the woman has the property evaluated by three trustworthy men who are knowledgeable with regard to the value of property, she is allowed to take the property as her own. Other opinions differ and maintain that this is possible only when the property is evaluated by a proper Rabbinical court.

35.

When selling the property, the woman is considered to be the agent of the heirs, and the profit belongs to them and not to her (Ketubot 98b).

36.

In this instance, the woman must accept the loss herself, because she took property that was worth the full value of her ketubah.

37.

For she has no right to sell any property that is worth more than her ketubah.

38.

The requirement of a ketubah was instituted so that the husband will not consider divorce a light matter, because of the severity of the financial obligation that will result. This remains true even if the woman does not receive the money herself.

39.

As reflected in the continuation of the Rambam's words, the woman must first take the oaths required of her as if she herself were to collect the money due her by virtue of her ketubah.

40.

I.e., her rights to support, medical attention and the like.

41.

Chapter 19, Halachah 2.

42.

From the Rambam's wording, it appears that the woman is not entitled to her subsistence even during her husband's lifetime, while they remain married. (Note Chapter 10, Halachah 10, which states that if a woman waives her ketubah in favor of her husband, he must write her a new ketubah.) The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 93:9) quotes the opinion that even during the husband's lifetime, he is not required to support his wife, but appears to favor the view of other Rishonim (Rashi, the Ramban and the Rashba), who grant a woman the right to support during her husband's lifetime in such a situation.

See also Chapter 19, Halachah 12, which discusses another consequence of a woman's waiver of her ketubah in favor of her husband.

43.

In contrast to their role with regard to marriage and divorce, in financial matters witnesses are necessary only to confirm what happened. Their presence does not make a transaction or a commitment binding, nor hinder it from becoming so. (See Hilchot Mechirah 5:9.)

44.

See Hilchot Mechirah 5:11-13.

Ishut - Chapter Eighteen

1

A widow is entitled to receive support from the estate [inherited by her husband's] heirs as long as she remains a widow, unless she collects [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah.1 From the time she demands payment for her ketubah in court, however, she is no longer entitled to receive her subsistence.2

Similarly, if she sold [the rights to] her entire ketubah, gave them as security [for a loan] or made her ketubah an ipotiki for another person - i.e., she told him "Collect your debt from here" - she is not entitled to receive her subsistence from the heirs.3 [The above applies] whether these exchanges were made in a court of expert judges or outside a court, or whether they were made in her husband's lifetime or after his death.

If, however, she sold [the rights to] only a portion of her ketubah, she is entitled to receive her subsistence.4 When a widow becomes consecrated5 [to a new husband], she forfeits [her rights to receive] subsistence [from her deceased husband's estate].6

א

אַלְמָנָּה נִזּוֹנֶת מִנִּכְסֵי יוֹרְשִׁין כָּל זְמַן אַלְמְנוּתָהּ עַד שֶׁתִּטּל כְּתֻבָּתָהּ. וּמִשֶּׁתִּתְבַּע כְּתֻבָּתָהּ בְּבֵית דִּין אֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת. וְכֵן אִם מָכְרָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ כֻּלָּהּ אוֹ מִשְׁכְּנָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ אוֹ עָשְׂתָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ אַפּוֹתִיקִי לְאַחֵר. וְהוּא שֶׁתֹּאמַר לוֹ פֹּה תִּגְבֶּה חוֹבְךָ. בֵּין שֶׁעָשְׂתָה דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ בְּבֵית דִּין מֻמְחִין בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא בְּבֵית דִּין בֵּין שֶׁעָשְׂתָה בְּחַיֵּי בַּעְלָהּ בֵּין שֶׁעָשְׂתָה לְאַחַר מִיתַת בַּעְלָהּ אֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת מִן הַיּוֹרְשִׁים. אֲבָל אִם מָכְרָה מִקְצָתָהּ יֵשׁ לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת. וּמִשֶּׁתִּתְאָרֵס הָאַלְמָנָה אִבְּדָה מְזוֹנוֹתֶיהָ:

2

Just as the woman receives her subsistence from her husband's estate after his death, so, too, is she granted a wardrobe, household utensils and [the right to continue] living in the dwelling she lived in during her husband's lifetime.7 She may continue to make use of the pillows, spreads, servants and maidservants that she made use of during her husband's lifetime.

If the dwelling falls, the heirs are not required to rebuild it.8 [Even] if the widow asked, "Allow me to rebuild it at my own expense," she is not granted this option. Similarly, she may not repair it, nor have the walls sealed [and painted].

She must [continue to] dwell in it in the condition it [was in her husband's passing], or she must leave [and find other accommodations]. Should the heirs sell the dwelling in which a widow is living, their deed is of no consequence.

ב

כְּשֵׁם שֶׁנִּזֹּנֶת אַחַר מוֹתוֹ מִנְּכָסָיו כָּךְ נוֹתְנִין לָהּ כְּסוּת וּכְלֵי תַּשְׁמִישׁ וּמָדוֹר (אוֹ יוֹשֶׁבֶת בְּמָדוֹר) שֶׁהָיְתָה בּוֹ בְּחַיֵּי בַּעְלָהּ וּמִשְׁתַּמֶּשֶׁת בְּכָרִים וּכְסָתוֹת בַּעֲבָדִים וּבִשְׁפָחוֹת שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּמְּשָׁה בָּהֶן בְּחַיֵּי בַּעְלָהּ. נָפַל הַמָּדוֹר אֵין הַיּוֹרְשִׁין חַיָּבִין לִבְנוֹתוֹ. וְאִם אָמְרָה הָנִיחוּ לִי וַאֲנִי אֶבְנֶנּוּ מִשֶּׁלִּי אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לָהּ. וְכֵן לֹא תְּחַזֵּק בִּדְקוֹ וְלֹא תִּטְחֶה אוֹתוֹ אֶלָּא תֵּשֵׁב בּוֹ כְּמָה שֶׁהוּא אוֹ תֵּצֵא. וְיֹורְשִׁין שֶׁמָּכְרוּ מְדוֹר אַלְמָנָה לֹא עָשׂוּ וְלֹא כְּלוּם:

3

If the dwelling [in which she was living fell] or her husband had been renting a dwelling, [the estate must] provide her with a dwelling appropriate to her social standing. Similarly, her subsistence and the wardrobe given her are granted according to her social standing.

If her husband's social standing exceeded her own, she is granted the above according to his social standing. For a woman's [social standing] ascends according to [her husband's] social standing, but does not descend [according to his]. [This applies] even after his death.

ג

נָפַל הַבַּיִת אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה לְבַעְלָהּ בַּיִת אֶלָּא בְּשָׂכָר נוֹתְנִין לָהּ מָדוֹר לְפִי כְּבוֹדָהּ. וְכֵן מְזוֹנוֹתֶיהָ וּכְסוּתָהּ לְפִי כְּבוֹדָהּ. וְאִם הָיָה כְּבוֹד הַבַּעַל גָּדוֹל מִכְּבוֹדָהּ נוֹתְנִין לָהּ לְפִי כְּבוֹדוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁעוֹלָה עִמּוֹ וְאֵינָהּ יוֹרֶדֶת אֲפִלּוּ לְאַחַר מִיתָה:

4

[The widow is given her subsistence as a member of] the household at large. What is the intent of [the latter term]? When five people who would each require a kav of food when they eat alone [live] in the same house and eat together [their needs are reduced]. Four kabbim will be sufficient for them. The same applies with regard to other necessary household [supplies].

Therefore, if a widow says: "I will not leave my father's house. Ascertain the amount of support I deserve for my subsistence and give it to me there," the heirs have the right to tell her: "If you desire to dwell with us, you will receive [a full measure of] support. If not, we will give you only your share as a member of the household at large."

If she explains [that she desires not to live with them] because she is young, and they are young [and the situation would be immodest, her claim is accepted]. [The heirs are required] to provide her with support sufficient for her as she lives alone, while she lives in her father's home.

[Any money] remaining from [the funds granted for] the support of a widow or from her wardrobe belongs to the heirs.9

ד

בִּרְכַּת הַבַּיִת מְרֻבָּה כֵּיצַד. חֲמִשָּׁה שֶׁהָיָה מְזוֹנוֹת כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן קַב בְּשֶׁיֹּאכַל לְבַדּוֹ אִם הָיוּ חֲמִשְּׁתָּן בְּבַיִת אֶחָד וְאוֹכְלִין בְּעֵרוּב מַסְפִּיק לָהֶן אַרְבַּע קַבִּין. וְהוּא הַדִּין לִשְׁאָר צָרְכֵי הַבַּיִת. לְפִיכָךְ אַלְמָנָה שֶׁאָמְרָה אֵינֶנִּי זָזָה מִבֵּית אָבִי פִּסְקוּ לִי מְזוֹנוֹת וּתְנוּ לִי שָׁם. יְכוֹלִין הַיּוֹרְשִׁין לוֹמַר לָהּ אִם אַתְּ אֶצְלֵנוּ יֵשׁ לָךְ מְזוֹנוֹת וְאִם לָאו אֵין אָנוּ נוֹתְנִים לָךְ אֶלָּא כְּפִי בִּרְכַּת הַבַּיִת. וְאִם הָיְתָה טוֹעֶנֶת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא יַלְדָּה וְהֵם יְלָדִים נוֹתְנִין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת הַמַּסְפִּיקִין לָהּ לְבַדָּהּ וְהִיא בְּבֵית אָבִיהָ. וּמוֹתַר מְזוֹנוֹת הָאַלְמָנָה וּמוֹתַר הַכְּסוּת לַיּוֹרְשִׁין:

5

[The following laws apply when] a widow becomes sick. If she requires medical treatment that is of an undefined nature, it is considered as support for her subsistence, and the heirs must provide her with it.10 If, however, she requires medical treatment of a limited nature, the treatment [should be paid for by deducting it] from [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah.

If she is taken captive, the heirs are not required to redeem her. [This applies] even if she is a yevamah [and it is a mitzvah for her late husband's brother to marry her]. [Indeed,] even when she was taken captive during her husband's lifetime [and he was thus obligated to redeem her], if he dies while she is in captivity, there is no obligation to redeem her from his estate. Instead, she must be redeemed from her private funds, or she must collect [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah and redeem herself.

ה

אַלְמָנָה שֶׁחָלְתָה אִם צְרִיכָה לִרְפוּאָה שֶׁאֵין לָהּ קִצְבָה הֲרֵי זוֹ כִּמְזוֹנוֹת וְיוֹרְשִׁין חַיָּבִין בָּהּ. וְאִם הִיא צְרִיכָה רְפוּאָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהּ קִצְבָה הֲרֵי זוֹ מִתְרַפְּאָה מִכְּתֻבָּתָהּ. נִשְׁבֵּית אֵין הַיּוֹרְשִׁין חַיָּבִין לִפְדּוֹתָהּ אֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה יְבָמָה וַאֲפִלּוּ נִשְׁבֵּית בְּחַיֵּי בַּעְלָהּ וָמֵת וְהִיא בַּשִּׁבְיָהּ אֵין חַיָּבִין לִפְדּוֹתָהּ מִנְּכָסָיו אֶלָּא נִפְדֵּית מִשֶּׁל עַצְמָהּ אוֹ תִּטּל כְּתֻבָּתָהּ וְתִפְדֶּה עַצְמָהּ:

6

When a widow dies, her late husband's heirs are responsible for her burial. If, however, she had already taken the oath required of a widow [before collecting the money due her by virtue of her ketubah], her heirs inherit her ketubah, and they are required to bury her, and not her late husband's heirs.11

[Her late husband's] heirs are entitled to the income [from the work] of the widow. If the heirs tell the widow, "Take the income you generate in exchange for [receiving] your subsistence," their words are of no substance. If, however, she desires such an arrangement, she is given this prerogative.12

ו

מֵתָה הָאַלְמָנָה יוֹרְשֵׁי הַבַּעַל חַיָּבִין בִּקְבוּרָתָהּ. וְאִם נִשְׁבְּעָה שְׁבוּעַת אַלְמָנָה וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵתָה יוֹרְשֶׁיהָ יוֹרְשִׁין כְּתֻבָּתָהּ וְהֵן חַיָּבִין בִּקְבוּרָתָהּ אֲבָל לֹא יוֹרְשֵׁי הַבַּעַל. מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵי הָאַלְמָנָה לַיּוֹרְשִׁין. וְיוֹרֵשׁ שֶׁאָמַר לָאַלְמָנָה טְלִי מַעֲשֵׂה יָדַיִךְ בִּמְזוֹנוֹתַיִךְ אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ. אֲבָל הִיא שֶׁרָצְתָה בָּזֶה שׁוֹמְעִין לָהּ:

7

All the household tasks that a wife performs on behalf of her husband, a widow must perform on behalf of his heirs, with the exception of pouring them drinks, making their beds and washing their face, hands and feet.13

ז

וְכָל מְלָאכוֹת שֶׁהָאִשָּׁה עוֹשָׂה לְבַעְלָהּ אַלְמָנָה עוֹשָׂה לִיתוֹמִים חוּץ מִמְּזִיגַת הַכּוֹס וְהַצָּעַת הַמִּטָּה וְהַרְחָצַת פָּנָיו יָדָיו וְרַגְלָיו:

8

An ownerless article discovered by a widow and the benefit that accrues from the property that the woman brought to her husband's household belong to the woman herself; the heirs [to her husband's estate] have no right to them at all.14

ח

מְצִיאַת הָאַלְמָנָה וּפֵרוֹת נְכָסִים שֶׁהִכְנִיסָה לַבַּעַל לְעַצְמָהּ וְאֵין לַיּוֹרֵשׁ בָּהֶם כְּלוּם:

9

The property that [a woman brought to the household as] her nedunyah may be taken by the woman without her having to take an oath.15 The heirs to her husband's estate have no claim with regard to it, except if the nichsei tzon barzel have increased in value during her husband's lifetime. [In this instance,] the increase belongs to the husband16 [and is given to his heirs].

[Even] if a widow dies without taking the oath [required of her], her heirs inherit her nedunyah, even if it is nichsei tzon barzel. If, however, it has increased in value, the increase must go to her husband's heirs.

ט

וְהַנְּכָסִים עַצְמָם שֶׁהֵם נְדֻנְיָתָהּ נוֹטֶלֶת אוֹתָן בְּלֹא שְׁבוּעָה וְאֵין לַיּוֹרְשִׁים בָּהֶם דִּין לְעוֹלָם אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הוֹתִירוּ בְּחַיֵּי הַבַּעַל וְהָיוּ נִכְסֵי צֹאן בַּרְזֶל שֶׁהַמּוֹתָר לַבַּעַל. וְאִם מֵתָה הָאַלְמָנָה בְּלֹא שְׁבוּעָה יוֹרְשֶׁיהָ יוֹרְשִׁים נְדֻנְיָתָהּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא נִכְסֵי צֹאן בַּרְזֶל. וְאִם הָיָה בָּהֶן מוֹתָר הַמּוֹתָר לְיוֹרְשֵׁי הַבַּעַל:

10

When a woman seizes movable property [belonging to her husband's estate, so that she can sell it and use the money] for her subsistence, the property should not be removed from her possession.17 [This applies regardless of] whether she took possession of the movable property during her husband's lifetime or afterwards. Even if she takes possession of a talent of gold18 [it is not removed from her possession].

Instead, the court documents what she has taken into her possession and defines the amount she should be given for her subsistence. Calculations are made, and she is allowed to derive her subsistence from [the property] in her possession until she dies or until she is no longer entitled to support for her subsistence. [At that time,] the heirs are granted the remainder.

י

אַלְמָנָה שֶׁתָּפְסָה מִטַּלְטְלִין כְּדֵי שֶׁתִּזּוֹן מֵהֶן בֵּין שֶׁתָּפְסָה מֵחַיִּים בֵּין שֶׁתָּפְסָה אַחַר מוֹתוֹ אֲפִלּוּ תָּפְסָה כִּכַּר זָהָב אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיָּדָהּ אֶלָּא כּוֹתְבִין עָלֶיהָ בֵּית דִּין מַה שֶּׁתָּפְסָה וּפוֹסְקִין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת וּמְחַשְּׁבִין עִמָּהּ וְהִיא נִזּוֹנֶת מִמַּה שֶּׁבְּיָדָהּ עַד שֶׁתָּמוּת אוֹ עַד שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיוּ לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת. וְיִקְחוּ הַיּוֹרְשִׁין אֶת הַשְּׁאָר:

11

Similarly, if she took possession of movable property during her husband's lifetime [to provide] for [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah, she may collect [the money due her] from this [property after he dies]. If, however, she took possession of it after her husband's death [to provide] for [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah, she may not collect [her due] from it.19

יא

וְכֵן אִם תָּפְסָה מִטַּלְטְלִין בִּכְתֻבָּתָהּ בְּחַיֵּי בַּעְלָהּ וָמֵת גּוֹבָה מֵהֶן. אֲבָל אִם תָּפְסָה אַחַר מוֹתוֹ לִכְתֻבָּתָהּ אֵינָהּ גּוֹבָה מֵהֶן אַף עַל גַּב שֶׁתִּקְּנוּ הַגְּאוֹנִים שֶׁתִּגְבֶּה הַכְּתֻבָּה וּתְנָאֵי הַכְּתֻבָּה מִן הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין. לְפִיכָךְ תִּזּוֹן הָאַלְמָנָה מִן הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא תָּפְסָה:

12

20The geonim ordained that a woman may collect [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah and every obligation due her as a stipulation of her ketubah from the movable property [in her husband's estate]. Based on this [provision], a woman may receive her subsistence from [the sale of] movable property [from her husband's estate].

Nevertheless, if her husband left movable property and she did not take possession of it, the heirs take possession of it, and they must provide her with her subsistence. She has no right to prevent them from taking possession, by saying: "Have the movable property held in the court [so that] I can derive my subsistence from it, lest it become depleted,21 and I will have no means of support." Even if an explicit stipulation was made [by her husband at the time her ketubah was composed] that she could derive her subsistence from this movable property, she cannot prevent [the heirs] from taking possession of it.22 This is the ruling that is universally followed in all courts.

יב

וְאִם הִנִּיחַ בַּעְלָהּ מִטַּלְטְלִין וְלֹא תָּפְסָה אוֹתָן הַיּוֹרְשִׁים נוֹטְלִין אוֹתָן וְהֵן מַעֲלִין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת וְאֵינָהּ יְכוֹלָה לְעַכֵּב עֲלֵיהֶן וְלוֹמַר יִהְיוּ הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין מֻנָּחִין בְּבֵית דִּין עַד שֶׁאִזּוֹן מֵהֶן שֶׁמָּא יֹאבְדוּ וְלֹא יִהְיוּ לִי מְזוֹנוֹת. וַאֲפִלּוּ הִתְנְתָה עָלָיו בְּפֵרוּשׁ שֶׁתִּזּוֹן מִן הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין אֵינָהּ מְעַכֶּבֶת. וְכָזֶה דָּנִין תָּמִיד בְּכָל בָּתֵּי דִּינִין:

13

If, however, her husband left landed property, she has the right to prevent the heirs from selling it. If they do sell it, however, she does not have the right to expropriate [the property] from the purchasers. A widow and a man's daughters may derive their subsistence only from the property that remains in his estate. [In this regard, they have no claim to property that was sold.]23

יג

אֲבָל אִם הִנִּיחַ קַרְקַע יְכוֹלָה הִיא לְעַכֵּב עֲלֵיהֶן שֶׁלֹּא יִמְכְּרוּ וְאִם מָכְרוּ אֵינָהּ מוֹצִיאָה מִיַּד הַלָּקוֹחוֹת שֶׁאֵין הָאִשָּׁה וְהַבָּנוֹת נִזּוֹנוֹת אֶלָּא מִנְּכָסִים בְּנֵי חוֹרִין:

14

If the deceased left many wives, they all have equal rights to receive their subsistence. [This applies] even when he married them one after the other. For the concept of a prior claim does not exist with regard to a claim for support.24

יד

הִנִּיחַ נָשִׁים רַבּוֹת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנְּשָׂאָן זוֹ אַחַר זוֹ נִזּוֹנוֹת בְּשָׁוֶה (כְּמוֹ) שֶׁאֵין דִּין קְדִימָה בְּמִטַּלְטְלִין:

15

[The following rules apply with regard to] a widow who has an obligation to marry a yavam.25 During the first three months,26 she derives her subsistence from her deceased husband's estate.27 If it can be determined that she is pregnant, or if it was known that she was pregnant when her husband died, she continues to derive her support [from his estate] until she gives birth. If she bears a viable child, she may continue to derive her subsistence throughout her widowhood as other women do.

If after three months have passed, it is [either] not evident that she is pregnant or she miscarries, she is not entitled to support from either her husband's estate or from her yavam. Instead, she must file a suit against her yavam either to marry her or [to free her of her obligation through] chalitzah.

טו

אַלְמָנָה שֶׁנָּפְלָה לִפְנֵי יָבָם בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה חֳדָשִׁים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים נִזּוֹנֶת מִשֶּׁל בַּעַל. וְאִם הֻכַּר הָעֵבָּר וְכֵן אִם הֱנִיחָהּ מְעֻבֶּרֶת נִזּוֹנֶת וְהוֹלֶכֶת עַד שֶׁתֵּלֵד. יָלְדָה בֵּן שֶׁל קַיָּמָא נִזּוֹנֶת וְהוֹלֶכֶת כָּל יְמֵי אַלְמְנוּתָהּ כִּשְׁאָר כָּל הַנָּשִׁים. לֹא נִמְצֵאת מְעֻבֶּרֶת אַחַר שְׁלֹשָׁה חֳדָשִׁים אוֹ שֶׁהִפִּילָה אֵינָהּ נִזּוֹנֶת לֹא מִשֶּׁל בַּעַל וְלֹא מִשֶּׁל יָבָם אֶלָּא תּוֹבַעַת יְבָמָהּ לִכְנֹס אוֹ לַחֲלֹץ:

16

If she filed a suit against her yavam either to marry her or [to free her of her obligation through] chalitzah, he appeared in court and then fled or became ill, or if the yavam lives overseas,28 the woman is entitled to derive her support from the property of the yavam without taking any oath at all.29

טז

תָּבְעָה יְבָמָהּ לִכְנֹס אוֹ לַחֲלֹץ וְעָמַד בְּבֵית דִּין וּבָרַח אוֹ שֶׁחָלָה אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה הַיָּבָם בִּמְדִינַת הַיָּם הֲרֵי זוֹ נִזּוֹנֶת מִשֶּׁל יָבָם בְּלֹא שְׁבוּעָה כְּלָל:

17

If the yavam she was obligated to marry is a minor,30 she is not entitled to receive her support from him until he comes of age and resembles other yevamim.31

יז

נָפְלָה לִפְנֵי יָבָם קָטָן אֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת עַד שֶׁיִּגְדַּל וְיִהְיֶה כִּשְׁאָר הַיָּבָמִין:

18

Should a person designate a portion of land to be used for support of his wife after his death, by saying: "This particular place will be for [my wife's] support,"32 he has granted her additional rights with regard to her support.

If the income [from this land] is less than the support due her, she is entitled [to collect] the remainder from the other portions of his estate. If the income [from those portions of land] is less than the support due her, she is entitled to the entire amount.

If, however, he told her, "Your support will come from this particular place," and she remained silent,33 her sole source of support is the income from that particular place. [Her husband] has specificied [the source for] her support.

יח

מִי שֶׁיִּחֵד קַרְקַע לְאִשְׁתּוֹ בִּמְזוֹנוֹתֶיהָ בִּשְׁעַת מִיתָה וְאָמַר יִהְיֶה מָקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי לִמְזוֹנוֹת הֲרֵי רִבָּה לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת. וְאִם הָיָה שְׂכָרוֹ פָּחוֹת מִמְּזוֹנוֹת הָרְאוּיוֹת לָהּ נוֹטֶלֶת הַשְּׁאָר מִשְּׁאָר נְכָסִים. וְאִם הָיָה שְׂכָרוֹ יוֹתֵר מִן הָרָאוּי לָהּ נוֹטֶלֶת הַכּל. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר לָהּ יִהְיֶה בְּמָקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי בִּמְזוֹנוֹתֶיהָ וְשָׁתְקָה אֵין לָהּ אֶלָּא פֵּרוֹת אוֹתוֹ מָקוֹם בִּלְבַד שֶׁהֲרֵי קָצַץ לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת:

19

There are those who have ruled that when a widow comes to the court to ask for support she should be allotted support without requiring her to take an oath.34 This ruling should not be followed; they have misunderstood [the situation, erroneously associating it with that of] a woman whose husband left on an overseas journey.35

My teachers36 ruled that she should not be allotted support until she takes an oath in court.37 For she is coming to collect from property in the possession of heirs, and anyone who collects property in the possession of heirs may do so only after an oath has been taken. My own conception [also] follows [this approach], and it is proper to rule accordingly.

יט

אַלְמָנָה שֶׁבָּאָה לְבֵית דִּין לִתְבֹּעַ מְזוֹנוֹת יֵשׁ מִי שֶׁהוֹרָה שֶׁפּוֹסְקִין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת וְאֵין מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתָהּ. וְאֵין רָאוּי לִסְמֹךְ עַל הוֹרָאָה זוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנִּתְחַלֵּף לוֹ הַדָּבָר בְּאִשָּׁה שֶׁהָלַךְ בַּעְלָהּ לִמְדִינַת הַיָּם. וְרַבּוֹתַי הוֹרוּ שֶׁאֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת מִבֵּית דִּין עַד שֶׁתִּשָּׁבַע שֶׁהֲרֵי זוֹ בָּאָה לְהִפָּרַע מִנִּכְסֵי יְתוֹמִים וְכָל הַנִּפְרָע מִנִּכְסֵי יְתוֹמִים לֹא יִפָּרַע אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבוּעָה. וְלָזֶה דַּעְתִּי נוֹטָה וְכֵן רָאוּי לָדוּן:

20

When a woman comes to the court to collect support for her subsistence, an oath is administered to her at the outset. The property is then sold without being publicized, and an allotment is made for her subsistence.38

Similarly, she is entitled to sell property for her subsistence without involving a court of expert judges; three trustworthy individuals are sufficient, and the sale need not be publicized. Similarly, if she sells property by herself for its appropriate value to provide for her subsistence, the sale is binding.39 When the heirs come and require her to take an oath, she must take the oath.

כ

אַלְמָנָה שֶׁבָּאָה לְבֵית דִּין לִתְבֹּעַ מְזוֹנוֹת מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתָהּ בַּתְּחִלָּה וּמוֹכְרִין בְּלֹא הַכְרָזָה וְנוֹתְנִין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת. וְכֵן יֵשׁ לָהּ לִמְכֹּר לִמְזוֹנוֹת שֶׁלֹּא בְּבֵית דִּין מֻמְחִין אֶלָּא בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה אֲנָשִׁים נֶאֱמָנִים בְּלֹא הַכְרָזָה. וְכֵן אִם מָכְרָה לִמְזוֹנוֹת בֵּינָהּ לְבֵין עַצְמָהּ שָׁוֶה בְּשָׁוֶה מִכְרָהּ קַיָּם וּכְשֶׁיָּבֹאוּ הַיֹּרְשִׁין לְהַשְׁבִּיעַ אוֹתָהּ נִשְׁבַּעַת:

21

How much property is sold to provide for her subsistence? Enough to provide for her support for six months,40 but not for longer than that. The sale is made on the condition that the purchaser give the widow an allotment for food every thirty days.41 Afterwards, another parcel of property is sold for another six months.

The property should continue to be sold in this manner until all that remains from the estate is [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah. She should collect this sum and complete her dealings with the court.42

כא

וְכַמָּה מוֹכְרִין לִמְזוֹנוֹת כְּדֵי לָזוּן מֵהֶם שִׁשָּׁה חֳדָשִׁים לֹא יוֹתֵר עַל זֶה. וּמוֹכְרִין עַל מְנָת שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַלּוֹקֵחַ נוֹתֵן לָהּ מְזוֹן שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם וְחוֹזֶרֶת וּמוֹכֶרֶת פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה לְשִׁשָּׁה חֳדָשִׁים. וְכֵן מוֹכֶרֶת וְהוֹלֶכֶת לְעוֹלָם עַד שֶׁיִּשָּׁאֵר מִן הַנְּכָסִים כְּדֵי כְּתֻבָּתָהּ גּוֹבָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ מִן הַשְּׁאָר וְהוֹלֶכֶת לָהּ:

22

When the court allots a widow support for her subsistence, they do not reckon the money she earns until the heirs come and demand it. [If such a demand is made,] and the woman has earned money, they are entitled to it. If not, they have no further claim against her.

I maintain [however] that if the heirs are below majority, the court should make a reckoning with the widow with regard to [her income].43 Just as she is allotted a subsistence, the court declares that her income [should be given to the orphans].

כב

אַלְמָנָה שֶׁפָּסְקוּ לָהּ בֵּית דִּין מְזוֹנוֹת אֵין מְחַשְּׁבִין עִמָּהּ עַל מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיהָ עַד שֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ הַיּוֹרְשִׁים וְיִתְבְּעוּהָ. אִם מָצְאוּ לָהּ מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיהָ נוֹטְלִין אוֹתוֹ וְאִם לָאו הוֹלְכִין לְדַרְכָּם. וַאֲנִי אוֹמֵר שֶׁאִם הָיוּ הַיּוֹרְשִׁים קְטַנִּים בֵּית דִּין מְחַשְּׁבִין עִמָּהּ וּפוֹסְקִין מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיהָ כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁפּוֹסְקִין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת:

23

When a widow does not manifest possession of her ketubah, she is not granted money for her subsistence. [The rationale is that] perhaps she waived her ketubah [in favor of her husband] or sold it or gave it as security [for a loan].44

Even when the heir[s] do not issue such a claim against her, the court makes this claim on their behalf and tells her: "Bring your ketubah, take the required oath and collect [the money for] your subsistence." [This law applies] unless it is not customary [in a particular locale] to compose a document recording the ketubah.45

כג

אַלְמָנָה שֶׁאֵין שְׁטַר כְּתֻבָּה יוֹצֵא מִתַּחַת יָדָהּ אֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת שֶׁמָּא מָחֲלָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ אוֹ מָכְרָה אוֹ מִשְׁכְּנָה אוֹתָהּ. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא טָעַן יוֹרֵשׁ טוֹעֲנִין אָנוּ לוֹ וְאוֹמְרִים לָהּ הָבִיאִי כְּתֻבָּתֵךְ וְהִשָּׁבְעִי וּטְלִי מְזוֹנוֹתֶיךָ אֶלָּא אִם אֵין דַּרְכָּם לִכְתֹּב כְּתֻבָּה:

24

[The following laws apply when] a woman and her husband traveled overseas, and she returned, claiming [her husband] died. If she desires, she is entitled to receive her subsistence from her husband's estate, as are other widows. If she desires, she may collect [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah.46

If she claims, "My husband divorced me," her word is not accepted.47 She is, however, entitled to derive her subsistence from his estate until she receives a sum equal to [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah. [The rationale is] that if she is still his wife, she is entitled to receive her subsistence [from his holdings]. If he divorced her, she is entitled to receive [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah, [provided] she manifests possession of her ketubah. Therefore, she may collect the support for her subsistence until she receives [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah. [From this point on,] she has completed her dealings with the court.

כד

הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁהָלְכָה הִיא וּבַעְלָהּ לִמְדִינַת הַיָּם וּבָאָה וְאָמְרָה מֵת בַּעְלִי רָצְתָה נִזּוֹנֶת כְּדִין כָּל הָאַלְמָנוֹת רָצְתָה נוֹטֶלֶת כְּתֻבָּה. אָמְרָה גֵּרְשַׁנִי בַּעְלִי אֵינָהּ נֶאֱמֶנֶת וְנִזּוֹנֶת מִנְּכָסָיו עַד כְּדֵי כְּתֻבָּתָהּ מִכָּל פָּנִים. שֶׁאִם עֲדַיִן הִיא אִשְׁתּוֹ יֵשׁ לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת. וְאִם גֵּרְשָׁהּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמְרָה יֵשׁ לָהּ כְּתֻבָּה שֶׁהֲרֵי כְּתֻבָּתָהּ בְּיָדָהּ. לְפִיכָךְ נוֹטֶלֶת מְזוֹנוֹת עַד כְּדֵי כְּתֻבָּתָהּ וְהוֹלֶכֶת לָהּ:

25

[The following laws apply when] there is doubt whether a woman was divorced, and her husband died [afterwards]. She is not entitled to receive her subsistence from his estate, for property cannot be expropriated from an heir on the basis of a doubtful claim.48 During her husband's lifetime, by contrast, she is entitled to her subsistence until she is divorced in a complete and binding manner.49

כה

הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁהָיָה לָהּ סְפֵק גֵּרוּשִׁין וּמֵת בַּעְלָהּ אֵינָהּ נִזּוֹנֶת מִנְּכָסָיו שֶׁאֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיַּד הַיּוֹרֵשׁ מִסָּפֵק. אֲבָל בְּחַיֵּי בַּעְלָהּ יֵשׁ לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת עַד שֶׁתִּתְגָּרֵשׁ גֵּרוּשִׁין גְּמוּרִין:

26

If a poor50 widow waits two years before she sues for support - or if a rich widow waits three years - it can be assumed that she has waived her claim to support for the previous years.51Therefore, she is not granted support for that period. From the time she issues a claim onward, however, she is entitled to support.

If, however, she waited even one day less [before presenting her claim], she is not considered to have waived her claim, and she may collect her support for the previous years.

כו

אַלְמָנָה עֲנִיָּה שֶׁשָּׁהֲתָה שְׁתֵּי שָׁנִים וְלֹא תָּבְעָה מְזוֹנוֹת אוֹ עֲשִׁירָה שֶׁשָּׁהֲתָה שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים וְלֹא תָּבְעָה וִתְּרָה וְאֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת בַּשָּׁנִים שֶׁעָבְרוּ אֶלָּא מִשָּׁעָה שֶׁתָּבְעָה. וְאִם שָׁהֲתָה פָּחוֹת מִזֶּה אֲפִלּוּ בְּיוֹם אֶחָד לֹא וִתְּרָה אֶלָּא תּוֹבַעַת וְנוֹטֶלֶת מְזוֹן הַשָּׁנִים שֶׁעָבְרוּ:

27

[The following rules apply when] a widow demands support for her subsistence from the heirs, and they claim to have paid her, while she claims that she did not receive payment. Until she remarries, the burden of proof is on the orphans. [If they do not support their claim], the widow is entitled to take a rabbinical oath and collect the money due her.52 If she has already remarried, the burden of proof is upon her. [If she does not support her claim,] the heirs are entitled to take a rabbinic oath that they paid her [and are freed of obligation].53

כז

אַלְמָנָה שֶׁתָּבְעָה מְזוֹנוֹת מִן הַיּוֹרְשִׁים הֵם אוֹמְרִים נָתַנְנוּ וְהִיא אוֹמֶרֶת לֹא נָטַלְתִּי כָּל זְמַן שֶׁלֹּא נִשֵּׂאת עַל הַיְתוֹמִים לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה אוֹ תִּשָּׁבַע שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת וְתִטּל. מִשֶּׁנִּשֵּׂאת עָלֶיהָ לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה אוֹ יִשָּׁבְעוּ הַיּוֹרְשִׁים שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת שֶׁנָּתְנוּ לָהּ:

28

The laws governing the extra sum added by the husband to the ketubah are the same as those governing the fundamental requirement of the ketubah. Therefore, if a widow demands payment of this additional amount - or sells it, waives payment of it [in favor of her husband] or gives it as security - together with the fundamental requirement of the ketubah, she is not entitled to support for her subsistence.

If she demanded payment for a portion and left a portion uncollected,54 it is as if she demanded payment for a portion of the fundamental requirement of the ketubah and left a portion uncollected.55

Whenever a woman sells or waives payment of her ketubah without making any further specification, she is considered to have sold or waived this additional amount together with the fundamental requirement of the ketubah. For the term ketubah is universally used to refer to both these items.

כח

דִּין תּוֹסֶפֶת כְּתֻבָּה כְּדִין הָעִקָּר. לְפִיכָךְ אַלְמָנָה שֶׁתָּבְעָה אוֹ מָכְרָה אוֹ מָחֲלָה אוֹ מִשְׁכְּנָה תּוֹסֶפֶת כְּתֻבָּתָהּ עִם הָעִקָּר אֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת. וְאִם תָּבְעָה מִקְצָת וְהִנִּיחָה מִקְצָת הֲרֵי זוֹ כְּמִי שֶׁתָּבְעָה מִקְצָת הָעִקָּר וְהִנִּיחָה מִקְצָתוֹ. וְכָל הַמּוֹכֶרֶת אוֹ הַמּוֹחֶלֶת סְתָם מָכְרָה וּמָחֲלָה הַתּוֹסֶפֶת עִם הָעִקָּר שֶׁשְּׁנֵיהֶם כְּתֻבָּה שְׁמָם בְּכָל מָקוֹם:

Footnotes
1.

Rashi (Gittin 35a) states that as long as the widow does not contemplate remarriage, she is showing honor to her deceased husband, and therefore our Sages ordained that she should receive her subsistence from his estate. However, by demanding payment of the money due her by virtue of her ketubah, she indicates that she is seeking to remarry. From that time onward, her deceased husband's estate is no longer obligated to support her.

The option whether to continue receiving her subsistence or to demand payment of the money due her by virtue of her ketubah is hers. The heirs cannot compel her to receive the money due her by virtue of her ketubah and cease giving her support (Ketubot 95b; Maggid Mishneh).

2.

The Beit Shmuel 93:13 explains that if the woman asks for payment of the money due her by virtue of her ketubah, and the heirs refuse to pay her or are unable to do so, she is still entitled to support.

3.

In all these instances, it is considered as if she has already collected the money due her by virtue of her ketubah.

4.

In this instance, however, the heirs have the right to pay her the remainder of the money due her by virtue of her ketubah, and thus prevent her from continuing to collect her subsistence from the estate. If this provision were not granted, every widow would collect all the money due her by virtue of her ketubah except for the final p'rutah, and continue to receive support (Rabbenu Asher, quoted by the Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 93:10.).

5.

In the present age, this law applies even when the woman has merely become engaged to a new husband (Beit Yosef, Even HaEzer 93, as quoted by the Ramah, Even HaEzer 93:7).

6.

Even if she has not collected the money due her by virtue of her ketubah.

7.

Nevertheless, the dwelling becomes the property of the heirs, and they are also entitled to live there. The widow is, however, granted a place of dignity in the household (Maggid Mishneh; Ramah, Even HaEzer 94:1).

8.

Nor are they required to give her a room in it if they rebuild it themselves. Instead, they may rent her a different dwelling, as stated in the following halachah.

9.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam and maintains that these funds are granted to the widow, but the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 95:5) follows the Rambam's ruling.

10.

The heirs may, however, fix a price with the physician for the widow's treatment, and then she becomes responsible for the financial burden (Ketubot 52b; Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 79:2).

11.

The rationale is, as stated in Chapter 12, Halachah 4, that the burial of the woman was granted her in return for the husband's right to inherit her ketubah. If her heirs can collect the money due her by virtue of her ketubah, they are required to bury her. If not, since the money for her ketubah remains within the husband's estate, his heirs are responsible for her burial.

Although this is the Rambam's view, the Ra'avad and Rabbenu Nissim do not accept it. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 89:4) mentions the Rambam's view and states that it was not accepted by the other authorities.

12.

The same laws apply with regard to her husband during his lifetime, as stated in Chapter 12, Halachah 4.

13.

These tasks are acts of endearment, appropriate only for a wife to her husband.

14.

Although a husband is granted these rights (Chapter 12, Halachah 3), his heirs are not. The husband is granted the rights to the objects his wife finds so that strife will not arise between them. That rationale is not considered with regard to his heirs (Ketubot 96a).

With regard to the rights to her property: as mentioned in Chapter 12, Halachah 4, our Sages associated the rights to a woman's property with her redemption from captivity. Since the heirs are not obligated to redeem her, they are not entitled to this privilege.

15.

The property that a woman brings to her household belongs to her. Her husband has merely the right to derive benefit from it; he is not the owner. With regard to this property, she is treated like any of the other creditors of the estate, and no oath is required of her.

16.

Nichsei tzon barzel is property that the husband has had evaluated, and it is the value of the article for which he obligates himself or his estate. Nevertheless, if the property itself exists, it is given to the woman. If the property has increased in value, however, the husband - and therefore his heirs - are entitled to the increase.

The Maggid Mishneh and the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 96:1) state that this law refers only in an instance where the property that the woman brought to the household - or an article exchanged for it - is still intact. Otherwise, she is required to take an oath before collecting the money paid in lieu of the property.

17.

Although the movable property in her husband's estate is not under lien for her subsistence, it is not taken away from her if she takes possession of it. As the Kessef Mishneh emphasizes, the above applies with regard to the Talmudic era. As stated in the following halachah, it is customary at present to consider movable property as under lien to all a husband's obligations.

There are some Rishonim who differ with the Rambam and equate the provisions for the widow's subsistence with the collection of the money due her by virtue of her ketubah. (See the following halachah.) The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 93:20) follows the Rambam's view.

18.

I.e., a sum that will last far longer than thirty days - the length of time for which the court sells property to provide her with her subsistence - or perhaps more than the worth of the woman's entire ketubah.

19.

Instead, it must be returned to the heirs.

Tosafot (Ketubot 96a) explains the distinction between a woman's taking possession of movable property to collect for her subsistence and the collection of the money due her by virtue of her ketubah as follows. Our Sages ordained that a woman may collect the money due her by virtue of her ketubah from property that had belonged to her husband and was sold. Therefore, it is likely that the woman will ultimately receive her due. As such, she is required to return the movable property. With regard to her subsistence, however, no such provision was made. Hence, she is given an alternative, to take possession of movable property.

As explained in the following note, according to the Kessef Mishneh and others this law describes the practices of the Talmudic age and not those of the present era.

20.

K'nesset HaGedolah explains that, contrary to the standard published texts of the Mishneh Torah, Halachah 12 begins here. This is not a continuation of the previous halachah, because there is a difference with regard to the laws governing movable property between the practices of the Talmudic age and those of the present era.

21.

For if the heirs sell it, the woman has no claim to the proceeds of the sale, nor may she expropriate the property from the purchasers. Similarly, if the heirs destroy the movable property, she has no claim against them. From an ethical perspective, however, the heirs are enjoined not to sell this movable property.

22.

The Chelkat Mechokek 93:36 states that if a specific clause was included in the ketubah regarding this matter, although the widow cannot nullify the sale she has a right to receive her subsistence from its proceeds.

23.

The Rashba states that if a clause was added to the ketubah specifically stating that the woman has the right to collect her subsistence from movable property after her husband's death, then she is allowed to expropriate the landed property from the purchasers (Maggid Mishneh; Ramah, Even HaEzer 93:21).

24.

Our translation is based on manuscripts and early printings of the Mishneh Torah. The standard printed texts substitute "movable property" for "claim for support." Apparently, this version reached the Ra'avad who objects, and states - as is the halachah - that the principle applies with regard to landed property as well.

25.

I.e., her husband died childless, and he had a brother who is commanded to marry his widow.

26.

This time period is granted in order to determine whether the woman was made pregnant by her husband before he died. If three months pass without pregnancy becoming noticeable, we can assume that a child was not conceived.

27.

Until she gives birth or miscarries, she is not entitled to remarry, lest she become bound by the obligation of yibbum. Since it is because of her husband that she may not remarry, his estate is required to provide for her (Rashi, Yevamot 41b).

28.

The Maggid Mishneh states that the latter two clauses - that the yavam became sick or that he lived overseas - apply also only if the yavam had previously appeared in court. If, however, he has never appeared in court, he is not under any obligation.

The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 160:1) follows the opinion of Rabbenu Asher, who states that the yavam is obligated to support her in the latter instances only when he consented to marry her. If he desired to perform chalitzah, he is under no obligation to her.

29.

There is no need for her to take an oath that the yavam had not given her property. For since they have not established a relationship, such suspicions are unfounded (Ketubot 107b).

30.

Who should not perform the mitzvah of yibbum until he attains majority.

31.

Since he is forbidden to marry her, he is not required to support her. Nor is she entitled to support from her husband's estate. Yevamot 41b says that it is as if she is penalized from heaven.

32.

The Rambam is referring to statements made by a dying man with regard to the allocation of his property. If these statements are observed by witnesses, they are binding. This practice, referred to as a matnat sh'chiv me'ra (the oral will of a dying man) is described in Hilchot Zechiyah UMatanah 8:2).

33.

I.e., since it is possible that the woman will suffer a loss, she has the right to protest. If, however, she remained silent, we assume that she accepted her husband's decision.

34.

The reference is to Rabbenu Yitzchak Alfasi, who ruled this way in a responsum. His opinion is favored also by the Ra'avad, the Ramban, the Rashba and Rabbenu Asher. Ketubot 105a states that the woman should take an oath "at the end and not at the beginning." They explain that this refers to a woman whose husband has died. The woman should take the oath when she comes to collect the money due her by virtue of her ketubah, and not when she comes asking for support. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 93:19) appears to favor this view, and the Ramah states that it should be followed.

35.

See Chapter 12, Halachah 16.

36.

Rav Yosef Migash.

37.

They interpret Ketubot (loc. cit.) to be referring to a woman whose husband traveled overseas. She should not take an oath at the outset - i.e., when she comes to collect her subsistence - but rather at the end, if her husband comes and requires this of her. See Chapter 12, Halachah 21.

The dissenting authorities refute this interpretation, explaining that it is far more reasonable to require an oath of a woman when her husband is alive than after his death, for after his death it is very likely that the woman will soon take an oath to collect her ketubah.

38.

In contrast to the sale of property so that the woman can collect the money due her by virtue of her ketubah (Chapter 17, Halachah 13), in this instance the sale need not be publicized. The rationale is that the woman needs the money for her subsistence immediately and should not be required to wait.

39.

Rabbenu Chanan'el and the Ramban differ with the Rambam on this point. Although their opinion is also mentioned by the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 93:25), it appears that the Rambam's opinion is favored.

40.

In this manner, a large amount of property is sold. If a smaller amount were sold, the parcel of land would be too small to fetch a proper price.

41.

I.e., the purchaser gives the widow only enough money to support herself for thirty days at a time. The rationale is that if she remarries or seeks to collect her ketubah, she is no longer entitled to receive support for her subsistence. Since there is the possibility that this will happen at any given time, she is given support for only a limited period of time. In the event that she remarries, the remainder of the money left from the sale is given to the heirs (Rashi, Ketubot 97a).

42.

The Maggid Mishneh explains that this is simply proper advice for the woman. For she can sell all the land necessary to provide her with the money due her by virtue of her ketubah at one time, while to collect her subsistence she must sell the land in small parcels. If she chooses, however, she may take the latter alternative.

43.

Since the heirs are orphans, the court is obligated to look after their interests. Therefore, it is obligated to ensure that the woman's earnings are given to them.

44.

In all these cases, the widow is no longer entitled to receive support from her deceased's husband's estate, as stated in Chapter 12, Halachah 18.

45.

In this instance, since the probability is that the woman would not have been given a document recording her ketubah, the fact that she does not have such a document in her possession is not considered detrimental to her position.

46.

See Chapter 16, Halachah 31.

47.

See Hilchot Gerushin 12:1.

48.

Since her status is questionable, she is not entitled to support. For this is granted only to a man's wife and not to his divorcee.

49.

Since divorce is dependent on the husband's initiative, as long as a woman's status is in question - and for that reason she may not marry another person - he is required to continue to support her (Rashi, Ketubot 97b).

50.

Ketubot 96a mentions two years and three years, stating that the difference is between a rich widow (who can afford to wait) and a poor one; alternatively, between a brash widow (who is not embarrassed to appear in court) and a modest one (who will hesitate before coming). The Rambam does not mention the second opinion at all (although generally, when the Talmud mentions two opinions, he rules according to the second opinion), nor does the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 93:14). Rabbenu Asher and the Chelkat Mechokek 93:26, however, do mention the latter opinion.

51.

The Rashba maintains that if, however, the woman took property as security, or if she borrowed money to be repaid with the money she will receive for her support, she is still entitled to receive the money retroactively. This opinion is cited by the Maggid Mishneh and the Shulchan Aruch (op. cit.).

52.

As long as she has not remarried, the property of her husband's estate is considered under lien to her and in her possession. Hence, she is given this privilege.

53.

For once she remarries, the property is considered to be in the possession of the heirs. Hence, they are given this privilege.

54.

The same law applies if the widow demanded payment of the fundamental requirement of the ketubah, but did not demand payment for the additional amount.

55.

See Halachah 1.

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] 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.18Thus, 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 אֶל 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 manwould 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 mandies 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:

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.

Published and copyright by Moznaim Publications, all rights reserved.
To purchase this book or the entire series, please click here.
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.
Vowelized Hebrew text courtesy Torat Emet under CC 2.5 license.
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.
Download Rambam Study Schedules: 3 Chapters | 1 Chapter | Daily Mitzvah