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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Ishut - Chapter Twenty Three, Ishut - Chapter Twenty Four, Ishut - Chapter Twenty Five

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Ishut - Chapter Twenty Three

1

[The following rules apply when] a woman makes a provision with her husband in which he agrees to forgo one of the privileges that a husband is granted. If he wrote down [this provision] for her after she was consecrated, but before nisu'in, there is no need to formalize the matter with an act of contract; everything he wrote to her is binding.1 If he wrote down [this provision] for her after nisu'in, he must formalize the matter with an act of contract.2

א

הָאִשָׁה שֶׁהִתְנֵית עַל בַּעְלָהּ לְבַטֵּל זְכוּת מִדְּבָרִים שֶׁזּוֹכֶה בָּהֶן הַבַּעַל אִם כָּתַב לָהּ וְעוֹדָהּ אֲרוּסָה קֹדֶם הַנִּשּׂוּאִין אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לִקְנוֹת מִיָּדוֹ. אֶלָּא כָּל מַה שֶּׁכָּתַב לָהּ קַיָּם. וְאִם כָּתַב לָהּ אַחַר הַנִּשּׂוּאִין צָרִיךְ לִקְנוֹת מִיָּדוֹ:

2

If, [after nisu'in,] the husband stipulates that he will have no say with regard to [his wife's] property, and she sells it or gives it away as a present, the sale or the present is binding.3 Nevertheless, [the husband] is entitled to the benefits [that accrue from the property] during the time it is in her possession.4

If he affirmed these statements with an act of contract between consecration [and nisu'in], he is considered to have waived his rights to the land itself, and he no longer has any rights to the benefits that accrue from her property.5

His words are not heeded if he protests this action, saying: "I did not realize that this act of contract formalized my waiver of all rights to benefit from the property. [I thought that it only entitled my wife] to make a binding sale. [This interpretation is justified,] for no one will marry a woman without property." Instead, he is considered to have waived [all] rights to the land itself.

ב

הִתְנָה עִמָּהּ שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיוּ לוֹ דִּין וּדְבָרִים בִּנְכָסֶיהָ אִם מָכְרָה וְנָתְנָה מִכְרָהּ וּמַתְּנָתָהּ קַיָּם. אֲבָל אוֹכֵל פֵּרוֹתֵיהֶן כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהֵן בִּרְשׁוּתָהּ. וְאִם קָנוּ מִיָּדוֹ כְּשֶׁהִיא אֲרוּסָה שֶׁאֵין לוֹ דִּין וּדְבָרִים בִּנְכָסֶיהָ הֲרֵי סִלֵּק עַצְמוֹ מִגּוּף הַקַּרְקַע וְאֵין לוֹ בִּנְכָסֶיהָ פֵּרוֹת לְעוֹלָם. וַאֲפִלּוּ עִרְעֵר עַל קִנְיָנוֹ וְאָמַר לֹא עָלָה בְּדַעְתִּי שֶׁאֵין לִי פֵּרוֹת מִפְּנֵי קִנְיָן זֶה אֶלָּא שֶׁאִם מָכְרָה מִכְרָהּ קַיָּם שֶׁאֵין אָדָם נוֹשֵׂא אִשָּׁה בְּלֹא נְכָסִים אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ אֶלָּא כְּבָר סִלֵּק עַצְמוֹ מִגּוּף הַקַּרְקַע:

3

If [the husband] made a provision with [his wife] not to receive the benefit that accrues from her property, he is not entitled to this benefit. Nevertheless, the benefit that accrues should be converted to financial resources, landed property should be purchased, and [the husband] is entitled to the benefits from that property.6 For he waived only the rights to the property [she owned originally].

ג

הִתְנָה עִמָּהּ שֶׁלֹּא יֹאכַל פֵּרוֹת נְכָסֶיהָ הֲרֵי זֶה אֵינוֹ אוֹכֵל פֵּרוֹתֵיהֶן אֲבָל מוֹכְרִין אֶת הַפֵּרוֹת וְלוֹקְחִין בָּהֶן קַרְקַע וְהוּא אוֹכֵל פֵּרוֹתֶיהָ. שֶׁלֹּא סִלֵּק עַצְמוֹ אֶלָּא מִפֵּרוֹת נְכָסִים אֵלּוּ בִּלְבַד:

4

If [the husband] made a provision with [his wife] not to receive the benefit that accrues from her property, nor to receive the benefit that results from property purchased with the income from her original property, the proceeds from that property should be used to purchase other property, from which [the husband] is entitled to the benefits that accrue. These are called "the fruit of the fruit's fruit."

This pattern continues until the husband makes a provision that he has no right to any by-product of the proceeds from [his wife's property]. [If he makes such a provision,] he has no right to any benefit during her lifetime, but if she dies, he inherits her entire estate.

ד

הִתְנָה עִמָּהּ שֶׁלֹּא יֹאכַל פֵּרוֹת נְכָסֶיהָ וְלֹא פֵּירֵי פֵּרוֹתֵיהֶן לוֹקְחִין הַפֵּרוֹת וְקוֹנִין בָּהֶם קַרְקַע וְלוֹקְחִין פֵּרוֹת קַרְקַע זוֹ וְקוֹנִין בָּהֶם קַרְקַע שְׁנִיָּה וְהוּא אוֹכֵל פֵּרוֹת אֵלּוּ שֶׁהֵן פֵּירֵי פֵּירֵי פֵּרוֹת. וְכֵן הַדָּבָר תָּמִיד עַד שֶׁיַּתְנֶה עִמָּהּ שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיוּ לוֹ לֹא פֵּרוֹת וְלֹא פֵּירֵי פֵּרוֹתֵיהֶן עַד לְעוֹלָם. וְאַחַר כָּךְ לֹא יִהְיוּ לוֹ פֵּרוֹת בְּחַיֶּיהָ אֲבָל אִם מֵתָה יִירַשׁ הַכּל:

5

If he makes a provision that he will not inherit [his wife's] property, the provision is binding. He is, however, entitled to receive the benefits that accrue [from this property] during her lifetime.

Similarly, [his word] is binding if he stipulates that he will inherit [only] a portion of her estate, or if he stipulates that if she dies without bearing children, her estate will return to her father's household.

ה

הִתְנָה עִמָּהּ שֶׁלֹּא יִירָשֶׁנָּה הֲרֵי זֶה לֹא יִירָשֶׁנָּה אֲבָל אוֹכֵל פֵּרוֹת בְּחַיֶּיהָ. וְכֵן אִם הִתְנָה עִמָּהּ שֶׁיִּירַשׁ מִקְצָת נְכָסִים וְכֵן אִם הִתְנָה עִמָּהּ שֶׁאִם מֵתָה בְּלֹא בָּנִים יַחְזְרוּ נְכָסִין לְבֵית אָבִיהָ הַכּל קַיָּם:

6

When does the above apply? When he made this provision before nisu'in.7 For a man has the prerogative to forgo an inheritance that comes to him from a source outside his family before he acquires the rights to it. If, however, he made the provision after nisu'in, his provision is not binding, and he inherits her estate as we explained.8

ו

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים שֶׁהִתְנָה עִמָּהּ קֹדֶם שֶׁתִּנָּשֵׂא שֶׁהַנַּחֲלָה הַבָּאָה לוֹ לָאָדָם שֶׁלֹּא מִמִּשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ מַתְנֶה עָלֶיהָ שֶׁלֹּא יִירָשֶׁנָּה קֹדֶם שֶׁתְּהֵא רְאוּיָה לוֹ. אֲבָל אִם הִתְנָה עִמָּהּ אַחַר שֶׁנִּשֵּׂאת תְּנָאוֹ בָּטֵל וְיִירָשֶׁנָּה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

7

When, after nisu'in, [a husband] stipulates9 that he has no say with regard to his wife's property - not with regard to the benefits from that property nor any eventual byproducts from them during her lifetime - then after her death he is not entitled to any benefit from this property at all.10 If she dies, however, he inherits her estate, as explained [above].

ז

הִתְנָה עִמָּהּ אַחַר נִשּׂוּאִין שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיוּ לוֹ דִּין וּדְבָרִים בִּנְכָסֶיהָ וְלֹא בְּפֵירֵי פֵּרוֹתֶיהָ עַד עוֹלָם בְּחַיֶּיהָ וּבְמוֹתָהּ הֲרֵי זֶה אֵינוֹ אוֹכֵל פֵּרוֹת כְּלָל. אֲבָל אִם מֵתָה יִירָשֶׁנָּה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

8

[The following rules apply] when a husband spends money [to improve property belonging to his wife that is classified as] nichsei m'log. Whether he spent a small amount and derived much benefit, or spent a large amount and derived little benefit [he is not required to pay anything, nor may he collect anything]; what he spent, he spent, and the benefit that he enjoyed, he enjoyed.

[The above applies] even if he ate only one dried fig in a respectful manner,11 if he ate a dinar's worth of produce in a haphazard manner, or if he did not even take produce [from the field on which he spent money] and took merely a bundle of twigs.12

ח

הַבַּעַל שֶׁהוֹצִיא הוֹצָאוֹת עַל נִכְסֵי מְלוֹג בֵּין שֶׁהוֹצִיא מְעַט וְאָכַל פֵּרוֹת הַרְבֵּה בֵּין שֶׁהוֹצִיא הַרְבֵּה וְאָכַל פֵּרוֹת מְעַט וַאֲפִלּוּ אָכַל גְּרוֹגֶרֶת אַחַת דֶּרֶךְ כָּבוֹד אוֹ שֶׁאָכַל דִּינָר אֶחָד אֲפִלּוּ שֶׁלֹּא דֶּרֶךְ כָּבוֹד וַאֲפִלּוּ לֹא לָקַח בַּפֵּרוֹת מִמַּה שֶּׁהוֹצִיא אֶלָּא חֲבִילָה אַחַת שֶׁל זְמוֹרוֹת. מַה שֶּׁהוֹצִיא הוֹצִיא וּמַה שֶּׁאָכַל אָכַל:

9

Similar [laws apply] if a woman inherited funds in a distant place, and the husband undertook expenses in order to bring them [to their home], or [expenses were required] to take them from the person who was holding them. If [the husband] purchased land [with these funds] and ate the measure of fruit [mentioned above, he is not required to pay anything, nor may he collect anything]; what he spent, he spent, and the benefit that he enjoyed, he enjoyed.

[The following procedure is adhered to if] a husband incurred expenses [on behalf of his wife's property] and did not derive any benefit or derived less benefit than the above measure. We evaluate the increment to the property, and we ask him the extent of his expenses.

If the increment is greater than the expenses, the husband must take an oath holding a sacred object, stating how much he spent. He is then reimbursed for those expenses.13 If the increment is less than the expenses, he receives only the amount of the expenses that is justified by the increment, and he must take an oath [with regard to the extent of those expenses].

ט

וְכֵן אִם נָפְלוּ לָהּ כְּסָפִים בְּמָקוֹם רָחוֹק וְהוֹצִיא עֲלֵיהֶן הוֹצָאוֹת עַד שֶׁהֱבִיאָן אוֹ עַד שֶׁהוֹצִיאָן מִיַּד מִי שֶׁהָיוּ אֶצְלוֹ וְלָקַח בָּהֶן קַרְקַע וְאָכַל פֵּרוֹתֶיהָ כַּשִּׁעוּר מַה שֶּׁהוֹצִיא הוֹצִיא וּמַה שֶּׁאָכַל אָכַל. הוֹצִיא וְלֹא אָכַל אוֹ שֶׁאָכַל פָּחוֹת מִכַּשִּׁעוּר שָׁמִין כַּמָּה שֶׁהִשְׁבִּיחוּ וְשׁוֹאֲלִין אוֹתוֹ כַּמָּה הוֹצִיא. אִם הַשֶּׁבַח יֶתֶר עַל הַהוֹצָאָה יִשָּׁבַע בִּנְקִיטַת חֵפֶץ כַּמָּה הוֹצִיא וְנוֹטֵל הַהוֹצָאָה. וְאִם הַהוֹצָאָה יְתֵרָה עַל הַשֶּׁבַח אֵין לוֹ מִן הַהוֹצָאָה אֶלָּא כְּשִׁעוּר הַשֶּׁבַח וּבִשְׁבוּעָה:

10

When does the above apply? When a husband divorces his wife [under ordinary circumstances]. [Different rules apply regarding] a woman who rebels against her husband [and denies him intimacy].14 Even if he derived much benefit, the benefit that he derives should be evaluated and subtracted from the amount fit to be given him for the expenses he undertook.15 After he takes an oath [affirming his claim], he is entitled to collect it. For he did not [incur these expenses on behalf of his wife] so that she would take them and leave him on her own accord.

Similarly, [different rules apply when] a man undertakes expenses [to develop] property belonging to his wife who is below the age of majority, and she dissolves the marriage through the right of mi'un.16 We evaluate the amount of benefit he received, the amount of his expenses, the extent of the property's increment - and then he is given the share usually allocated to a sharecropper.17[This consideration is taken] because he had permission to work [his wife's property].18

י

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בִּמְגָרֵשׁ אֲבָל הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁמָּרְדָה עַל בַּעְלָהּ אֲפִלּוּ אָכַל הַרְבֵּה שָׁמִין לוֹ כַּמָּה אָכַל וּפוֹחֵת אוֹתוֹ מִמַּה שֶּׁרָאוּי לִתֵּן לוֹ מִן הַהוֹצָאָה אַחַר שֶׁיִּשָּׁבַע וְנוֹטְלוֹ. שֶׁלֹּא הִקְנָה לָהּ כְּדֵי שֶׁתִּטּל וְתֵצֵא מֵעַצְמָהּ. וְכֵן הַמּוֹצִיא הוֹצָאוֹת עַל נִכְסֵי אִשְׁתּוֹ קְטַנָּה וּמֵאֲנָה בּוֹ רוֹאִין כַּמָּה אָכַל וְכַמָּה הוֹצִיא וְכַמָּה הִשְׁבִּיחַ וְשָׁמִין לוֹ כְּאָרִיס שֶׁהֲרֵי בִּרְשׁוּת יָרַד:

11

There are various customs regarding [a woman's] dowry. In certain places it is customary to [state a higher figure] in the ketubah [with regard to the value of the dowry], increasing by a third, a fifth or a half. For example, if the dowry was 100 [zuz], it is written [in the ketubah] that the woman brought 150 [to the household], in order to appear more generous in the eyes of the people. [Therefore,] when the woman comes to collect her dowry, she collects only 100.

Conversely, there are places where it is customary to write a lesser amount. If it is agreed that she will bring utensils worth 100 [zuz to the household], she must bring a value of 120 or 150, and yet, [in the ketubah,] it is written that she brought only [a value of] 100.19 And there are other places where it is customary to write a value of 100 [zuz] as 100.

There are places where it is customary for a man to give a set amount of money proportionate to the dowry, for the bride to adorn herself and purchase perfume and the like. There are places where [it is customary for] the man to add an additional sum of his own for his wife and add it to her dowry, for her to appear attractive.

יא

מִנְהָגוֹת רַבּוֹת יֵשׁ בִּנְדוּנְיָא. יֵשׁ מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ שֶׁיִּכְתְּבוּ בַּכְּתֻבּוֹת הַנְּדוּנְיָא יֶתֶר עַל דָּמֶיהָ בִּשְׁלִישׁ אוֹ בְּחֹמֶשׁ אוֹ בְּמֶחֱצָה. כְּגוֹן שֶׁתִּהְיֶה הַנְּדוּנְיָא מֵאָה וְכוֹתְבִים שֶׁהִכְנִיסָה מֵאָה וַחֲמִשִּׁים כְּדֵי לְהַרְבּוֹת בִּפְנֵי הָעָם וּכְשֶׁתָּבוֹא לִגְבּוֹת לֹא תִּגְבֶּה אֶלָּא הַמֵּאָה. וְיֵשׁ מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לִכְתֹּב פָּחוֹת. וְאִם פָּסְקָה לְהָבִיא לוֹ בְּמֵאָה כֵּלִים נוֹתֶנֶת שְׁוֵה מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים אוֹ מֵאָה וַחֲמִשִּׁים וְכוֹתְבִין שֶׁהִכְנִיסָה לוֹ מֵאָה. וְיֵשׁ מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לִכְתֹּב שְׁוֵה מָנֶה בְּמָנֶה. וְיֵשׁ מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ שֶׁיִּתֵּן הָאִישׁ מָעוֹת לְפִי הַנְּדוּנְיָא דָּבָר קָצוּב שֶׁתִּתְקַשֵּׁט בּוֹ הַכַּלָּה וְתִקְנֶה בּוֹ בְּשָׂמִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. וְיֵשׁ מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁיַּכְנִיס הָאִישׁ שׁוּם מִשֶּׁלּוֹ לָאִשָּׁה וְיִצְטָרֵף לִנְדֻנְיָתָהּ לְהִתְנָאוֹת בּוֹ:

12

When a man marries a woman without specifying any conditions, he should write her a ketubah, giving her a sum that is customarily given in that locale. Similarly, if she makes a commitment to bring [utensils to the household], she must bring what is customarily brought in that locale. And when she comes to collect [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah, she collects as is customary in that locale.

In this and in all similar matters, local custom is a fundamental principle, and it is used as a basis for judgment, provided that the custom is commonly accepted in the locale.

יב

הַנּוֹשֵׂא סְתָם כּוֹתֵב וְנוֹתֵן כְּמִנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה. וְכֵן הִיא שֶׁפָּסְקָה לְהַכְנִיס נוֹתֶנֶת כְּמִנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה וּכְשֶׁתָּבֹא לִגְבּוֹת כְּתֻבָּתָהּ מַגְבִּין לָהּ מַה שֶּׁבִּכְתֻבָּתָהּ כְּמִנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה. וּבְכָל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלּוּ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן מִנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה עִקָּר גָּדוֹל הוּא וְעַל פִּיו דָּנִין וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה אוֹתוֹ מִנְהָג פָּשׁוּט בְּכָל הַמְּדִינָה:

13

[The following rules apply when a man and a woman were engaged to each other. When he asks her, "What is the value [of the utensils] you are bringing [to the household]?", and she answers him with an amount, and she asks him, "How much will you give me [for my ketubah]?", and he answers with an amount, and afterwards he arises and consecrates her, the commitments are binding even though they were not formalized with an act of contract.20

Similarly, a commitment made by a father on behalf of his son or daughter [is binding]. For example, if he is asked, "How much will you give on behalf of your son?", and he specifies an amount, or he is asked "How much will you give on behalf of your daughter?", and he specifies an amount, [his commitment is binding].

These are commitments that are established through speech alone.21

יג

אִישׁ וְאִשָּׁה שֶׁהָיוּ בֵּינֵיהֶם שִׁדּוּכִין וְאָמַר לָהּ כַּמָּה אֶת מַכְנֶסֶת לִי כָּךְ וְכָךְ וְאָמְרָה לוֹ וְכַמָּה אַתָּה נוֹתֵן לִי אוֹ כּוֹתֵב לִי כָּךְ וְכָךְ. וְכֵן הָאָב שֶׁפָּסַק עַל יְדֵי בְּנוֹ וּבִתּוֹ כַּמָּה אַתָּה נוֹתֵן לְבִנְךָ כָּךְ וְכָךְ וְכַמָּה אַתָּה נוֹתֵן לְבִתְּךָ כָּךְ וְכָךְ וְעָמְדוּ וְקִדְּשׁוּ קָנוּ אוֹתָן הַדְּבָרִים וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה בֵּינֵיהֶן קִנְיָן. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הַדְּבָרִים הַנִּקְנִים בַּאֲמִירָה:

14

When does the above apply? When a father made a commitment on behalf of his daughter, whether she is a minor or past majority, or on behalf of his son, for their first marriage. For a man feels an inner connection to his son, and because of his happiness at his first marriage, he makes a definite commitment, and designates [the sum] for him with a verbal statement [alone].

[Different rules apply when], by contrast, a brother makes a commitment on behalf of his sister, a woman makes a commitment on behalf of her daughter, [when a commitment is made by] other relatives, and similarly, when a father makes a commitment on behalf of his son or daughter for a second marriage.22 The commitment is not binding until the person making it formalizes it with an act of contract and states the amount he will give.

יד

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁפָּסַק הָאָב לְבִתּוֹ בֵּין קְטַנָּה וּבֵין גְּדוֹלָה וּפָסַק הָאָב לִבְנוֹ [ב.] וּבְנִשּׂוּאִין רִאשׁוֹנִים שֶׁדַּעְתּוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם קְרוֹבָה אֵצֶל בְּנוֹ וּמֵרֹב שִׂמְחָתוֹ בַּנִּשּׂוּאִין הָרִאשׁוֹנִים גָּמַר וּמַקְנֶה לוֹ בַּאֲמִירָה. אֲבָל אָח שֶׁפָּסַק לַאֲחוֹתוֹ אוֹ אִשָּׁה שֶׁפָּסְקָה לְבִתָּהּ וְכֵן שְׁאָר קְרוֹבִים וְכֵן הָאָב שֶׁפָּסַק לִבְנוֹ אוֹ לְבִתּוֹ בְּנִשּׂוּאִין שְׁנִיִּים לֹא קָנוּ אוֹתָן הַדְּבָרִים עַד שֶׁיִּקְנוּ מִידֵי הַפּוֹסֵק שֶׁיִּתֵּן כָּךְ וְכָךְ:

15

When a father makes a commitment for his daughter, the daughter does not acquire that present until her husband consummates the marriage with her.23 Similarly, a son does not acquire [the present that he was promised] until he consummates his marriage. For whenever one makes [such] a commitment, his intent is that [it be fulfilled when] the marriage is consummated.

Therefore, when a man makes a commitment to his [prospective] son-in-law, but the son-in-law dies [after erusin, but] before the marriage is consummated, and the woman is bound to his brother, [if he desires to perform the rite of] yibbum, [the woman's] father may [retract his commitment], saying: "I desired to give your brother; I do not desire to give you." [This applies] even if the first husband was an unlearned man and the second is a Torah scholar, and even if the woman desires [to marry] the second man.24

טו

הָאָב שֶׁפָּסַק עַל יַד בִּתּוֹ לֹא קָנְתָה הַבַּת אוֹתָהּ הַמַּתָּנָה עַד שֶׁיִּכְנֹס אוֹתָהּ בַּעְלָהּ. וְכֵן הַבֵּן לֹא קָנָה עַד שֶׁיִּכְנֹס. שֶׁכָּל הַפּוֹסֵק אֵינוֹ פּוֹסֵק אֶלָּא עַל מְנָת לִכְנֹס. לְפִיכָךְ הַפּוֹסֵק מָעוֹת לַחֲתָנוֹ וּמֵת קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּכְנֹס וְנָפְלָה לִפְנֵי אָחִיו לְיִבּוּם יָכוֹל הָאָב לוֹמַר לַיָּבָם לְאָחִיךָ הָיִיתִי רוֹצֶה לִתֵּן וּלְךָ אֵינִי רוֹצֶה לִתֵּן. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה הָרִאשׁוֹן עַם הָאָרֶץ וְהַשֵּׁנִי חָכָם. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַבַּת רוֹצָה בּוֹ:

16

When a man makes a financial commitment to his son-in-law and then moves to another country [without fulfilling his commitment], the woman has the prerogative of telling her [prospective] husband: "I did not make this commitment myself. What can I do? Either consummate the marriage without a dowry or divorce me."25

If, however, she made such a commitment herself, and she was not able to muster the funds, she must remain [in this intermediate state] until she accumulates the sum to which she committed herself or until she dies.

Why does she not release herself from her obligation by becoming a moredet26 against her husband? [Because there is a difference between these two instances.] With regard to a moredet who has [merely] been consecrated, the husband desires to consummate the marriage; it is she who does not desire. In this instance, by contrast, the husband does not want [to consummate his marriage with] her until she gives the dowry to which she committed herself. She, however, desires him, [as reflected by] her request: "Either consummate [the marriage] or divorce me."

When does the above apply? To a woman past majority. If, however, a woman makes a financial commitment while she is still a minor, we compel [her prospective husband] either to divorce her or to consummate the marriage without a dowry.

טז

הַפּוֹסֵק מָעוֹת לַחֲתָנוֹ וְהָלַךְ הָאָב לִמְדִינָה אַחֶרֶת יְכוֹלָה הִיא לוֹמַר לַבַּעַל אֲנִי לֹא פָּסַקְתִּי עַל עַצְמִי מָה אֲנִי יְכוֹלָה לַעֲשׂוֹת אוֹ כְּנוֹס בְּלֹא נְדוּנְיָא אוֹ פָּטְרֵנִי בְּגֵט. אֲבָל אִם פָּסְקָה הִיא עַל עַצְמָהּ וְלֹא הִגִּיעָה יָדָהּ הֲרֵי זוֹ יוֹשֶׁבֶת עַד שֶׁתִּמְצָא מַה שֶּׁפָּסְקָה אוֹ עַד שֶׁתָּמוּת. וְלָמָּה לֹא תִּפְטֹר עַצְמָהּ בְּמַרְדּוּת. שֶׁהַמּוֹרֶדֶת וְהִיא אֲרוּסָה הַבַּעַל רוֹצֶה לְכָנְסָהּ וְהִיא אֵינָהּ רוֹצָה אֲבָל זוֹ אֵין הַבַּעַל רוֹצֶה בָּהּ עַד שֶׁתִּתֵּן הַנְּדוּנְיָא שֶׁפָּסְקָה וְהִיא רוֹצָה בּוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי אוֹמֶרֶת לוֹ אוֹ כְּנֹס אוֹ פְּטֹר. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בִּגְדוֹלָה אֲבָל בִּקְטַנָּה שֶׁפָּסְקָה עַל עַצְמָהּ כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ לִתֵּן גֵּט אוֹ יִכְנֹס בְּלֹא נְדוּנְיָא:

17

When a man marries a woman and makes a commitment to support her daughter for [an explicit number of] years, he is obligated to support her for [all] the years to which he committed himself, provided he made this commitment at the time of the woman's consecration.27

If, however, he made the commitment [after] the kiddushin [were given], the commitment is not binding until he affirms it with an act of contract or composes a document to that effect, as will be explained in the laws of business transactions.28

[The following rules apply when] a woman is divorced within the time that her husband committed himself to support her daughter, and she married another man who also committed himself to support her daughter for a particular number of years. The first husband does not have the prerogative to say: "If she comes to my house, I will support her."29 Instead, he must bring her support to the place where she is staying together with her mother. Similarly, both husbands do not have the prerogative of saying: "We will together provide for her support." Instead, one of the husbands must provide for her support, and the other must give her the financial value of her support.

יז

הַנּוֹשֵׂא אִשָּׁה וּפָסְקָה עִמּוֹ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה זָן אֶת בִּתָּהּ כָּךְ וְכָךְ שָׁנִים חַיָּב לָזוּן אוֹתָם שָׁנִים שֶׁקִּבֵּל עַל עַצְמוֹ. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּתְּנוּ עַל דָּבָר זֶה בִּשְׁעַת הַקִּדּוּשִׁין. אֲבָל שֶׁלֹּא בִּשְׁעַת הַקִּדּוּשִׁין עַד שֶׁיִּקְנוּ מִיָּדוֹ אוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּכְתֹּב בִּשְׁטָר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת מִקָּח וּמִמְכָּר. נִתְגָּרְשָׁה בְּתוֹךְ הַשָּׁנִים שֶׁקִּבֵּל עַל עַצְמוֹ לָזוּן אֶת בִּתָּהּ וְנִשֵּׂאת לְאַחֵר וּפָסְקָה גַּם עִמּוֹ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה זָן אוֹתָהּ הַבַּת כָּךְ וְכָךְ שָׁנִים לֹא יֹאמַר רִאשׁוֹן אִם תָּבוֹא לְבֵיתִי אֲזוּנָהּ אֶלָּא מוֹלִיךְ מְזוֹנוֹתֶיהָ לַמָּקוֹם שֶׁהִיא שָׁם אִמָּהּ. וְכֵן לֹא יֹאמְרוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם הֲרֵי אָנוּ זָנִין אוֹתָהּ כְּאַחַת אֶלָּא אֶחָד זָנָהּ וְאֶחָד נוֹתֵן לָהּ דְּמֵי מְזוֹנוֹת:

18

[The following rules apply when the woman's] daughter marries during the time [in which her mother's husbands] obligated themselves to supply her with her sustenance. Her own husband is obligated to provide her with her sustenance, and both of her mother's husbands are obligated to give her the financial value of her support.

[Even when the men] who obligated themselves to support her die, if they affirmed their commitment to her mother with an act of contract or they composed a formal document recording their obligation, [the daughter] is considered to be a creditor whose claim is supported by a deed, and she has the prerogative of collecting her due from property that has been sold until the conclusion of the time period for which he committed himself.

If the commitment was made at the time of the kiddushin, and was not affirmed by an act of contract, it is a commitment that was not to be recorded in a contract,30 and [the daughter] does not have the prerogative of expropriating property [from purchasers] for her support.

יח

נִשֵּׂאת הַבַּת בְּתוֹךְ זְמַן זֶה הַבַּעַל חַיָּב בִּמְזוֹנוֹתֶיהָ. וּבַעֲלֵי אִמָּהּ שְׁנֵיהֶם כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד נוֹתֵן לָהּ דְּמֵי מְזוֹנוֹת. מֵתוּ אֵלּוּ שֶׁפָּסְקוּ לָזוּן אוֹתָהּ אִם קָנוּ מִיָּדָן אוֹ שֶׁחִיֵּב עַצְמוֹ בִּשְׁטָר הֲרֵי זוֹ כְּבַעַל חוֹב בִּשְׁטָר וְטוֹרֶפֶת מְזוֹנוֹתֶיהָ מִנִּכְסֵיהֶן הַמְשֻׁעְבָּדִים עַד סוֹף הַזְּמַן שֶׁפָּסְקוּ. וְאִם פָּסְקוּ בִּשְׁעַת הַקִּדּוּשִׁין וְלֹא הָיָה שָׁם קִנְיָן הֲרֵי הֵם דְּבָרִים שֶׁלֹּא נִתְּנוּ לִכָּתֵב וְאֵינָהּ טוֹרֶפֶת בִּמְזוֹנוֹתֶיהָ:

Footnotes
1.

Since the man has already established a connection with this woman, but has not acquired the rights due him by virtue of the ketubah, any provision that he makes regarding those rights is binding.

2.

Since the bond of marriage has already been consummated, the husband has already acquired all the rights to which he is entitled. Therefore, a verbal statement is not sufficient, and an official act of contract is necessary to forgo those rights. (See Ketubot 83a, which compares this to the absolution of a partnership agreement.)

3.

Moreover, the husband is not entitled to any benefit that accrues from the money his wife receives from the sale (Ramah, Even HaEzer 92:1).

4.

A husband has three rights with regard to his wife's property: to receive the benefits that accrue from it, to veto any sales or presents, and to inherit it in the event of his wife's death. Since the wording of the provision in the document the husband gave his wife is not specific, he is given the benefit of the doubt and is considered to have waived the least valuable of the rights he has: the veto power over his wife's sales and gifts (Rashi, Ketubot 83b).

5.

The rationale is that before nisu'in, a deed of contract is not necessary to uphold any sale or gift that a woman may make. Since the husband took an additional step and carried out an act of contract, we assume that he did so with the intent of enhancing his wife's position and waiving all rights he has to her property (Kessef Mishneh).

This is the Rambam's interpretation of the above passage. The Ra'avad and Rabbenu Asher advance a different interpretation. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 92:3) quotes both opinions, but appears to favor that of the Rambam.

6.

From the Rambam's wording, it appears that it is imperative that the benefits from the land be converted into financial resources and be used to purchase other property. Rabbenu Asher and others do not accept this position and maintain that the woman has the right to use the benefits that accrue from the land as she desires. If, however, she decides to use them to purchase property, her husband is entitled to the benefits that accrue from that property. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 94:4) quotes the Rambam's view, while the Ramah follows that of Rabbenu Asher.

7.

If, however, the provision is made before the woman is consecrated, it is also of no consequence. For until a connection between the man and the woman is established, his statements regarding her property are of no consequence whatsoever.

8.

See Chapter 12, Halachah 9.

9.

And affirms his provision with an act of contract (Maggid Mishneh).

10.

Nor does he have the right to veto a sale (Chelkat Mechokek 92:17).

11.

I.e., at home, on his table.

12.

This bundle must be worth at least a dinar (Chelkat Mechokek 88:12).

13.

If the wife denies his claim and states that she is sure that he spent less, her claim is accepted provided she supports it with an oath (Ramah, Even HaEzer 88:7, Beit Shmuel 88:17).

14.

See Chapter 14, Halachah 8.

15.

As reflected by the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Ketubot 8:6), this applies only when the increment to the property exceeds the expenses. If the expenses exceed the increment, all he receives is the increment. (See Beit Shmuel 88:18, who quotes other authorities who differ.)

16.

See Chapter 4, Halachah 8.

17.

If the husband were not given consideration for his expenses and the increment he brought to the woman's property, he would seek only his own benefit and would deplete the property's value by failing to fertilize it and constantly sowing crops. This is unlikely to happen if he is given a sharecropper's allocation. In such an instance, he is likely to say: "It is possible that the marriage will continue, and so it is to my benefit to maintain the field's value. Even if the marriage does not continue, I will be justly reimbursed for my work."

18.

The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 88:10) explains that the option is the husband's. He may choose to receive a sharecropper's allocation, or he may desire to leave the property without making a reckoning, as is done in the case when his wife is past the age of majority.

19.

In this instance, the woman collects the greater sum when she collects her due.

20.

In Hilchot Zechiyah UMatanah 6:17, the Rambam adds several dimensions to this statement: a) The person making the commitment must own the items he promises. If he does not own them, his commitment is not binding, for a person cannot transfer an entity that does not yet exist.

b) The commitment is not binding on property that has been sold. For only transactions that are formalized by a written deed are binding on the purchasers of property. Moreover, since this commitment can be formalized by the spoken word alone, even if it is later recorded in a written document, it is not binding on the purchasers. If, however, a formal deed of transfer is composed, it must be honored by the purchasers (Maggid Mishneh, Hilchot Zechiyah UMatanah). (See also Halachah 18.)

c) The transaction is not effective until the marriage takes place.

21.

In general, a business agreement must be formalized by a contractual act (a kinyan), and a verbal commitment is not sufficient. An exception is made in this instance because of the happiness and closeness engendered by the marriage relationship (Ketubot 102b).

22.

If, by contrast, a man or a woman makes a commitment for his or her own marriage, the commitment is binding without a contractual act, even if it is a second marriage that is involved.

23.

I.e., nisu'in, the second stage of marriage, as well as erusin, the first stage, must be completed before the present is binding.

24.

For it is her father who is making the financial commitment, not she.

25.

I.e., the husband must take one of these two options. He cannot leave the woman consecrated (in which case she cannot marry someone else), but not married.

This ruling is quoted by the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 52:1). The Ramah states that if the woman has the financial means to meet the commitment, she must do so.

26.

See Chapter 14, Halachot 8 and 12.

27.

Generally, such commitments are not binding, for the commitment does not have a specific scope. In most situations, only when a definite sum is mentioned is the commitment obligatory. (See Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 114.)

28.

Hilchot Mechirah 11:15-17.

29.

Needless to say, he is obligated to support his divorcee's daughter if his divorcee does not remarry. There is a difference of opinion among the Rabbis if the husband is required to provide his divorcee's daughter with the full measure of support she requires, or he is merely obligated to give her the amount of money it would cost for him to support her in his own home. (See Shulchan Aruch and Ramah, Even HaEzer 114:6.)

30.

As mentioned in the notes on Halachah 13, even if this commitment was recorded in a document, as long as a formal deed is not composed, the purchasers are not under any obligation.

Ishut - Chapter Twenty Four

1

When a man who marries an aylonit1 is childless and does not have another wife with whom he will father children, he is compelled to divorce her.2 Nevertheless, [during and after the marriage], the financial arrangements that [govern] other women [govern] her. She is entitled to the fundamental requirement of the ketubah and [all] the provisions of the ketubah. Similarly, her husband acquires the same financial privileges with regard to her as he would with regard to another woman.

א

הַנּוֹשֵׂא אֶת הָאַיְלוֹנִית וְלֹא הָיוּ לוֹ בָּנִים וְלֹא אִשָּׁה אַחֶרֶת לִפְרוֹת וְלִרְבּוֹת מִמֶּנָּה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ וּמוֹצִיא הֲרֵי הִיא כְּכָל הַנָּשִׁים וְיֵשׁ לָהּ כְּתֻבָּה וּשְׁאָר תְּנָאֵי כְּתֻבָּה. וְכֵן זוֹכֶה הַבַּעַל בְּמַה שֶּׁזָּכָה בִּשְׁאָר הַנָּשִׁים:

2

If, however, a man married a woman without recognizing her condition, and later it was discovered that she was an aylonit, or forbidden to him by virtue of a negative commandment [for which he is not liable to death - neither by the hand of God nor by an earthly court] she is not entitled to the fundamental requirement of the ketubah, nor to any of the provisions of the ketubah. She is, however, entitled to the extra amount that the husband added to the fundamental requirement of the ketubah. She is not entitled to receive her sustenance, [neither during her husband's lifetime,] nor even after his death.3

The couple [should be] forced to separate.4 When that is done, the value of the produce of which the husband partook is not expropriated from him.5

The same laws apply when a man marries a sh'niyah,6 regardless of whether or not [the husband] was aware of the prohibition.

ב

אֲבָל הַנּוֹשֵׂא אִשָּׁה וְלֹא הִכִּיר בָּהּ וְנִמְצֵאת אַיְלוֹנִית אוֹ מֵחַיָּבֵי לָאוִין. וְכֵן הַנּוֹשֵׂא שְׁנִיָּה בֵּין הִכִּיר בָּהּ בֵּין לֹא הִכִּיר בָּהּ. אֵין לָהּ עִקַּר כְּתֻבָּה וְלֹא תְּנַאי מִתְּנָאֵי כְּתֻבָּה. אֲבָל תּוֹסֶפֶת יֵשׁ לָהּ. וְאֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת וַאֲפִלּוּ לְאַחַר מוֹתוֹ. וּכְשֶׁכּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ וּמַפְרִישִׁין בֵּינֵיהֶם אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִן הַבַּעַל פֵּרוֹת שֶׁאָכַל:

3

Why are these women not granted the essential requirement of the ketubah, when they are granted the extra sum added [by the husband]? The fundamental requirement of the ketubah was instituted by our Sages so that [a man] should not think that the divorce [of his wife] is a light matter. Since he was not aware [of the prohibition or of his wife's condition], she is not granted the essential requirement of the ketubah.7

With regard to the extra amount for which he obligated himself: as long as she desired to maintain their relationship, she kept her part of the agreement. She granted him [marital] satisfaction,8 and is willing to continue their relationship; it is the Torah that deems her to be forbidden. What then can she do? Therefore, she is granted this extra amount, for it is not her deeds that cause her to be forbidden after marriage;9 she was forbidden beforehand.

ג

וְלָמָּה אֵין לָהֶן עִקָּר וְיֵשׁ לָהֶן תּוֹסֶפֶת. הָעִקָּר שֶׁהוּא תַּקָּנַת חֲכָמִים כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תִּהְיֶה קַלָּה בְּעֵינָיו לְהוֹצִיאָהּ הוֹאִיל וְלֹא הִכִּיר בָּהּ אֵין לָהּ עִקָּר. אֲבָל תּוֹסֶפֶת שֶׁהוּא חִיֵּב עַצְמוֹ בָּהּ כָּל זְמַן שֶׁתִּרְצֶה וְתַעֲמֹד לְפָנָיו הֲרֵי עָמְדָה בַּתְּנַאי שֶׁלָּהּ וַהֲרֵי הִקְנֵית לוֹ הֲנָאָתָהּ וַהֲרֵי הִיא עוֹמֶדֶת [לְפָנָיו] אֲבָל הַתּוֹרָה אָסְרָה אוֹתָהּ עָלָיו וּמַה הִיא יְכוֹלָה לַעֲשׂוֹת. לְפִיכָךְ יֵשׁ לָהּ תּוֹסֶפֶת שֶׁאֵין מַעֲשֶׂיהָ הֵן הַגּוֹרְמִין לָהּ לְהֵאָסֵר אַחַר הַנִּשּׂוּאִין אֶלָּא אֲסוּרָה הָיְתָה מִקֹּדֶם:

4

Why did [our Sages] not distinguish between a sh'niyah [whom her husband] recognized, and one that he did not recognize, but rather said that in all instances she is not entitled to the fundamental requirement of the ketubah? Because [the prohibition involving these relations] is Rabbinic [in origin], they reinforced it.

If, by contrast, a man married a woman [whom he was forbidden to marry because of] a negative prohibition of the Torah [that was not punishable by death, neither by the hand of God nor by an earthly court] and he was aware of the prohibition, [his wife] is entitled to [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah.[Similarly, if he marries] a woman whom he was forbidden to marry because of a positive commandment, whether he was aware of the prohibition or not, [his wife is entitled to a ketubah].

[The rationale is] that if he recognized that a woman was forbidden by a negative prohibition, he willingly undertook to damage his resources. And with regard to [relations which are forbidden] because of a positive commandment, the prohibition is light.

In both these instances, the women are entitled to support [from their husband's estate] after his death.10 Similarly, if [during his absence,] they borrowed money for their sustenance, [the husband] is liable to pay.11 And when the husband is forced to divorce [a woman in either of these situations], he is forced to reimburse her for all the benefit that he received from her property.12

ד

וְלָמָּה לֹא חִלְּקוּ בַּשְּׁנִיָּה בֵּין שֶׁהִכִּיר בָּהּ בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא הִכִּיר בָּהּ אֶלָּא אָמְרוּ אֵין לָהּ עִקַּר כְּתֻבָּה בְּכָל מָקוֹם. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים עָשׂוּ בָּהּ חִזּוּק. אֲבָל אִם נָשָׂא אַחַת מֵחַיָּבֵי לָאוִין; וְהִכִּיר בָּהּ. אוֹ אַחַת מֵחַיָּבֵי עֲשֵׂה בֵּין הִכִּיר בָּהּ בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא הִכִּיר בָּהּ יֵשׁ לָהּ כְּתֻבָּה. שֶׁחַיָּבֵי לָאוִין שֶׁהִכִּיר בָּהּ רָצָה לְהַזִּיק בִּנְכָסָיו וְחַיָּבֵי עֲשֵׂה אִסּוּרָן קַל. וְיֵשׁ לִשְׁתֵּיהֶן מְזוֹנוֹת לְאַחַר מוֹתוֹ. וְכֵן אִם לָוְתָה וְאָכְלָה חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם. וּכְשֶׁכּוֹפִין אוֹתָן לְהוֹצִיא מוֹצִיאִין מִן הַבַּעַל כָּל פֵּרוֹת שֶׁאָכַל מִכָּל נְכָסֶיהָ:

5

A woman who dissolves a marriage through the rite of mi'un is not entitled to a ketubah.13 She is, however, entitled to the extra amount [added by the husband to the ketubah].14 The husband is not required to reimburse her for the benefit that he received from her property.15 If she borrowed money for her sustenance while she was still his wife, and afterwards terminated the marriage through the rite of mi'un, that money is not expropriated from the husband.

ה

הַמְמָאֶנֶת אֵין לָהּ כְּתֻבָּה אֲבָל תּוֹסֶפֶת יֵשׁ לָהּ. וְאֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִן הַבַּעַל פֵּרוֹת שֶׁאָכַל. וְאִם לָוְתָה כְּשֶׁהָיְתָה תַּחְתָּיו וְאָכְלָה וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵאֲנָה אֵין מוֹצִיאִין אוֹתָן מְזוֹנוֹת מִן הַבַּעַל:

6

When a woman commits adultery [her husband is obligated to divorce her]. She is not entitled to a ketubah - neither the fundamental requirement nor the additional amount. Nor is she entitled to any of the conditions of the ketubah. [The rationale is that] it is her own deeds that cause her to become forbidden to her husband.

ו

מִי שֶׁזִּנְּתָה תַּחַת בַּעְלָהּ אֵין לָהּ כְּתֻבָּה לֹא עִקָּר וְלֹא תּוֹסֶפֶת וְלֹא אֶחָד מִתְּנָאֵי כְּתֻבָּה שֶׁהֲרֵי מַעֲשֶׂיהָ גָּרְמוּ לָהּ לְהֵאָסֵר עַל בַּעְלָהּ:

7

What is the law with regard to the rights these women have to their dowries? Whenever a woman's dowry endures, she is entitled to take her property when she leaves [her husband's household after divorce].16 This applies even when she commits adultery.

[If the property is not intact, the following laws apply.] If the woman was a sh'niyah or forbidden as a result of a positive commandment - whether or not her husband was aware of the prohibition - the same laws that apply to other women with regard to their dowries apply to her. Similarly, if the woman was an aylonit or was forbidden because of a negative prohibition of the Torah [that was not punishable by death - neither by the hand of God nor by an earthly court], the same laws that apply to other women with regard to their dowries apply to her.17

[What are those laws?] The husband is liable for nichsei tzon barzel. With regard to nichsei m'log, if anything was lost or stolen, she suffers the loss. [The husband] is not liable to pay.

ז

וְהֵיאַךְ דִּין נָשִׁים אֵלּוּ בִּנְדוּנְיָא שֶׁלָּהֶם. כָּל אִשָּׁה שֶׁנְּדֻנְיָתָהּ קַיֶּמֶת אֲפִלּוּ זִנְּתָה נוֹטֶלֶת שֶׁלָּהּ וְהוֹלֶכֶת. וְאִם הָיְתָה שְׁנִיָּה אוֹ אֶחָד מֵחַיָּבֵי עֲשֵׂה בֵּין הִכִּיר בָּהּ בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא הִכִּיר בָּהּ אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה אַיְלוֹנִית אוֹ מֵחַיָּבֵי לָאוִין וְהִכִּיר בָּהּ הֲרֵי הִיא בִּנְדֻנְיָתָהּ כְּכָל הַנָּשִׁים:

8

[Different rules apply when] a woman is either an aylonit or prohibited because of a negative commandment, and [the husband] did not recognize her status. Whatever was lost, stolen, destroyed or damaged from nichsei tzon barzel, her husband is not liable to pay. For she gave him permission to use them.18

With regard to nichsei m'log, by contrast, whatever was lost or stolen, he is liable to pay. This is the opposite of all other women. Since the marriage bond is not of a binding nature, he did not acquire [rights to use] the nichsei m'log.19

ח

נִכְסֵי צֹאן בַּרְזֶל חַיָּב בְּאַחְרָיוּתָן. וְנִכְסֵי מְלוֹג מַה שֶּׁנִּגְנַב אוֹ שֶׁאָבַד אָבַד לָהּ וְאֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם. הָיְתָה אַיְלוֹנִית אוֹ מֵחַיָּבֵי לָאוִין וְלֹא הִכִּיר בָּהּ כָּל מַה שֶּׁאָבַד אוֹ נִגְנַב אוֹ בָּלָה אוֹ שֶׁנִּשְׁחַק מִנִּכְסֵי צֹאן בַּרְזֶל אֵין הַבַּעַל חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם. שֶׁהֲרֵי הִיא נָתְנָה לוֹ רְשׁוּת לִהְיוֹתָן אֶצְלוֹ. וְכָל מַה שֶּׁאָבַד אוֹ נִגְנַב מִנִּכְסֵי מְלוֹג חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם. הֵפֶךְ מִכָּל הַנָּשִׁים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין שָׁם אִישׁוּת גְּמוּרָה לֹא זָכָה בְּנִכְסֵי מְלוֹג:

9

A woman who dissolves a marriage through the rite of mi'un is not entitled to any compensation at all for property that was destroyed. Nothing is expropriated from her husband in payment for what was lost or stolen, with regard to both nichsei m'log and nichsei tzon barzel.20 Instead, she takes whatever property is intact and departs.

ט

וְהַמְמָאֶנֶת אֵין לָהּ בְּלָיוֹת כְּלָל שֶׁאֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִן הַבַּעַל דָּבָר מִמַּה שֶּׁאָבַד אוֹ נִגְנַב מִנְּכָסֶיהָ בֵּין מִנִּכְסֵי מְלוֹג בֵּין מִנִּכְסֵי צֹאן בַּרְזֶל אֶלָּא נוֹטֶלֶת הַנִּמְצָא לָהּ וְיוֹצְאָה:

10

A woman who committed adultery is not entitled to a ketubah - neither the fundamental requirement nor the extra amount. Nor is the husband held responsible for any of her nichsei tzon barzel that were lost or stolen.21 Needless to say, this ruling also applies with regard to her nichsei m'log.

[The above does not apply] only to an adulteress, but also to a woman who violates the faith of Moses,22 one who violates the Jewish faith,23 or one who is divorced because of a scandalous report.24 These women are not entitled to a ketubah - neither the fundamental requirement nor the extra amount - nor are they granted any of the conditions of the ketubah.

When these [women are divorced], each one should take what remains from her dowry and depart. Her husband is not liable to pay anything, neither what was reduced in value nor what was lost.

י

מִי שֶׁזִּנְּתָה תַּחַת בַּעְלָהּ אֵין לָהּ כְּתֻבָּה לֹא עִקָּר וְלֹא תּוֹסֶפֶת. וְאֵין מוֹצִיאִין מֵהַבַּעַל דָּבָר מִמַּה שֶּׁאָבַד אוֹ נִגְנַב מִנִּכְסֵי צֹאן בַּרְזֶל שֶׁלָּהּ. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר נִכְסֵי מְלוֹג. וְלֹא הַמְזַנָּה בִּלְבַד אֶלָּא אַף הָעוֹבֶרֶת עַל דַּת משֶׁה אוֹ עַל דַּת יְהוּדִית אוֹ הַיּוֹצֵאת מִשּׁוּם שֵׁם רַע אֵין לָהּ כְּתֻבָּה לֹא עִקָּר וְלֹא תּוֹסֶפֶת וְלֹא תְּנַאי מִתְּנָאֵי כְּתֻבָּה. וְכָל אַחַת מֵהֶן נוֹטֶלֶת הַנִּמְצָא לָהּ מִנְּדֻנְיָתָהּ וְיוֹצְאָה וְאֵין הַבַּעַל חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם כְּלוּם לֹא מַה שֶּׁפִּחֵת וְלֹא מַה שֶּׁאָבַד:

11

The following are the actions for which a woman is considered to have "violated the faith of Moses":

a) going out to the marketplace with her hair uncovered;25

b) taking vows or oaths that she does not keep;

c) engaging in sexual relations [with her husband] while in the niddah state;

d) failing to separate challah or feeding her husband food that is forbidden to eat - needless to say, this applies to forbidden crawling animals and animals that were not ritually slaughtered; it applies even to produce that was not tithed.26

How can the latter [two] matters be known? For example, she said: "So and so, the priest, [separated tithes] from this produce for me," "So and so separated challah [from this dough]," "So and so, the Sage, said this stain does not render me a niddah" - and after eating the food or engaging in sexual relations with her, the husband asked the person whose name was mentioned and he denied the occurrence of the incident. Another example: a woman's [conduct caused] it to be established in her neighborhood that she was in the niddah state,27 but she told her husband that she was ritually pure. He engaged in relations with her [and afterwards discovered the truth].

יא

וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁאִם עָשְׂתָה אַחַת מֵהֶן עָבְרָה עַל דַּת משֶׁה. יוֹצְאָה בַּשּׁוּק וּשְׂעַר רֹאשָׁהּ גָּלוּי. אוֹ שֶׁנּוֹדֶרֶת אוֹ שֶׁנִּשְׁבַּעַת וְאֵינָהּ מְקַיֶּמֶת. אוֹ שֶׁשִּׁמְּשָׁה מִטָּתָהּ וְהִיא נִדָּה. אוֹ שֶׁאֵינָהּ קוֹצָה לָהּ חַלָּה. אוֹ שֶׁהֶאֱכִילָה אֶת בַּעְלָהּ דְּבָרִים אֲסוּרִים, אֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר שְׁקָצִים וּרְמָשִׂים וּנְבֵלוֹת, אֶלָּא דְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵינָן מְעֵשָּׂרִין. וְהֵיאַךְ יוֹדֵעַ דָּבָר זֶה כְּגוֹן שֶׁאָמְרָה לוֹ פֵּרוֹת אֵלּוּ פְּלוֹנִי כֹּהֵן תִּקְּנָם לִי וְעִסָּה זוֹ פְּלוֹנִית הִפְרִישָׁה לִי חַלָּתָהּ וּפְלוֹנִי הֶחָכָם טִהֵר לִי אֶת הַכֶּתֶם וְאַחַר שֶׁאָכַל אוֹ בָּא עָלֶיהָ שָׁאַל אוֹתוֹ פְּלוֹנִי וְאָמַר לֹא הָיוּ דְּבָרִים מֵעוֹלָם. וְכֵן אִם הֻחְזְקָה נִדָּה בִּשְׁכֵנוֹתֶיהָ וְאָמְרָה לְבַעְלָהּ טְהוֹרָה אֲנִי וּבָא עָלֶיהָ:

12

What is meant by "the Jewish faith"? The customs of modesty that Jewish women practice. When a woman performs any of the following acts, she is considered to have violated the Jewish faith:

a) she goes to the marketplace or a lane with openings at both ends without having her head [fully] covered - i.e., her hair is covered by a handkerchief, but not with a veil like all other women,28

b) she spins [flax or wool] with a rose on her face29 - on her forehead or on her cheek - like immodest gentile women,

c) she spins in the marketplace and shows her forearms to men;30

d) she plays frivolously with young lads,

e) she demands sexual intimacy from her husband in a loud voice until her neighbors hear her talking about their intimate affairs, or

f) she curses her husband's father in her husband's presence.31

יב

וְאֵי זוֹ הִיא דָּת יְהוּדִית הוּא מִנְהַג הַצְּנִיעוּת שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ בְּנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁאִם עָשְׂתָה אַחַת מֵהֶן עָבְרָה עַל דָּת יְהוּדִית. יוֹצְאָה לַשּׁוּק אוֹ לְמָבוֹי מְפֻלָּשׁ וְרֹאשָׁהּ פָּרוּעַ וְאֵין עָלֶיהָ רְדִיד כְּכָל הַנָּשִׁים. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁשְּׂעָרָהּ מְכֻסֶּה בְּמִטְפַּחַת. אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה טוֹוָה בַּשּׁוּק וּוֶרֶד וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ כְּנֶגֶד פָּנֶיהָ עַל פַּדַּחְתָּהּ אוֹ עַל לְחָיֶיהָ כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁעוֹשׂוֹת הָעַכּוּ''ם הַפְּרוּצוֹת. אוֹ שֶׁטּוֹוָה בַּשּׁוּק וּמַרְאֵית זְרוֹעוֹתֶיהָ לִבְנֵי אָדָם. אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה מְשַׂחֶקֶת עִם הַבַּחוּרִים. אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה תּוֹבַעַת הַתַּשְׁמִישׁ בְּקוֹל רָם מִבַּעְלָהּ עַד שֶׁשְּׁכֵנוֹתֶיהָ שׁוֹמְעוֹת אוֹתָהּ מְדַבֶּרֶת עַל עִסְקֵי תַּשְׁמִישׁ. אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה מְקַלֶּלֶת אֲבִי בַּעְלָהּ בִּפְנֵי בַּעְלָהּ:

13

Ezra ordained that a woman should wear a belt32 in her home at all times, as an expression of modesty. If a woman does not wear [such a belt], however, she is not considered to have violated the faith of Moses, nor does she forfeit her ketubah.

Similarly, if she goes from courtyard to courtyard without having her hair [fully] covered - as long as it is covered with a handkerchief, she is not considered to have violated the [Jewish] faith.

יג

עֶזְרָא תִּקֵּן שֶׁתִּהְיֶה אִשָּׁה חוֹגֶרֶת בְּסִנָּר תָּמִיד בְּתוֹךְ בֵּיתָהּ מִשּׁוּם צְנִיעוּת. וְאִם לֹא חָגְרָה אֵינָהּ עוֹבֶרֶת עַל דַּת משֶׁה וְלֹא הִפְסִידָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ. וְכֵן אִם יָצְתָה בְּרֹאשָׁהּ פָּרוּעַ מֵחָצֵר לְחָצֵר בְּתוֹךְ הַמָּבוֹי הוֹאִיל וּשְׂעָרָהּ מְכֻסֶּה בְּמִטְפַּחַת אֵינָהּ עוֹבֶרֶת עַל דָּת:

14

A woman who violates the faith must have had a warning issued to her [prior to her having performed the act] and [the warning and her improper conduct must be observed by] witnesses before she forfeits her ketubah.

[The following rule applies when a woman] transgresses privately, her husband knows that she violated the faith and [therefore] gives her a warning, [but the warning] was not observed by witnesses, and then she transgresses again. Should the husband claim that she violated [the faith] after receiving a warning,33 and the woman claims not to have transgressed, or not to have received a warning, the husband must pay her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah if he desires34 to divorce her, after she takes an oath that she has not transgressed. [This oath is required because] she would not be entitled to any payment if she admitted to having transgressed after having received this warning.

יד

הָעוֹבֶרֶת עַל דָּת צְרִיכָה הַתְרָאָה וְעֵדִים וְאַחַר כָּךְ תַּפְסִיד כְּתֻבָּתָהּ. עָבְרָה בֵּינוֹ לְבֵינָהּ וְיָדַע שֶׁהִיא עוֹבֶרֶת עַל דָּת וְהִתְרָה בָּהּ בְּלֹא עֵדִים וְחָזְרָה וְעָבְרָה הוּא טוֹעֵן וְאוֹמֵר אַחַר הַתְרָאָה עָבְרָה וְהִיא אוֹמֶרֶת לֹא עָבַרְתִּי כְּלָל אוֹ לֹא הִתְרָה בִּי. אִם רָצָה לְהוֹצִיא הֲרֵי זֶה נוֹתֵן כְּתֻבָּה אַחַר שֶׁתִּשָּׁבַע שֶׁלֹּא עָבְרָה. שֶׁאִם תּוֹדֶה שֶׁעָבְרָה אַחַר הַתְרָאָה זוֹ אֵין לָהּ כְּלוּם:

15

What is meant by "a woman who is divorced because of a scandalous report"? For example, there were witnesses that she performed a very indecent act that indicates that a sin was committed, but there is no definitive testimony [that she committed adultery].

What is implied? She was alone in her courtyard, and they saw a perfume salesman leaving. They entered immediately afterwards and saw her getting up from bed and putting on her underwear or tying her belt, or they found wet spittle on the canopy above the bed.35 Alternatively, they saw them coming out of a dark place [together], or one helping the other up from a trench or the like, or they saw him kissing the opening of her cloak, or saw them kissing each other, or embracing each other, or they entered a room one after the other and locked the doors,36 or any similar act [that would arouse suspicion].

[In all these instances,] if her husband desires to divorce her, she is not entitled to receive [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah. There is no necessity for a warning [in this instance].37

טו

כֵּיצַד הִיא יוֹצְאָה מִשּׁוּם שֵׁם רַע. כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיוּ שָׁם עֵדִים שֶׁעָשְׂתָה דָּבָר מְכֹעָר בְּיוֹתֵר שֶׁהַדְּבָרִים מַרְאִין שֶׁהָיְתָה שָׁם עֲבֵרָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין שָׁם עֵדוּת בְּרוּרָה בִּזְנוּת. כֵּיצַד. כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיְתָה בֶּחָצֵר לְבַדָּהּ וְרָאוּ רוֹכֵל יוֹצֵא וְנִכְנְסוּ מִיָּד בִּשְׁעַת יְצִיאָתוֹ וּמָצְאוּ אוֹתָהּ עוֹמֶדֶת מֵעַל הַמִּטָּה וְהִיא לוֹבֶשֶׁת הַמִּכְנָסַיִם אוֹ חוֹגֶרֶת אֲזוֹרָהּ. אוֹ שֶׁמָּצְאוּ רֹק לַח לְמַעְלָה מִן הַכִּילָה. אוֹ שֶׁהָיוּ יוֹצְאִים מִמָּקוֹם אָפֵל. אוֹ מַעֲלִין זֶה אֶת זֶה מִן הַבּוֹר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ. אוֹ שֶׁרָאוּהוּ מְנַשֵּׁק עַל פִּי חֲלוּקָהּ אוֹ שֶׁרָאוּ אוֹתָן מְנַשְּׁקִין זֶה אֶת זֶה אוֹ מְגַפְּפִין זֶה אֶת זֶה אוֹ שֶׁנִּכְנְסוּ זֶה אַחַר זֶה וְהֵגִיפוּ דְּלָתוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בִּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ. אִם רָצָה הַבַּעַל לְהוֹצִיאָהּ תֵּצֵא בְּלֹא כְּתֻבָּה. וְאֵין זוֹ צְרִיכָה הַתְרָאָה:

16

[When a woman] violates the faith of Moses or the Jewish faith, and similarly, one about whom is issued a scandalous report, her husband is not compelled to divorce her. If he desires [to remain married], he need not divorce her.38

Nevertheless, even when her husband does not divorce her, she is not entitled to a ketubah.39 [The rationale is that] a ketubah was ordained by our Sages so that a husband should not consider the divorce [of his wife as] a light matter. Our Sages were concerned only with modest Jewish women. This institution was not enacted for women [who act] wantonly. On the contrary, let their husbands think that divorcing them is a light matter.

טז

עוֹבֶרֶת עַל דַּת משֶׁה אוֹ עַל דָּת יְהוּדִית וְכֵן זֹאת שֶׁעָשְׂתָה דָּבָר מְכֹעָר אֵין כּוֹפִין אֶת הַבַּעַל לְהוֹצִיא אֶלָּא אִם רָצָה לֹא יוֹצִיא. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הוֹצִיא אֵין לָהֶן כְּתֻבָּה שֶׁהַכְּתֻבָּה תַּקָּנַת חֲכָמִים הִיא כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תְּהֵא קַלָּה בְּעֵינָיו לְהוֹצִיאָהּ. וְלֹא הִקְפִּידוּ אֶלָּא עַל בְּנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל הַצְּנוּעוֹת אֲבָל אֵלּוּ הַפְּרוּצוֹת אֵין לָהֶן תַּקָּנָה [זוֹ] אֶלָּא תְּהֵא קַלָּה בְּעֵינָיו לְהוֹצִיאָהּ:

17

When a man sees his wife commit adultery, or he was informed of this by one of his relatives or her relatives - whether male or female - whom he trusts and whose statements he believes, he is obligated to divorce her and is forbidden to engage in relations with her,40 for he relies on their word as true.

He must [however] pay her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah,41 [unless] she admits that she has committed adultery, in which case she should be divorced without receiving her ketubah. Therefore, if [her husband saw her commit adultery himself], he can require her to take an oath, while she holds a sacred object, that she did not commit adultery while married to him.42 [Only afterwards] can she collect the money [due her by virtue of] her ketubah. With regard to other matters,43 he cannot require her to take an oath, except through the convention of gilgul [sh'vuah].44

יז

מִי שֶׁרָאָה אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁזִּנְּתָה אוֹ שֶׁאָמְרָה לוֹ אַחַת מִקְּרוֹבוֹתָיו אוֹ מִקְּרוֹבוֹתֶיהָ שֶׁהוּא מַאֲמִינָם וְסוֹמֶכֶת דַּעְתּוֹ עֲלֵיהֶם שֶׁזִּנְּתָה אִשְׁתּוֹ. בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה הָאוֹמֵר אִישׁ בֵּין שֶׁהָיְתָה אִשָּׁה הוֹאִיל וְסָמְכָה דַּעְתּוֹ לְדָבָר זֶה שֶׁהוּא אֱמֶת הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב לְהוֹצִיא וְאָסוּר לוֹ לָבוֹא עָלֶיהָ וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה. וְאִם הוֹדֵית לוֹ שֶׁזִּנְּתָה תֵּצֵא בְּלֹא כְּתֻבָּה. לְפִיכָךְ מַשְׁבִּיעָהּ בִּנְקִיטַת חֵפֶץ שֶׁלֹּא זִנְּתָה תַּחְתָּיו אִם רָאָה אוֹתָהּ בְּעַצְמוֹ וְאַחַר כָּךְ תִּגְבֶּה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ. אֲבָל בְּדָבָר אַחֵר אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהַשְׁבִּיעָהּ אֶלָּא עַל יְדֵי גִּלְגּוּל:

18

When a woman tells her husband that she willingly committed adultery, no attention is paid to her words. [We suspect] that she is attracted to another man [and wants to be released from marriage to her husband so that she can marry him].45 She does, however, lose the rights to her ketubah - both the fundamental requirement and any extra amount - and [her right to any of her property] that was destroyed, for she admitted that she has committed adultery.46 If he believes her and considers her word to be true, he is obligated to divorce her.

A court, however, does not obligate a man to divorce his wife through any means, unless two witnesses come forth and testify that the person's wife willingly committed adultery in their presence. [In such a situation,] he is compelled to divorce her.

יח

אָמְרָה לוֹ אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁזִּנְּתָה תַּחְתָּיו בִּרְצוֹנָהּ אֵין מַשְׁגִּיחִין לִדְבָרֶיהָ שֶׁמָּא עֵינֶיהָ נָתְנָה בְּאַחֵר. אֲבָל אִבְּדָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ עִקָּר וְתוֹסֶפֶת וְאִבְּדָה הַבְּלָאוֹת שֶׁהֲרֵי הוֹדֵית בִּזְנוּת. וְאִם הָיָה מַאֲמִינָהּ וְסוֹמֵךְ דַּעְתּוֹ עַל דְּבָרֶיהָ הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב לְהוֹצִיאָהּ. וְאֵין בֵּית דִּין כּוֹפִין אֶת הָאִישׁ לְגָרֵשׁ אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ בְּדָבָר מִדְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ עַד שֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ שְׁנֵי עֵדִים וְיָעִידוּ שֶׁזִּנְּתָה אִשְׁתּוֹ זֹאת בִּפְנֵיהֶם בִּרְצוֹנָהּ וְאַחַר כָּךְ כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ לְהוֹצִיא:

19

A woman who committed adultery unknowingly47 or who was raped is permitted to [continue marital relations with] her husband, as [implied the Numbers 5:13, which describes adultery:] "and she was not raped," indicating that if she was raped, she is permitted. [This applies whether] she was raped by a gentile or by a Jew.

Whenever [a woman] was forced into relations at the outset, she is permitted [to her husband], even if she ultimately consented - even if she says: "Let him continue, if he had not raped me, I would have hired him." For [her] natural inclination has overcome her; originally, she was forced against her will.

יט

הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁזִּנְּתָה תַּחַת בַּעְלָהּ בִּשְׁגָגָה אוֹ בְּאֹנֶס הֲרֵי זוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת לְבַעְלָהּ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר ה יג) "וְהִיא לֹא נִתְפָּשָׂה" הָא נִתְפָּשָׂה מֻתֶּרֶת. בֵּין שֶׁאֲנָסָהּ עַכּוּ''ם בֵּין שֶׁאֲנָסָהּ יִשְׂרָאֵל. וְכָל שֶׁתְּחִלַּת בִּיאָתָהּ בְּאֹנֶס אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁסּוֹפָהּ בְּרָצוֹן וַאֲפִלּוּ אָמְרָה הָנִיחוּ לוֹ שֶׁאִלְמָלֵי לֹא אָנַס אוֹתִי הָיִיתִי שׂוֹכַרְתּוֹ הֲרֵי זוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת. שֶׁהַיֵּצֶר לְבָשָׁהּ וּמִתְּחִלָּה [הָיְתָה] בְּאֹנֶס:

20

When women have been abducted by robbers, they are considered as though they have been taken captive and were raped; they are permitted to their husbands.48 If, however, they were left alone and they went to the robbers on their own initiative, they are considered to have acted willingly and they are forbidden to their husbands.

The laws applying to a woman who acted unwittingly and to one who was raped are the same. For acting unwittingly is comparable to a deed committed under coercion.

כ

נָשִׁים שֶׁגָּנְבוּ אוֹתָן לִסְטִים הֲרֵי הֵן כִּשְׁבֻיּוֹת שֶׁהֵן אֲנוּסוֹת וּמֻתָּרוֹת לְבַעְלֵיהֶן. וְאִם הֱנִיחוּם וְהָלְכוּ לַלִּסְטִים מֵעַצְמָן הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ בְּרָצוֹן וַאֲסוּרוֹת לְבַעְלֵיהֶן. וְדִין הַשּׁוֹגֶגֶת וְדִין הַנֶּאֱנֶסֶת אֶחָד הוּא שֶׁהַשְּׁגָגָה צַד אֹנֶס יֵשׁ בָּהּ:

21

When does the above apply? When the woman's husband was an Israelite. If, however, a priest's wife [committed adultery] unwittingly or under duress, she is forbidden to her husband. For these relations cause her to be deemed a zonah at all times, and he is forbidden to have relations with a zonah, as will be explained in Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah.49

כא

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁהָיָה בַּעְלָהּ יִשְׂרָאֵל. אֲבָל אֵשֶׁת כֹּהֵן שֶׁשָּׁגְגָה אוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֶנְסָה אֲסוּרָה לְבַעְלָהּ שֶׁהֲרֵי נַעֲשֵׂית זוֹנָה מִכָּל מָקוֹם וְהוּא אָסוּר בְּזוֹנָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת אִסּוּרֵי בִּיאָה:

22

With regard to both an Israelite's wife and a priest's wife who have been raped, they are entitled to their ketubah - both the fundamental requirement and the additional amount. She does not lose anything in this regard. We compel50 the priest to pay [her the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah and then to divorce her.

כב

אֶחָד אֵשֶׁת יִשְׂרָאֵל אוֹ אֵשֶׁת כֹּהֵן שֶׁנֶּאֶנְסָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ קַיֶּמֶת הָעִקָּר וְהַתּוֹסֶפֶת וְלֹא הִפְסִידָה מִכְּתֻבָּתָהּ כְּלוּם. וְכוֹפִין אֶת הַכֹּהֵן לִתֵּן לָהּ כְּתֻבָּתָהּ וּלְגָרְשָׁהּ:

23

When a priest's wife tells her husband: "I was raped," or "I unwittingly had relations with another man," he should not pay any attention to her words. [We suspect that perhaps] she was attracted to another man.

If he believes her, or he was told about it by a person upon whose word he relies, he should divorce her and pay her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah.51

כג

אֵשֶׁת כֹּהֵן שֶׁאָמְרָה לְבַעְלָהּ נֶאֱנַסְתִּי אוֹ שָׁגַגְתִּי וְנִבְעַלְתִּי לְאַחֵר אֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ לִדְבָרֶיהָ שֶׁמָּא עֵינֶיהָ נָתְנָה בְּאַחֵר. וְאִם הָיְתָה נֶאֱמֶנֶת לוֹ אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ אָדָם שֶׁהוּא סוֹמֵךְ עַל דְּבָרָיו יוֹצִיא וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה:

24

[The following rules apply when] a man tells his wife in the presence of witnesses: "Do not enter into privacy with so and so." If two witnesses observed her entering into privacy with the said person, and she and he remained there sufficient time for relations to have taken place,52 she is forbidden to engage in relations with her husband until he causes her to drink "the bitter waters",53 as will be explained in Hilchot Sotah.54

If he dies before he has caused her to drink [these waters], she is not entitled to her ketubah. Although witnesses did not see any [blatant] wanton act, there is no more wanton behavior than [disobeying her husband's words in] this [manner].

In the present age, when the waters [to test a] sotah are not available to us, the woman becomes forbidden to her husband forever. She must be divorced without receiving [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah, neither the fundamental requirement nor the additional amount, for it is her evil deeds that caused her to become forbidden.55

כד

הָאוֹמֵר לְאִשְׁתּוֹ בִּפְנֵי שְׁנַיִם אַל תִּסָּתְרִי עִם אִישׁ פְּלוֹנִי וְנִכְנְסָה עִמּוֹ לְסֵתֶר בִּפְנֵי שְׁנֵי עֵדִים וְשָׁהֲתָה כְּדֵי טֻמְאָה הֲרֵי זוֹ אֲסוּרָה עַל בַּעְלָהּ עַד שֶׁיַּשְׁקֶנָּה מֵי הַמָּרִים כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת סוֹטָה. וְאִם מֵת קֹדֶם שֶׁיַּשְׁקֶנָּה אֵין לָהּ כְּתֻבָּה. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא מָצְאוּ דָּבָר מְכֹעָר. שֶׁאֵין לְךָ דָּבָר יוֹתֵר מְכֹעָר מִזֶּה. וְהַיּוֹם שֶׁאֵין שָׁם מֵי סוֹטָה נֶאֶסְרָה עָלָיו אִסּוּר עוֹלָם וְתֵצֵא בְּלֹא כְּתֻבָּה לֹא עִקָּר וְלֹא תּוֹסֶפֶת שֶׁהֲרֵי מַעֲשֶׂיהָ הָרָעִים גָּרְמוּ לָהּ לְהֵאָסֵר:

25

[The following laws apply when a husband] tells [his wife] in private: "Do not enter into seclusion with so and so." If he observed her enter into seclusion with the said person, and she and he remained there sufficient time for relations to have taken place - in the present age,56 when the waters [to test a] sotah are not available to us - the woman becomes forbidden to her husband. He is obligated to divorce her and pay [her the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah.

If she admits entering into seclusion with the said person after having received the warning, she must be divorced without receiving [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah. Therefore, she is required to take an oath in this regard.57 Only afterwards must he pay [her the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah.

כה

אָמַר לָהּ בֵּינוֹ לְבֵינָהּ אַל תִּסָּתְרִי עִם אִישׁ פְּלוֹנִי וְרָאָה אוֹתָהּ שֶׁנִּסְתְּרָה עִמּוֹ וְשָׁהֲתָה כְּדֵי טֻמְאָה הֲרֵי זוֹ אֲסוּרָה עָלָיו בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה שֶׁאֵין שָׁם מֵי סוֹטָה. וְחַיָּב לְהוֹצִיא וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה. וְאִם הוֹדֵית שֶׁנִּסְתְּרָה אַחַר שֶׁהִתְרָה בָּהּ תֵּצֵא בְּלֹא כְּתֻבָּה וּלְפִיכָךְ מַשְׁבִּיעָהּ עַל זֶה וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה:

Footnotes
1.

A woman who does not have female physical characteristics and cannot conceive children, as mentioned in Chapter 2, Halachah 6. This halachah is speaking about an instance in which the husband was aware of his wife's condition.

2.

See Chapter 15, Halachah 7.

3.

The Rambam does not explicitly mention that the woman is not entitled to receive her sustenance during her husband's lifetime. This is taken for granted. Since their marriage is forbidden, our Sages did not bind their relationship by any of the guidelines they instituted to preserve harmony and peace in marriage. Even after his lifetime, she is not entitled to receive her sustenance.

4.

In contrast to the previous and subsequent halachot, the Rambam does not mention divorce in this instance. The Noda BiY'hudah (Even HaEzer, Vol. II, Responsum 80) explains that the Rambam's wording leads to the following hypothesis: Since the husband was not aware of the woman's physical condition (if she was an aylonit), or the prohibition forbidding relations (if she was forbidden to him), he entered the marriage under mistaken premises. Hence, the marriage is not binding at all and no divorce is necessary. The couple must, however, be forced to separate.

The Noda BiY'hudah, however, rejects this hypothesis and maintains that the kiddushin are binding in such instances and a divorce is required.

5.

Even though her husband is not obligated to redeem her from captivity - and the right to benefit from the produce is associated with that obligation - he is not required to return the produce. This is a penalty that our Sages imposed upon the woman (Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 115:1).

6.

A woman with whom he is forbidden to engage in relations because of Rabbinic decree. (See Chapter 1, Halachah 6.)

7.

For the relationship is undesirable, and our Sages wish that it be terminated.

8.

This extra amount is granted by the husband on his own volition because of the satisfaction generated by physical intimacy. It is not a requirement of the Sages (Rashi, Ketubot 101a).

9.

Note the contrast to Halachah 6.

10.

During the husband's lifetime, however, they are not entitled to support, for the court desires that the relationship be terminated (Maggid Mishneh).

11.

The Rambam's rationale is that although the husband is not liable for his wife's support while the couple are living together, this is only because the Sages desired to rend apart the couple's relationship. In principle, he should be liable, for she is entitled to a ketubah and the conditions of the ketubah. Therefore, in an instance where the couple are separating, and the woman demands payment for her support while her husband was abroad, he should be held liable.

Other authorities differ and free the husband from liability in this instance. It is their opinion that is cited by the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 116:1).

12.

This point is also the subject of a difference of opinion among the Rabbis, and the Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.) follows the view of the authorities who differ with the Rambam and do not hold the husband liable.

13.

Our Sages instituted the marriage of a minor for her own benefit. If she does not desire to continue the marriage, it is she who suffers the consequences.

14.

This additional amount was granted to the woman in consideration of the physical pleasure she gives her husband. Since he received that pleasure and knew that the woman had the right to terminate the relationship, he is liable for this amount.

15.

For at the time, he had permission to use her property and benefit from it.

16.

Even if the entire dowry is not intact, the woman takes the part that is intact. The remaining laws apply only to that portion of the dowry that no longer exists or that is unfit for use.

17.

As the Rambam explains in his Commentary on the Mishnah (Yevamot 9:3), the rationale for this ruling is that, with the exception of the sh'niyot, the women mentioned in this halachah are all entitled to a ketubah. As a result, the same laws that apply to other women with regard to their dowries apply to them as well. With regard to a sh'niyah, even though she is not entitled to a ketubah, our Sages imposed penalties on both her and her husband and required them to suffer a loss.

With the exception of the case of a sh'niyah, the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 116:1-4) does not accept the distinction made by the Rambam and applies the laws mentioned in the following halachah to all these instances.

18.

Although he accepted responsibility for them, his acceptance was made under false premises. Hence, just as the marriage contract is not binding, so too, his acceptance of responsibility is not binding.

19.

Therefore, he is held responsible for any loss that took place.

20.

The rationale is that the court gave him the right to use this property, and according to the conditions they established, he is liable only if he divorces her.

21.

Even if an object was lost because of the husband's negligence, he is not held liable (Chelkat Mechokek 115:20).

22.

See the following halachah for a definition of this term.

23.

See Halachah 12 for a definition of this term.

24.

See Halachah 15 for a definition of this term.

25.

Numbers 5:18 states that as part of the process of causing a sotah distress, her hair is uncovered. From this, Ketubot 72a derives the concept that a married Jewish woman's hair should always be covered. Similarly, the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 21:2) prohibits a married woman from walking in the public domain with uncovered hair.

Although this custom was not practiced conscientiously in many European communities even within the religious population, our Torah authorities have always called for its observance. The failure of a woman to cover her hair is considered adequate grounds for divorce. It must, however, be emphasized that a husband who married a woman who he knew would not cover her hair cannot later divorce her on the grounds that she fails to do so, without making full settlement of his obligations according to the marriage contract.

26.

I.e., prohibitions of Rabbinic origin as well as those explicit in the Torah.

27.

E.g., she wore clothes customarily worn when she was a niddah. In the present age, it is not customary for women to wear special clothes while they are in the niddah state.

28.

The previous halachah spoke of her going out to a public place with her hair totally uncovered. This halachah mentioned the covering of her hair, but not according to the accepted norms of modesty.

29.

In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Ketubot 7:4), the Rambam mentions wearing a rose or perfume in the same manner as worn by wanton gentile women.

30.

The Ramah (Even HaEzer 115:4) states that this applies when she does so frequently, implying that if she did so on one particular occasion, she is not placed in this category. (See Beit Shmuel 115:11.)

31.

The Ramah (loc. cit.) follows more stringent opinions that state that even if she curses his father outside her husband's presence, or if she curses her husband himself to his face, she is placed in this category.

32.

Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Shabbat 10:4). Rashi (Bava Kama 72b) interprets this term as referring to underwear. Based on the Jerusalem Talmud (Megillah 4:1), which explains that this practice was instituted after a woman was raped by a monkey, it would appear that the intent is a chastity belt.

33.

And he is therefore not required to pay her ketubah.

34.

See Halachah 16.

35.

Why would wet spittle be found on the canopy? Obviously, someone was lying face up on the bed and could not turn to either side. This indicates that the woman had just been involved in sexual relations (Rashi, Yevamot 24b).

36.

Our translation is based on the additions of the Ramah (Even HaEzer 11:1).

37.

A woman who acts in this manner is considered to have committed adultery, and there is no need for a warning in such an instance.

38.

As mentioned in Halachah 18, the court does not compel a man to divorce his wife unless two witnesses testify that she willingly committed adultery. Nevertheless, in the situations mentioned above, it is clear that our Sages desired that the woman be divorced. Moreover, the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 115:4) states that it is a mitzvah to divorce such a woman.

The Ramah adds that even though in most cases we follow the enactment of Rabbenu Gershom, who forbade divorcing a woman against her will, in this instance an exception is made. Even if the woman does not consent to the divorce, her husband may divorce her.

39.

Nor is she entitled to any of the provisions of the ketubah while they remain married, as stated above (Halachah 10). Note, however, the Chelkat Mechokek 115:18, who states that if the couple remain married, and afterwards the woman repents and begins conducting herself modestly, her husband is obligated to write a new ketubah for her.

40.

When a married woman has committed adultery, she is forbidden to engage in sexual relations with her husband in the future. (Similarly, she is forbidden to engage in relations with the adulterer.) Since her husband either saw the matter himself or heard it from a person upon whom he relies, he is bound by this prohibition.

41.

Since he has no binding evidence that she committed adultery that will be accepted by a court, she cannot be forced to forgo her claim for the money he is obligated to pay her.

42.

The Rambam compares this to a situation in which a creditor desires to collect a debt supported by a promissory note, and the debtor states: "I have paid the note." Although the creditor is allowed to collect the debt, he must take an oath first.

43.

Our translation follows the standard published text of the Mishneh Torah. According to this version, the intent is difficult to comprehend, as reflected in the questions raised by the Maggid Mishneh.

The Kessef Mishneh explains that the proper version is בדברי אחר. The intent is that if the husband saw his wife commit adultery himself, he may require her to take an oath, because his claim is definite. If, by contrast, his claim is based on the statements of another person, his claim is not definite and he does not have the right to require her to take an oath.

44.

I.e., if she is obligated to take another oath before collecting the money due her by virtue of her ketubah, her husband may also require her to take the oath concerning adultery.

45.

The husband need not divorce her, and he may continue engaging in marital relations with her without worrying that he is transgressing the prohibition mentioned in the previous halachah.

46.

In cases of monetary law, we follow the principle that the statements of the principal himself are equal to those of 100 witnesses. Since she admitted committing adultery, she must suffer the financial consequences.

In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Nedarim 11:12), the Rambam explains that when the husband says, "I do not believe her," he is still permitted to engage in relations with her. We do not, however, say: "If you believe her, pay her the money due her by virtue of her ketubah," for we divide his statements (palg'nin dibburo), and apply them in one context, but not in another. This explanation has, however, aroused questions in certain commentaries.

47.

E.g., two couples were married at the same time and the women unwittingly went into the wrong marriage chambers, and each thought that she was with her own spouse (Yevamot 33b). When, however, a woman commits adultery under the impression that she is allowed to do so, she is considered to have acted willfully, and she is forbidden to enter into relations with her husband (Ramah, Even HaEzer 178:3).

48.

Ketubot 51b relates that in Babylonia there was a time when robber bands would frequently abduct women from their homes.

49.

Chapter 17, Halachot 1 and 7; Chapter 18, Halachah 1. This prohibition is a result of the extra dimension of sanctity conveyed upon a priest and is not a reflection of the woman's lack of virtue.

50.

With regard to the priest's prohibition against relations with these women, Leviticus 21:8 states: "And you shall make him holy." Yevamot 88b implies that the intent is that he should be forced to make himself holy, even if that involves compelling him against his will.

51.

See the explanation in Halachah 18. The reason this woman is entitled to the money due her by virtue of her ketubah is that she did not commit adultery willingly.

52.

Hilchot Sotah 1:2 explains this as the amount of time it takes to roast an egg and swallow it. In quantitative terms, the more stringent of the contemporary authorities have estimated this as 35 seconds.

53.

This phrase is borrowed from Numbers 5:18. Hilchot Sotah 3:10 explains that the term is used because a bitter-flavored substance was added to the water.

54.

Chapter 1, Halachah 2. Although there is no evidence that the woman actually committed adultery, since she was warned by her husband and violated his warning, the burden of proof is upon her. It is only through drinking the waters given a sotah that she can vindicate herself.

55.

The Rambam is explaining why the woman is forced to forfeit her ketubah, although there is no conclusive proof of adultery. She knew about the prohibition against entering into privacy with the said individual and violated it willingly. Hence, she is required to suffer the consequences.

56.

The Kessef Mishneh questions why the Rambam mentions "the present age." Seemingly, in the time of the Temple as well, a similar problem would arise - if the warning was not given in the presence of witnesses, the waters given a sotah could not be used to test the woman's faithfulness.

57.

See Halachah 17 and notes.

Ishut - Chapter Twenty Five

1

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

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

א

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

2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ב

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

3

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

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

ג

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

4

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

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

ד

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

5

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

ה

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

6

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

ו

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

7

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

ז

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

8

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

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

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

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

ח

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

9

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

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

ט

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

10

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

י

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

11

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

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

יא

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

12

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

יב

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

13

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

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

יג

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

Footnotes
1.

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

2.

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

3.

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

4.

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

5.

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

6.

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

7.

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

8.

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

9.

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

10.

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

11.

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

12.

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

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

13.

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

14.

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

15.

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

16.

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

17.

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

18.

Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah 4:21.

19.

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

20.

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

21.

As explained in Chapter 14, Halachah 8, above.

22.

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

23.

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

24.

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

25.

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

26.

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

27.

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

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

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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