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ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Ishut - Chapter Nine

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Ishut - Chapter Nine

1

[When a man] consecrates two women whom he is forbidden to marry at the same time, because it creates a prohibited relationship, neither is consecrated. What is implied? When a man consecrates a woman and her daughter or two sisters at the same time, neither of them is consecrated.

א

הַמְ [קַ] דֵשׁ שְׁתֵּי נָשִׁים שֶׁאָסוּר לִשָּׂא שְׁתֵּיהֶן מִשּׁוּם עֶרְוָה כְּאַחַת אֵינָן מְקֻדָּשׁוֹת. כֵּיצַד. כְּגוֹן שֶׁקִּדֵּשׁ אִשָּׁה וּבִתָּהּ אוֹ שְׁתֵּי אֲחָיוֹת כְּאַחַת אֵין אַחַת מֵהֶן מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת:

2

[The following rule applies when a man] consecrates many women at the same time and says: "Behold, all of you are consecrated to me." If among [these women] were two sisters, a woman and her daughter or the like, none of the women is consecrated.1

If [the man] told [the women]: "Those of you who are fit to engage in marital relations with me are consecrated to me," they are all consecrated to him, except the sisters, the mother and her daughter or the like.

Similarly, if [a man] told [a group of women], "Behold, all of you are consecrated to me," and among [these women] was a Canaanite maidservant, a non-Jewish woman or a woman who is forbidden to this man as an ervah - e.g., a married woman, his daughter, his sister or the like - none of them is consecrated to him. If he says: "Those of you who are fit to engage in marital relations with me are consecrated to me," they are all consecrated to him, except the women with whom he cannot establish kiddushin.

ב

קִדֵּשׁ נָשִׁים רַבּוֹת כְּאַחַת וְאָמַר הֲרֵי כֻּלְּכֶם מְקֻדָּשׁוֹת לִי וְהָיוּ בָּהֶן שְׁתֵּי אֲחָיוֹת אוֹ אִשָּׁה וּבִתָּהּ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן אֵין אַחַת מִכֻּלָּן מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת. וְאִם אָמַר לָהֶן הָרְאוּיָה מִכֶּם לִי לְבִיאָה מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לִי הֲרֵי כֻּלָּן מְקֻדָּשׁוֹת לוֹ חוּץ מֵאֲחָיוֹת אוֹ אִשָּׁה וּבִתָּהּ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. וְכֵן אִם אָמַר לָהֶן הֲרֵי כֻּלְּכֶם מְקֻדָּשׁוֹת לִי וְהָיְתָה בָּהֶן שִׁפְחָה אוֹ עַכּוּ''ם אוֹ אִשָּׁה אַחַת עֶרְוָה כְּגוֹן אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ אוֹ בִּתּוֹ אוֹ אֲחוֹתוֹ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן אֵין אַחַת מִכֻּלָּם מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת. וְאִם אָמַר הָרְאוּיָה מִכֶּם לִי לְבִיאָה תִּהְיֶה מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לִי הֲרֵי כֻּלָּן מְקֻדָּשׁוֹת לוֹ חוּץ מֵאוֹתָהּ אִשָּׁה שֶׁאֵין קִדּוּשִׁין תּוֹפְסִין בָּהּ:

3

[The following rule applies when] a man tells two sisters: "Behold, one of you is consecrated to me with this [article]," and gives them both a p'rutah, or one accepts it on behalf [of herself and] her sister. They both require a divorce from him, and it is forbidden for him to engage in marital relations with either of them, for the kiddushin are viable even though he is forbidden to engage in relations with either of them.2 The same [rule applies] when [a man] tells a father: "One of your daughters is consecrated to me," and the father accepts the kiddushin.3

ג

אָמַר לִשְׁתֵּי אֲחָיוֹת הֲרֵי אַחַת מִכֶּם מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לִי בָּזֶה וְנָתַן לָהֶן פְּרוּטָה אוֹ שֶׁקִּבַּלְתָּהּ אַחַת עַל יַד חֲבֶרְתָּהּ. וְכֵן הָאוֹמֵר לָאָב אַחַת מִבְּנוֹתֶיךָ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לִי וְקִבֵּל הָאָב קִדּוּשֶׁיהָ כֻּלָּן צְרִיכוֹת גֵּט מִמֶּנּוּ. וְאָסוּר לוֹ לָבוֹא עַל אַחַת מֵהֶן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַקִּדּוּשִׁין תּוֹפְסִין בָּהֶן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לָבוֹא עַל אַחַת מֵהֶן:

4

[The following rule applies when a man] appoints an agent to consecrate a particular woman, the agent went and consecrated her, the principal himself consecrated the woman's mother, daughter or sister, and it is not known which of them was consecrated first: They both require a divorce, and they both are forbidden [to have relations] with him.

A similar [rule applies] if a woman appointed an agent to consecrate her, he [fulfilled her charge], she herself consecrated herself to another man, and it is not known which consecration took place first. Both men are required to divorce her. If they so desire, one may divorce her and one may marry her.4

ד

הָעוֹשֶׂה שָׁלִיחַ לְקַדֵּשׁ לוֹ אִשָּׁה פְּלוֹנִית וְהָלַךְ וְקִדְּשָׁהּ לוֹ וְקִדֵּשׁ הַמְשַׁלֵּחַ בְּעַצְמוֹ לְאִמָּהּ אוֹ לְבִתָּהּ אוֹ לַאֲחוֹתָהּ וְאֵין יָדוּעַ אֵי זוֹ מֵהֶן נִתְקַדְּשָׁה רִאשׁוֹנָה שְׁתֵּיהֶן צְרִיכוֹת גֵּט וַאֲסוּרוֹת עָלָיו. וְכֵן אִשָּׁה שֶׁעָשְׂתָה שָׁלִיחַ לְקַדְּשָׁהּ וְהָלַךְ וְקִדְּשָׁהּ וְהָלְכָה וְקִדְּשָׁה הִיא עַצְמָהּ לְאַחֵר וְאֵין יָדוּעַ אֵי זוֹ מֵהֶן קֹדֶם שְׁנֵיהֶן נוֹתְנִין לָהּ גֵּט. וְאִם רָצוּ אֶחָד נוֹתֵן גֵּט וְאֶחָד כּוֹנֵס:

5

When does the above apply? When [the two men who consecrated her] were not related. If, however, they were related, the agent consecrated the woman to a father, and she consecrated herself to his son, to his brother or the like: they both must divorce her, and they both are forbidden [to have relations] with her.

ה

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בִּרְחוֹקִין אֲבָל (בִּקְרוֹבִים) אִם קִדְּשָׁהּ הַשָּׁלִיחַ לָאָב וְקִדְּשָׁה הִיא עַצְמָהּ לַבֵּן אוֹ לָאָח וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן שְׁנֵיהֶם נוֹתְנִין גֵּט וְהִיא אֲסוּרָה לִשְׁנֵיהֶם:

6

[The following rules apply when a man] tells an agent: "Go out and consecrate a woman for me," the agent dies, and it is not known whether or not he consecrated a woman on behalf of the principal. We accept the presumption that he consecrated [on his behalf], for it is an accepted presumption that the agent will carry out the mission with which he was charged.

[Accordingly,] since it is not known which woman he consecrated, the principal is forbidden to marry any woman who has a relative who might be forbidden because of the laws of ervah - i.e., a woman who has an [unmarried] daughter, mother, sister or the like.

[The rationale is] that if you say: "Let him marry this one," perhaps the agent had consecrated the woman's mother, sister or daughter. He is permitted [to marry] a woman who does not have relatives like these.5

If [the woman the man desires to marry] has a relative like this - e.g., a sister - and that relative was married at the time the agent was appointed, [the man] is permitted to marry her. [This applies] even if this relative was divorced before the agent died. We do not say that perhaps the agent consecrated her relative after she was divorced. For she was not fit to [marry him] at the time the agent was appointed, and a person does not appoint an agent to consecrate a wife for him if [the intended] is not fit to be consecrated at the time the agent is appointed.

ו

הָאוֹמֵר לִשְׁלוּחוֹ צֵא וְקַדֵּשׁ לִי אִשָּׁה וּמֵת הַשָּׁלִיחַ וְאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ אִם קִדֵּשׁ אִם לֹא קִדֵּשׁ לוֹ אִשָּׁה הֲרֵי זֶה בְּחֶזְקַת שֶׁקִּדֵּשׁ שֶׁחֶזְקַת שָׁלִיחַ לַעֲשׂוֹת שְׁלִיחוּתוֹ. וְהוֹאִיל וְאֵין יָדוּעַ אֵי זוֹ אִשָּׁה קִדֵּשׁ לוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה אָסוּר בְּכָל אִשָּׁה שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהּ קְרוֹבוֹת שֶׁהֵן עֶרְוָה עִמָּהּ. כְּגוֹן אִשָּׁה שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהּ בַּת אוֹ אֵם אוֹ אָחוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. שֶׁאִם תֹּאמַר יִשָּׂא זוֹ שֶׁמָּא אִמָּהּ קִדֵּשׁ לוֹ שְׁלוּחוֹ אוֹ אֲחוֹתָהּ אוֹ בִּתָּהּ. וּמֻתָּר בְּאִשָּׁה שֶׁאֵין לָהּ קְרוֹבוֹת כְּגוֹן אֵלּוּ. הָיְתָה לָהּ קְרוֹבָה כְּגוֹן אֵם אוֹ אָחוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן וְהָיְתָה הַקְּרוֹבָה אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁעָשָׂה הוּא שָׁלִיחַ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּתְגָּרְשָׁה קֹדֶם שֶׁיָּמוּת הַשָּׁלִיחַ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר בָּהּ. וְאֵין אוֹמְרִים שֶׁמָּא קִדֵּשׁ הַשָּׁלִיחַ אֶת קְרוֹבָתָהּ אַחַר שֶׁנִּתְגָּרְשָׁה. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא הָיְתָה רְאוּיָה בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁעָשָׂה הַשָּׁלִיחַ וְאֵין אָדָם עוֹשֶׂה שָׁלִיחַ לְקַדֵּשׁ לוֹ אֶלָּא אִשָּׁה שֶׁיָּכוֹל הוּא לְקַדְּשָׁהּ בִּשְׁעַת הַשְּׁלִיחוּת:

7

[The following rules apply when] a person has five sons, they each appoint their father as an agent to consecrate a wife for them, and the father tells a colleague who has five daughters: "[Each] one of your daughters is consecrated to one of my sons." Should the father [of the girls] accept the kiddushin,6 each of the girls must be divorced by each of the five brothers. For they all gave their father the prerogative of consecrating a wife for them [and he did not specify which woman would be the wife for which of his sons].

If one of [the sons] dies, each of the women must be divorced by the four [remaining brothers] and must perform the rite of chalitzah with one of them.7

ז

מִי שֶׁהָיוּ לוֹ חֲמִשָּׁה בָּנִים וְעָשׂוּ כֻּלָּן שָׁלִיחַ אֶת אֲבִיהֶם לְקַדֵּשׁ לָהֶם אִשָּׁה. וְאָמַר אֲבִי הַבָּנִים לְאִישׁ שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ חָמֵשׁ בָּנוֹת אַחַת מִבְּנוֹתֶיךָ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לְאֶחָד מִבָּנַי וְקִבֵּל הָאָב הַקִּדּוּשִׁין. כָּל אַחַת מֵהֶן צְרִיכָה חֲמִשָּׁה גִּטִּין מִכָּל הָאַחִין. הוֹאִיל וְכֻלָּן נָתְנוּ רְשׁוּת לָאָב לְקַדֵּשׁ לָהֶן אִשָּׁה. מֵת אֶחָד מֵהֶם כָּל אַחַת מֵהֶן צְרִיכָה אַרְבָּעָה גִּטִּין וַחֲלִיצָה מֵאֶחָד מֵהֶם:

8

[There is, by contrast, no doubt in the following situation:] A father had [two daughters]: one a minor or a na'arah8 whom he has the privilege [of consecrating], and one a bogeret.9 Even if the bogeret gives her father the privilege of consecrating her, when he consecrates one of his daughters without specifying which one, it is assumed that the bogeret is not the one intended unless he specifically states [that the kiddushin are for] "my older daughter, who is a bogeret, who appointed me as [her] agent."10 Therefore, [in such a situation,] the bogeret is not consecrated,11 and her sister is consecrated.

ח

הָאָב שֶׁהָיְתָה לוֹ בַּת קְטַנָּה אוֹ נַעֲרָה שֶׁהִיא בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ וּבַת בּוֹגֶרֶת וְנָתְנָה לוֹ הַבּוֹגֶרֶת רְשׁוּת לְקַדְּשָׁהּ וְקִדֵּשׁ בִּתּוֹ סְתָם לְאֶחָד. אֵין הַבּוֹגֶרֶת בִּכְלָל עַד שֶׁיְּפָרֵשׁ וְיֹאמַר בִּתִּי הַבּוֹגֶרֶת שֶׁעָשָׂת אוֹתִי שָׁלִיחַ. לְפִיכָךְ אֵין הַבּוֹגֶרֶת מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת (וַאֲחוֹתָהּ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת):

9

[The following rules apply with regard to a father] who has two pairs of daughters from two different wives, and he has the prerogative [of consecrating all of them].12 If he consecrated one daughter, and at the time of the kiddushin told the husband: "I consecrated my oldest daughter" [there is no confusion with regard to his intent]. Although it is possible to say that perhaps he consecrated the older daughter in the older pair to him, or the older daughter in the younger pair or the younger daughter in the older pair - for she is older than the older daughter in the younger pair [- we do not entertain such doubts.] All [the daughters] are permitted [to marry other men] except the older daughter in the older pair; she alone is considered to be consecrated.

Similarly, if [the father says that] he consecrated his youngest daughter: Although it is possible to say that perhaps [he consecrated] the younger daughter in the younger pair to him, or the younger daughter in the older pair or the older daughter in the younger pair - for she is younger than the younger daughter in the older pair [- we do not entertain such doubts]. All [the daughters] are permitted [to marry other men] except the younger daughter in the younger pair; she alone is considered to be consecrated. For the phrase "my oldest daughter" implies the daughter whom none is elder than, and the phrase "my youngest daughter" implies the daughter whom none is younger than.13

ט

מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ שְׁתֵּי כִּתֵּי בָּנוֹת מִשְּׁתֵּי נָשִׁים וְכֻלָּן בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ וְקִדֵּשׁ אַחַת מֵהֶן וּבִשְׁעַת הַקִּדּוּשִׁין אָמַר לַבַּעַל קִדַּשְׁתִּי לְךָ אֶת בִּתִּי הַגְּדוֹלָה. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹמַר שֶׁמָּא גְּדוֹלָה שֶׁבַּגְּדוֹלוֹת קִדֵּשׁ לוֹ אוֹ גְּדוֹלָה שֶׁבַּקְּטַנּוֹת אוֹ קְטַנָּה שֶׁבַּגְּדוֹלוֹת שֶׁהִיא גְּדוֹלָה מִן הַגְּדוֹלָה שֶׁבַּקְּטַנּוֹת. הֲרֵי כֻּלָּן מֻתָּרוֹת חוּץ מִן הַגְּדוֹלָה שֶׁבַּגְּדוֹלוֹת שֶׁהִיא לְבַדָּהּ הַמְקֻדֶּשֶׁת. וְכֵן אִם קִדֵּשׁ בִּתּוֹ הַקְּטַנָּה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹמַר שֶׁמָּא קְטַנָּה שֶׁבַּקְּטַנּוֹת אוֹ קְטַנָּה שֶׁבַּגְּדוֹלוֹת אוֹ גְּדוֹלָה שֶׁבַּקְּטַנּוֹת שֶׁהִיא קְטַנָּה מִן הַקְּטַנָּה שֶׁבַּגְּדוֹלוֹת הֲרֵי כֻּלָּן מֻתָּרוֹת חוּץ מִן הַקְּטַנָּה שֶׁבַּקְּטַנּוֹת וְהִיא לְבַדָּהּ הַמְקֻדֶּשֶׁת. שֶׁמַּשְׁמָע בִּתּוֹ הַגְּדוֹלָה שֶׁאֵין בִּבְנוֹתָיו גְּדוֹלָה מִמֶּנָּה וּמַשְׁמָע בִּתּוֹ הַקְּטַנָּה שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶן קְטַנָּה מִמֶּנָּה:

10

A father's word is accepted with regard to [the status of] his daughter below the age of bagrut. [If] he states that she has been consecrated, she is forbidden to marry at all.14

י

נֶאֱמָן הָאָב לוֹמַר עַל בִּתּוֹ קֹדֶם שֶׁתִּבְגֹּר שֶׁהִיא מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת וְאוֹסְרָהּ עַל הַכּל:

11

When a father says, "I consecrated my daughter, but I do not know to whom I consecrated her," she is forbidden [to marry] any man forever unless the father says, "I became aware of the fact that I consecrated her to so and so." He alone must divorce her [before she can marry another person]. [Her father's word is accepted with regard to the identity of the person who consecrated her] even if he becomes aware after she reaches the age of bagrut.15

יא

הָאָב שֶׁאָמַר קִדַּשְׁתִּי אֶת בִּתִּי וְאֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ לְמִי קִדַּשְׁתִּיהָ הֲרֵי זוֹ אֲסוּרָה לְעוֹלָם עַל כָּל אָדָם עַד שֶׁיֹּאמַר הָאָב נוֹדַע לִי שֶׁלִּפְלוֹנִי קִדַּשְׁתִּיהָ וְתִהְיֶה צְרִיכָה מִמֶּנּוּ גֵּט בִּלְבַד. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנּוֹדַע לוֹ אַחַר שֶׁבָּגְרָה:

12

If a father says, "I don't know to whom I consecrated [my daughter]," and a person comes and says, "I am the one who consecrated her," his word is accepted. [Moreover, he is granted the prerogative of] consummating the marriage.16 He need not consecrate her a second time.

יב

אָמַר הָאָב אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ לְמִי קִדַּשְׁתִּיהָ וּבָא אֶחָד וְאָמַר אֲנִי הוּא שֶׁקִּדַּשְׁתִּיהָ נֶאֱמָן אַף לִכְנֹס וְאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ קִדּוּשִׁין אֲחֵרִים:

13

[In the above situation,] if two people come and both claim that they were the ones who consecrated her, they are both required to divorce her. If they desire, one may divorce her, and one may consummate the marriage.17

[If the latter option was taken, and] one consummated the marriage,18 and afterwards a third person came and claimed that he was the one who had consecrated her [originally], his word is not accepted and he does not cause her to be forbidden to her husband.

יג

בָּאוּ שְׁנַיִם זֶה אוֹמֵר אֲנִי קִדַּשְׁתִּיהָ וְזֶה אוֹמֵר אֲנִי קִדַּשְׁתִּיהָ. שְׁנֵיהֶן נוֹתְנִין גֵּט וְאִם רָצוּ אֶחָד נוֹתֵן גֵּט וְאֶחָד כּוֹנֵס. כְּנָסָהּ וְאַחַר כָּךְ בָּא אַחֵר וְאָמַר אֲנִי הוּא שֶׁקִּדַּשְׁתִּיהָ אֵינוֹ נֶאֱמָן וְאֵינוֹ אוֹסְרָהּ עַל בַּעְלָהּ:

14

[The following rules apply when] a woman states: "I was consecrated, but I do not know to whom I was consecrated," and a man comes and claims: "I was the one who consecrated her." His word is accepted and he may divorce her [so that] she is permitted to marry others, but not him. He is forbidden to consummate the marriage.19

[This restriction was instituted out of suspicion that] perhaps the man's natural inclination overcame him [and he made his statement out of desire for her]. [And we fear that the woman] will encourage [his false statements] so that she will be permitted [to marry].

יד

הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁאָמְרָה נִתְקַדַּשְׁתִּי וְאֵינִי יוֹדַעַת לְמִי נִתְקַדַּשְׁתִּי וּבָא אֶחָד וְאָמַר אֲנִי הוּא שֶׁקִּדַּשְׁתִּיךְ נֶאֱמָן לִתֵּן גֵּט וְתִהְיֶה מֻתֶּרֶת לְכָל אָדָם חוּץ מִמֶּנּוּ. אֲבָל אֵינוֹ נֶאֱמָן לִכְנֹס שֶׁמָּא יִצְרוֹ תּוֹקְפוֹ וְהִיא תַּרְגִּיל לוֹ כְּדֵי לְהַתִּירָהּ:

15

[The following rules apply when a man] tells a woman: "I consecrated you," and the woman denies the matter. He is forbidden [to marry] her close relatives,20 but she is permitted [to marry] his close relatives.21 If she says, "You consecrated me," and he denies the matter, he is permitted [to marry] her close relatives, but she is forbidden [to marry] his close relatives.

If he says: "I consecrated you," and the woman says: "It was my daughter, not me, whom you consecrated," he is forbidden [to marry] the close relatives of the mother; the mother is permitted [to marry] his close relatives; he is permitted [to marry] the close relatives of the daughter;22 and the daughter is permitted [to marry] the man's close relatives.23

[The following rules apply when the man says:] "I consecrated your daughter," and the woman says: "It was myself [not my daughter] whom you consecrated." He is forbidden [to marry] the daughter's close relatives; the daughter is permitted [to marry] his close relatives; he is permitted [to marry] the mother's close relatives; and the mother is forbidden [to marry] the man's close relatives.

טו

הָאוֹמֵר לְאִשָּׁה קִדַּשְׁתִּיךְ וְהִיא אוֹמֶרֶת לֹא קִדַּשְׁתַּנִי הוּא אָסוּר בִּקְרוֹבוֹתֶיהָ וְהִיא מֻתֶּרֶת בִּקְרוֹבָיו. קִדַּשְׁתַּנִי וְהוּא אוֹמֵר לֹא קִדַּשְׁתִּיךְ הוּא מֻתָּר בִּקְרוֹבוֹתֶיהָ וְהִיא אֲסוּרָה בִּקְרוֹבָיו. קִדַּשְׁתִּיךְ וְהִיא אוֹמֶרֶת לֹא קִדַּשְׁתָּ אֶלָּא בִּתִּי הוּא אָסוּר בִּקְרוֹבוֹת גְּדוֹלָה וּגְדוֹלָה מֻתֶּרֶת בִּקְרוֹבָיו. וּמֻתָּר בִּקְרוֹבוֹת הַבַּת וְהַבַּת מֻתֶּרֶת בִּקְרוֹבָיו. קִדַּשְׁתִּי אֶת בִּתֵּךְ וְהִיא אוֹמֶרֶת לֹא קִדַּשְׁתָּ אֶלָּא אוֹתִי הוּא אָסוּר בִּקְרוֹבוֹת הַבַּת וְהַבַּת מֻתֶּרֶת בִּקְרוֹבָיו. וּמֻתָּר בִּקְרוֹבוֹת הָאֵם וְהָאֵם אֲסוּרָה עַל קְרוֹבָיו:

16

All the claims of kiddushin [mentioned in the previous halachah] refer to a situation in which the person making the claim states that the kiddushin were given in the presence of witnesses, and the witnesses either journeyed overseas or died. If, however, they acknowledge that the kiddushin were given without witnesses observing, the kiddushin are of no consequence, as we have explained.24

Whenever a woman tells a man, "You consecrated me," and he denies the matter, we ask him to compose a bill of divorce so that she will be permitted to marry others, for [doing this] does not involve any loss to him.25 If he gives her a divorce on his own volition,26 we compel him to give her [the monetary settlement, as stated in] the ketubah.27

טז

וְכָל אֵלּוּ שֶׁטּוֹעֲנִין הַקִּדּוּשִׁין בְּשֶׁטָּעַן הַטּוֹעֵן שֶׁהָיוּ שָׁם קִדּוּשִׁין בִּפְנֵי עֵדִים וְהָלְכוּ לִמְדִינָה אַחֶרֶת אוֹ מֵתוּ. אֲבָל אִם הוֹדוּ שֶׁהָיוּ הַקִּדּוּשִׁין בְּלֹא עֵדִים אֵין כָּאן קִדּוּשִׁין כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וְכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁתֹּאמַר אִשָּׁה לְאִישׁ קִדַּשְׁתַּנִי וְהוּא אוֹמֵר לֹא קִדַּשְׁתִּיךְ מְבַקְּשִׁים מִמֶּנּוּ שֶׁיִּכְתֹּב לָהּ גֵּט לְהַתִּירָהּ לִשְׁאָר הָעָם שֶׁאֵין לוֹ בָּזֶה הֶפְסֵד. וְאִם נָתַן לָהּ גֵּט מֵעַצְמוֹ כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ לִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה:

17

When a man appoints an agent to consecrate a woman for him, and the agent goes and consecrates her for himself, the woman is consecrated to the agent. It is, however, forbidden to do such a thing. Whoever does this or performs a similar act with regard to business matters is considered to be wicked.28

יז

הָעוֹשֶׂה שָׁלִיחַ לְקַדֵּשׁ לוֹ אִשָּׁה וְהָלַךְ וְקִדְּשָׁהּ לְעַצְמוֹ הֲרֵי זוֹ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לַשָּׁלִיחַ. וְאָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן. וְכָל הָעוֹשֶׂה דָּבָר זֶה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ בִּשְׁאָר דִּבְרֵי מִקָּח וּמִמְכָּר נִקְרָא רָשָׁע:

18

[The following rules apply when a man] appoints an agent to consecrate a woman for him, the agent consecrates her [but a doubt arises whether the agent consecrated her for himself or for the principal]. When the agent says, "I consecrated [the woman] for myself," and the woman says, "I was consecrated to the principal," [the ruling depends on whether or not the appointment of the agent was made in the presence of witnesses].29

If the agent was not appointed in the presence of witnesses, the agent is forbidden to marry the woman's close relatives, and she is permitted to marry [the agent's] close relatives.30 The woman is forbidden to marry the principal's close relatives, but the principal is permitted to marry her close relatives.31 If the agent was appointed in the presence of witnesses, she is consecrated to the principal.32

יח

הָעוֹשֶׂה שָׁלִיחַ לְקַדֵּשׁ לוֹ אִשָּׁה וְהָלַךְ וְקִדְּשָׁהּ הַשָּׁלִיחַ אוֹמֵר לְעַצְמִי קִדַּשְׁתִּיהָ וְהָאִשָּׁה אוֹמֶרֶת לָרִאשׁוֹן שֶׁשְּׁלָחוֹ נִתְקַדַּשְׁתִּי. אִם לֹא עָשָׂה הַשָּׁלִיחַ בְּעֵדִים הֲרֵי הַשָּׁלִיחַ אָסוּר בִּקְרוֹבוֹתֶיהָ וְהִיא מֻתֶּרֶת בִּקְרוֹבָיו. וְהָאִשָּׁה אֲסוּרָה בִּקְרוֹבֵי הַמְשַׁלֵּחַ וְהַמְשַׁלֵּחַ מֻתָּר בִּקְרוֹבוֹתֶיהָ. וְאִם הֻחְזַק הַשָּׁלִיחַ בְּעֵדִים הֲרֵי זוֹ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לָרִאשׁוֹן:

19

[The following rules apply when] the woman says, "I do not know to whom I was consecrated, whether to the agent or to the principal." If the agent was not appointed in the presence of witnesses, she is consecrated to the agent. If he was appointed as his agent [in the presence of witnesses], they both are required to divorce her. If they desire, one may divorce her and one may consummate the marriage.

יט

אָמְרָה אֵינִי יוֹדַעַת לְמִי נִתְקַדַּשְׁתִּי אִם לַשּׁוֹלֵחַ אוֹ לִשְׁלוּחוֹ. אִם לֹא הֻחְזַק הַשָּׁלִיחַ בְּעֵדִים הֲרֵי זוֹ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לַשֵּׁנִי. וְאִם הֻחְזַק שֶׁהוּא שְׁלוּחוֹ שְׁנֵיהֶן נוֹתְנִין גֵּט. וְאִם רָצוּ אֶחָד נוֹתֵן גֵּט וְאֶחָד כּוֹנֵס:

20

[The following rule applies when] a woman appoints an agent to consecrate her, he went and fulfilled his mission, but while he was in the process of doing so, she nullified his agency and rescinded his appointment, and it is not known whether she nullified his agency before he received the kiddushin or afterwards. The status of the kiddushin is doubtful. [She cannot marry another man without receiving a divorce, nor may the marriage be consummated unless she receives kiddushin again.] Similar rules apply when a man appoints an agent and retracts his appointment.

כ

הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁעָשְׂתָה שָׁלִיחַ לְקַדְּשָׁהּ וְהָלַךְ וְקִדְּשָׁהּ וּבְעֵת הֲלִיכָתוֹ בִּטְּלָה הַשְּׁלִיחוּת וְחָזְרָה בָּהּ וְאֵין יָדוּעַ אִם קֹדֶם שֶׁקִּבֵּל לָהּ הַקִּדּוּשִׁין חָזְרָה אוֹ אַחַר הַקִּדּוּשִׁין הֲרֵי זוֹ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת מִסָּפֵק. וְכֵן הָאִישׁ שֶׁעָשָׂה שָׁלִיחַ וְחָזַר בּוֹ:

21

[The following rules apply when a man] consecrates one of five women but does not know which of them he has consecrated, and each of them says, "He consecrated me." He is forbidden to marry the [close] relatives of all these women and must divorce each of them. [With regard to the payment of the money due because of the marriage contract,] he should leave [the sum due because of] one marriage contract among all the women and depart.33

If, however, [the man] had consecrated [his intended] through sexual relations, our Sages penalized him34 [and required him] to give [the sum due because of] the marriage contract to each of the women.35

[When could such a situation apply?]36 When it is known that he wrote a marriage contract for one of the women,37 and the marriage contract was lost, and each of the women claims: "I was the one who was consecrated. He wrote the marriage contract for me and it was lost."

כא

הַמְקַדֵּשׁ אַחַת מֵחָמֵשׁ נָשִׁים וְאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ אֵי זוֹ מֵהֶן קִדֵּשׁ וְכָל אַחַת וְאַחַת אוֹמֶרֶת אוֹתִי קִדֵּשׁ אָסוּר בִּקְרוֹבוֹת כֻּלָּן. וְנוֹתֵן גֵּט לְכָל אַחַת וְאַחַת וּמַנִּיחַ כְּתֻבָּה אַחַת בֵּינֵיהֶן וּמִסְתַּלֵּק. וְאִם קִדֵּשׁ בְּבִיאָה קָנְסוּ אוֹתוֹ חֲכָמִים שֶׁיִּתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה לְכָל אַחַת וְאַחַת. וְהַדָּבָר יָדוּעַ שֶׁהַכְּתֻבָּה שֶׁכָּתַב לְאַחַת מֵהֶן אָבְדָה וְכָל אַחַת וְאַחַת אוֹמֶרֶת אֲנִי הִיא שֶׁקִּדַּשְׁתַּנִי וְכָתַבְתָּ לִי כְּתֻבָּה וְאָבְדָה כְּתֻבָּתִי:

22

When a report is circulated that a woman has been consecrated to a particular man, we operate under the presumption that [the woman] is consecrated although there is no binding evidence to that effect.38 Whenever a report is not substantiated by a court, no attention is paid to it.39

What type of report when substantiated will cause a woman to be considered to be consecrated? Two [men] came [to court] and testified that they saw candles lit, couches spread, people coming in and out of the house, and women celebrating with her, saying "So and so was consecrated today."40 If the women are heard saying: "So and so will be consecrated today," no attention is paid [to the report]; perhaps they assembled for the purpose of kiddushin, but the kiddushin were not given. It is only when [the report says that the woman] was [actually] consecrated [that the court considers her as such].

Similarly, if two [men] come and say, "We saw what looked like an erusin celebration and we heard sounds [of joy], and we heard from so and so41 who heard from so and so that this woman was consecrated in the presence of [two witnesses] and the witnesses went to another country or died" - this is a report that could cause a woman to be considered consecrated.

כב

הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁיָּצָא עָלֶיהָ קוֹל שֶׁהִיא מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לִפְלוֹנִי הֲרֵי זוֹ בְּחֶזְקַת מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין שָׁם רְאָיָה בְּרוּרָה. וְכָל קוֹל שֶׁלֹּא הֻחְזַק בְּבֵית דִּין אֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין לוֹ. וְכֵיצַד הוּא הַקּוֹל שֶׁתֻּחְזַק זוֹ בּוֹ שֶׁהִיא מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת. כְּגוֹן שֶׁבָּאוּ שְׁנַיִם וְהֵעִידוּ שֶׁרָאוּ הַנֵּרוֹת דּוֹלְקוֹת וּמִטּוֹת מוּצָעוֹת וּבְנֵי אָדָם נִכְנָסִין וְיוֹצְאִין וְנָשִׁים שְׂמֵחוֹת לָהּ וְאוֹמְרוֹת נִתְקַדְּשָׁה פְּלוֹנִית הַיּוֹם. שָׁמְעוּ אוֹתָן אוֹמְרוֹת פְּלוֹנִית תִּתְקַדֵּשׁ הַיּוֹם אֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין לָהּ שֶׁמָּא נִזְדַּמְּנוּ לְקַדֵּשׁ וְלֹא נִתְקַדְּשָׁה עַד שֶׁיִּשְׁמְעוּ שֶׁנִּתְקַדְּשָׁה. וְכֵן אִם בָּאוּ שְׁנַיִם וְאָמְרוּ רָאִינוּ כְּמוֹ שִׂמְחַת אֵרוּסִין וְשָׁמַעְנוּ קוֹל הֲבָרָה וְשָׁמַעְנוּ מִפְּלוֹנִי שֶׁשָּׁמַע מִפְּלוֹנִי שֶׁנִּתְקַדְּשָׁה פְּלוֹנִית בִּפְנֵי פְּלוֹנִי וּפְלוֹנִי וְהָלְכוּ לָהֶם הָעֵדִים לִמְדִינָה אַחֶרֶת אוֹ מֵתוּ הֲרֵי זֶה קוֹל שֶׁמַּחֲזִיק אוֹתָהּ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת:

23

When does the above apply? When there is no rationale that offsets the report. If, however, there is a rationale that offsets the report, and that rationale is heard when [the report that] she was consecrated is heard, [the woman] is not considered to be consecrated.

What is [an example] of a rationale that offsets a report? "So and so was consecrated with a stipulation attached," or "[So and so was given] kiddushin whose status is in doubt."42 [In such instances,] the woman is not considered [consecrated]. Instead, we ask her [for an account of the circumstances] and rely on her word, since there is no clear evidence nor firm report.

כג

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים שֶׁלֹּא הָיְתָה שָׁם אֲמַתְלָא אֲבָל אִם הָיְתָה שָׁם אֲמַתְלָא וְשָׁמְעוּ הָאֲמַתְלָא כְּשֶׁשָּׁמְעוּ שֶׁנִּתְקַדְּשָׁה לֹא הֻחְזְקָה מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת. כֵּיצַד הִיא הָאֲמַתְלָא. פְּלוֹנִית נִתְקַדְּשָׁה עַל תְּנַאי אוֹ קִדּוּשֵׁי סָפֵק לֹא הֻחְזְקָה. אֶלָּא שׁוֹאֲלִין אוֹתָהּ וְסוֹמְכִין עַל דְּבָרֶיהָ הוֹאִיל וְאֵין שָׁם רְאָיָה בְּרוּרָה וְלֹא קוֹל חָזָק:

24

[The following rules apply when at first] a report spreads that [a woman] was consecrated to a particular man, and after a few days a rationale that offsets the report is stated. If it appears to the court that the rationale is true, they rely on it, and [the woman] is not considered to be consecrated. If not, since the rationale was not heard at the time the report of the kiddushin was heard, we do not take it into consideration.

כד

יָצָא עָלֶיהָ קוֹל שֶׁנִּתְקַדְּשָׁה לִפְלוֹנִי וּלְאַחַר יָמִים אָמְרוּ אֲמַתְלָא. אִם נִרְאִין הַדְּבָרִים לְבֵית דִּין שֶׁהוּא כֵּן סוֹמְכִין עַל הָאֲמַתְלָא וְלֹא תֻּחְזַק מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת. וְאִם לָאו הוֹאִיל וְלֹא נִשְׁמְעָה הָאֲמַתְלָא בְּעֵת שֶׁנִּשְׁמְעוּ הַקִּדּוּשִׁין אֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין לַאֲמַתְלָא:

25

An incident once occurred involving a report that a particular woman was consecrated to the son of so and so. After time passed, they asked [the husband's] father, who said, "There was a stipulation attached when she was consecrated to him, and the stipulation was not fulfilled." The Sages did not rely on his words. Instead, they ruled that the status of the kiddushin was in doubt, as if there were no rationale that offsets [the original report].

כה

מַעֲשֶׂה בְּאַחַת שֶׁיָּצָא עָלֶיהָ קוֹל שֶׁנִּתְקַדְּשָׁה לִבְנוֹ שֶׁל פְּלוֹנִי וּלְאַחַר זְמַן שָׁאֲלוּ לְאָבִיו וְאָמַר עַל תְּנַאי כָּךְ נִתְקַדְּשָׁה לוֹ וְלֹא נִתְקַיֵּם הַתְּנַאי וְלֹא סָמְכוּ חֲכָמִים עַל דְּבָרָיו אֶלָּא אָמְרוּ הֲרֵי זוֹ סָפֵק מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת וּכְאִלּוּ אֵין שָׁם אֲמַתְלָא:

26

[The following rules apply when] a report is spread that [a woman] was consecrated to a particular man, and a second man came and consecrated her in our presence. We attempt to verify the report of the kiddushin of the first man. If witnesses come and give clear testimony that [the woman] was consecrated to the first man, the kiddushin given by the second are of no consequence.

If not, the first man, for whom there is merely a report of his kiddushin, must divorce the woman, and the second man, who definitely consecrated her, is allowed to consummate the marriage.43 If the second man divorces her, the first should not consummate the marriage, lest people at large say, "He remarried the woman he divorced after consecrating her, after she had been consecrated by another man."44

כו

יָצָא עָלֶיהָ קוֹל שֶׁהִיא מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לִפְלוֹנִי וּבָא שֵׁנִי וְקִדְּשָׁהּ בְּפָנֵינוּ בּוֹדְקִין עַל קִדּוּשֵׁי רִאשׁוֹן שֶׁהֵן בְּקוֹל. אִם בָּאוּ עֵדִים בִּרְאָיָה בְּרוּרָה שֶׁהִיא מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לָרִאשׁוֹן אֵין קִדּוּשֵׁי שֵׁנִי כְּלוּם. וְאִם לָאו מְגָרֵשׁ רִאשׁוֹן שֶׁקִּדּוּשָׁיו בְּקוֹל וְנוֹשֵׂא הַשֵּׁנִי שֶׁקִּדּוּשָׁיו וַדַּאי. וְאִם גֵּרֵשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי לֹא יִכְנֹס הָרִאשׁוֹן שֶׁמָּא יֹאמְרוּ הֶחֱזִיר גְּרוּשָׁתוֹ מִן הָאֵרוּסִין אַחַר שֶׁנִּתְאָרְסָה לְאַחֵר:

27

When a report is spread that a woman was consecrated to one man, and a second report is later spread that she was consecrated to another, one of the men should write her a bill of divorce, and the other - either the first or the last - may consummate the marriage.

כז

יָצָא עָלֶיהָ קוֹל שֶׁהִיא מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לִפְלוֹנִי וְיָצָא קוֹל אַחֵר כְּמוֹתוֹ שֶׁהִיא מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לְאַחֵר. אֶחָד כּוֹתֵב גֵּט וְאֶחָד כּוֹנֵס בֵּין רִאשׁוֹן בֵּין אַחֲרוֹן:

28

In a place where it is customary for [a prospective groom] to send gifts to his [prospective] bride after consecrating her, and witnesses who had seen presents being brought to [a woman] come [and testify to that effect], we suspect that she has been consecrated.45 [Because of this] suspicion, she must be divorced. [This ruling applies] even when the majority of the men in the city send presents before consecrating [their prospective brides].46

In a place where it is customary for all the men [of the locale] to send presents first and then consecrate, [the fact that witnesses] saw presents [being sent] is not a cause for suspicion.

כח

מָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לִשְׁלֹחַ סִבְלוֹנוֹת לַאֲרוּסָה אַחַר שֶׁתִּתְאָרֵס וּבָאוּ עֵדִים שֶׁרָאוּ סִבְלוֹנוֹת שֶׁהוּבְלוּ לָהּ חוֹשְׁשִׁין לָהּ שֶׁמָּא נִתְקַדְּשָׁה וּצְרִיכָה גֵּט מִסָּפֵק אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁרֹב אַנְשֵׁי הָעִיר אֵין מְשַׁלְּחִין סִבְלוֹנוֹת אֶלָּא קֹדֶם הָאֵרוּסִין. וּמָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ כֻּלָּן לִשְׁלֹחַ סִבְלוֹנוֹת בַּתְּחִלָּה וְאַחַר כָּךְ מְקַדְּשִׁין וְרָאוּ סִבְלוֹנוֹת אֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין לָהּ:

29

[The following rules apply when] it was established that a marriage contract had been composed [for a specific woman]: If it is common for some of the people in that place to consecrate and then have [a marriage contract] composed, we suspect [that the woman was consecrated].47 [This law applies] even when there is no scribe in the locale. We do not say that because a scribe happened to be found [in the locale], [the man had the marriage contract] written before [he consecrated the woman].

If all the men in a locale have marriage contracts composed before consecrating [their wives], [the existence of a marriage contract] is not a cause for suspicion [that a woman has been consecrated].

כט

הֻחְזַק שְׁטַר כְּתֻבָּתָהּ. אִם דֶּרֶךְ מִקְצָת אַנְשֵׁי הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁמְּקַדְּשִׁין וְאַחַר כָּךְ כּוֹתְבִין חוֹשְׁשִׁין לָהּ. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין שָׁם סוֹפֵר אֵין אוֹמְרִין שֶׁמָּא מִפְּנֵי הַסּוֹפֵר שֶׁמָּצָא הִקְדִּים וְכָתַב. וְאִם דֶּרֶךְ כָּל אַנְשֵׁי הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁכּוֹתְבִין הַכְּתֻבָּה קֹדֶם הַקִּדּוּשִׁין אֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין לָהּ:

30

[The following rule applies when there is a dispute between two pairs of witnesses:] two [witnesses] say: "We saw [a woman] consecrated on this particular day," and two [witnesses] say: "We did not see [this happen]." Although they are all neighbors, living in the same courtyard, [the woman] is considered to be consecrated; the claim "We did not see [this happen]" is of no consequence, for it is common for [a man] to consecrate [a woman] in private.

ל

שְׁנַיִם אוֹמְרִין רְאִינוּהָ שֶׁנִּתְקַדְּשָׁה בְּיוֹם פְּלוֹנִי וּשְׁנַיִם אוֹמְרִין לֹא רְאִינוּהָ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכֻּלָּם שְׁכֵנִים בֶּחָצֵר אַחַת הֲרֵי זוֹ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת שֶׁאֵין [טַעֲנַת] לֹא רְאִינוּהָ רְאָיָה שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ הָעָם לְקַדֵּשׁ בְּצִנְעָה:

31

When one witness says, "This [woman] has been consecrated," and [the woman] herself says, "I have not been consecrated," she is permitted [to marry without restriction].48

When one [witness] says, "[This woman] has been consecrated," and another [witness] says, "she has not been consecrated," she should not marry49 [anyone other than the person to whom the witness says she has been consecrated]. If she, nevertheless, marries another person, [there is no necessity to] terminate [the marriage], for she says, "I was not consecrated."

[The following rules apply when a woman herself] says, "I have been consecrated," and afterwards she accepts kiddushin [a second time]. If she can offer a rationale that explains her previous statements, explaining why she said she was consecrated, and the reason appears substantial [to the court],50 she is permitted to [marry] the second man.51 If she cannot offer an explanation, or she offers one but it does not appear substantial, she is forbidden [to marry]. [Nevertheless, we also give certain consideration to] the kiddushin given by the second man, and [require] him to divorce her. She is forbidden to [marry] him or anyone else until the person who first consecrated her comes.

Similar [rules apply with regard to] a woman who comes [to a new community] and says that she is a married woman, and afterwards says that she is unmarried. If she gives a rationale that explains her statements, and it [appears] substantial, her word is accepted.

לא

אָמַר עֵד אֶחָד מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת הִיא זוֹ וְהִיא אוֹמֶרֶת לֹא נִתְקַדַּשְׁתִּי הֲרֵי זוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת. אֶחָד אוֹמֵר מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת וְאֶחָד אוֹמֵר אֵינָהּ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לֹא תִּנָּשֵׂא וְאִם נִשֵּׂאת לֹא תֵּצֵא שֶׁהֲרֵי הִיא אוֹמֶרֶת לֹא נִתְקַדַּשְׁתִּי. אָמְרָה מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת אֲנִי וּלְאַחַר זְמַן עָמְדָה וְקִדְּשָׁה עַצְמָהּ אִם נָתְנָה אֲמַתְלָא לִדְבָרֶיהָ וְאָמְרָה מִפְּנֵי כָּךְ וְכָךְ אָמַרְתִּי בַּתְּחִלָּה שֶׁאֲנִי מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת וְרָאִינוּ בִּדְבָרֶיהָ מַמָּשׁ הֲרֵי זוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת לַשֵּׁנִי. וְאִם לֹא נָתְנָה אֲמַתְלָא אוֹ שֶׁנָּתְנָה וְאֵין בָּהֶן מַמָּשׁ הֲרֵי זוֹ אֲסוּרָה וְקִדּוּשֵׁי שֵׁנִי קִדּוּשֵׁי סָפֵק. לְפִיכָךְ נוֹתֵן לָהּ גֵּט וְתִהְיֶה אֲסוּרָה עָלָיו וְעַל הַכּל עַד שֶׁיָּבוֹא אֲרוּסָהּ. וְכֵן הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁבָּאת וְאָמְרָה אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ אֲנִי וְחָזְרָה וְאָמְרָה פְּנוּיָה אֲנִי אִם נָתְנָה אֲמַתְלָא לִדְבָרֶיהָ וְיֵשׁ בִּדְבָרֶיהָ מַמָּשׁ הֲרֵי זוֹ נֶאֱמֶנֶת:

Footnotes
1.

Since all the women were included in the same statement without differentiating between any of them, none is consecrated.

The Maggid Mishneh notes that Kiddushin 51a equates this law with the following ruling: When one person tells another, "You and this animal will acquire this object," the person acquires half. The correspondence is explained as follows. Although the animal is not fit to acquire the property, the person still acquires the half. Similarly, although some of the women are not fit to be consecrated, the others are, and they should be consecrated.

On this basis, the Maggid Mishneh asks: Since in Hilchot Mechirah 22:12, the Rambam rules that the person acquires the property although the animal does not, seemingly he should agree that the women who are fit to be married should be consecrated. In resolution, he explains that monetary laws are governed by different principles from marital laws, and therefore there is no contradiction between the two rulings.

Because of this contradiction, although the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 41:4) mentions the Rambam's opinion, it also mentions a view that states that the women who are not related are consecrated. It concludes that because of the conflicting opinions, the status of the kiddushin is doubtful. The same applies with regard to the law mentioned in the second portion of this halachah.

2.

Since the man was not specific as to which of the sisters he was consecrating, there is no way to determine which of them was intended. [Even if the man specifies his intent afterwards, his word is not accepted (Ramah, Even HaEzer 37:16).] Therefore, there is doubt as to the status of both of the women.

3.

The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 37:16) states that this rule applies even when the man consecrating the daughters was engaged to one of them. Since he did not specify his intent at the time of the kiddushin, all the daughters require a divorce.

4.

In the previous instance, the man was not able to marry either of the women he consecrated, because they were related and it is forbidden to marry one's divorcee's mother, sister or daughter.

5.

The Ramah (Even HaEzer 35:11) quotes the opinion of Rabbenu Nissim, who maintains that if the relatives state that they were never consecrated and the man marries the woman, they are permitted to remain married.

6.

If the girls are below the age of bagrut, their father has the privilege of consecrating them. If they are above the age of bagrut, it is possible that they appointed him as an agent to receive their kiddushin. Note, however, the following halachah.

7.

For perhaps the brother who died was her betrothed.

8.

A girl between the ages of twelve and twelve and a half, who has manifested signs of physical maturity.

9.

A girl past the age of twelve and a half, who has manifested signs of physical maturity.

In the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Kiddushin 3:8), he states that if the man has several daughters below the age of bagrut, they all require a divorce, because of the doubt mentioned in the previous halachot, but the daughter above the age of bagrut does not require a divorce.

10.

Kiddushin 51b explains the rationale for this ruling. A person will not abandon a mitzvah for which he is responsible (the consecration of his younger daughter) to fulfill a mitzvah for which he is not responsible (the consecration of his elder daughter).

11.

The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 37:15) states that this law applies only when the daughter who is above bagrut does not specify the identity of a man she desires to marry. If, however, she makes such a specification, and the above situation occurs with regard to this individual, she also requires a divorce.

12.

I.e., none of them has reached the age of bagrut (Beit Yosef, Even HaEzer 37). (See Beit Shmuel 37:42.)

13.

Although the Hebrew words גדולה and קטנה can mean both "older" and "oldest" and "younger" and "youngest" respectively, in this context the man's intent is clear, and the intent is the oldest and the youngest.

14.

Kiddushin 64a derives this concept from Deuteronomy 22:16, "I gave my daughter to this man," the verse that teaches that the father has the prerogative of consecrating his daughter until she becomes a bogeret. From "I gave my daughter," we learn that because of her father's words, the woman is forbidden to marry anyone but her intended. From "this man," we learn that he can clarify the identity of the intended.

15.

The rationale is that since the prohibition comes on the basis of her father's statements, the license to marry is also granted on that basis.

16.

I.e., not only may he free the girl of the prohibition by divorcing her, he may consummate the marriage if he desires. We do not suspect that he is making this statement merely because he is attracted to the woman (Kiddushin 63b). The man is given this prerogative because we assume that he would not lie, lest the father protest and deny his claim.

17.

He must, however, consecrate the woman again (Rashba, Ramah, Even HaEzer 37:22).

18.

The Rashba states that this ruling applies even if the marriage was not yet consummated. As long as the license for the marriage was granted, the third person's claims do not cause it to be rescinded. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 37:23) quotes both views, but appears to favor that of the Rambam.

19.

If, however, he consummates the marriage and the couple live together as man and wife, we do not force them to separate because of the suspicions mentioned (Rashba, Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 37:24).

20.

I.e., the relatives he would be forbidden to marry if she were his wife. Since according to his statements they are man and wife, he must uphold any prohibitions that such a relationship would bring about.

21.

For she denies the matter.

22.

I.e., those who are not forbidden to him because of his statements regarding her mother. Since he does not acknowledge the consecration of the daughter, he is not bound by the mother's statements.

23.

For the mother's statements are not binding for the daughter. Although Scriptural law gives a father the prerogative to make binding statements regarding his daughter's status, a mother's statements do not have this power even according to Rabbinic law (Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah, Kiddushin 3:11).

24.

Chapter 4, Halachah 6.

25.

Once the man divorces the woman, he is forbidden to marry her close relatives. Nevertheless, this is not considered a significant loss, since there are many other women he could marry. And yet, because of this factor, he cannot be compelled to divorce the woman (Maggid Mishneh; Ramah, Even HaEzer 48:6). Others [Rabbenu Eliyahu Mizrachi and the Maharshal (Responsum 25)] differ and maintain that since he divorced the woman only as a favor to her, he is not forbidden to marry her relatives.

26.

I.e., without being asked to by others.

27.

The Maggid Mishneh notes that there are several points that require clarification with regard to the Rambam's statements. As stated in Chapter 10, Halachah 11, a man is not ordinarily obligated to pay a marriage contract until the second stage of the marriage (nisu'in). If merely kiddushin were given, he is not under such an obligation. It is only when he wrote the woman a ketubah and gave it together with the kiddushin, that he is obligated.

This, however, raises a question: If he wrote the woman a ketubah, how can he deny the kiddushin? The Maggid Mishneh explains that this law applies only in a place where it is customary to write the ketubah before the kiddushin are given. Because in most instances there is no obligation to give a ketubah after kiddushin, the Shulchan Aruch does not mention this law at all (Chelkat Mechokek 48:2).

28.

See Hilchot Mechirah 7:10.

29.

The Ra'avad maintains that the man must always appoint an agent in the presence of witnesses. He therefore interprets the phrase huchzak hashaliach to mean that the appointment of the agent was public knowledge.

30.

As in Halachah 15.

31.

For his agent states that he did not consecrate the woman on behalf of the principal.

32.

The Maggid Mishneh states that even though the woman is considered to be consecrated to the principal, the agent is still forbidden to marry the woman's relatives. The Ramah (Even HaEzer 35:15) quotes this ruling.

Rabbenu Asher does not accept the Rambam's ruling, stating that if the agent explicitly states that he did not consecrate the woman on behalf of the principal, there is no way that the kiddushin can be binding.

33.

Because of the doubt, he is not required to pay each of them the sum required by the marriage contract.

34.

Because he violated our Sages' instructions not to consecrate with sexual relations.

35.

The Beit Shmuel 49:2 questions why this ruling differs from the ruling delivered (Hilchot Gezelot 4:9) when a man says that he stole from one of five people, and does not know from whom he stole. In such an instance, although the thief is required to reimburse each of the five, this is only when each of the recipients takes an oath that the money was stolen from him. The Beit Shmuel leaves the question unresolved.

36.

For, as stated in Chapter 10, Halachah 11, a man is not ordinarily required to pay the money due because of a marriage contract until nisu'in, the second stage of the marriage relationship. If the woman has merely been consecrated, this obligation is not incumbent upon him unless he wrote a marriage contract for her.

37.

The Ra'avad states that there is no need for the marriage contract to have been written. If the man made a verbal agreement to that effect when consecrating the woman, he is obligated. The Maggid Mishneh explains that the Rambam would also accept the Ra'avad's law, and was merely giving one of several possible settings in which the law stated could be applied.

38.

As the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 46:1) states, the woman is bound by the same rules as all those whose status of their kiddushin is in doubt. She may not marry any one other than the man to whom the report says she is consecrated, but before she may consummate the marriage with him, she must be consecrated again.

39.

I.e., it is possible for many rumors to be spread. When is credence given to a rumor? When it can be substantiated in court with testimony, as mentioned below. (See Rashi, Gittin 99b.)

40.

In this part of the halachah (in contrast to its beginning), the Rambam does not mention that the witnesses state to whom the woman was consecrated. The later authorities (Chelkat Mechokek 46:1; Beit Shmuel 46:1) maintain that this information must also be stated; otherwise the woman is not considered to be consecrated.

41.

I.e., according to the Rambam, it is sufficient for two witnesses to hear from one person who originally heard the report from another person. The Rashba and Rabbenu Asher maintain that unless a report is spread by at least two individuals, it cannot be substantiated in court. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 46:2) quotes the Rambam's view and the Ramah quotes the other opinions.

42.

I.e., there is a question whether the kiddushin were worth a p'rutah, or the youth consecrating her had reached the age of majority (Gittin 9:9; Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 46:3).

43.

If the first man does not divorce her, the second is not allowed to consummate the marriage. If he does not heed this ruling and marries her before she receives a divorce, the Rabbis ruled that the woman is forbidden to him, and he is required to divorce her (Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 46:5).

44.

This is forbidden, as explained in Hilchot Gerushin 11:12. If the first man does not heed this ruling and marries her, the Rabbis are unresolved whether or not the marriage is allowed to stand (Chelkat Mechokek 46:13).

45.

I.e., although the presents are worth more than a p'rutah, they themselves do not establish a bond of kiddushin, because they are not given with that intent. Nevertheless, the fact that the presents were given indicates that there is a possibility that kiddushin had been given previously.

46.

Since there are a number of men who send presents after consecrating, we suspect that perhaps this person also followed that practice. Although rulings of Torah law are ordinarily determined by the practice of the majority, an exception is made in this case, because of the severity of the laws of marriage and divorce (Tosafot, Kiddushin 50b), or because this majority practice is not fixed and may change at the whim of the people (Rabbenu Nissim).

47.

I.e., the marriage contract, like the gifts mentioned in the previous halachah, are a sign that perhaps the woman was consecrated (Maggid Mishneh).

48.

In this instance, the testimony of one witness is not accepted when the woman denies his statements. If her words were not true, she would not dare to contradict the witness's testimony (Maggid Mishneh).

49.

The Rambam's ruling appears to be based on the rationale that since the woman has a witness who supports her, we suspect that she might contradict the other witness even when she is not telling the truth (Maggid Mishneh).

This rationale is not accepted by the Ra'avad and other authorities, who object to the Rambam's ruling. They maintain that since the woman's statements are accepted when she has no support, surely they should be accepted when they are supported by another witness. They explain that Ketubot 23a, the source for this halachah, is referring to an instance when a man threw kiddushin to a woman, one witness claims that the kiddushin were closer to the woman (and hence, she was consecrated), the other claims that they were closer to the man (and thus she was not consecrated), and the woman herself does not know. This is the view accepted by the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 47:3).

50.

Ketubot 22a gives an example of a rationale that the Sages accepted. A very attractive woman at first said that she was consecrated, and afterwards accepted kiddushin. When asked to account for her behavior, she explained that her suitors were originally not worthy people, and she therefore wanted nothing to do with them. When a worthy suitor came, she was happy to accept his offer.

51.

Note the ruling of the Ramah (Even HaEzer 47:4), who states that this law applies only when the woman says "I was consecrated," but does not state to whom. If she mentions the name of a person who she claims to have consecrated her, her retraction is not accepted even when the rationale she offers appears to have substance.

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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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