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Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Ishut - Chapter Twelve

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Ishut - Chapter Twelve

1

When a man marries a woman, whether she is a virgin or a non-virgin, whether she is above the age of majority or a minor, and whether she was born Jewish, is a convert or a freed slave, he incurs ten responsibilities toward her and receives four privileges.1

א

כְּשֶׁנּוֹשֵׂא אָדָם אִשָּׁה בֵּין בְּתוּלָה בֵּין בְּעוּלָה בֵּין גְּדוֹלָה בֵּין קְטַנָּה אַחַת בַּת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאַחַת הַגִּיֹּרֶת אוֹ הַמְשֻׁחְרֶרֶת יִתְחַיֵּב לָהּ בַּעֲשָׂרָה דְּבָרִים וְיִזְכֶּה בְּאַרְבָּעָה דְּבָרִים:

2

With regard to his ten responsibilities: three stem from the Torah. They include sha'arah, kesutah v'onatah.2 Sha'arah means providing her with subsistence.3 Kesutah means supplying her with garments, and onatah refers to conjugal rights.

The seven responsibilities ordained by the Rabbis are all conditions [of the marriage contract] established by the court. The first is the fundamental requirement of the marriage contract. The others are referred to as t'na'ei ketubah, the conditions of the marriage contract. They are:

a) to provide medical treatment if she becomes sick;

b) to redeem her if she is held captive:

c) to bury her if she dies;

d) to provide for her from his possessions;

e) the right for her to continue living in his home after his death as long as she remains a widow;

f) the right for her daughters to receive their subsistence from his estate after his death until they become consecrated;

g) the right for her sons to inherit her ketubah in addition to their share in her husband's estate together with their brothers [borne by other wives, if she dies before her husband does].

ב

וְהָעֲשָׂרָה שְׁלֹשָׁה מֵהֶן מִן הַתּוֹרָה וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. (שמות כא י) "שְׁאֵרָהּ. כְּסוּתָהּ. וְעוֹנָתָהּ". שְׁאֵרָהּ אֵלּוּ מְזוֹנוֹתֶיהָ. כְּסוּתָהּ כְּמַשְׁמָעוֹ. עוֹנָתָהּ לָבֹא עָלֶיהָ כְּדֶרֶךְ כָּל הָאָרֶץ. וְהַשִּׁבְעָה מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים וְכֻלָּן תְּנַאי בֵּית דִּין הֵם. הָאֶחָד מֵהֶם עִקַּר כְּתֻבָּה. וְהַשְּׁאָר הֵם הַנִּקְרָאִין תְּנָאֵי כְּתֻבָּה וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. לְרַפֹּאתָהּ אִם חָלְתָה. וְלִפְדּוֹתָהּ אִם נִשְׁבֵּית. לְקָבְרָהּ אִם מֵתָה. וְלִהְיוֹת נִזּוֹנֶת מִן נְכָסָיו. וְיוֹשֶׁבֶת בְּבֵיתוֹ אַחַר מוֹתוֹ כָּל זְמַן אַלְמְנוּתָהּ. וְלִהְיוֹת בְּנוֹתֶיהָ מִמֶּנּוּ נִזּוֹנוֹת מִנְּכָסָיו אַחֲרֵי מוֹתוֹ עַד שֶׁתִּתְאָרֵסְנָה. וְלִהְיוֹת בָּנֶיהָ הַזְּכָרִים מִמֶּנּוּ יוֹרְשִׁין כְּתֻבָּתָהּ יוֹתֵר עַל חֶלְקָם בַּיְרֻשָּׁה שֶׁעִם אֲחֵיהֶם:

3

The four privileges that the husband is granted are all Rabbinic in origin. They are:

a) the right to the fruits of her labor;

b) the right to any ownerless object she discovers;

c) the right to benefit from the profits of her property during her lifetime;

d) the right to inherit her [property] if she dies during his lifetime. His rights to her property supersede [the rights of] all others.4

ג

וְהָאַרְבָּעָה שֶׁזּוֹכֶה בָּהֶן כֻּלָּם מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. לִהְיוֹת מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיהָ שֶׁלּוֹ. וְלִהְיוֹת מְצִיאָתָהּ שֶׁלּוֹ. וְשֶׁיִּהְיֶה אוֹכֵל כָּל פֵּרוֹת נְכָסֶיהָ בְּחַיֶּיהָ. וְאִם מֵתָה בְּחַיָּיו יִירָשֶׁנָּה. וְהוּא קוֹדֵם לְכָל אָדָם בַּיְרֻשָּׁה:

4

Our Sages also ordained that the fruits of a wife's labor should parallel her subsistence, [the obligation to] redeem her should parallel [the right to] the benefit from her property, and [the obligation to] bury her should parallel [the right to] inherit [the property mentioned in] her ketubah.

Therefore, if a woman says: "I will not [hold you obligated for] my subsistence, but I will not work,"5 she is given this option, and she cannot be compelled to work.6 If, however, her husband says: "I will not provide for your subsistence, and I will not receive the right to the fruits of your labor," he is not given this option, lest the woman be unable to earn her subsistence.7 Because of this institution, [the obligation to provide for a woman's] subsistence is considered to be one of the t'na'ei ketubah.8

ד

וְעוֹד תִּקְּנוּ חֲכָמִים שֶׁיִּהְיוּ מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵי הָאִשָּׁה כְּנֶגֶד מְזוֹנוֹתֶיהָ. וּפִדְיוֹנָהּ כְּנֶגֶד אֲכִילַת פֵּרוֹת נְכָסֶיהָ. וּקְבוּרָתָהּ כְּנֶגֶד יְרֻשָּׁתוֹ לִכְתֻבָּתָהּ. לְפִיכָךְ אִם אָמְרָה הָאִשָּׁה אֵינִי נִזּוֹנִית וְאֵינִי עוֹשָׂה שׁוֹמְעִין לָהּ וְאֵין כּוֹפִין אוֹתָהּ. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר הַבַּעַל אֵינִי זָנֵךְ וְאֵינִי נוֹטֵל כְּלוּם מִמַּעֲשֵׂה יָדַיִךְ אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ שֶׁמָּא לֹא יְסַפְּקוּ לָהּ מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיהָ בִּמְזוֹנוֹתֶיהָ. וּמִפְּנֵי תַּקָּנָה זוֹ יֵחָשְׁבוּ הַמְּזוֹנוֹת מִתְּנָאֵי הַכְּתֻבָּה:

5

Whether or not these matters were written in the marriage contract - indeed, even if a marriage contract was not written and the couple merely married - once they marry, the husband is granted the four privileges mentioned, and the woman is granted the ten rights mentioned. There is no need to state them explicitly.9

ה

כָּל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלּוּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נִכְתְּבוּ בִּשְׁטַר הַכְּתֻבָּה וַאֲפִלּוּ לֹא כָּתְבוּ כְּתֻבָּה אֶלָּא נָשָׂא סְתָם כֵּיוָן שֶׁנְּשָׂאָהּ זָכָה בְּאַרְבָּעָה דְּבָרִים שֶׁלּוֹ וְזָכְתָה הָאִשָּׁה בַּעֲשָׂרָה דְּבָרִים שֶׁלָּהּ וְאֵינָן צְרִיכִין לְפָרֵשׁ:

6

If the husband made a stipulation that he would not be responsible for one of these obligations - or the wife made a stipulation that [her husband] would not be granted one of these privileges - [and the other party agreed,] the stipulation is binding,10 with the exception of three matters with regard to which it is impossible for a stipulation to be made. Indeed, if a stipulation is made with regard to these three matters, it is of no consequence. These [three] are: [the woman's] conjugal rights, the fundamental requirement of the marriage contract and [the husband's right] to inherit [his wife's property].

ו

הִתְנָה הַבַּעַל שֶׁלֹּא יִתְחַיֵּב בְּאֶחָד מִן הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב בָּהֶן. אוֹ שֶׁהִתְנַת הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁלֹּא יִזְכֶּה הַבַּעַל בְּאֶחָד מִן הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁהוּא זוֹכֶה בָּהֶם הַתְּנַאי קַיָּם חוּץ מִשְּׁלֹשָׁה דְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵין הַתְּנַאי מוֹעִיל בָּהֶן. וְכָל הַמַּתְנֶה עֲלֵיהֶן תְּנָאוֹ בָּטֵל. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. עוֹנָתָהּ. וְעִקַּר כְּתֻבָּתָהּ. וִירֻשָּׁתָהּ:

7

What is implied? If [the groom] made a stipulation with his bride that he is not obligated to give her conjugal rights, his stipulation is of no substance. For he has made a stipulation against what is written in the Torah, and the stipulation does not concern financial matters.11

ז

כֵּיצַד. הִתְנָה עִם הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁאֵין לָהּ עָלָיו עוֹנָה תְּנָאוֹ בָּטֵל וְחַיָּב בְּעוֹנָתָהּ. שֶׁהֲרֵי הִתְנָה עַל מַה שֶּׁכָּתוּב בַּתּוֹרָה וְאֵינוֹ תְּנַאי מָמוֹן:

8

When a man makes a stipulation to reduce the amount of the fundamental requirement of the marriage contract - or he writes a ketubah for either 200 or 100 [zuz], but she writes that she has already received a portion of the sum, when in fact she did not12 - his stipulation is of no substance.13 For whenever a person establishes a marriage contract with a virgin for less than 200 [zuz] or with a non-virgin for less than 100 [zuz], the sexual relations [he conducts with his wife] are considered promiscuous.14

ח

הִתְנָה עִמָּהּ לִפְחֹת מֵעִקַּר כְּתֻבָּה אוֹ שֶׁכָּתַב לָהּ מָאתַיִם אוֹ מֵאָה עִקַּר כְּתֻבָּה וְכָתְבָה לוֹ שֶׁנִּתְקַבְּלָה מֵהֶן כָּךְ וְכָךְ וְהִיא לֹא נִתְקַבְּלָה תְּנָאוֹ בָּטֵל שֶׁכָּל הַפּוֹחֵת לִבְתוּלָה מִמָּאתַיִם וּלְאַלְמָנָה מִמֵּאָה הֲרֵי בְּעִילָתוֹ בְּעִילַת זְנוּת:

9

If he makes a stipulation after he weds her15 that he will not inherit her property, his stipulation is of no consequence. Although the husband's [right to] inherit [his wife's property] is a rabbinic institution, [our Sages] reinforced their edict, [giving it the power of a statute of] the Torah.

With regard to [the Torah's statutes of] inheritance, all stipulations that are made are of no consequence, despite the fact that financial matters are concerned, as [derived from Numbers 27:11]: "the statutes of judgment."16

With regard to other [aspects of the marriage contract], a stipulation [made by the husband and accepted by his wife] is binding. For example, if he made a stipulation that he is not obligated to supply her with her subsistence or with clothing, or that he would not receive the benefits from her property, his stipulation is binding.

ט

הִתְנָה עִמָּהּ אַחַר שֶׁנְּשָׂאָהּ שֶׁלֹּא יִירָשֶׁנָּה תְּנָאוֹ בָּטֵל וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיְּרֻשַּׁת הַבַּעַל מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים עָשׂוּ חִזּוּק לְדִבְרֵיהֶם כְּשֶׁל תּוֹרָה. וְכָל תְּנַאי שֶׁבַּיְרֻשָּׁה בָּטֵל וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא מָמוֹן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בָּהּ (במדבר כז יא) "לְחֻקַּת מִשְׁפָּט". וּבִשְׁאָר הַדְּבָרִים תְּנָאוֹ קַיָּם, כְּגוֹן שֶׁהִתְנָה עִמָּהּ שֶׁאֵין לָהּ שְׁאֵר וּכְסוּת, עַל מְנָת שֶׁלֹּא יֹאכַל פֵּרוֹת נְכָסֶיהָ, וְכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה, תְּנָאוֹ קַיָּם:

10

What is the amount that is designated for a woman's subsistence? We allot her bread for two meals every day, according to the norm of the people of her town, for a person who is neither sick nor a glutton.

The allotment is also made according to the type of bread eaten as a staple in that locale, be it wheat or barley, or rice, millet, or other grains, as is customary [in that locale]. Similarly, she is allotted other foods that are eaten together with bread - i.e., legumes, vegetables and the like. [She is also allotted] oil for food and to light a lamp and also fruit. She is also [allotted] a small amount of wine, if it is the local custom for women to drink wine.

On the Sabbath, she is allotted three meals,17 and meat or fish according to the local custom. And she is given a me'ah18 of silver for her private needs - e.g., a p'rutah for laundry, or for the bath and the like.

י

כַּמָּה מְזוֹנוֹת פּוֹסְקִין לָאִשָּׁה. פּוֹסְקִין לָהּ לֶחֶם שְׁתֵּי סְעֻדּוֹת בְּכָל יוֹם סְעֻדָּה בֵּינוֹנִית שֶׁל כָּל אָדָם בְּאוֹתָהּ הָעִיר כְּאָדָם שֶׁאֵינוֹ לֹא חוֹלֶה וְלֹא גַּרְגְּרָן וּמֵאוֹתוֹ מַאֲכָל שֶׁל אַנְשֵׁי אוֹתָהּ הָעִיר. אִם חִטִּים חִטִּים וְאִם שְׂעוֹרִים שְׂעוֹרִים. וְכֵן אֹרֶז וְדֹחַן אוֹ מִשְּׁאָר מִינִין שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ בָּהֶן. וּפוֹסְקִין לָהּ פַּרְפֶּרֶת לֶאֱכל בָּהּ אֶת הַפַּת כְּגוֹן קִטְנִית אוֹ יְרָקוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. וְשֶׁמֶן לַאֲכִילָה וְשֶׁמֶן לְהַדְלָקַת הַנֵּר וּפֵרוֹת וּמְעַט יַיִן לִשְׁתּוֹת אִם הָיָה מִנְהַג הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁיִּשְׁתּוּ הַנָּשִׁים יַיִן. וּפוֹסְקִין לָהּ שָׁלֹשׁ סְעֵדּוֹת בְּשַׁבָּת וּבָשָׂר אוֹ דָּגִים כְּמִנְהַג הַמָּקוֹם. וְנוֹתֵן לָהּ בְּכָל שַׁבָּת וְשַׁבָּת מָעָה כֶּסֶף לִצְרָכֶיהָ כְּגוֹן פְּרוּטָה לְכִבּוּס אוֹ לְמֶרְחָץ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן:

11

To whom does the above apply? To a poor Jewish man. But if the husband is wealthy, [the support he is required to provide his wife is apportioned] according to his wealth. If he is wealthy enough to provide her with several dishes of meat each day, he is compelled to do so, and she is allotted [subsistence] commensurate with his wealth.

If he is extremely poor and is unable to provide his wife with even the bread that she requires,19 he is compelled to divorce her.20 He remains indebted for her ketubah until he finds the means to provide payment for it.

יא

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּעָנִי שֶׁבְּיִשְׂרָאֵל אֲבָל אִם הָיָה עָשִׁיר הַכּל לְפִי עָשְׁרוֹ. אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה מָמוֹנוֹ רָאוּי לַעֲשׂוֹת לָהּ כַּמָּה תַּבְשִׁילֵי בָּשָׂר בְּכָל יוֹם כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ וּפוֹסְקִין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת כְּפִי מָמוֹנוֹ. וְאִם הָיָה עָנִי בְּיוֹתֵר וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִתֵּן לָהּ אֲפִלּוּ לֶחֶם שֶׁהִיא צְרִיכָה לוֹ כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ לְהוֹצִיא וְתִהְיֶה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ חוֹב עָלָיו עַד שֶׁתִּמְצָא יָדוֹ וְיִתֵּן:

12

When a husband desires to provide his wife with subsistence as befits her, on condition that she should eat and drink alone,21 and that he should eat and drink alone, he is given this prerogative, provided he eats together with her on Friday night.22

יב

בַּעַל שֶׁרָצָה לִתֵּן לְאִשְׁתּוֹ מְזוֹנוֹתֶיהָ הָרְאוּיוֹת לָהּ וְתִהְיֶה אוֹכֶלֶת וְשׁוֹתָה לְעַצְמָהּ וְהוּא שׁוֹתֶה וְאוֹכֵל לְעַצְמוֹ הָרְשׁוּת בְּיָדוֹ וּבִלְבַד שֶׁיֹּאכַל עִמָּהּ מִלֵּילֵי שַׁבָּת לְלֵילֵי שַׁבָּת:

13

When a woman has been allotted subsistence, and [the entire allotment was not used], the remainder belongs to her husband.23

If her husband is a priest, he is not entitled to provide her with all her provisions from terumah. [He is not given this option] because it is very difficult for her to protect [the terumah] from contacting ritual impurity, and to eat it while ritually pure [herself].24 Instead, he should give her half her provisions from ordinary [food] and half from terumah.

יג

הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁפָּסְקוּ לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת וְהוֹתִירוּ הַמּוֹתָר לַבַּעַל. הָיָה בַּעְלָהּ כֹּהֵן אֵינוֹ נוֹתֵן לָהּ כָּל מְזוֹנוֹתֶיהָ תְּרוּמָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁטֹּרַח גָּדוֹל הוּא לָהּ לְשָׁמְרָן מִדְּבָרִים הַמְטַמְּאִין וּלְאָכְלָן בְּטָהֳרָה אֶלָּא נוֹתֵן לָהּ מֶחֱצָה חֻלִּין וּמֶחֱצָה תְּרוּמָה:

14

Just as a man is required to provide his wife with her subsistence, he is required to provide for the maintenance of his children, both male and female, until they reach the age of six.25 Afterwards, he should continue to provide for their maintenance until they reach majority, as ordained by our Sages.26

If, however, he does not, he should be rebuked and embarrassed publicly, and appeals should be made to him. If he [persists in his] refusal, a public announcement is made with regard to him: "So and so is cruel and does not desire to provide for the maintenance of his children. He is worse than an impure bird, which does provide for its chicks." Nevertheless, he should not be compelled to provide for the maintenance [of children] six and older.

יד

כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאָדָם חַיָּב בִּמְזוֹנוֹת אִשְׁתּוֹ כָּךְ הוּא חַיָּב בִּמְזוֹנוֹת בָּנָיו וּבְנוֹתָיו הַקְּטַנִּים עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ בְּנֵי שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים. מִכָּאן וְאֵילָךְ מַאֲכִילָן עַד שֶׁיִּגְדְּלוּ כְּתַקָּנַת חֲכָמִים. וְאִם לֹא רָצָה גּוֹעֲרִין בּוֹ וּמַכְלִימִין אוֹתוֹ וּפוֹצְרִין בּוֹ. וְאִם לֹא רָצָה מַכְרִיזִין עָלָיו בַּצִּבּוּר וְאוֹמְרִים פְּלוֹנִי אַכְזָרִי הוּא וְאֵינוֹ רוֹצֶה לָזוּן בָּנָיו וַהֲרֵי פָּחוּת הוּא מֵעוֹף טָמֵא שֶׁהוּא זָן אֶת אֶפְרוֹחָיו. וְאֵין כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ לְזוּנָם אַחַר שֵׁשׁ:

15

To what does the above apply? To a person who is not known to have resources, and it is not known whether or not he is capable of giving charity. If, however, he has resources and he possesses the means to give an amount to charity that would provide for [his children's] needs, his property is expropriated against his will27 for the purposes of charity,28 and [his children's] needs are provided for until they reach majority.

טו

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּאִישׁ שֶׁאֵינוֹ אָמוּד וְאֵין יָדוּעַ אִם רָאוּי לִתֵּן צְדָקָה אוֹ אֵינוֹ רָאוּי אֲבָל אִם הָיָה אָמוּד שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ מָמוֹן הָרָאוּי לִתֵּן מִמֶּנּוּ צְדָקָה הַמַּסְפֶּקֶת לָהֶן מוֹצִיאִין מִמֶּנּוּ בַּעַל כָּרְחוֹ מִשּׁוּם צְדָקָה וְזָנִין אוֹתָן עַד שֶׁיִּגְדְּלוּ:

16

When a person travels to another country [and leaves his wife behind], [the following rules apply] should his wife come to court to place a claim [against her husband] for her subsistence. For the first three months from the day her husband departed, she is not given an allotment for her subsistence. [The rationale is that] it is an accepted assumption that a person does not depart without leaving provisions for his household.29

Afterwards,30 an allotment is made for her subsistence. If her husband owns property, the court expropriates his property and sells it to provide for his wife's subsistence. [When doing so,] no account is made for his wife's earnings until her husband comes.31 If it is discovered that she earned [money during the time that he was away], he is granted that sum.

Moreover, even if the matter is not taken to court, and instead the woman sells [her husband's property] on her own32 in order to pay for her subsistence, the sale is binding. There is no need for a public announcement [regarding the sale of the property].33 Similarly, the woman is not required to take an oath [that her husband did not leave her money] until her husband comes and lodges a claim [against her], or until she comes to claim [the money due her, as stated in her] ketubah in the event of her husband's death. [In the latter instance, together with the oaths she is required to take to collect her ketubah,]34 on the basis of the principle of gilgul shevu'ah,35 [she is also required to take an oath] that she did not sell [any more of her husband's property than] was necessary for her subsistence.

טז

מִי שֶׁהָלַךְ לִמְדִינָה אַחֶרֶת וּבָאָה אִשְׁתּוֹ לְבֵית דִּין לִתְבֹּעַ מְזוֹנוֹת. שְׁלֹשָׁה חֳדָשִׁים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים מִיּוֹם הֲלִיכָתוֹ אֵין פּוֹסְקִין לָהּ בָּהֶן מְזוֹנוֹת שֶׁחֲזָקָה שֶׁאֵין אָדָם מַנִּיחַ בֵּיתוֹ רֵיקָן. מִכָּאן וְאֵילָךְ פּוֹסְקִין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת. וְאִם הָיוּ לוֹ נְכָסִים בֵּית דִּין יוֹרְדִין לִנְכָסָיו וּמוֹכְרִין לִמְזוֹנוֹתֶיהָ. וְאֵין מְחַשְּׁבִין עִמָּהּ עַל מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיהָ עַד שֶׁיָּבוֹא בַּעְלָהּ, אִם מָצָא שֶׁעָשְׂתָה הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ שֶׁלּוֹ. וְכֵן אִם לֹא עָמְדָה בַּדִּין אֶלָּא מָכְרָה לְעַצְמָהּ לִמְזוֹנוֹת מִכְרָהּ קַיָּם וְאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה הַכְרָזָה וְלֹא שְׁבוּעָה עַד שֶׁיָּבוֹא בַּעְלָהּ וְיִטְעֹן אוֹ עַד שֶׁתָּבוֹא לִגְבּוֹת כְּתֻבָּתָהּ אַחַר מוֹתוֹ מְגַלְגְּלִין עָלֶיהָ שֶׁלֹּא מָכְרָה אֶלָּא לִמְזוֹנוֹת שֶׁהִיא צְרִיכָה לָהֶן:

17

Just as the court [expropriates and] sells [the property of] a husband who travelled [to another country to provide for] the subsistence of [his] wife, so too, it [expropriates and] sells property to provide for the subsistence of his sons and daughters who are six years old or less. If, however, they are more than six [years old], [the court] does not provide for their subsistence from his property when he is not present, even when he is reputed to have means.36

Similarly, when a person loses his mental faculties, the court expropriates his property and sells it to provide subsistence and other necessities for his wife and his children below the age of six.37

יז

וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁבֵּית דִּין מוֹכְרִין לִמְזוֹן הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁהָלַךְ בַּעְלָהּ כָּךְ מוֹכְרִין לִמְזוֹן בָּנָיו וּבְנוֹתָיו כְּשֶׁהֵן בְּנֵי שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים אוֹ פָּחוֹת. אֲבָל יֶתֶר עַל שֵׁשׁ אֵינָן זָנִין אוֹתָן מִנְּכָסָיו שֶׁלֹּא בְּפָנָיו אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא אָמוּד. וְכֵן מִי שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּטָּה בֵּית דִּין יוֹרְדִין לִנְכָסָיו וּמוֹכְרִים וְזָנִין אִשְׁתּוֹ וּבָנָיו וּבְנוֹתָיו שֶׁהֵן בְּנֵי שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים אוֹ פָּחוֹת וּמְפַרְנְסִין אוֹתָן:

18

Some geonim ruled that an assessment should not be made for the subsistence of a woman whose husband journeyed overseas, or who died, unless she evinces possession of her ketubah document. If she does not evince possession of her ketubah, she is not entitled to subsistence. Perhaps she has already received payment for her ketubah from her husband, or perhaps she forfeited her ketubah in his favor, as will be explained.38 Others maintain that an assessment is made on her behalf for her subsistence, for we accept it as a presumption that she neither received payment for nor forfeited [her ketubah]. Hence, she is not required to show her ketubah [when presenting her claim].

I favor [the latter view] with regard to [a woman] whose husband has departed,39 since her claim to her subsistence stems from the Torah itself.40 With regard to a woman whose husband died, however, she is not entitled to her subsistence until she brings her ketubah, for she [derives her subsistence] by virtue of a rabbinic enactment. Furthermore, her subsistence is paid from property belonging to [her husband's] heirs, and [the court] always advances claims in support of the interests of an heir.41

יח

יֵשׁ מִן הַגְּאוֹנִים שֶׁהוֹרָה שֶׁאֵין פּוֹסְקִין מְזוֹנוֹת לְאִשָּׁה שֶׁהָלַךְ בַּעְלָהּ לִמְדִינַת הַיָּם אוֹ שֶׁמֵּת בַּעְלָהּ עַד שֶׁיְּהֵא שְׁטַר כְּתֻבָּה יוֹצֵא מִתַּחַת יָדָהּ. וְאִם לֹא תּוֹצִיא שְׁטַר כְּתֻבָּה אֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת שֶׁמָּא נָטְלָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ מִבַּעְלָהּ אוֹ מָחֲלָה לוֹ כְּתֻבָּתָהּ שֶׁאֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר. וְיֵשׁ מִי שֶׁהוֹרָה שֶׁפּוֹסְקִין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת בְּחֶזְקַת שֶׁלֹּא נָטְלָה וְלֹא מָחֲלָה וְאֵין מַצְרִיכִין אוֹתָהּ לְהָבִיא כְּתֻבָּה. וְדַעְתִּי נוֹטָה לָזֶה בְּמִי שֶׁהָלַךְ בַּעְלָהּ הוֹאִיל וְיֵשׁ לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת מִן הַתּוֹרָה. אֲבָל אִם מֵת בַּעְלָהּ אֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת עַד שֶׁתָּבִיא כְּתֻבָּה. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא אוֹכֶלֶת בְּתַקָּנַת חֲכָמִים וְעוֹד שֶׁנִּזֹּנֶת מִנִּכְסֵי יוֹרְשִׁים וּלְעוֹלָם טוֹעֲנִין לְיוֹרֵשׁ:

19

If [a woman's] husband departed on a journey, and she borrowed money for her subsistence, [her husband] is required to pay [the debt] when he returns.42

If a person voluntarily took the initiative of providing for her subsistence, when [her husband] returns the husband is not required to pay [that person]. The other person forfeited his money, [the rationale being] that [the husband] did not instruct him to provide for her, nor did she [request the assistance] as a loan.43

יט

הָלַךְ בַּעְלָהּ וְלָוְתָה וְאָכְלָה כְּשֶׁיָּבוֹא חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם. עָמַד אֶחָד מִדַּעַת עַצְמוֹ וְזָנָהּ מִשֶּׁלּוֹ אִם יָבוֹא הַבַּעַל אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם לוֹ וַהֲרֵי זֶה אִבֵּד אֶת מְעוֹתָיו מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא צִוָּהוּ לְזוּנָהּ וְהִיא לֹא לָוְתָה מִמֶּנּוּ:

20

When a husband [who plans to] depart on a journey tells his wife: "Use your earnings to purchase your subsistence," she has no [right to demand] her subsistence [from him afterwards]. For if she had not accepted this agreement, and she had not felt confident, she could have issued a claim against him, or told him, "My earnings are not sufficient for me."44

כ

הַבַּעַל שֶׁאָמַר לְאִשְׁתּוֹ בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהָלַךְ טְלִי מַעֲשֵׂה יָדַיִךְ בִּמְזוֹנוֹתַיִךְ אֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת שֶׁאִלּוּ לֹא רָצְתָה בְּדָבָר זֶה וְלֹא סָמְכָה דַּעְתָּהּ הָיָה לָהּ לְתָבְעוֹ אוֹ לוֹמַר לוֹ אֵין מַעֲשֵׂה יָדַי מַסְפִּיקִין לִי:

21

[The following rule applies if] the woman took the matter to court and was awarded an assessment for her subsistence, the court sold [her husband's landed property] and gave her [the proceeds] - or she sold [the property] herself - and afterwards, the husband came and claimed that he left provisions for her. She is required to take an oath, while holding a sacred article, that he did not make provisions for her [and then she is not held liable].

[The following rule applies when a husband departed on a journey, and the woman] did not take the matter to court, nor sell his property, but instead waited until he returned. [If upon his return there is a dispute,] he claims: "I made [provisions for you]," while she claims, "You did not make provisions. Instead, I borrowed money from this person to provide for myself," he is required to take a rabbinic oath45 that he left provisions for her, and then he is not held liable. She remains responsible for the debt.46

כא

הֲרֵי שֶׁעָמְדָה בַּדִּין וּפָסְקוּ לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת וּמָכְרוּ בֵּית דִּין וְנָתְנוּ לָהּ. אוֹ שֶׁמָּכְרָה הִיא לְעַצְמָהּ וּבָא הַבַּעַל וְאָמַר הִנַּחְתִּי לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת. הֲרֵי זוֹ נִשְׁבַּעַת בִּנְקִיטַת חֵפֶץ שֶׁלֹּא הִנִּיחַ לָהּ. לֹא תָּבְעָה וְלֹא מָכְרָה אֶלָּא שָׁהֲתָה עַד שֶׁבָּא הוּא אוֹמֵר הִנַּחְתִּי וְהִיא אוֹמֶרֶת לֹא הִנַּחְתָּ אֶלָּא לָוִיתִי מִזֶּה וְנִתְפַּרְנַסְתִּי. נִשְׁבָּע שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת שֶׁהִנִּיחַ לָהּ וְנִפְטָר וְיִשָּׁאֵר הַחוֹב עָלֶיהָ:

22

[In the above instance,] if she sold movable property, claiming that she sold it to provide for her subsistence, and her husband claimed that he had left provisions for her, she is required to take a rabbinic oath that he did not leave her any provisions.47

If she did not issue a claim against him, did not borrow money, and she did not sell his property, but instead strained herself during the day and during the night and earned her livelihood, she is not entitled to any recompense.48

כב

מָכְרָה מִטַּלְטְלִין וְאָמְרָה לִמְזוֹנוֹת מָכַרְתִּי וְהוּא טוֹעֵן וְאוֹמֵר מְזוֹנוֹתַיִךְ הִנַּחְתִּי נִשְׁבַּעַת שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת שֶׁלֹּא הִנִּיחַ. הֲרֵי שֶׁלֹּא תָּבְעָה וְלֹא לָוְתָה וְלֹא מָכְרָה אֶלָּא דָּחֲקָה עַצְמָהּ בַּיּוֹם וּבַלַּיְלָה וְעָשְׂתָה וְאָכְלָה אֵין לָהּ כְּלוּם:

23

[The following rules apply when] a man takes a vow that his wife should not derive any benefit from him [or his property]. Whether he specified the span of the vow or did not specify the span of the vow, we grant him an interval of thirty days.49 If the span of his vow is concluded, or even though it is not concluded, but he has his vow annulled, this is acceptable. If not, he must divorce his wife,50 and pay her [the money due her because of] her ketubah.

During those thirty days, she should work and [attempt to] sustain herself [through her labor]. One of [her husband's] friends should provide her51 with those things she needs that she cannot purchase through the fruits of her labor, if the fruits of her labor are not sufficient for her.

כג

הַמַּדִּיר אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ מִלֵּהָנוֹת לוֹ בֵּין שֶׁפֵּרֵשׁ עַד זְמַן פְּלוֹנִי בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא פֵּרֵשׁ אֶלָּא סְתָם מַמְתִּינִין לוֹ שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם. אִם תַּמּוּ יְמֵי נִדְרוֹ אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא תַּמּוּ וְהִתִּיר נִדְרוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מוּטָב וְאִם לָאו יוֹצִיא וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה. וּבְאוֹתָן הַשְּׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם תִּהְיֶה הִיא עוֹשָׂה וְאוֹכֶלֶת וְיִהְיֶה אֶחָד מֵחֲבֵרָיו מְפַרְנֵס אוֹתָהּ דְּבָרִים שֶׁהִיא צְרִיכָה לָהֶן יֶתֶר עַל מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיהָ אִם אֵין מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיהָ מַסְפִּיקִין לַכּל:

24

When a person makes a vow [preventing] his wife from tasting one of the species of produce,52 he should be given an interval of thirty days. [If he prolongs the situation] beyond this time, he is required to divorce [his wife] and pay [her the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah. [This ruling applies] even when his vow prevents her from eating undesirable food, or a species that she has never tasted in her life.

[The following rules apply when a woman] took a vow not to partake of a particular species of produce, and [her husband] allowed the vow to stand, or she took a Nazarite vow and he did not annul it.53 If he desires to remain married to her and for her not to partake of this species or to be a Nazarite, he may.54 If, however, he says: "I do not desire a woman with vows," he may divorce her, but he is required to pay her the money due her because of her ketubah. [The rationale is that] he had the option to nullify [her vow], and instead, he willingly allowed the vow to stand.

כד

הַמַּדִּיר אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁלֹּא תִּטְעֹם אֶחָד מִכָּל הַפֵּרוֹת מַמְתִּינִין לוֹ עַד שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם. יֶתֶר עַל כֵּן יוֹצִיא וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה. אֲפִלּוּ הִדִּירָהּ שֶׁלֹּא תֹּאכַל מַאֲכָל רַע. אֲפִלּוּ הִדִּירָהּ מִמִּין שֶׁלֹּא אָכְלָה אוֹתוֹ מִיָּמֶיהָ. יוֹצִיא אַחַר שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה. נָדְרָה הִיא שֶׁלֹּא תֹּאכַל אֶחָד מִכָּל הַפֵּרוֹת וְקִיֵּם לָהּ הוּא אֶת נִדְרָהּ אוֹ נָדְרָה בְּנָזִיר וְלֹא הֵפֵר לָהּ. אִם רָצָה שֶׁתֵּשֵׁב תַּחְתָּיו וְלֹא תֹּאכַל פֵּרוֹת אוֹ תִּהְיֶה נְזִירָה תֵּשֵׁב. וְאִם אָמַר אֵינִי רוֹצֶה בְּאִשָּׁה נַדְרָנִית יוֹצִיא וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה שֶׁהֲרֵי הָיָה בְּיָדוֹ לְהָפֵר וְהוּא קִיֵּם לָהּ בִּרְצוֹנוֹ:

Footnotes
1.

These ten responsibilities and four privileges are all explained in detail in the chapters that follow, through Chapter 23.

2.

These requirements are mentioned in Exodus 21:10. The verse forbids a husband from denying his wife these rights. Sefer HaMitzvot (Negative Commandment 262) and Sefer HaChinuch (Mitzvah 46) consider this to be one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

3.

Note the commentary of the Ramban on Exodus (loc. cit.), which interprets sha'arah and kesutah as also referring to conjugal rights and maintains that the obligation to provide a wife with her subsistence and with garments is Rabbinic. Most authorities, however, follow the Rambam's understanding.

4.

The Ra'avad and others maintain that the husband's right to inherit his wife's property stems from the Torah itself. The matter is the subject of a difference of opinion between our Sages (Ketubot 83b), and there is no explicit resolution of the question in the Talmud. Rav Kapach maintains that the early manuscripts of the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Ketubot 9:1; Bava Batra 8:1) indicate that the Rambam himself originally subscribed to the view mentioned by the Ra'avad and changed his mind later in life. (See also Halachah 9.)

5.

With regard to the other two matters that are linked the husband's obligation to redeem her and to bury her, the woman does not have this option. Although this arrangement was instituted for the woman's benefit, our Sages did not give her a choice regarding these matters, because they desired to ensure that the woman would not be forced to remain in captivity among the gentiles and that she would be buried (Shulchan Aruch and Ramah, Even HaEzer 69:5).

6.

Our Sages instituted this arrangement for the woman's benefit, since a woman's income could not ordinarily provide for her subsistence. Accordingly, the option of whether or not to forego the arrangement is in the woman's hands. If a woman can earn more than her subsistence, she is also entitled to forego the above arrangement.

Even in such a situation, the woman is still responsible for taking care of the household tasks (Maggid Mishneh).

7.

The husband may, however, tell his wife: "Endeavor to earn your subsistence, and I will compensate for whatever deficiency remains" (Ramah, Even HaEzer 69:4).

8.

I.e., although the t'na'ei ketubah are rabbinic in origin, and the obligation to provide for the woman's subsistence is from the Torah, since the linkage of it with her wages is rabbinic, the obligation is considered to be part of the t'na'ei ketubah.

9.

I.e., they are obligations that apply universally and are not dependent on the consent of a particular couple.

10.

The principle upon which this statement is based is that any stipulation to which both parties agree that concerns monetary rights - even those that are granted to a person by the Torah - is binding (Kiddushin 19b). For a person has the option to waive his right to property or privileges that justly belong to him (Rashi, loc. cit.). Therefore, a woman may waive even the rights to her subsistence or clothing that the Torah itself grants her.

11.

Instead, the failure to provide a woman with conjugal rights is considered to cause her physical anguish (Rashi, loc. cit.). Although the Mordechai maintains that conjugal rights can also be considered monetary matters, for it is possible to give a woman enough money that she would be willing to forego her rights, the Rambam's view is accepted by most authorities.

12.

I.e., the woman writes a receipt for part of the sum on her ketubah.

With regard to this instance, the Tur (Even HaEzer 66) differs and maintains that the man is not obligated to pay her the full sum.

13.

Although this is a situation that concerns financial matters, our Sages desired that the fundamental requirement of the marriage contract be a binding institution, and therefore did not allow any modification of this obligation. Hence, the stipulation is nullified.

Note the Maggid Mishneh, who mentions views that differ with that of the Rambam and maintains that if the man desires to divorce the woman, he is not obligated to give her the sum for which the Sages obligated him. It is only when he wants to remain married to her that our Sages enforced their requirement.

14.

The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 66:9) states that even though the man's stipulations are of no consequence, the sexual relations he conducts with his wife are considered promiscuous, because she may be unaware of the law and not know the amount due her.

15.

A different ruling applies if the stipulation is made between erusin and nisu'in, as explained in Chapter 23, Halachah 6.

16.

See Hilchot Nachalot 6:1.

17.

For a woman is obligated to eat three meals on the Sabbath as a man is (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 291:6).

Note the slight difference between the Rambam's statements here and those in Hilchot Matnot Aniyim 9:13.

18.

A me'ah is one sixth of a dinar (Kiddushin 12a). Based on the Rambam's statements in Hilchot Shekalim, ch. 1, it is evident that this is a coin of relatively small value, approximately 1.5 grams of pure silver.

19.

The Beit Shmuel 70:7 states that if he can provide her with bread, even if he cannot provide her with other food, he is not obligated to divorce her. (See, however, Chelkat Mechokek 70:12.)

The Chatam Sofer (Even HaEzer, Responsum 131) states that the Rambam's words imply that if the husband cannot support his wife from his own earnings, he is compelled to divorce her, even if she herself has the means to provide herself with subsistence.

20.

The rationale is that since he cannot provide her with subsistence, he is obligated to give her the opportunity to find another husband who can.

The Hagahot Maimoniot question whether the husband can be compelled to seek to hire himself out as a laborer, or the court's only resort is to compel him to divorce his wife. Although that text does not favor either approach, the latter opinion is quoted by the Ramah (Even HaEzer 70:3). The Ramah also mentions the opinion of Tosafot (Ketubot 63a), which states that a husband who has no resources is not compelled to divorce his wife.

21.

I.e., even in a separate dwelling (Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah, Ketubot 5:9).

22.

In his Commentary on the Mishnah (loc. cit.), the Rambam states that this prerogative may in no way infringe on the husband's obligation to provide his wife with conjugal rights. In addition, he must share the Friday night meal with her, implying that this is for the sake of communication, not only as preparation for marital relations, as understood by some commentaries.

Note the Ramah (Even HaEzer 70:2), who objects to the Rambam's ruling, and states that a man is given this prerogative only if his wife consents.

23.

Note Mishneh LaMelech and the Dagul MeRevavah (Even HaEzer 70), which state that this applies only when the woman purchased her food at a lower price than was originally estimated. If, however, she starved herself and consumed less than was allotted her, she, and not her husband, is entitled to the remainder.

24.

Food that is terumah may not be eaten if it contracts ritual impurity, nor may it be eaten by a person who is himself ritually impure.

25.

Rabbenu Nissim maintains that this obligation is incumbent on a father from the Torah itself, as an extension of his obligation to provide for his wife. Rabbenu Asher, however, maintains that the father's obligation is independent of the marriage bond. Even if he fathers children outside marriage, he is liable for their support.

26.

The obligation to provide for one's children's subsistence until majority was one of the enactments instituted by the Sanhedrin after this body was relocated in Usha in the Galilee after the destruction of Jerusalem. At that time, several enactments were passed to direct the functioning of the Jewish community in this new phase. (See Ketubot 49b.)

Today, most rabbinic authorities maintain that because of changes in the socio-economic system, it is proper for a father to continue supporting his children well past the age of Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

27.

As evident from Halachah 17, this applies only when the father is present. The Rambam maintains that a person's property may not be expropriated for this purpose outside his presence.

28.

See Hilchot Matnot Aniyim 10:16, which states:

Although he is not obligated, when a person provides subsistence for his older sons and daughters, so that the males can study the Torah and the females will follow the straight path, . . . it is an act of charity, and indeed, a great act of charity.

And Chapter 7, Halachah 10, of that source, states:

When a person does not desire to give charity, . . . the court compels him, and administers stripes for rebelliousness until he meets the assessment made for him. [Moreover,] when he is present, his property is expropriated [for this purpose].

29.

The Ramah (Even HaEzer 70:5) quotes opinions that state that this ruling applies only when the husband left home in an atmosphere of peace. In such a situation, we can be sure that he has provided for his family. If, however, he left home annoyed with his wife, it is plausible to assume that he did not provide for her needs.

30.

I.e., after three months, or after she approaches the court. If she waits longer than three months, she is not given any payment for the previous period (Ramah, ibid.).

31.

Rabbenu Asher differs and maintains that the court should consider the amount the woman can earn when deciding on the size of her allotment. His rationale is that before expropriating a person's property, we should try to act in his interests. Although many authorities speak in favor of Rabbenu Asher's logic, they rule according to the Rambam's decision. (See Chelkat Mechokek 70:20.)

The Avnei Milu'im 70:3 explains the Rambam's position, stating that the husband is granted the right to his wife's earnings only when he provides for her subsistence willingly. When he forces her to approach the court to receive her subsistence, he has no claim on her earnings.

32.

There is a debate among the authorities whether or not she must consult experts with regard to the evaluation of the object. (See Chelkat Mechokek 70:21.)

33.

Generally, when property is sold by the court, it is necessary that a public announcement be made informing people of the sale, to attract customers and assure competitive bidding. (See Hilchot Malveh V'Loveh 22:6.) In this instance, no such requirement is made, in order that the woman will not have to wait to receive the funds she requires.

34.

See Chapter 16, Halachah 4.

35.

Whenever a person is required to take an oath, the plaintiff can obligate him to take an oath on another claim. In this instance, since the woman is obligated to take an oath to her husband's heirs to collect the money due her for her ketubah, she can be required to take an additional oath regarding the sale of his property for her subsistence.

36.

We do not expropriate his property and provide for his children as an act of charity, because it is possible that he is giving charity in the place to which he has journeyed.

The Ramah (Even HaEzer 71:2) states that if the person had supported his older children before leaving on his journey, provisions should be made for his children while he is away. It can be assumed that this would be his desire. The Ramah also mentions the opinion of Rabbenu Nissim, which states that if he possesses means, support should be provided for his children from his property as an act of charity. This view is not, however, accepted by most later authorities.

37.

The Maggid Mishneh states that the Rambam's wording appears to imply that no provision is made for his older children, even when he has the means to support them. The Maggid Mishneh, however, refers to Hilchot Nachalot 11:11, which states that when a person who has means loses control of his faculties, the court levels an assessment for charity on his estate. Accordingly, it would appear that if the man has the means to give charity, his property is expropriated to pay for his children's subsistence, even if they are over six.

The Tur (Even HaEzer 71) states that in such an instance, the court should expropriate funds for the subsistence of the person's older children even if the person's estate is not large enough for an assessment for charity to be leveled against it. The rationale is that we assume that, like the majority of people, this person would also desire to support his children. The Chelkat Mechokek 71:6 maintains that the Shulchan Aruch follows this view, and not that of the Rambam.

38.

See Chapter 17, Halachah 19.

39.

Rabbenu Asher and others do not accept the Rambam's distinction, and maintain that the court should also protect the interests of a person who is in another country and cannot defend himself. Nevertheless, in his Kessef Mishneh, Rav Yosef Karo defends the Rambam's decision, explaining that in contrast to an heir, the husband has the potential to take his claim to court when he returns. In his Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 70:5), he quotes the Rambam's ruling. This ruling is also accepted by the later authorities.

40.

See Halachah 2.

41.

Since the heir himself was not aware of the details of his benefactor's affairs, he cannot necessarily advance claims in his own interests. Therefore, the court acts to protect them. (See Bava Batra 23a.)

42.

The Ramah (Even HaEzer 70:8) states that the benefactor must lodge a claim against the wife, who in turn must lodge a claim against her husband.

43.

Although the husband is obligated to pay for his wife's subsistence, our Sages rule that when a person pays a debt on behalf of a colleague without being instructed to do so, the debtor is not at all obligated to his patron.

44.

Although our Sages associated a woman's earnings with her subsistence, they made this association for the woman's sake and gave her the prerogative of accepting or declining such a request. In a responsum, the Rambam writes that if it is not logical to assume that she could earn the funds required for her subsistence, for her to forfeit her rights, she must explicitly consent to her husband's stipulation.

45.

I.e., a less severe oath instituted by the Rabbis. (See Hilchot To'en V'Nit'an 1:3.)

46.

She, however, does not have the opportunity of paying the debt until she is divorced or becomes widowed, because all her property is under lien to her husband, and he is entitled to her earnings.

47.

Since it was movable property and not landed property that was sold, the oath that the woman is required to take is more lenient than that mentioned in the previous halachah. The rationale is that had she desired to lie, she could have claimed that the goods were stolen or lost.

48.

I.e., she cannot demand reimbursement for the difference between her earnings and the amount she would ordinarily be entitled to for her subsistence (Chelkat Mechokek 70:41). If she earned more than her subsistence, the additional funds belong to her, not to her husband (Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 70:11).

49.

Based on Ketubot 59b, Rabbenu Asher and Rabbenu Nissim object to the Rambam's ruling. Since the husband is liable to provide for his wife's subsistence, the vow he takes cannot override that obligation, except in specific instances. In both the Kessef Mishneh, and the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 235:2), Rav Yosef Karo follows these views.

50.

After thirty days, the matter will become public knowledge and the woman will suffer ridicule. Therefore, her husband is obligated to divorce (Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah, Ketubot 7:1).

51.

The Mishnah (Ketubot, op. cit.) states that her husband should appoint a person to provide for her. As the Talmud explains (Ketubot 71a), this does not mean that he should appoint this person as an agent, for this is forbidden by his vow. Instead, he should say, "Whoever provides for my wife will not suffer a loss."

52.

As the Maggid Mishneh explains, this refers to a situation in which the husband took a vow that if his wife partakes of a particular species of produce, she will be forbidden to benefit from his property (or according to the Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De'ah 235:3, that sexual relations between them will be forbidden). If, however, the husband takes a vow that his wife may not eat a particular type of produce, that vow is nullified. For a person cannot take a vow to restrict the actions of another person.

53.

For, as Numbers 30:8-9 relates, a husband has the right to nullify or uphold the vows his wife takes.

54.

As Rav Yosef Karo mentions in both the Kessef Mishneh and the Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.), other opinions require the husband to divorce his wife in such a situation.

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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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