When brothers have not yet divided the inheritance they received from their father, but instead all use the estate together, they are considered partners with regard to all matters. Similarly, all the other heirs are considered partners with regard to the estate of the person they inherited. Whenever any of them does business with the resources of this estate, the profits are split equally.


הָאַחִין שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא חָלְקוּ יְרֻשַּׁת אֲבִיהֶן אֶלָּא כֻּלָּן מִשְׁתַּמְּשִׁין בְּיַחַד בְּמַה שֶּׁהִנִּיחַ לָהֶן הֲרֵי הֵן כְּשֻׁתָּפִין לְכָל דָּבָר. וְכֵן בִּשְׁאָר הַיּוֹרְשִׁין הֲרֵי הֵן שֻׁתָּפִין בְּנִכְסֵי מוֹרִישָׁן. וְכָל שֶׁנָּשָׂא וְנָתַן כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן בְּמָמוֹן זֶה הַשָּׂכָר לָאֶמְצַע:


When there were heirs above majority and others below majority, and those above majority improved the estate, the increment is split equally. If they said: "See the estate that our father left us. We will work it and benefit from the increase," the persons who brought about the increase are entitled to it. This applies provided the increase comes about because of the expenses undertaken by those persons. If the value of the estate increased on its own accord, that increase is shared equally.


הָיוּ הַיּוֹרְשִׁין גְּדוֹלִים וּקְטַנִּים וְהִשְׁבִּיחוּ הַגְּדוֹלִים אֶת הַנְּכָסִים הִשְׁבִּיחוּ לָאֶמְצַע. אָמְרוּ רְאוּ מַה שֶּׁהִנִּיחַ לָנוּ אַבָּא וַהֲרֵי אָנוּ עוֹשִׂין וְאוֹכְלִין. הַשֶּׁבַח שֶׁל מַשְׁבִּיחַ. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַשֶּׁבַח מֵחֲמַת הוֹצָאָה שֶׁהוֹצִיא הַמַּשְׁבִּיחַ. אֲבָל שָׁבְחוּ נְכָסִים מֵחֲמַת עַצְמָן הַשֶּׁבַח לָאֶמְצַע:


Similar laws apply if the wife of the deceased was also his relative and had a right to inherit the estate together with her sisters or her cousins. If she increased the value of the estate, the increase is shared equally. If she said: "See the estate that my husband left me. I will work it and benefit from the increase," should she increase the value of the estate through investments she made, the increase belongs to her.


וְכֵן אִם הָיְתָה אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁל מֵת הִיא הַיּוֹרֶשֶׁת בִּכְלַל אַחְיוֹתֶיהָ אוֹ בִּכְלַל בְּנוֹת דּוֹדֶיהָ וְהִשְׁבִּיחָה הַנְּכָסִים הַשֶּׁבַח לָאֶמְצַע. וְאִם אָמְרָה רְאוּ מַה שֶּׁהִנִּיחַ לִי בַּעְלִי וַהֲרֵינִי עוֹשָׂה וְאוֹכֶלֶת הִשְׁבִּיחַ הַנְּכָסִים מֵחֲמַת הוֹצָאָה הֲרֵי הַשֶּׁבַח שֶׁלָּהּ:


The following rules apply when a person inherits his father's estate, improves its value by planting trees and building structures, and afterwards he discovers that he has brothers in another country. If they are minors, the increase in value is divided equally. If they are above majority, since he did not know that he had brothers, he is given a portion as if he was a sharecropper.

Similarly, if a brother took possession of property belonging to a minor and improved it, he is not given a portion as if he were a sharecropper. Instead, the increase of the entire estate is divided equally, because he did not have permission to make use of the property.


מִי שֶׁיָּרַשׁ אֶת אָבִיו וְהִשְׁבִּיחַ הַנְּכָסִים וְנָטַע וּבָנָה וְאַחַר כָּךְ נוֹדַע שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ אַחִין בִּמְדִינָה אַחֶרֶת. אִם קְטַנִּים הֵן הַשֶּׁבַח לָאֶמְצַע וְאִם הָיוּ גְּדוֹלִים הוֹאִיל וְלֹא נוֹדַע שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ אַחִין שָׁמִין לוֹ כְּאָרִיס. וְכֵן אָח שֶׁיָּרַד לְנִכְסֵי קָטָן וְהִשְׁבִּיחַ אֵין שָׁמִין לוֹ כְּאָרִיס. אֶלָּא הַשֶּׁבַח לָאֶמְצַע שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא בִּרְשׁוּת יָרַד:


The following rule applies when one of the brothers took money from the inheritance and engaged in commerce with it. If he is a great Torah scholar who ordinarily does not abandon his Torah study for one moment, the profits are given to him. For he would not abandon his Torah studies to engage in commerce for the sake of his brothers.


אֶחָד מִן הָאַחִין שֶׁלָּקַח מָעוֹת וְעָשָׂה בָּהֶן סְחוֹרָה אִם הָיָה תַּלְמִיד חָכָם גָּדוֹל שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַנִּיחַ תּוֹרָתוֹ שָׁעָה אַחַת. הֲרֵי הַשָּׂכָר שֶׁלּוֹ שֶׁאֵין זֶה מַנִּיחַ תּוֹרָתוֹ וּמִתְעַסֵּק לְצֹרֶךְ אֶחָיו:

Mishneh Torah (Moznaim)

Featuring a modern English translation and a commentary that presents a digest of the centuries of Torah scholarship which have been devoted to the study of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides.


The following laws apply when a king appoints one of the brothers who share in the father's estate as a tax collector, an accountant who supervises the influx and efflux of the king's monies, or to another one of the positions in the king's service. If the son was appointed for his father's sake - i.e., his father was renowned for this skill, and the king said: "Let us appoint his son in his stead in order to act graciously to the orphans," the portion that the son who receives the appointment receives and any wages he earns in this task should be shared among all the brothers. This ruling applies even if that son is very wise and fit to be appointed on his own merit. If the king appointed him on his own merit, his wages are his alone.


אֶחָד מִן הָאַחִין שֶׁמִּנָּהוּ הַמֶּלֶךְ גַּבַּאי אוֹ סוֹפֵר שֶׁמַּכְנִיס וּמוֹצִיא בְּמָמוֹן הַמֶּלֶךְ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה מֵעֲבוֹדַת הַמְּלָכִים. אִם מֵחֲמַת אֲבִיהֶן מִנָּהוּ כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיָה אֲבִיהֶן יָדוּעַ בְּדָבָר זֶה וְאָמַר נַעֲמִיד תַּחְתָּיו בְּנוֹ כְּדֵי לַעֲשׂוֹת חֶסֶד עִם הַיְתוֹמִים. הַפְּרָס שֶׁיִּטּל וְכָל הַשָּׂכָר שֶׁיִּשְׂתַּכֵּר בַּעֲבוֹדָה לְכָל הָאַחִין. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה חָכָם בְּיוֹתֵר וְרָאוּי לְמַנּוֹתוֹ. וְאִם מֵחֲמַת עַצְמוֹ מִנּוּהוּ הֲרֵי זֶה לְעַצְמוֹ:


The following laws apply when one of the brothers was carrying out transactions on behalf of the household and purchased servants as his own individual property, or lent money to others and had the promissory note written to him alone. If he says: "The money that I lent or with which I purchased the servants is my own. It came to me as an inheritance from my maternal grandfather, I found an ownerless object, or a present was given to me," he is required to verify the authenticity of his statements.

Similar laws apply when a married woman was carrying out transactions on behalf of the household and deeds of purchase of servants and promissory notes were composed in her own name. If she says: "The money belonged to me. I received it as an inheritance from my father's family," she is required to verify the authenticity of her statements. Similar laws apply when a widow was carrying out transactions with funds belonging to orphans, and deeds of purchase and promissory notes were circulated in her personal name. If she claimed them as her own, saying: "It came to me as an inheritance, I found an ownerless object, or a present was given to me," she is required to verify the authenticity of her statements.

If she said: "I took them from the resources of my dowry," her word is accepted. If, however, she does not have a dowry, or in the situation described in the previous clauses, she did not bring proof of her statement, everything is assumed to be owned by the heirs.


אֶחָד מִן הָאַחִין שֶׁהָיָה נוֹשֵׂא וְנוֹתֵן בְּתוֹךְ הַבַּיִת וְקָנָה עֲבָדִים בִּשְׁמוֹ לְבַדּוֹ. הִלְוָה לַאֲחֵרִים וְהָיָה שְׁטַר הַחוֹב בִּשְׁמוֹ לְבַדּוֹ. וְאָמַר מָעוֹת אֵלּוּ שֶׁהִלְוֵיתִי אוֹ שֶׁקָּנִיתִי בָּהֶן עֲבָדִים אֵלּוּ שֶׁלִּי לְבַדִּי הֵן שֶׁנָּפְלוּ לִי מִבֵּית אָבִי אִמִּי. אוֹ מְצִיאָה מָצָאתִי אוֹ מַתָּנָה נִתְּנָה לִי. עָלָיו לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה שֶׁנָּפְלָה לוֹ יְרֻשָּׁה אַחֶרֶת אוֹ מָצָא מְצִיאָה אוֹ זָכָה בְּמַתָּנָה. וְכֵן הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁהָיְתָה נוֹשֵׂאת וְנוֹתֶנֶת בְּתוֹךְ הַבַּיִת וְהָיוּ אוֹנוֹת שֶׁהֵן שִׁטְרֵי מִמְכַּר עֲבָדִים וְשִׁטְרֵי חוֹבוֹת יוֹצְאוֹת עַל שְׁמָהּ. וְאָמְרָה שֶׁלִּי הֵן שֶׁנָּפְלוּ לִי מִבֵּית אֲבוֹתַי. עָלֶיהָ לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה שֶׁנָּפְלוּ לָהּ לִירֻשָּׁה. וְכֵן אַלְמָנָה שֶׁהָיְתָה נוֹשֵׂאת וְנוֹתֶנֶת בְּנִכְסֵי יְתוֹמִים וְהָיוּ אוֹנוֹת וּשְׁטָרוֹת יוֹצְאוֹת עַל שְׁמָהּ וְאָמְרָה מִירֻשָּׁה נָפְלוּ לִי אוֹ מְצִיאָה מָצָאתִי אוֹ מַתָּנָה נִתְּנָה לִי. עָלֶיהָ לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה. וְאִם יֵשׁ לָהּ נְדוּנְיָא וְאָמְרָה מִנְּדוּנְיָתִי לָקַחְתִּי נֶאֱמֶנֶת אֲבָל אִם אֵין לָהּ נְדוּנְיָא וְלֹא הֵבִיאָה רְאָיָה הֲרֵי הַכּל בְּחֶזְקַת הַיּוֹרְשִׁין:


When does the above apply? When the brothers or the widow do not eat separately. When, however, they eat separately, we suspect that they saved from their food allowance. Hence, the other brothers must prove that the money was taken from the estate. Similarly, if the brother who was managing the funds died, the other brothers are required to bring proof that the money was taken from the estate, even though they did not eat separately.


בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּאַחִים וּבְאַלְמָנָה שֶׁאֵין חֲלוּקִין בְּעִסָּתָן. אֲבָל אִם הָיוּ חֲלוּקִין בְּעִסָּתָן שֶׁמָּא מֵעִסָּתוֹ קָמַץ וְעַל הָאַחִין לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה שֶׁהֵן מִשֶּׁל אֶמְצַע. וְכֵן אִם מֵת זֶה הַנּוֹתֵן וְהַנּוֹשֵׂא בְּתוֹךְ הַבַּיִת עַל הָאַחִין לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הָיוּ חֲלוּקִין בְּעִסָּתָן:


The following laws apply when one of the brothers is in possession of a promissory note owed to his father. He is obligated to bring proof that his father gave him the note, signing and transferring a document attesting to the fact that the note was given as a gift, or that, at the time of his death, the father commanded that it be given to that brother. If the brother in possession does not bring proof of this nature, the note must be shared equally as part of the estate.


אֶחָד מִן הָאַחִין שֶׁשְּׁטַר חוֹב יוֹצֵא מִתַּחַת יָדוֹ עָלָיו לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה שֶׁאָבִיו נְתָנוֹ לוֹ בִּכְתִיבָה וּמְסִירָה. אוֹ שֶׁצִּוָּה לוֹ בּוֹ כְּשֶׁהוּא שְׁכִיב מֵרַע. וְאִם לֹא הֵבִיא רְאָיָה הֲרֵי הוּא לָאֶמְצַע:


When does the above apply? With regard to brothers, because the prevailing assumption is that they take from each other. When, however, a promissory note is in the possession of another person who claims that the creditor gave it to him or that he purchased it from him, he may collect the debt. He is not required to bring proof of his claim.


בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּאַחִין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁחֶזְקָתָן שׁוֹמְטִין זֶה מִזֶּה. אֲבָל אַחֵר שֶׁטָּעַן שֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ אוֹ שֶׁקָּנָהוּ מִבְּעָלָיו גּוֹבֶה בּוֹ וְאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה:


If one of the brothers took 200 zuz from his share of the estate to study Torah or to study a profession, the other brothers may tell him: "If you do not live together with us, we will not give you a food allocation beyond what it would cost were you living with us." For the food expenses incurred by an individual living alone are much higher than they would be were he to live with others.


אֶחָד מִן הָאַחִין שֶׁנָּטַל מָאתַיִם זוּז לִלְמֹד תּוֹרָה אוֹ לִלְמֹד אֻמָּנוּת יְכוֹלִין הָאַחִין לוֹמַר לוֹ אִם אֵין אַתָּה אֶצְלֵנוּ אֵין לְךָ מְזוֹנוֹת אֶלָּא לְפִי בִּרְכַּת הַבַּיִת. שֶׁאֵין הוֹצָאַת מְזוֹנוֹת הָאֶחָד לְבַדּוֹ כְּהוֹצָאַת מְזוֹנוֹתָיו בֵּין רַבִּים:


When a person died, leaving sons past majority and under majority, the older sons cannot be required to receive only what is allocated for the younger sons' living expenses. Nor may younger sons be required to receive only what is allocated for the older sons' food expenses. Instead, the estate should be divided equally.

If the older brothers married after their father's death using the funds of the estate, the younger brothers may marry using the funds of the estate, and then divide it. If the older brothers married during their father's lifetime, we do not heed the requests of the younger brothers who say: "Let us marry using the funds of the estate, as you married." Instead, whatever the father gave the older brothers is considered as a present.


מִי שֶׁמֵּת וְהִנִּיחַ בָּנִים גְּדוֹלִים וּקְטַנִּים אֵין הַגְּדוֹלִים מִתְפַּרְנְסִים פַּרְנָסַת הַקְּטַנִּים וְלֹא הַקְּטַנִּים נִזּוֹנִים מְזוֹנוֹת הַגְּדוֹלִים אֶלָּא חוֹלְקִים בְּשָׁוֶה. נִשְּׂאוּ גְּדוֹלִים לְאַחַר מִיתַת אֲבִיהֶן יִשְׂאוּ הַקְּטַנִּים כֵּן מִכְּלַל הַנְּכָסִים וְאַחַר כָּךְ יַחֲלֹקוּ. נִשְּׂאוּ הַגְּדוֹלִים בְּחַיֵּי אֲבִיהֶן וְאָמְרוּ הַקְּטַנִּים לְאַחַר מִיתַת אֲבִיהֶן הֲרֵי אָנוּ נוֹשְׂאִין כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁנְּשָׂאתֶם אַתֶּם. אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לָהֶן אֶלָּא מַה שֶּׁנָּתַן לָהֶם אֲבִיהֶם נָתַן:


The following laws apply when a father married off one of his sons and made a feast for him, paying for the expenses himself. If a wedding gift was sent to this son during the father's lifetime, should the wedding gift have to be repaid after the father's death, it should be repaid by the estate as a whole. If, however, the brother paid for the expenses of the wedding feast from his own resources, the brother who received the gift must repay it from his portion alone.


הִשִּׂיא הָאָב אֶת בְּנוֹ וְעָשָׂה לוֹ מִשְׁתֶּה וְהָיְתָה הַהוֹצָאָה מִשֶּׁל אָב וְנִשְׁתַּלְּחָה שׁוֹשְׁבִינוּת לְזֶה הַבֵּן בְּחַיֵּי הָאָב. כְּשֶׁהִיא חוֹזֶרֶת לְאַחַר מִיתַת הָאָב חוֹזֶרֶת לָאֶמְצַע. אֲבָל הוֹצִיא הַבֵּן בַּמִּשְׁתֶּה מִשֶּׁלּוֹ אֵינָהּ חוֹזֶרֶת אֶלָּא מֵחֵלֶק הַבֵּן שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּלְּחָה לוֹ בִּלְבַד:


When the father sent a wedding gift to a friend in the name of one of his sons, when that wedding gift is repaid to that son, it is his alone. If, however, the father sent the wedding gift in the name of his sons without making any specification, when it is repaid, it should be repaid to the estate as a whole.

The person to whom the wedding gift was sent is not required to return it unless all the brothers rejoice together with him, for they are all members of the wedding party and the gift was sent in all of their names. Therefore, if he rejoiced with only several of them, he need return only the portion appropriate for those with whom he rejoiced. The money he repays is shared by the estate as a whole.


הָאָב שֶׁשָּׁלַח שׁוֹשְׁבִינוּת בְּשֵׁם אֶחָד מִבָּנָיו כְּשֶׁתַּחְזֹר הַשּׁוֹשְׁבִינוּת לְאוֹתוֹ הַבֵּן הֲרֵי הִיא שֶׁלּוֹ. אֲבָל אִם שְׁלָחָהּ הָאָב בְּשֵׁם בָּנָיו סְתָם כְּשֶׁתַּחְזֹר תַּחְזֹר לָאֶמְצַע. וְאֵין זֶה שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּלְּחָה לוֹ חַיָּב לְהַחְזִירָהּ עַד שֶׁיִּשְׂמְחוּ עִמּוֹ הַבָּנִים כֻּלָּן. שֶׁהֲרֵי כֻּלָּן שׁוֹשְׁבִינִין שֶׁבְּשֵׁם כֻּלָּן נִשְׁתַּלְּחָה. לְפִיכָךְ אִם שָׂמֵחַ בְּמִקְצָתָן מַחְזִיר חֵלֶק זֶה שֶׁשָּׂמַח עִמּוֹ בִּלְבַד וַהֲרֵי הוּא לָאֶמְצַע:


When the oldest of the brothers dresses and garbs himself in fine raiment, he may purchase these garments from the funds of the estate if this brings his brothers benefit, i.e., because of his fine clothing, his words are heeded by other people.


גְּדוֹל הָאַחִין שֶׁהָיָה לוֹבֵשׁ וּמִתְכַּסֶּה מַלְבּוּשִׁין נָאִים אִם יֵשׁ לָאַחִים הֲנָאָה מִמֶּנּוּ כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ דְּבָרָיו נִשְׁמָעִין הֲרֵי זֶה לוֹבֵשׁ מִתְּפִיסַת הַבַּיִת: