The [obligation of] conjugal rights1 as prescribed by the Torah [is individual in nature], depending on the strength of each particular man and the [type of] work that he performs.

What is implied? Healthy men who are pampered and indulged, and who are not employed in labor that weakens their strength - but rather eat, drink and spend [the majority of their day] at home - should fulfill their conjugal duties every night.

[The following rules apply to] workers - e.g., tailors, weavers, construction workers and the like. If they work in the city [in which they live], they should fulfill their conjugal duties twice a week. If they work in another city, they should fulfill their conjugal duties once a week.

Donkey-drivers should fulfill their conjugal duties once a week. Camel-drivers should fulfill their conjugal duties once every thirty days. Seamen should fulfill their conjugal duties once every six months.

Students of the Torah should fulfill their conjugal duties once a week. [Their obligation is limited,] because the Torah weakens their strength. It is the practice of Torah scholars to engage in marital relations on Friday night.2


עוֹנָּה הָאֲמוּרָה בַּתּוֹרָה. לְכָל אִישׁ וְאִישׁ כְּפִי כֹּחוֹ וּכְפִי מְלַאכְתּוֹ. כֵּיצַד. בְּנֵי אָדָם הַבְּרִיאִים וְהָרַכִּים וְהָעֲנֻגִּים שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם מְלָאכָה שֶׁמַּכְשֶׁלֶת כֹּחָן אֶלָּא אוֹכְלִין וְשׁוֹתִין וְיוֹשְׁבִין בְּבָתֵּיהֶן עוֹנָתָן בְּכָל לַיְלָה. הַפּוֹעֲלִין כְּגוֹן הַחַיָּטִין וְהָאוֹרְגִין וְהַבּוֹנִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. אִם הָיְתָה מְלַאכְתָּן בָּעִיר עוֹנָתָן פַּעֲמַיִם בְּשַׁבָּת. וְאִם הָיְתָה מְלַאכְתָּן בְּעִיר אַחֶרֶת עוֹנָתָן פַּעַם אַחַת בְּשַׁבָּת. הַחַמָּרִים פַּעַם אַחַת בְּשַׁבָּת. וְהַגַּמָּלִים אַחַת לִשְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם. וְהַמַּלָּחִין אַחַת לְשִׁשָּׁה חֳדָשִׁים. תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים עוֹנָתָן פַּעַם אַחַת בְּשַׁבָּת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁתַּלְמוּד תּוֹרָה מַתִּישׁ כֹּחָן וְדֶרֶךְ תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים לְשַׁמֵּשׁ מִטָּתָן מִלֵּילֵי שַׁבָּת לְלֵילֵי שַׁבָּת:


A wife has the right to prevent her husband from making business trips except to close places, so that he will not be prevented from fulfilling his conjugal duties. He may make such journeys only with her permission.

Similarly, she has the prerogative of preventing him from changing from a profession that grants her more frequent conjugal rights to one that grants her less frequent rights - e.g., a donkey-driver who wishes to become a camel-driver, or a camel-driver who wishes to become a seaman.3

Students of the Torah may, however, depart for Torah study for two or three years without their wives' permission. Similarly, a wife cannot prevent a husband who is pampered and indulged from becoming a student of the Torah.


יֵשׁ לְאִשָּׁה לְעַכֵּב עַל בַּעְלָהּ שֶׁלֹּא יֵצֵא לִסְחוֹרָה אֶלָּא לְמָקוֹם קָרוֹב שֶׁלֹּא יִמָּנַע מֵעוֹנָתָהּ וְלֹא יֵצֵא אֶלָּא בִּרְשׁוּתָהּ. וְכֵן יֵשׁ לָהּ לְמָנְעוֹ לָצֵאת מִמְּלָאכָה שֶׁעוֹנָתָהּ קְרוֹבָה לִמְלָאכָה שֶׁעוֹנָתָהּ רְחוֹקָה. כְּגוֹן חַמָּר שֶׁבִּקֵּשׁ לְהֵעָשׂוֹת גַּמָּל אוֹ גַּמָּל לְהֵעָשׂוֹת מַלָּח. וְתַלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים יוֹצְאִין לְתַלְמוּד תּוֹרָה שֶׁלֹּא בִּרְשׁוּת נְשׁוֹתֵיהֶן שְׁתַּיִם וְשָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים. וְכֵן רַךְ וְעָנֹג שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה תַּלְמִיד חָכָם אֵין אִשְׁתּוֹ יְכוֹלָה לְעַכֵּב:


A man [has the prerogative of] marrying several wives4 - even 100, whether at one time or one after the other. His wife may not object to this, provided he has the means to provide each [wife] with her subsistence, clothing and conjugal rights as befits her. He may not, however, compel his wives to live in the same courtyard. Instead, each one is entitled to her own household.5


נוֹשֵׂא אָדָם כַּמָּה נָשִׁים אֲפִלּוּ מֵאָה בֵּין בְּבַת אַחַת בֵּין בָּזוֹ אַחַר זוֹ וְאֵין אִשְׁתּוֹ יְכוֹלָה לְעַכֵּב. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה יָכוֹל לִתֵּן שְׁאֵר כְּסוּת וְעוֹנָה כָּרָאוּי לְכָל אַחַת וְאַחַת. וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לָכוֹף אוֹתָן לִשְׁכֹּן בְּחָצֵר אַחַת. אֶלָּא כָּל אַחַת וְאַחַת לְעַצְמָהּ:


What are [his obligations with regard to his wives'] conjugal rights? [They are determined according to] the number [of wives he has.]

What is implied? If a worker has two wives, he is obligated to fulfill his duties towards each one once a week. If he has four wives, he is obligated to fulfill his duties towards each one once every two weeks. Similarly, a seaman who has four wives is obligated to fulfill his duties towards each one once every two years.

Therefore, our Sages6 commanded that a person should not marry more than four wives, although he has ample financial resources, so that he will be able to fulfill his conjugal obligations towards each one once a month.7


וְכַמָּה הִיא עוֹנָתָן. לְפִי מִנְיָן. כֵּיצַד. פּוֹעֵל שֶׁהָיוּ לוֹ שְׁתֵּי נָשִׁים יֵשׁ לָזוֹ עוֹנָה אַחַת בְּשַׁבָּת וְיֵשׁ לָזוֹ עוֹנָה אַחַת בְּשַׁבָּת. הָיוּ לוֹ אַרְבַּע נָשִׁים נִמְצָא עוֹנַת כָּל אַחַת מֵהֶן פַּעַם אַחַת בִּשְׁתֵּי שַׁבָּתוֹת. וְכֵן אִם הָיָה מַלָּח וְיֵשׁ לוֹ אַרְבַּע נָשִׁים תִּהְיֶה עוֹנַת כָּל אַחַת מֵהֶן פַּעַם אַחַת בִּשְׁתֵּי שָׁנִים. לְפִיכָךְ צִוּוּ חֲכָמִים שֶׁלֹּא יִשָּׂא אָדָם יוֹתֵר עַל אַרְבַּע נָשִׁים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ מָמוֹן הַרְבֵּה כְּדֵי שֶׁתַּגִּיעַ לָהֶן עוֹנָה פַּעַם אַחַת בְּחֹדֶשׁ:


When a man makes a vow requiring his wife to tell other people what he told her - or what she told him - of the jests and frivolities that a man and his wife will [occasionally] speak [in preparation for] marital relations, he must divorce [his wife] and pay her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah. For a woman may not [be compelled] to speak brazenly and tell others lascivious things.

Similarly, if a man makes a vow requiring his wife to take actions during marital relations to prevent conception, or if he makes a vow requiring her to act foolishly, [performing] acts that have no meaning and are merely foolishness,8 he must divorce [his wife] and pay her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah.


הַמַּדִּיר אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁתֹּאמַר לַאֲחֵרִים מַה שֶּׁאָמַר לָהּ אוֹ מַה שֶּׁאָמְרָה לוֹ מִדִּבְרֵי שְׂחוֹק וְקַלּוּת רֹאשׁ שֶׁמְּדַבֵּר אָדָם עִם אִשְׁתּוֹ עַל עִסְקֵי תַּשְׁמִישׁ הֲרֵי זֶה יוֹצִיא וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה שֶׁאֵין זוֹ יְכוֹלָה לְהָעֵז פָּנֶיהָ וְלוֹמַר לַאֲחֵרִים דִּבְרֵי קָלוֹן. וְכֵן אִם הִדִּירָהּ שֶׁתִּהְיֶה פּוֹעֶלֶת בְּעֵת תַּשְׁמִישׁ שֶׁלֹּא תִּתְעַבֵּר. אוֹ שֶׁהִדִּירָהּ שֶׁתַּעֲשֶׂה מַעֲשֵׂה שׁוֹטִים וּדְבָרִים שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶן מַמָּשׁ אֶלָּא כִּשְׁטוּת. הֲרֵי זֶה יוֹצִיא וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה:

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.


When a man makes a vow causing marital relations with his wife to be forbidden, he is given a respite of one week.9 After that time, he must divorce [his wife] and pay her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah, or absolve his vow. [This ruling applies even if the man] is a seaman whose obligation towards conjugal duties is once every six months. [The rationale is that] since he took a vow, he has caused his wife distress, and she despairs [of ever resuming intimacy].

How can such a vow be effective? If he tells her: "Marital relations with me are forbidden for you," or he takes an oath not to engage in marital relations, his vow is of no consequence, and by taking an oath he violates the prohibition against taking a false oath, for he is obligated [by the Torah to engage in relations with her].10 If, however, he tells her, "The satisfaction of engaging in relations with you is forbidden to me," it is a [binding] vow, and he is forbidden to engage in relations with her.11 For a person should not be fed food that is forbidden to him.


הַמַּדִּיר אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ מִתַּשְׁמִישׁ הַמִּטָּה שַׁבָּת אַחַת מַמְתִּינִין לוֹ. יֶתֶר עַל כֵּן יוֹצִיא וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה אוֹ יָפֵר נִדְרוֹ. אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה מַלָּח שֶׁעוֹנָתוֹ לְשִׁשָּׁה חֳדָשִׁים. שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁנָּדַר הֲרֵי צִעֲרָהּ וְנִתְיָאֲשָׁה. וְכֵיצַד מַדִּירָהּ. אִם אָמַר לָהּ תַּשְׁמִישִׁי אָסוּר עָלַיִךְ אוֹ שֶׁנִּשְׁבַּע שֶׁלֹּא יְשַׁמֵּשׁ מִטָּתוֹ לֹא נָדַר כְּלוּם. וְאִם נִשְׁבַּע נִשְׁבַּע לַשָּׁוְא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מְשֻׁעְבָּד לָהּ. אָמַר לָהּ הֲנָאַת תַּשְׁמִישֵׁךְ אֲסוּרָה עָלַי הֲרֵי זֶה נֵדֶר וְאָסוּר לְשַׁמֵּשׁ שֶׁאֵין מַאֲכִילִין לָאָדָם דָּבָר הָאָסוּר לוֹ:


It is forbidden for a man to deprive his wife of her conjugal rights. If he transgresses and deprives her of these rights in order to cause her distress, he violates one of the Torah's negative commandments, as [Exodus 21:10] states: "Do not deprive [her] of her sustenance, garments or conjugal rights."12

If he becomes sick or his virility is weakened, and he is unable to engage in sexual relations, he is given a period of six months13- for [a woman is never required to wait] longer for her conjugal rights than this - in the hope that he recovers. Afterwards, the prerogative is hers [whether to remain married] or whether he must divorce her and pay her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah.


אָסוּר לָאָדָם לִמְנֹעַ אִשְׁתּוֹ מֵעוֹנָתָהּ וְאִם עָבַר וּמָנַע כְּדֵי לְצַעֲרָהּ עָבַר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁבַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כא י) "שְׁאֵרָהּ כְּסוּתָהּ וְעֹנָתָהּ לֹא יִגְרָע". וְאִם חָלָה אוֹ תָּשַׁשׁ כֹּחוֹ וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִבְעל יַמְתִּין שִׁשָּׁה חֳדָשִׁים שֶׁמָּא יַבְרִיא שֶׁאֵין לְךָ עוֹנָה גְּדוֹלָה מִזּוֹ. וְאַחַר כָּךְ אוֹ יִטּל מִמֶּנָּה רְשׁוּת אוֹ יוֹצִיא וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה:


A woman who withholds marital intimacy from her husband is called a moredet ("a rebel"). She is asked why she has rebelled. If she answers: "Because I am repulsed by him and I cannot voluntarily engage in relations with him," her husband should be compelled to divorce her immediately. For she is not like a captive, [to be forced] to engage in relations with one she loathes.14

[In such an instance, as part of] the divorce [settlement], she does not receive any of the money promised her in her ketubah.15 She is entitled to whatever remains of the possessions she brought into the marriage arrangement, both those for which her husband assumed responsibility and those for which he did not assume responsibility - i.e., nichsei m'log.16

She is not entitled to anything that belongs to her husband. She should remove even the shoe on her foot and her head-covering that he gave her and return them to him. [Similarly,] she should return to him any presents that he gave her. For he did not give them to her with the intent that she take them and [leave his home].


הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁמָּנְעָה בַּעְלָהּ מִתַּשְׁמִישׁ הַמִּטָּה הִיא הַנִּקְרֵאת מוֹרֶדֶת וְשׁוֹאֲלִין אוֹתָהּ מִפְּנֵי מָה מָרְדָה. אִם אָמְרָה מְאַסְתִּיהוּ וְאֵינִי יְכוֹלָה לְהִבָּעֵל לוֹ מִדַּעְתִּי כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ לִשְׁעָתוֹ לְגָרְשָׁהּ לְפִי שֶׁאֵינָהּ כִּשְׁבוּיָה שֶׁתִּבָּעֵל לְשָׂנוּא לָהּ וְתֵצֵא בְּלֹא כְּתֻבָּה כְּלָל וְתִטּל בְּלָאוֹתֶיהָ הַקַּיָּמִין בֵּין מִנְּכָסִים שֶׁהִכְנִיסָה לְבַעְלָהּ וְנִתְחַיֵּב בְּאַחְרָיוּתָן בֵּין מִנִּכְסֵי מְלוֹג שֶׁלֹּא נִתְחַיֵּב בְּאַחְרָיוּתָן. וְאֵינָהּ נוֹטֶלֶת בְּשֶׁל בַּעַל כְּלוּם וַאֲפִלּוּ מִנְעָל שֶׁבְּרַגְלֶיהָ וּמִטְפַּחַת שֶׁבְּרֹאשָׁהּ שֶׁלְּקָחָן לָהּ פּוֹשֶׁטֶת וְנוֹתֶנֶת לוֹ וְכָל מַה שֶּׁנָּתַן לָהּ מַתָּנָה מְחַזֶּרֶת אוֹתוֹ. שֶׁלֹּא נָתַן לָהּ עַל מְנָת שֶׁתִּטּל וְתֵצֵא:


[Different rules apply, however,] if she rebelled against her husband with the intent of causing him distress,17 saying: "I intend to cause him distress this way, because he did this or this to me," "...because he cursed me," "...because he has caused me strife," or the like, she is sent a messenger from the court, [who] tells her: "Take note. If you continue your rebellious conduct, you will forfeit your ketubah, even if it is worth one hundred maneh."18

Afterwards, announcements are made concerning her in the synagogues and the houses of study each day for four consecutive weeks,19 saying: "So and so has rebelled against her husband."20


וְאִם מָרְדָה מִתַּחַת בַּעְלָהּ כְּדֵי לְצַעֲרוֹ וְאָמְרָה הֲרֵינִי מְצַעֶרֶת אוֹתוֹ בְּכָךְ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁעָשָׂה לִי כָּךְ וְכָךְ אוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁקִּלְּלַנִי אוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁעָשָׂה עִמִּי מְרִיבָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בִּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ. שׁוֹלְחִים לָהּ מִבֵּית דִּין וְאוֹמְרִין לָהּ הֱוֵי יוֹדַעַת שֶׁאִם אַתְּ עוֹמֶדֶת בְּמִרְדֵּךְ אֲפִלּוּ כְּתֻבָּתֵךְ מֵאָה מָנֶה הִפְסַדְתְּ אוֹתָהּ. וְאַחַר כָּךְ מַכְרִיזִין עָלֶיהָ בְּבָתֵּי כְּנֵסִיּוֹת וּבְבָתֵּי מִדְרָשׁוֹת בְּכָל יוֹם אַרְבַּע שַׁבָּתוֹת זוֹ אַחַר זוֹ וְאוֹמְרִים פְּלוֹנִית מָרְדָה עַל בַּעְלָהּ:


After the announcement has been made, the court sends her a messenger a second time. He tells her: "If you continue your rebellious conduct, you have forfeited your ketubah." If, nevertheless, she continues this conduct and does not retract, she is consulted by the court. [If she does not change her mind,] she then forfeits her ketubah and has no rights to a ketubah at all.21

She is not given a divorce until twelve months pass.22 During these twelve months, [her husband is] not [required] to provide for her subsistence. If she dies before being divorced, her husband inherits her [property].


וְאַחַר הַהַכְרָזָה שׁוֹלְחִין לָהּ בֵּית דִּין פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה וְאוֹמְרִים לָהּ אִם אַתְּ עוֹמֶדֶת בְּמִרְדֵּךְ הִפְסַדְתְּ כְּתֻבָּתֵךְ. אִם עָמְדָה בְּמִרְדָּהּ וְלֹא חָזְרָה נִמְלָכִין בָּהּ וּתְאַבֵּד כְּתֻבָּתָהּ וְלֹא יִהְיֶה לָהּ כְּתֻבָּה כְּלָל. וְאֵין נוֹתְנִין לָהּ גֵּט עַד י''ב חֹדֶשׁ וְאֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת כָּל י''ב חֹדֶשׁ. וְאִם מֵתָה קֹדֶם הַגֵּט בַּעְלָהּ יוֹרְשָׁהּ:


This is the sequence followed with regard to a woman who rebels [against her husband] in order to cause him distress. These laws apply even when the woman is in the niddah state or when she is ill and is not fit to engage in sexual relations. Similarly, they apply even when her husband is a seaman whose conjugal duties are only once in six months, and even when [her husband] has another wife.23


כַּסֵּדֶר הַזֶּה עוֹשִׂין לָהּ אִם מָרְדָה כְּדֵי לְצַעֲרוֹ. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה נִדָּה אוֹ חוֹלָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ רְאוּיָה לְתַשְׁמִישׁ וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה בַּעְלָהּ מַלָּח שֶׁעוֹנָתוֹ לְשִׁשָּׁה חֳדָשִׁים וַאֲפִלּוּ יֵשׁ לוֹ אִשָּׁה אַחֶרֶת:


Similarly, when the time comes for an arusah to enter nisu'in,24 and she refuses to do so, rebelling in order to cause [her husband] distress, she is considered to be one who rebels [and refuses to engage] in marital relations. Similarly, the above sequence is followed when a yevamah refuses to undergo yibbum in order to cause [her yavam] distress.25


וְכֵן אֲרוּסָה שֶׁהִגִּיעַ זְמַנָּה לְהִנָּשֵׂא וּמָרְדָה כְּדֵי לְצַעֲרוֹ וְלֹא נִשֵּׂאת הֲרֵי זוֹ מוֹרֶדֶת מִתַּשְׁמִישׁ. וְכֵן יְבָמָה שֶׁלֹּא רָצְתָה לְהִתְיַבֵּם כְּדֵי לְצַעֲרוֹ כַּסֵּדֶר הַזֶּה עוֹשִׂין לָהּ:


When this woman who rebels is divorced after twelve months without receiving [any of the money due her because of] her ketubah, she must also return everything that belongs to her husband.

With regard to the property that she brought to [the marriage arrangement] and what remains [of her trousseau, different rules apply].26 If she takes physical possession of these articles, they are not taken from her, but if her husband takes physical possession of them,27 they are not taken from him. Similarly, her husband is not held liable for anything that has been lost from her possessions for which he accepted responsibility.28 This is the law prescribed by the Talmud with regard to a woman who rebels [against her husband].


הַמּוֹרֶדֶת הַזֹּאת כְּשֶׁהִיא יוֹצֵאת אַחַר י''ב חֹדֶשׁ בְּלֹא כְּתֻבָּה תַּחֲזִיר כָּל דָּבָר שֶׁהוּא שֶׁל בַּעַל. אֲבָל נְכָסִים שֶׁהִכְנִיסָה לוֹ וּבְלָאוֹתֵיהֶן קַיָּמִים אִם תָּפְסָה אֵין מוֹצִיאִים מִיָּדָהּ וְאִם תְּפָסָן הַבַּעַל אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיָּדוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל מַה שֶּׁאָבַד מִנְּכָסֶיהָ שֶׁקִּבֵּל הַבַּעַל אַחֲרָיוּתָן עָלָיו אֵינוֹ מְשַׁלֵּם לָהּ כְּלוּם. זֶה הוּא דִּין הַגְּמָרָא בְּמוֹרֶדֶת:


There are geonim who say that in Babylonia different customs were followed with regard to a woman who rebels [against her husband].29 These customs have not, however, spread throughout the majority of the Jewish community, and in most places within the Jewish community, there are many sages of stature who differ with them. [Therefore,] it is proper to follow the laws prescribed by the Talmud.


וְאָמְרוּ הַגְּאוֹנִים שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהֶם בְּבָבֶל מִנְהָגוֹת אֲחֵרוֹת בְּמוֹרֶדֶת. וְלֹא פָּשְׁטוּ אוֹתָן הַמִּנְהָגוֹת בְּרֹב יִשְׂרָאֵל וְרַבִּים וּגְדוֹלִים חוֹלְקִין עֲלֵיהֶם בְּרֹב הַמְּקוֹמוֹת וּכְדִין הַגְּמָרָא רָאוּי לִתְפֹּס וְלָדוּן:


[The following ruling applies when] a man rebels against his wife and says, "I will support her and provide her with her subsistence, but I will not be intimate with her, because she has become loathsome to me." He must increase her ketubah by the equivalent of 36 barleycorns worth of [pure] silver30 each week. They may remain married without engaging in relations for as long as she desires.31

Although her ketubah continues to increase, [her husband] also transgresses a negative commandment, for [Exodus 21:10] states: "Do not deprive [her of her... conjugal rights]." If the husband hates her, let him divorce her; causing her anguish, however, is forbidden.

Why is he not punished by lashes for [violating] this negative commandment? Because its [violation] does not involve a deed.32


הַמּוֹרֵד עַל אִשְׁתּוֹ וְאָמַר הֲרֵינִי זָן וּמְפַרְנֵס אוֹתָהּ אֲבָל אֵינִי בָּא עָלֶיהָ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁשְּׂנֵאתִיהָ מוֹסִיפִין לָהּ עַל כְּתֻבָּתָהּ מִשְׁקַל שֵׁשׁ וּשְׁלֹשִׁים שְׂעוֹרוֹת שֶׁל כֶּסֶף בְּכָל שַׁבָּת וְשַׁבָּת. וְיֵשֵׁב וְלֹא יְשַׁמֵּשׁ כָּל זְמַן שֶׁתִּרְצֶה הִיא לֵישֵׁב. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכְּתֻבָּתָהּ הוֹלֶכֶת וְנוֹסֶפֶת הֲרֵי הוּא עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כא י) "לֹא יִגְרָע". שֶׁאִם שְׂנֵאָהּ יְשַׁלְּחָהּ אֲבָל לְעַנּוֹת אָסוּר. וְלָמָּה לֹא יִלְקֶה עַל לָאו זֶה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ מַעֲשֶׂה:


[The following rules apply when] a man and his wife come to court and he claims that his wife refuses to engage in marital relations, and she replies: "I follow the way of the world with him," or if she claims that he deprives her of her conjugal rights, and he replies that he "follows the way of the world with her." At first, a ban of ostracism is issued against anyone who denies his or her spouse marital intimacy and refuses to acknowledge the matter before the court.33

Afterwards, if acknowledgement is [still] not made, the couple are asked to enter into privacy in the presence of witnesses. If they do this, and yet the claims continue as before, a request is made of the defendant, and a compromise is made [as just] as the judge can make. It is, however, forbidden to engage in relations in the presence of others. For it is forbidden to engage in relations in the presence of any living being.


אִישׁ וְאִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁבָּאוּ לְבֵית דִּין הוּא אוֹמֵר זוֹ מוֹרֶדֶת מִתַּשְׁמִישׁ וְהִיא אוֹמֶרֶת לֹא כִּי אֶלָּא כְּדֶרֶךְ כָּל הָאָרֶץ אֲנִי עִמּוֹ. וְכֵן אִם טָעֲנָה הִיא וְאָמְרָה שֶׁהוּא מוֹרֵד מִתַּשְׁמִישׁ וְהוּא אוֹמֵר לֹא כִּי אֶלָּא כְּדֶרֶךְ כָּל הָאָרֶץ אֲנִי עִמָּהּ. מַחְרִימִין בַּתְּחִלָּה עַל מִי שֶׁהוּא מוֹרֵד וְלֹא יוֹדֶה בְּבֵית דִּין. וְאַחַר כָּךְ אִם לֹא הוֹדוּ אוֹמְרִין לָהֶם הִתְיַחֲדוּ בִּפְנֵי עֵדִים. נִתְיַחֲדוּ וַעֲדַיִן הֵם טוֹעֲנִין מְבַקְּשִׁין מִן הַנִּטְעָן וְעוֹשִׂין פְּשָׁרָה כְּפִי כֹּחַ הַדַּיָּן. אֲבָל לִבְעל בִּפְנֵי בְּנֵי אָדָם אִי אֶפְשָׁר לְפִי שֶׁאָסוּר לִבְעל בִּפְנֵי כָּל בְּרִיָּה:


When a woman becomes ill, [her husband] is obligated [to provide] medical treatment for her until she recovers. If the husband sees that her illness is prolonged, and he will be forced to spend much money treating her, he may tell her: "Here is the money due you by virtue of your ketubah. Either pay for your treatment from this money, or I will divorce you and pay you what is due you and abandon you." [Although] he is given this prerogative, it is not ethical to act in this manner.34


הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁחָלְתָה חַיָּב לְרַפְּאוֹת אוֹתָהּ עַד שֶׁתַּבְרִיא. רָאָה שֶׁהַחלִי אָרֹךְ וְיַפְסִיד מָמוֹן הַרְבֵּה לִרְפוּאָה וְאָמַר לָהּ הֲרֵי כְּתֻבָּתֵךְ מֻנַּחַת אוֹ רַפְּאִי עַצְמֵךְ מִכְּתֻבָּתֵךְ אוֹ הֲרֵינִי מְגָרְשֵׁךְ וְנוֹתֵן כְּתֻבָּה וְהוֹלֵךְ שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ. וְאֵין רָאוּי לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן מִפְּנֵי דֶּרֶךְ אֶרֶץ:


[When a man's wife] is taken captive, he is obligated to redeem her. If he is a priest, [although] she has become forbidden to him,35 he must redeem her and have her returned to her father's home. If he was in another city, he must still provide for her until she is returned to her native locale. [Then] he must divorce her and pay her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah.

If her husband was an Israelite - who is permitted to remain married to a woman who was held captive36 - he must return her to her station as his wife, as she was previously.37 Afterwards, if he desires,38 he may divorce her, [provided] he pays her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah.


נִשְׁבֵּית חַיָּב לִפְדּוֹתָהּ. וְאִם הָיָה כֹּהֵן שֶׁכְּבָר נֶאֶסְרָה עָלָיו פּוֹדֶה אוֹתָהּ וּמַחֲזִירָהּ לְבֵית אָבִיהָ. אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה בְּעִיר אַחֶרֶת מְטַפֵּל לָהּ עַד שֶׁמַּחֲזִירָהּ לִמְדִינָתָהּ וּמְגָרְשָׁהּ וְנוֹתֵן לָהּ כָּל כְּתֻבָּתָהּ. הָיָה בַּעְלָהּ יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁהַשְּׁבוּיָה מֻתֶּרֶת לוֹ מַחֲזִירָהּ לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה כְּמוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה וְאִם רָצָה אַחַר כָּךְ מְגָרְשָׁהּ וְנוֹתֵן לָהּ כְּתֻבָּתָהּ:


A husband is not obligated to redeem his wife for more than her worth. Instead, [the laws applying] to her [redemption] are the same as with regard to others held captive.39

When her ransom exceeds [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah, her husband is not given the prerogative of saying: "I will divorce her. Here is [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah. Let her redeem herself." Instead, [if necessary,] he should be compelled to redeem her, even if her ransom is ten times [the value of] her ketubah - even if it is equivalent to all of his assets.

When does the above apply? On the first occasion [that she is held captive]. If, however, he redeems her and she is taken captive again, if he desires to divorce her he may divorce her, pay [her the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah, and [then] she must redeem herself.40


אֵין מְחַיְּבִין אֶת הַבַּעַל לִפְדּוֹת אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ יוֹתֵר עַל דָּמֶיהָ אֶלָּא כַּמָּה שֶׁהִיא שָׁוָה כִּשְׁאָר הַשְּׁבוּיוֹת. הָיוּ דָּמֶיהָ יוֹתֵר עַל כְּדֵי כְּתֻבָּתָהּ וְאָמַר הֲרֵינִי מְגָרְשָׁהּ וְזוֹ כְּתֻבָּתָהּ וְתֵלֵךְ וְתִפְדֶּה אֶת עַצְמָהּ אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ אֶלָּא כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ וּפוֹדֶה אוֹתָהּ אֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ דָּמֶיהָ עַד עֲשָׂרָה בִּכְתֻבָּתָהּ וַאֲפִלּוּ אֵין לוֹ אֶלָּא כְּדֵי פִּדְיוֹנָהּ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּפַעַם רִאשׁוֹנָה אֲבָל אִם פְּדָאָהּ וְנִשְׁבֵּית פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה וְרָצָה לְגָרְשָׁהּ הֲרֵי זֶה מְגָרְשָׁהּ וְנוֹתֵן כְּתֻבָּה וְהִיא תִּפְדֶּה אֶת עַצְמָהּ:


When a man's wife is taken captive and he is abroad, the court expropriates his assets and sells them after announcements have been made,41 and redeems his wife as he would be required to.


מִי שֶׁנִּשְׁבֵּית אִשְׁתּוֹ וְהוּא בִּמְדִינַת הַיָּם בֵּית דִּין יוֹרְדִין לִנְכָסָיו וּמוֹכְרִין בְּהַכְרָזָה וּפוֹדִין אוֹתָהּ כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהַבַּעַל פּוֹדֶה:


When a person causes his wife to be bound by a vow that requires him to divorce her42 and pay her [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah, and she is taken captive after he causes her to be bound by this vow, he is not required to redeem her. For from the time he caused her to be bound by the vow, he was obligated to divorce her and pay her [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah.43


הַמַּדִּיר אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ נֵדֶר שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב בִּגְלָלוֹ לְגָרְשָׁהּ וְלִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה וְנִשְׁבֵּית אַחַר שֶׁהִדִּירָהּ אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לִפְדּוֹתָהּ. שֶׁמִּשָּׁעָה שֶׁהִדִּירָהּ נִתְחַיֵּב לְגָרְשָׁהּ וְלִתֵּן לָהּ כְּתֻבָּה:


When a woman who is forbidden to [engage in relations] with her husband because of one of the Torah's prohibitions is taken captive, he is not obligated to redeem her.44 Instead, he must provide her with [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah, and she must redeem herself.

[One might ask: Why is this instance different from the wife of a priest who is taken captive?] A woman who has been taken captive is forbidden to a priest, and yet he is obligated to redeem [his wife in such an instance]. [There is, however, a difference between the two instances. The priest's wife] was not forbidden to him beforehand. It is the prohibition stemming from her being taken captive that causes [their relationship to be forbidden].45


הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁהָיְתָה אֲסוּרָה עַל בַּעְלָהּ מֵאִסּוּרֵי לָאוִין וְנִשְׁבֵּית אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לִפְדּוֹתָהּ אֶלָּא נוֹתֵן לָהּ כְּתֻבָּתָהּ וְהִיא תִּפְדֶּה אֶת עַצְמָהּ. וַהֲלֹא הַשְּׁבוּיָה אֲסוּרָה לְכֹהֵן וַהֲרֵי הוּא פּוֹדֶה אוֹתָהּ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא הָיְתָה אֲסוּרָה מִקֹּדֶם וְאִסּוּר הַשְּׁבִיָּה הוּא שֶׁגָּרַם לָהּ:


When a man's wife dies, he is obligated to bury her and to have eulogies and lamentations performed as is the local custom. Even a poor Jewish man should provide at least two flutes46 and one woman to lament. If [her husband] is rich, [the funeral should be carried out] in a manner appropriate to his wealth.

If the social standing of [a man's wife] exceeded his own, he must have her buried in a manner appropriate to her social standing. For [when she marries,] a woman ascends to her husband's social standing [if his is higher than hers], but does not descend [to his, if her social standing surpasses his].47 [This principle applies] even after death.


מֵתָה אִשְׁתּוֹ חַיָּב בִּקְבוּרָתָהּ וְלַעֲשׂוֹת לָהּ מִסְפֵּד וְקִינִים כְּדֶרֶךְ כָּל הַמְּדִינָה. וַאֲפִלּוּ עָנִי שֶׁבְּיִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא יִפְחֲתוּ לוֹ מִשְּׁנֵי חֲלִילִין וּמְקוֹנֶנֶת. אִם הָיָה עָשִׁיר הַכּל לְפִי כְּבוֹדוֹ. וְאִם הָיָה כְּבוֹדָהּ יוֹתֵר מִכְּבוֹדוֹ קוֹבְרִין אוֹתָהּ לְפִי כְּבוֹדָהּ שֶׁהָאִשָּׁה עוֹלָה עִם בַּעְלָהּ וְאֵינָהּ יוֹרֶדֶת אֲפִלּוּ לְאַחַר מִיתָה:


If a husband does not desire [to pay for] the burial of his wife, and another person voluntarily takes the initiative and has her buried, [the costs of the burial] should be expropriated from her husband against his will and given to the person [who arranged the burial].48 [The rationale is to prevent the body of a Jew] from being thrown to the dogs.

If a man is in another city when his wife dies, the court should expropriate his property and sell it without an announcement.49 The woman should be buried as appropriate to her husband's financial resources and his social standing or her social standing.


לֹא רָצָה לִקְבֹּר אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ וְעָמַד אֶחָד מִדַּעַת עַצְמוֹ וּקְבָרָהּ מוֹצִיאִין מִבַּעְלָהּ עַל כָּרְחוֹ וְנוֹתְנִין לָזֶה כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תִּהְיֶה זוֹ מֻשְׁלֶכֶת לַכְּלָבִים. הָיָה בִּמְדִינָה אַחֶרֶת כְּשֶׁמֵּתָה אִשְׁתּוֹ בֵּית דִּין יוֹרְדִין לִנְכָסָיו וּמוֹכְרִין בְּלֹא הַכְרָזָה וְקוֹבְרִין אוֹתָהּ לְפִי מָמוֹן הַבַּעַל וּלְפִי כְּבוֹדוֹ אוֹ לְפִי כְּבוֹדָהּ: