A widow is entitled to receive support from the estate [inherited by her husband's] heirs as long as she remains a widow, unless she collects [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah.1 From the time she demands payment for her ketubah in court, however, she is no longer entitled to receive her subsistence.2

Similarly, if she sold [the rights to] her entire ketubah, gave them as security [for a loan] or made her ketubah an ipotiki for another person - i.e., she told him "Collect your debt from here" - she is not entitled to receive her subsistence from the heirs.3 [The above applies] whether these exchanges were made in a court of expert judges or outside a court, or whether they were made in her husband's lifetime or after his death.

If, however, she sold [the rights to] only a portion of her ketubah, she is entitled to receive her subsistence.4 When a widow becomes consecrated5 [to a new husband], she forfeits [her rights to receive] subsistence [from her deceased husband's estate].6


אַלְמָנָּה נִזּוֹנֶת מִנִּכְסֵי יוֹרְשִׁין כָּל זְמַן אַלְמְנוּתָהּ עַד שֶׁתִּטּל כְּתֻבָּתָהּ. וּמִשֶּׁתִּתְבַּע כְּתֻבָּתָהּ בְּבֵית דִּין אֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת. וְכֵן אִם מָכְרָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ כֻּלָּהּ אוֹ מִשְׁכְּנָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ אוֹ עָשְׂתָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ אַפּוֹתִיקִי לְאַחֵר. וְהוּא שֶׁתֹּאמַר לוֹ פֹּה תִּגְבֶּה חוֹבְךָ. בֵּין שֶׁעָשְׂתָה דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ בְּבֵית דִּין מֻמְחִין בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא בְּבֵית דִּין בֵּין שֶׁעָשְׂתָה בְּחַיֵּי בַּעְלָהּ בֵּין שֶׁעָשְׂתָה לְאַחַר מִיתַת בַּעְלָהּ אֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת מִן הַיּוֹרְשִׁים. אֲבָל אִם מָכְרָה מִקְצָתָהּ יֵשׁ לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת. וּמִשֶּׁתִּתְאָרֵס הָאַלְמָנָה אִבְּדָה מְזוֹנוֹתֶיהָ:


Just as the woman receives her subsistence from her husband's estate after his death, so, too, is she granted a wardrobe, household utensils and [the right to continue] living in the dwelling she lived in during her husband's lifetime.7 She may continue to make use of the pillows, spreads, servants and maidservants that she made use of during her husband's lifetime.

If the dwelling falls, the heirs are not required to rebuild it.8 [Even] if the widow asked, "Allow me to rebuild it at my own expense," she is not granted this option. Similarly, she may not repair it, nor have the walls sealed [and painted].

She must [continue to] dwell in it in the condition it [was in her husband's passing], or she must leave [and find other accommodations]. Should the heirs sell the dwelling in which a widow is living, their deed is of no consequence.


כְּשֵׁם שֶׁנִּזֹּנֶת אַחַר מוֹתוֹ מִנְּכָסָיו כָּךְ נוֹתְנִין לָהּ כְּסוּת וּכְלֵי תַּשְׁמִישׁ וּמָדוֹר (אוֹ יוֹשֶׁבֶת בְּמָדוֹר) שֶׁהָיְתָה בּוֹ בְּחַיֵּי בַּעְלָהּ וּמִשְׁתַּמֶּשֶׁת בְּכָרִים וּכְסָתוֹת בַּעֲבָדִים וּבִשְׁפָחוֹת שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּמְּשָׁה בָּהֶן בְּחַיֵּי בַּעְלָהּ. נָפַל הַמָּדוֹר אֵין הַיּוֹרְשִׁין חַיָּבִין לִבְנוֹתוֹ. וְאִם אָמְרָה הָנִיחוּ לִי וַאֲנִי אֶבְנֶנּוּ מִשֶּׁלִּי אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לָהּ. וְכֵן לֹא תְּחַזֵּק בִּדְקוֹ וְלֹא תִּטְחֶה אוֹתוֹ אֶלָּא תֵּשֵׁב בּוֹ כְּמָה שֶׁהוּא אוֹ תֵּצֵא. וְיֹורְשִׁין שֶׁמָּכְרוּ מְדוֹר אַלְמָנָה לֹא עָשׂוּ וְלֹא כְּלוּם:


If the dwelling [in which she was living fell] or her husband had been renting a dwelling, [the estate must] provide her with a dwelling appropriate to her social standing. Similarly, her subsistence and the wardrobe given her are granted according to her social standing.

If her husband's social standing exceeded her own, she is granted the above according to his social standing. For a woman's [social standing] ascends according to [her husband's] social standing, but does not descend [according to his]. [This applies] even after his death.


נָפַל הַבַּיִת אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה לְבַעְלָהּ בַּיִת אֶלָּא בְּשָׂכָר נוֹתְנִין לָהּ מָדוֹר לְפִי כְּבוֹדָהּ. וְכֵן מְזוֹנוֹתֶיהָ וּכְסוּתָהּ לְפִי כְּבוֹדָהּ. וְאִם הָיָה כְּבוֹד הַבַּעַל גָּדוֹל מִכְּבוֹדָהּ נוֹתְנִין לָהּ לְפִי כְּבוֹדוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁעוֹלָה עִמּוֹ וְאֵינָהּ יוֹרֶדֶת אֲפִלּוּ לְאַחַר מִיתָה:


[The widow is given her subsistence as a member of] the household at large. What is the intent of [the latter term]? When five people who would each require a kav of food when they eat alone [live] in the same house and eat together [their needs are reduced]. Four kabbim will be sufficient for them. The same applies with regard to other necessary household [supplies].

Therefore, if a widow says: "I will not leave my father's house. Ascertain the amount of support I deserve for my subsistence and give it to me there," the heirs have the right to tell her: "If you desire to dwell with us, you will receive [a full measure of] support. If not, we will give you only your share as a member of the household at large."

If she explains [that she desires not to live with them] because she is young, and they are young [and the situation would be immodest, her claim is accepted]. [The heirs are required] to provide her with support sufficient for her as she lives alone, while she lives in her father's home.

[Any money] remaining from [the funds granted for] the support of a widow or from her wardrobe belongs to the heirs.9


בִּרְכַּת הַבַּיִת מְרֻבָּה כֵּיצַד. חֲמִשָּׁה שֶׁהָיָה מְזוֹנוֹת כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן קַב בְּשֶׁיֹּאכַל לְבַדּוֹ אִם הָיוּ חֲמִשְּׁתָּן בְּבַיִת אֶחָד וְאוֹכְלִין בְּעֵרוּב מַסְפִּיק לָהֶן אַרְבַּע קַבִּין. וְהוּא הַדִּין לִשְׁאָר צָרְכֵי הַבַּיִת. לְפִיכָךְ אַלְמָנָה שֶׁאָמְרָה אֵינֶנִּי זָזָה מִבֵּית אָבִי פִּסְקוּ לִי מְזוֹנוֹת וּתְנוּ לִי שָׁם. יְכוֹלִין הַיּוֹרְשִׁין לוֹמַר לָהּ אִם אַתְּ אֶצְלֵנוּ יֵשׁ לָךְ מְזוֹנוֹת וְאִם לָאו אֵין אָנוּ נוֹתְנִים לָךְ אֶלָּא כְּפִי בִּרְכַּת הַבַּיִת. וְאִם הָיְתָה טוֹעֶנֶת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא יַלְדָּה וְהֵם יְלָדִים נוֹתְנִין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת הַמַּסְפִּיקִין לָהּ לְבַדָּהּ וְהִיא בְּבֵית אָבִיהָ. וּמוֹתַר מְזוֹנוֹת הָאַלְמָנָה וּמוֹתַר הַכְּסוּת לַיּוֹרְשִׁין:


[The following laws apply when] a widow becomes sick. If she requires medical treatment that is of an undefined nature, it is considered as support for her subsistence, and the heirs must provide her with it.10 If, however, she requires medical treatment of a limited nature, the treatment [should be paid for by deducting it] from [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah.

If she is taken captive, the heirs are not required to redeem her. [This applies] even if she is a yevamah [and it is a mitzvah for her late husband's brother to marry her]. [Indeed,] even when she was taken captive during her husband's lifetime [and he was thus obligated to redeem her], if he dies while she is in captivity, there is no obligation to redeem her from his estate. Instead, she must be redeemed from her private funds, or she must collect [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah and redeem herself.


אַלְמָנָה שֶׁחָלְתָה אִם צְרִיכָה לִרְפוּאָה שֶׁאֵין לָהּ קִצְבָה הֲרֵי זוֹ כִּמְזוֹנוֹת וְיוֹרְשִׁין חַיָּבִין בָּהּ. וְאִם הִיא צְרִיכָה רְפוּאָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהּ קִצְבָה הֲרֵי זוֹ מִתְרַפְּאָה מִכְּתֻבָּתָהּ. נִשְׁבֵּית אֵין הַיּוֹרְשִׁין חַיָּבִין לִפְדּוֹתָהּ אֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה יְבָמָה וַאֲפִלּוּ נִשְׁבֵּית בְּחַיֵּי בַּעְלָהּ וָמֵת וְהִיא בַּשִּׁבְיָהּ אֵין חַיָּבִין לִפְדּוֹתָהּ מִנְּכָסָיו אֶלָּא נִפְדֵּית מִשֶּׁל עַצְמָהּ אוֹ תִּטּל כְּתֻבָּתָהּ וְתִפְדֶּה עַצְמָהּ:

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 widow dies, her late husband's heirs are responsible for her burial. If, however, she had already taken the oath required of a widow [before collecting the money due her by virtue of her ketubah], her heirs inherit her ketubah, and they are required to bury her, and not her late husband's heirs.11

[Her late husband's] heirs are entitled to the income [from the work] of the widow. If the heirs tell the widow, "Take the income you generate in exchange for [receiving] your subsistence," their words are of no substance. If, however, she desires such an arrangement, she is given this prerogative.12


מֵתָה הָאַלְמָנָה יוֹרְשֵׁי הַבַּעַל חַיָּבִין בִּקְבוּרָתָהּ. וְאִם נִשְׁבְּעָה שְׁבוּעַת אַלְמָנָה וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵתָה יוֹרְשֶׁיהָ יוֹרְשִׁין כְּתֻבָּתָהּ וְהֵן חַיָּבִין בִּקְבוּרָתָהּ אֲבָל לֹא יוֹרְשֵׁי הַבַּעַל. מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵי הָאַלְמָנָה לַיּוֹרְשִׁין. וְיוֹרֵשׁ שֶׁאָמַר לָאַלְמָנָה טְלִי מַעֲשֵׂה יָדַיִךְ בִּמְזוֹנוֹתַיִךְ אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ. אֲבָל הִיא שֶׁרָצְתָה בָּזֶה שׁוֹמְעִין לָהּ:


All the household tasks that a wife performs on behalf of her husband, a widow must perform on behalf of his heirs, with the exception of pouring them drinks, making their beds and washing their face, hands and feet.13


וְכָל מְלָאכוֹת שֶׁהָאִשָּׁה עוֹשָׂה לְבַעְלָהּ אַלְמָנָה עוֹשָׂה לִיתוֹמִים חוּץ מִמְּזִיגַת הַכּוֹס וְהַצָּעַת הַמִּטָּה וְהַרְחָצַת פָּנָיו יָדָיו וְרַגְלָיו:


An ownerless article discovered by a widow and the benefit that accrues from the property that the woman brought to her husband's household belong to the woman herself; the heirs [to her husband's estate] have no right to them at all.14


מְצִיאַת הָאַלְמָנָה וּפֵרוֹת נְכָסִים שֶׁהִכְנִיסָה לַבַּעַל לְעַצְמָהּ וְאֵין לַיּוֹרֵשׁ בָּהֶם כְּלוּם:


The property that [a woman brought to the household as] her nedunyah may be taken by the woman without her having to take an oath.15 The heirs to her husband's estate have no claim with regard to it, except if the nichsei tzon barzel have increased in value during her husband's lifetime. [In this instance,] the increase belongs to the husband16 [and is given to his heirs].

[Even] if a widow dies without taking the oath [required of her], her heirs inherit her nedunyah, even if it is nichsei tzon barzel. If, however, it has increased in value, the increase must go to her husband's heirs.


וְהַנְּכָסִים עַצְמָם שֶׁהֵם נְדֻנְיָתָהּ נוֹטֶלֶת אוֹתָן בְּלֹא שְׁבוּעָה וְאֵין לַיּוֹרְשִׁים בָּהֶם דִּין לְעוֹלָם אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הוֹתִירוּ בְּחַיֵּי הַבַּעַל וְהָיוּ נִכְסֵי צֹאן בַּרְזֶל שֶׁהַמּוֹתָר לַבַּעַל. וְאִם מֵתָה הָאַלְמָנָה בְּלֹא שְׁבוּעָה יוֹרְשֶׁיהָ יוֹרְשִׁים נְדֻנְיָתָהּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא נִכְסֵי צֹאן בַּרְזֶל. וְאִם הָיָה בָּהֶן מוֹתָר הַמּוֹתָר לְיוֹרְשֵׁי הַבַּעַל:


When a woman seizes movable property [belonging to her husband's estate, so that she can sell it and use the money] for her subsistence, the property should not be removed from her possession.17 [This applies regardless of] whether she took possession of the movable property during her husband's lifetime or afterwards. Even if she takes possession of a talent of gold18 [it is not removed from her possession].

Instead, the court documents what she has taken into her possession and defines the amount she should be given for her subsistence. Calculations are made, and she is allowed to derive her subsistence from [the property] in her possession until she dies or until she is no longer entitled to support for her subsistence. [At that time,] the heirs are granted the remainder.


אַלְמָנָה שֶׁתָּפְסָה מִטַּלְטְלִין כְּדֵי שֶׁתִּזּוֹן מֵהֶן בֵּין שֶׁתָּפְסָה מֵחַיִּים בֵּין שֶׁתָּפְסָה אַחַר מוֹתוֹ אֲפִלּוּ תָּפְסָה כִּכַּר זָהָב אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיָּדָהּ אֶלָּא כּוֹתְבִין עָלֶיהָ בֵּית דִּין מַה שֶּׁתָּפְסָה וּפוֹסְקִין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת וּמְחַשְּׁבִין עִמָּהּ וְהִיא נִזּוֹנֶת מִמַּה שֶּׁבְּיָדָהּ עַד שֶׁתָּמוּת אוֹ עַד שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיוּ לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת. וְיִקְחוּ הַיּוֹרְשִׁין אֶת הַשְּׁאָר:


Similarly, if she took possession of movable property during her husband's lifetime [to provide] for [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah, she may collect [the money due her] from this [property after he dies]. If, however, she took possession of it after her husband's death [to provide] for [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah, she may not collect [her due] from it.19


וְכֵן אִם תָּפְסָה מִטַּלְטְלִין בִּכְתֻבָּתָהּ בְּחַיֵּי בַּעְלָהּ וָמֵת גּוֹבָה מֵהֶן. אֲבָל אִם תָּפְסָה אַחַר מוֹתוֹ לִכְתֻבָּתָהּ אֵינָהּ גּוֹבָה מֵהֶן אַף עַל גַּב שֶׁתִּקְּנוּ הַגְּאוֹנִים שֶׁתִּגְבֶּה הַכְּתֻבָּה וּתְנָאֵי הַכְּתֻבָּה מִן הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין. לְפִיכָךְ תִּזּוֹן הָאַלְמָנָה מִן הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא תָּפְסָה:


20The geonim ordained that a woman may collect [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah and every obligation due her as a stipulation of her ketubah from the movable property [in her husband's estate]. Based on this [provision], a woman may receive her subsistence from [the sale of] movable property [from her husband's estate].

Nevertheless, if her husband left movable property and she did not take possession of it, the heirs take possession of it, and they must provide her with her subsistence. She has no right to prevent them from taking possession, by saying: "Have the movable property held in the court [so that] I can derive my subsistence from it, lest it become depleted,21 and I will have no means of support." Even if an explicit stipulation was made [by her husband at the time her ketubah was composed] that she could derive her subsistence from this movable property, she cannot prevent [the heirs] from taking possession of it.22 This is the ruling that is universally followed in all courts.


וְאִם הִנִּיחַ בַּעְלָהּ מִטַּלְטְלִין וְלֹא תָּפְסָה אוֹתָן הַיּוֹרְשִׁים נוֹטְלִין אוֹתָן וְהֵן מַעֲלִין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת וְאֵינָהּ יְכוֹלָה לְעַכֵּב עֲלֵיהֶן וְלוֹמַר יִהְיוּ הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין מֻנָּחִין בְּבֵית דִּין עַד שֶׁאִזּוֹן מֵהֶן שֶׁמָּא יֹאבְדוּ וְלֹא יִהְיוּ לִי מְזוֹנוֹת. וַאֲפִלּוּ הִתְנְתָה עָלָיו בְּפֵרוּשׁ שֶׁתִּזּוֹן מִן הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין אֵינָהּ מְעַכֶּבֶת. וְכָזֶה דָּנִין תָּמִיד בְּכָל בָּתֵּי דִּינִין:


If, however, her husband left landed property, she has the right to prevent the heirs from selling it. If they do sell it, however, she does not have the right to expropriate [the property] from the purchasers. A widow and a man's daughters may derive their subsistence only from the property that remains in his estate. [In this regard, they have no claim to property that was sold.]23


אֲבָל אִם הִנִּיחַ קַרְקַע יְכוֹלָה הִיא לְעַכֵּב עֲלֵיהֶן שֶׁלֹּא יִמְכְּרוּ וְאִם מָכְרוּ אֵינָהּ מוֹצִיאָה מִיַּד הַלָּקוֹחוֹת שֶׁאֵין הָאִשָּׁה וְהַבָּנוֹת נִזּוֹנוֹת אֶלָּא מִנְּכָסִים בְּנֵי חוֹרִין:


If the deceased left many wives, they all have equal rights to receive their subsistence. [This applies] even when he married them one after the other. For the concept of a prior claim does not exist with regard to a claim for support.24


הִנִּיחַ נָשִׁים רַבּוֹת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנְּשָׂאָן זוֹ אַחַר זוֹ נִזּוֹנוֹת בְּשָׁוֶה (כְּמוֹ) שֶׁאֵין דִּין קְדִימָה בְּמִטַּלְטְלִין:


[The following rules apply with regard to] a widow who has an obligation to marry a yavam.25 During the first three months,26 she derives her subsistence from her deceased husband's estate.27 If it can be determined that she is pregnant, or if it was known that she was pregnant when her husband died, she continues to derive her support [from his estate] until she gives birth. If she bears a viable child, she may continue to derive her subsistence throughout her widowhood as other women do.

If after three months have passed, it is [either] not evident that she is pregnant or she miscarries, she is not entitled to support from either her husband's estate or from her yavam. Instead, she must file a suit against her yavam either to marry her or [to free her of her obligation through] chalitzah.


אַלְמָנָה שֶׁנָּפְלָה לִפְנֵי יָבָם בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה חֳדָשִׁים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים נִזּוֹנֶת מִשֶּׁל בַּעַל. וְאִם הֻכַּר הָעֻבָּר וְכֵן אִם הֱנִיחָהּ מְעֻבֶּרֶת נִזּוֹנֶת וְהוֹלֶכֶת עַד שֶׁתֵּלֵד. יָלְדָה בֵּן שֶׁל קַיָּמָא נִזּוֹנֶת וְהוֹלֶכֶת כָּל יְמֵי אַלְמְנוּתָהּ כִּשְׁאָר כָּל הַנָּשִׁים. לֹא נִמְצֵאת מְעֻבֶּרֶת אַחַר שְׁלֹשָׁה חֳדָשִׁים אוֹ שֶׁהִפִּילָה אֵינָהּ נִזּוֹנֶת לֹא מִשֶּׁל בַּעַל וְלֹא מִשֶּׁל יָבָם אֶלָּא תּוֹבַעַת יְבָמָהּ לִכְנֹס אוֹ לַחֲלֹץ:


If she filed a suit against her yavam either to marry her or [to free her of her obligation through] chalitzah, he appeared in court and then fled or became ill, or if the yavam lives overseas,28 the woman is entitled to derive her support from the property of the yavam without taking any oath at all.29


תָּבְעָה יְבָמָהּ לִכְנֹס אוֹ לַחֲלֹץ וְעָמַד בְּבֵית דִּין וּבָרַח אוֹ שֶׁחָלָה אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה הַיָּבָם בִּמְדִינַת הַיָּם הֲרֵי זוֹ נִזּוֹנֶת מִשֶּׁל יָבָם בְּלֹא שְׁבוּעָה כְּלָל:


If the yavam she was obligated to marry is a minor,30 she is not entitled to receive her support from him until he comes of age and resembles other yevamim.31


נָפְלָה לִפְנֵי יָבָם קָטָן אֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת עַד שֶׁיִּגְדַּל וְיִהְיֶה כִּשְׁאָר הַיָּבָמִין:


Should a person designate a portion of land to be used for support of his wife after his death, by saying: "This particular place will be for [my wife's] support,"32 he has granted her additional rights with regard to her support.

If the income [from this land] is less than the support due her, she is entitled [to collect] the remainder from the other portions of his estate. If the income [from those portions of land] is more than the support due her, she is entitled to the entire amount.

If, however, he told her, "Your support will come from this particular place," and she remained silent,33 her sole source of support is the income from that particular place. [Her husband] has specificied [the source for] her support.


מִי שֶׁיִּחֵד קַרְקַע לְאִשְׁתּוֹ בִּמְזוֹנוֹתֶיהָ בִּשְׁעַת מִיתָה וְאָמַר יִהְיֶה מָקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי לִמְזוֹנוֹת הֲרֵי רִבָּה לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת. וְאִם הָיָה שְׂכָרוֹ פָּחוֹת מִמְּזוֹנוֹת הָרְאוּיוֹת לָהּ נוֹטֶלֶת הַשְּׁאָר מִשְּׁאָר נְכָסִים. וְאִם הָיָה שְׂכָרוֹ יוֹתֵר מִן הָרָאוּי לָהּ נוֹטֶלֶת הַכּל. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר לָהּ יִהְיֶה בְּמָקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי בִּמְזוֹנוֹתֶיהָ וְשָׁתְקָה אֵין לָהּ אֶלָּא פֵּרוֹת אוֹתוֹ מָקוֹם בִּלְבַד שֶׁהֲרֵי קָצַץ לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת:


There are those who have ruled that when a widow comes to the court to ask for support she should be allotted support without requiring her to take an oath.34 This ruling should not be followed; they have misunderstood [the situation, erroneously associating it with that of] a woman whose husband left on an overseas journey.35

My teachers36 ruled that she should not be allotted support until she takes an oath in court.37 For she is coming to collect from property in the possession of heirs, and anyone who collects property in the possession of heirs may do so only after an oath has been taken. My own conception [also] follows [this approach], and it is proper to rule accordingly.


אַלְמָנָה שֶׁבָּאָה לְבֵית דִּין לִתְבֹּעַ מְזוֹנוֹת יֵשׁ מִי שֶׁהוֹרָה שֶׁפּוֹסְקִין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת וְאֵין מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתָהּ. וְאֵין רָאוּי לִסְמֹךְ עַל הוֹרָאָה זוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנִּתְחַלֵּף לוֹ הַדָּבָר בְּאִשָּׁה שֶׁהָלַךְ בַּעְלָהּ לִמְדִינַת הַיָּם. וְרַבּוֹתַי הוֹרוּ שֶׁאֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת מִבֵּית דִּין עַד שֶׁתִּשָּׁבַע שֶׁהֲרֵי זוֹ בָּאָה לְהִפָּרַע מִנִּכְסֵי יְתוֹמִים וְכָל הַנִּפְרָע מִנִּכְסֵי יְתוֹמִים לֹא יִפָּרַע אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבוּעָה. וְלָזֶה דַּעְתִּי נוֹטָה וְכֵן רָאוּי לָדוּן:


When a woman comes to the court to collect support for her subsistence, an oath is administered to her at the outset. The property is then sold without being publicized, and an allotment is made for her subsistence.38

Similarly, she is entitled to sell property for her subsistence without involving a court of expert judges; three trustworthy individuals are sufficient, and the sale need not be publicized. Similarly, if she sells property by herself for its appropriate value to provide for her subsistence, the sale is binding.39 When the heirs come and require her to take an oath, she must take the oath.


אַלְמָנָה שֶׁבָּאָה לְבֵית דִּין לִתְבֹּעַ מְזוֹנוֹת מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתָהּ בַּתְּחִלָּה וּמוֹכְרִין בְּלֹא הַכְרָזָה וְנוֹתְנִין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת. וְכֵן יֵשׁ לָהּ לִמְכֹּר לִמְזוֹנוֹת שֶׁלֹּא בְּבֵית דִּין מֻמְחִין אֶלָּא בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה אֲנָשִׁים נֶאֱמָנִים בְּלֹא הַכְרָזָה. וְכֵן אִם מָכְרָה לִמְזוֹנוֹת בֵּינָהּ לְבֵין עַצְמָהּ שָׁוֶה בְּשָׁוֶה מִכְרָהּ קַיָּם וּכְשֶׁיָּבֹאוּ הַיֹּרְשִׁין לְהַשְׁבִּיעַ אוֹתָהּ נִשְׁבַּעַת:


How much property is sold to provide for her subsistence? Enough to provide for her support for six months,40 but not for longer than that. The sale is made on the condition that the purchaser give the widow an allotment for food every thirty days.41 Afterwards, another parcel of property is sold for another six months.

The property should continue to be sold in this manner until all that remains from the estate is [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah. She should collect this sum and complete her dealings with the court.42


וְכַמָּה מוֹכְרִין לִמְזוֹנוֹת כְּדֵי לָזוּן מֵהֶם שִׁשָּׁה חֳדָשִׁים לֹא יוֹתֵר עַל זֶה. וּמוֹכְרִין עַל מְנָת שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַלּוֹקֵחַ נוֹתֵן לָהּ מְזוֹן שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם וְחוֹזֶרֶת וּמוֹכֶרֶת פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה לְשִׁשָּׁה חֳדָשִׁים. וְכֵן מוֹכֶרֶת וְהוֹלֶכֶת לְעוֹלָם עַד שֶׁיִּשָּׁאֵר מִן הַנְּכָסִים כְּדֵי כְּתֻבָּתָהּ גּוֹבָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ מִן הַשְּׁאָר וְהוֹלֶכֶת לָהּ:


When the court allots a widow support for her subsistence, they do not reckon the money she earns until the heirs come and demand it. [If such a demand is made,] and the woman has earned money, they are entitled to it. If not, they have no further claim against her.

I maintain [however] that if the heirs are below majority, the court should make a reckoning with the widow with regard to [her income].43 Just as she is allotted a subsistence, the court declares that her income [should be given to the orphans].


אַלְמָנָה שֶׁפָּסְקוּ לָהּ בֵּית דִּין מְזוֹנוֹת אֵין מְחַשְּׁבִין עִמָּהּ עַל מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיהָ עַד שֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ הַיּוֹרְשִׁים וְיִתְבְּעוּהָ. אִם מָצְאוּ לָהּ מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיהָ נוֹטְלִין אוֹתוֹ וְאִם לָאו הוֹלְכִין לְדַרְכָּם. וַאֲנִי אוֹמֵר שֶׁאִם הָיוּ הַיּוֹרְשִׁים קְטַנִּים בֵּית דִּין מְחַשְּׁבִין עִמָּהּ וּפוֹסְקִין מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיהָ כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁפּוֹסְקִין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת:


When a widow does not manifest possession of her ketubah, she is not granted money for her subsistence. [The rationale is that] perhaps she waived her ketubah [in favor of her husband] or sold it or gave it as security [for a loan].44

Even when the heir[s] do not issue such a claim against her, the court makes this claim on their behalf and tells her: "Bring your ketubah, take the required oath and collect [the money for] your subsistence." [This law applies] unless it is not customary [in a particular locale] to compose a document recording the ketubah.45


אַלְמָנָה שֶׁאֵין שְׁטַר כְּתֻבָּה יוֹצֵא מִתַּחַת יָדָהּ אֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת שֶׁמָּא מָחֲלָה כְּתֻבָּתָהּ אוֹ מָכְרָה אוֹ מִשְׁכְּנָה אוֹתָהּ. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא טָעַן יוֹרֵשׁ טוֹעֲנִין אָנוּ לוֹ וְאוֹמְרִים לָהּ הָבִיאִי כְּתֻבָּתֵךְ וְהִשָּׁבְעִי וּטְלִי מְזוֹנוֹתַיִך אֶלָּא אִם אֵין דַּרְכָּם לִכְתֹּב כְּתֻבָּה:


[The following laws apply when] a woman and her husband traveled overseas, and she returned, claiming [her husband] died. If she desires, she is entitled to receive her subsistence from her husband's estate, as are other widows. If she desires, she may collect [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah.46

If she claims, "My husband divorced me," her word is not accepted.47 She is, however, entitled to derive her subsistence from his estate until she receives a sum equal to [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah. [The rationale is] that if she is still his wife, she is entitled to receive her subsistence [from his holdings]. If he divorced her, she is entitled to receive [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah, [provided] she manifests possession of her ketubah. Therefore, she may collect the support for her subsistence until she receives [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah. [From this point on,] she has completed her dealings with the court.


הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁהָלְכָה הִיא וּבַעְלָהּ לִמְדִינַת הַיָּם וּבָאָה וְאָמְרָה מֵת בַּעְלִי רָצְתָה נִזּוֹנֶת כְּדִין כָּל הָאַלְמָנוֹת רָצְתָה נוֹטֶלֶת כְּתֻבָּה. אָמְרָה גֵּרְשַׁנִי בַּעְלִי אֵינָהּ נֶאֱמֶנֶת וְנִזּוֹנֶת מִנְּכָסָיו עַד כְּדֵי כְּתֻבָּתָהּ מִכָּל פָּנִים. שֶׁאִם עֲדַיִן הִיא אִשְׁתּוֹ יֵשׁ לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת. וְאִם גֵּרְשָׁהּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמְרָה יֵשׁ לָהּ כְּתֻבָּה שֶׁהֲרֵי כְּתֻבָּתָהּ בְּיָדָהּ. לְפִיכָךְ נוֹטֶלֶת מְזוֹנוֹת עַד כְּדֵי כְּתֻבָּתָהּ וְהוֹלֶכֶת לָהּ:


[The following laws apply when] there is doubt whether a woman was divorced, and her husband died [afterwards]. She is not entitled to receive her subsistence from his estate, for property cannot be expropriated from an heir on the basis of a doubtful claim.48 During her husband's lifetime, by contrast, she is entitled to her subsistence until she is divorced in a complete and binding manner.49


הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁהָיָה לָהּ סְפֵק גֵּרוּשִׁין וּמֵת בַּעְלָהּ אֵינָהּ נִזּוֹנֶת מִנְּכָסָיו שֶׁאֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיַּד הַיּוֹרֵשׁ מִסָּפֵק. אֲבָל בְּחַיֵּי בַּעְלָהּ יֵשׁ לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת עַד שֶׁתִּתְגָּרֵשׁ גֵּרוּשִׁין גְּמוּרִין:


If a poor50 widow waits two years before she sues for support - or if a rich widow waits three years - it can be assumed that she has waived her claim to support for the previous years.51 Therefore, she is not granted support for that period. From the time she issues a claim onward, however, she is entitled to support.

If, however, she waited even one day less [before presenting her claim], she is not considered to have waived her claim, and she may collect her support for the previous years.


אַלְמָנָה עֲנִיָּה שֶׁשָּׁהֲתָה שְׁתֵּי שָׁנִים וְלֹא תָּבְעָה מְזוֹנוֹת אוֹ עֲשִׁירָה שֶׁשָּׁהֲתָה שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים וְלֹא תָּבְעָה וִתְּרָה וְאֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת בַּשָּׁנִים שֶׁעָבְרוּ אֶלָּא מִשָּׁעָה שֶׁתָּבְעָה. וְאִם שָׁהֲתָה פָּחוֹת מִזֶּה אֲפִלּוּ בְּיוֹם אֶחָד לֹא וִתְּרָה אֶלָּא תּוֹבַעַת וְנוֹטֶלֶת מְזוֹן הַשָּׁנִים שֶׁעָבְרוּ:


[The following rules apply when] a widow demands support for her subsistence from the heirs, and they claim to have paid her, while she claims that she did not receive payment. Until she remarries, the burden of proof is on the orphans. [If they do not support their claim], the widow is entitled to take a rabbinical oath and collect the money due her.52 If she has already remarried, the burden of proof is upon her. [If she does not support her claim,] the heirs are entitled to take a rabbinic oath that they paid her [and are freed of obligation].53


אַלְמָנָה שֶׁתָּבְעָה מְזוֹנוֹת מִן הַיּוֹרְשִׁים הֵם אוֹמְרִים נָתַנְנוּ וְהִיא אוֹמֶרֶת לֹא נָטַלְתִּי כָּל זְמַן שֶׁלֹּא נִשֵּׂאת עַל הַיְתוֹמִים לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה אוֹ תִּשָּׁבַע שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת וְתִטּל. מִשֶּׁנִּשֵּׂאת עָלֶיהָ לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה אוֹ יִשָּׁבְעוּ הַיּוֹרְשִׁים שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת שֶׁנָּתְנוּ לָהּ:


The laws governing the extra sum added by the husband to the ketubah are the same as those governing the fundamental requirement of the ketubah. Therefore, if a widow demands payment of this additional amount - or sells it, waives payment of it [in favor of her husband] or gives it as security - together with the fundamental requirement of the ketubah, she is not entitled to support for her subsistence.

If she demanded payment for a portion and left a portion uncollected,54 it is as if she demanded payment for a portion of the fundamental requirement of the ketubah and left a portion uncollected.55

Whenever a woman sells or waives payment of her ketubah without making any further specification, she is considered to have sold or waived this additional amount together with the fundamental requirement of the ketubah. For the term ketubah is universally used to refer to both these items.


דִּין תּוֹסֶפֶת כְּתֻבָּה כְּדִין הָעִקָּר. לְפִיכָךְ אַלְמָנָה שֶׁתָּבְעָה אוֹ מָכְרָה אוֹ מָחֲלָה אוֹ מִשְׁכְּנָה תּוֹסֶפֶת כְּתֻבָּתָהּ עִם הָעִקָּר אֵין לָהּ מְזוֹנוֹת. וְאִם תָּבְעָה מִקְצָת וְהִנִּיחָה מִקְצָת הֲרֵי זוֹ כְּמִי שֶׁתָּבְעָה מִקְצָת הָעִקָּר וְהִנִּיחָה מִקְצָתוֹ. וְכָל הַמּוֹכֶרֶת אוֹ הַמּוֹחֶלֶת סְתָם מָכְרָה וּמָחֲלָה הַתּוֹסֶפֶת עִם הָעִקָּר שֶׁשְּׁנֵיהֶם כְּתֻבָּה שְׁמָם בְּכָל מָקוֹם: