Sacred Texts  Judaism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, [1843], at

p. 215


§ 1. When a widow who [unlawfully] married a high-priest, or a divorced woman, or one who had given Chalitzah, had been [also unlawfully] married to an ordinary priest, and brought their husbands [as a marriage portion] the usufructum of slaves ‏עבדי מלוג‎, 1 or of slaves which are as an iron flock, 2 ‏עבדי צאן ברזל‎: the first-mentioned slaves may not eat of the heave, but the last-mentioned slaves may eat thereof. The term "usufructum slaves," denotes, that the loss of these slaves by death, or the profit that may accrue from them by their increase, are entirely at the risk, or for the advantage of the wife; and, therefore, although the husband is bound to maintain them, yet they may not eat of his heave-offering. Slaves which are as an "iron flock," are such, whose death is the husband's loss, or their increase his profit; and as he has thus the entire risk of them, they may eat of the heave-offering [as if they had been bought by him].

§ 2. When an Israelite woman marries a priest, to whom she brought slaves as her marriage portion, the said slaves may eat of the heave, whether they are usufructum slaves, or [as the so called] iron flock; but if a priest's daughter was married to an Israelite, and brought him slaves, whether in usufruct or as an iron flock, they may not eat heave.

§ 3. When a priest, who had married an Israelite woman, dies, leaving her pregnant, her [iron flock] slaves may not eat of the heave, on account of the share [or interest] the yet unborn child of

p. 216

the priest has [in the inheritance of his father], and the heave belongs to the heirs [of the priest 3]; because an unborn priest's child may indeed disqualify a person to eat of heave, 4 but cannot confer the right to give slaves to eat thereof. Such is the dictum of R. Josh; but the sages argued against this, and said unto him, "[If so] even as you affirm this in respect to an Israelite woman married to a priest, thus also, even if she were a priest's daughter married to a priest, and had been left pregnant by him at his decease, ought also not to be allowed to eat of the heave, on account of the share of the unborn infant?" [Because the slaves are the property of the unborn infant as being the heir; and, according to R. José, an unborn child cannot confer a right to give slaves to eat of consecrated heave].

§§ 4 &5. *      *      *      *
           *      *      *      *

§ 6. A high-priest may occasionally disqualify [his grandmother to eat of the heave], as in the following instance:—when a priest's daughter was married to an Israelite, and bore him a daughter, which daughter married a priest, and had a son by him,—that son will be qualified to be a high-priest, and to minister as such at the altar; he qualifies his mother [at the death of his father] to eat of the heave, but disqualifies his maternal grandmother, who may well pray that "there be not many in Israel like my grandson the high-priest, who disqualifies me from eating of the heave-offering."


*      *      *      *      *
*      *      *      *      *
*      *      *      *      *


215:1 That is, the property remains vested in the wife, but the husband has, during the marriage, the use of their services; the term ‏מלוג‎, plucking [of poultry], is here frequently used to describe usufructum goods of which a person has the risk; like a person who contracts to pluck the geese of another person, the former has a right only in the feathers, whether much or little, at the risk of the plucking, but has no property in the geese. This term ‏נכסי מלוג‎ will in future be rendered by us, "usufructum goods."

215:2 Under this term must always be understood here, a sum, the value of which is immoveably fixed: namely, If a husband receives certain goods, which in the Ketubah are valued at a certain sum, that sum, and neither more or less, he is to return, in case of death or divorce, whether he lost or gained by them, and under any circumstances. The term "iron flock," arose from the circumstance of its being usual, in the time of the Mishna, to entrust flocks to a shepherd, at a certain valuation, and at the shepherds entire risk; so that if, through whatever cause, the flock was lost or deteriorated, the shepherd was bound to pay the whole amount valued.

216:3 For only after a priest's child is born, can he confer a right to give the slaves to eat of the heave.

216:4 Such as a priest's daughter, who, at the death of her Israelite husband, was left pregnant.

Next: Chapter IX