Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, , at sacred-texts.com
§ 1. He who by vow interdicts his wife from enjoying any benefit from him for thirty days, must provide her [maintenance through] a guardian: 1 beyond then [if for a longer period] he must divorce her, and pay [the amount of] her Ketubah. R. Jehudah saith, "In the case of an [ordinary] Israelite, [if his vow extends to] one month, he must keep her, [but if to] two months, he must divorce her, and pay [the amount of] her Ketubah. [In the case of] a priestess [should his vow extend to] two months, he must keep her, [but if to] three months, he must divorce her and pay her Ketubah.
§ 2. He who tacitly confirms the vow 2 of his wife, that she will not taste any [particular] kind of fruit, must [at once] divorce her, and pay lier Ketubah. R. Jehudah saith, "[In the case of] an [ordinary] Israelite, [should the vow extend to] one day, he must keep her, [but if to] two days, he must divorce her, and pay her Ketubah: [in the case of] a priestess, [should the vow extend to] two days, he must keep her, [but if to] three days, he must divorce her, and pay her Ketubah."
§ 3. He who tacitly confirms the vow of his wife, that she will not adorn herself with any particular kind of ornament, must divorce her, and pay her Ketubah. R. Jose saith, "[In the case] of a poor woman, if she has set no [fixed] limit [to the duration of her vow]: 3 and [of] a rich woman after thirty days.
§ 4. He who tacitly confirms the vow of his wife, that she will not
enter her father's house, 4 should the father reside in the same town, [if the vow extends to] one month, he [the husband] must keep her; [but if to] two months, he must divorce her, and pay her Ketubah. Should the father reside in another town, [if the vow extends to] one festival, he [the husband] must keep her; 5 [but if to] three festivals, he must divorce her, and pay her Ketubah.
§ 5. He who tacitly consents to the vow of his wife, that she will not enter a house of mourning or a house of feasting, 6 must divorce her, and pay her Ketubah, because he closes [all doors] against her. 7 But if he assigns other [good] reasons [for confirming her vow 8], he is permitted to keep her. If he says: "[I will annul thy vow] on condition thou tellest A.B. what [lewd words] thou didst speak to me," or "which I did speak to thee," or that she is to fill [a given number of buckets of water] and pour [them] on a dunghill, 9 he must divorce her, and pay her Ketubah.
§ 6. The following women are divorced, and do not receive [the amount of] their Ketubah:—She who violates the Law of Moses, or Jewish [rules]. 10 What constitutes [a violation of] the Law of Moses? If she causes him to eat [food] which has not paid tithe: if she submits to his embraces while she is in a state of Niddah: 11 if she does not set apart Chalah: and if she vows, but does not keep [her vow]. What constitutes [a violation of] Jewish rules [customs]? If she goes out with her hair loose [bareheaded]: if she spins in the street, and converses [flirts] with any man. Abbah Saul saith, "[Likewise] if she curses his children in his presence." R. Tarphon saith, "[Also] if she is a קולנית, a noisy woman." What is [meant
by] a noisy woman? One who speaks in her own house [so loud] that the neighbours can hear her.
§ 7. If a man is Mekadesh 12 a woman, on condition that she is not subject to any vows, and it is discovered that she is subject to vows, the Kidushin 13 are void. Should he have espoused her without investigation [as to the condition he stipulated], and then discovers that she is subject to vows, he may divorce her without paying her Ketubah. If he has mekadeshed her on condition that she is free from corporeal blemishes, and she is found to be subject to such blemishes, the Kidushin are void. Should he have espoused her without investigation, and then discovers blemishes, he may divorce her without paying her Ketubah. All those blemishes which disqualify priests 14 [from ministering at the altar], also disqualify women [from insisting on the validity of their Kidushin].
§ 8. If the blemishes are discovered while she is yet in her father's house, it is incumbent on the father to prove, that after she was betrothed these blemishes had arisen, and his [the bridegroom's] field become harrowed. 15 But if she is entered under the husband's authority, it is incumbent on the husband to prove, that before she was betrothed these blemishes existed in her, and that his bargain was entered upon in error. Such is the dictum of R. Meir, but the sages say: "To what do these remarks apply? To blemishes that are hidden [out of sight]; but with respect to those that are evident he cannot start any objections. And should there be a bath in the city in which the espousals are to take place, he cannot raise any objections, even with respect to such blemishes as are hidden, as he could cause her to be examined by his female relatives."
§ 9. Should the husband contract any corporeal blemish, they [the Bethdin] do not compel him to divorce his wife. R. Simeon ben Gamaliel saith, "To what [case] does this assertion apply? To minor blemishes. But [in cases of] serious blemishes, they compel him to divorce [his wife]."
§ 10. The following [are the circumstances on account of which] they compel him to divorce [his wife]: if he is smitten with leprosy, or afflicted with a polypus; 16 or if he gathers dogs’-dung [for the purpose of preparing leather], or is a copper-smelter, or a tanner. 17
[paragraph continues] Whether these circumstances existed before marriage or arose after marriage, with respect to them all, R. Meir observes, "Even though he [the husband] specially covenanted with her, 18 she may plead, 'I thought I could bear it, but now I find I cannot.'" The sages, however, hold, that she is compelled to bear it, 19 except [in the case of the husband becoming] smitten with leprosy, as he [then] is in danger of a decline. 20 It happened at Sidon, that a tanner died, and left a brother [who also was] a tanner. The sages held "That she [his childless widow] had a right to plead, 'Thy brother I could bear, but thee I cannot bear.'" 21
258:1 Who is to furnish her with necessaries beyond the produce of her own labour. This guardian the husband must not specially appoint, since a man's representative is like himself; a special appointment would, therefore, be an infringement on his vow, but he declares, "Whosoever provides for her shall not he a loser."
258:2 By not exercising his prerogative to annul her vow the day he hears thereof. (Vide Numbers xxx. 8–11.)
258:3 And if she has fixed a limit to her vow, it must not exceed twelve months.
259:4 Under a penalty, that if she does she would forego all connubial intercourse with her husband.
259:5 The text here requires the following emendation: "But if to two festivals, he must divorce her, and pay her Ketubah; but in the case of a priestess, should the vow extend to two festivals, he may keep her, but if to three," &c.
259:6 Under the same penalty as in note 4.
259:7 He excludes her from sympathy in the hour of grief, and from consolation that might alleviate her sufferings.
259:8 That the inhabitants of the town are wicked, and not fit to associate with.
259:9 According to some commentators, this means that she is to prevent conception after coition. The conditions here mentioned are such, that in the one case she is required to violate the rules of decency and of self-respect, and in the other to appear in the eyes of the world as a lunatic, or be guilty of an impious act.
259:10 Customs observed by Jewish women, though not enacted in the law.
259:11 Telling him that she is clean.
260:12 Mekadesh, the act of betrothing.
260:13 Kidushin, betrothment.
260:14 Vide Leviticus xxi. 17, and Treatise Bekooroth, chap. VII.
260:15 Vide chap. I. § 6, and note 8 of this Treatise.
260:16 פיליפוס, from the Greek πολυπους, a disease of the nose.
260:17 In the last-mentioned four instances, either by reason of his disease or of p. 261 his trade, he emits a fetid disagreeable odour, which renders contact with his person extremely loathsome.
261:18 Before marriage, that she was not to avail herself of her legal right to seek a divorce.
261:19 In case he has made it a matter of special agreement before marriage, that she is not to enforce her right of divorce.
261:20 As a consequence of his performing the marriage duty.
261:21 She was consequently entitled to perform the ceremony of Chalitzah, and did not forfeit her Ketubah.