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


§ 1. When one person says to another, "Go and betroth for me the woman A.B.," and the person deputed went, and betrothed her [surreptitiously] for himself, she is betrothed to him. Also, if a man should say to a woman, "Behold, thou art wedded to me [&c.] after thirty days [from the present date]," and another person betrothed her within these thirty days, the second betrothment alone is valid; and if she is an Israelitess, and married a priest, she may eat heave. If the person who first betrothed her had said, "From this day, and after thirty days," and another betrothed her within that time, it is a case of doubtful betrothment. 1 Hence, whether she

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is an Israelitess married to a priest, or a priest's daughter married to an Israelite, she may not eat heave.

§ 2. Should a man say to a woman, "Behold thou art wedded to me, on condition that I give thee two hundred zooz," 2 the betrothment is valid when he pays them. [If he said] "On condition that I pay the money within thirty days," the betrothment is valid if he pays it within the stipulated time, but not otherwise. "On condition [or with the understanding] that I am possessed of two hundred zooz," the betrothment is valid if he has them. "On condition that I am able to shew you two hundred zooz," the betrothment is valid, when he exhibits them to her, but not if he merely showed them to her upon a money-changer's table.

§ 3. [If he said] "On condition that I own a field on which a ‏כור‎ 3 of corn may be sown," the betrothment is valid if he can shew that he is actually possessed of such a field. "On condition that it is situated in the place A.B.," the betrothment is valid if it is really there situated, but not otherwise. "On condition that I can shew thee a field on which a ‏כור‎ of seed-corn may be sown," the betrothment is valid if he does shew it to her, but not if he only shews it her in a vale not his own. 4

§ 4. R. Meir saith, "Every contract which does not provide for the negative case, like that between the tribes of Gad and Reuben and the other tribes of Israel, is void, for there it is said [Num. xxxii. 29, 30], 'And Moses said to them, If the children of Gad and Reuben will pass with you over the Jordan,' &c.; and also, 'But if they will not pass over with you armed,'" &c. R. Hanina ben Gamaliel says, "On that occasion, it was necessary to mention it, 5 for were it not for that addition, it might be supposed, that in case of non-fulfilment of the condition, they should not receive any possession whatever in the land of Canaan." 6

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§ 5. Should a man, after having betrothed a woman, say, "I thought her to be a priest's daughter, and I now find she is a Levite's daughter;" or, "That she was poor, and I found her to be rich," or the reverse: the betrothing is valid, because the deception did not proceed from her. When a [heathen] man says to an [Israelite] woman, "Thou art betrothed to me when I shall have become a proselyte to Judaism;" or [to a heathen woman], "When thou shalt have become a Jewess;" or [in the case of slaves], "After" [or to a bondwoman], "After thou shalt be manumitted;" or [to a married woman], "After the death of your husband;" or, "After the death of your sister" [to whom he is married]; or, "When thou shalt become released by Chalitzah from thy brother-in-law," all such betrothings are void. Also, if one man should say to another, "If thy wife shall be delivered of a female child, it shall be betrothed unto me." But if the said wife was so far advanced in pregnancy, that that fact is plainly perceptible, and she was delivered of a female child, the betrothment is valid. 7

§ 6. When a man said to a woman, "Behold thou art wedded to me, on condition that I intercede for thee with the ruler [of the land]"; or, "That I work for thee as a hired servant," the betrothing is valid if these conditions were fulfilled, but not otherwise. If he said, "On condition of my father's approval," the betrothing is valid if the father consents to the match, but not otherwise. 8 If the father died meanwhile, 9 the betrothing is valid, but if the son died, the father shall be instructed to say that he would have refused his consent. 10

§ 7. When a father says, "I have betrothed my daughter, but do not remember to whom," and a man comes and says, "You

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betrothed her to me," that man is to be credited. If two men claim to have betrothed her, both must give her Get; or if they thus agree, one man may give her Get, and the other may marry her.

§ 8. Should a man say, "I betrothed my daughter," or, "I had betrothed her, and received during her minority a Get for her from the person to whom I had betrothed her," and at the time he makes that declaration she is yet in her minority, he may be credited; but when he says this after she had attained her majority, his declaration cannot be received. If he said, "She was a captive, and I ransomed her," he is not to be credited, whether she was then a minor, or had attained her majority. A person who declares on his death-bed that he has children 11 is to be believed, but if he said, "I have brothers," 12 he is not to be believed. 13 When a person betrothes one of his daughters, without mentioning which, those that are nubile are not included. 14

§ 9. When a person who has two sets of daughters [‏שתי כיתי בנות‎] of two wives, 15 says, "I have betrothed my eldest daughter," and it is uncertain whether he meant the eldest of the daughters by the first wife, or the eldest of those by the second wife, or the youngest of the daughters by the first wife, who [of course] is older than the eldest by the second wife, none may marry except the youngest of the second marriage or set. Such is the dictum of R. Meir; but R. José saith, "They may all marry except the eldest of the first marriage." [If a man said], "I have betrothed my youngest daughter, and know not whether it was the youngest of the first marriage, or the youngest of the second, or the eldest of the second set, who [of course] is younger than the youngest of the first," none of these may marry, according to R. Meir, except the eldest of the first marriage; but R. José permits it to all, except the youngest of the second marriage.

§ 10. When a man claims having betrothed a woman, and that woman denies the fact, then he may not marry her relatives, but she may marry his. If a woman alleges having been betrothed to a

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man, and that man denies it, he may marry her relatives, but she may not marry his. Should a man say, "I have betrothed thee," and the woman answer, "Thou hast betrothed my daughter," then the relatives of the mother are prohibited to him, but she may marry his, he may marry the relatives of the daughter, and she his relatives.

§ 11. When a man says to a woman, "I betrothed thy daughter," and she says, "Thou didst betroth me," he may not marry the relatives of the daughter, but she may marry his. He may marry the relatives of the mother, but she may not marry his relatives.

§ 12. In every case where a valid betrothing, without the transgression of any law, has taken place, the child participates, and becomes entitled by his birth, to the privileges of the father, as, when the daughters of a priest, Levite, or Israelite are married to a priest, Levite, or Israelite. But wherever a valid but illegal marriage has taken place, the child participates in the disqualifications of the faulty parent; as, when a widow was [illegally] married to a high priest, or a divorced woman, or one who had performed the ceremony of Chalitzah, who was married to an ordinary priest; a bastardess or a female "Netin" married to an Israelite; or an Israelitess married to a bastard or to a Netin; and also in all cases where the betrothing cannot lawfully take place between some parties, but might be lawful with others,—any child born in such an illegal marriage is a bastard. This is the case when a man committed incest with any relative prohibited to him by the Holy Law. And in all cases where the woman cannot marry neither that man, nor any other, the child will be [disqualified] like the mother, as in the case of a bondwoman and a non-Israelite female.

§ 13. R. Tarphon saith, "It is possible that bastards may eventually succeed in removing that stain. In what manner? When a bastard marries a heathen bondwoman, her child will be a slave; and when the master manumits that child, he becomes a freeman." 16 But R. Eleazar says, "He is both slave and bastard."


312:1 And she must receive a divorce [Get] from each. (See Treatise Gittin.)

313:2 A small silver coin, the fourth part of a shekel

313:3 A measure of capacity, containing thirty seahs.

313:4 Although he has it on hire, or on lease.

313:5 And not in the case of betrothing, as R. Meir wishes it, because the negative case is amply provided for, and fully understood by the condition; so that if, for instance, a man betrothed a woman, on condition of her being possessed of certain monies or other property, it is understood, and unnecessary to stipulate, that if he does not possess it, the condition is to be void. The Halacha, or decision, is therefore against R. Meir's opinion.

313:6 That is, not only the countries of Gilead and Bashan, which they desired, as particularly adapted to pasture their numerous flocks and herds, should not p. 314 be given to them, but also that they should not share with the tribes in any other part of Canaan beyond Jordan. (Vide Rashi's Commentary on Num. xxxii. 30.)

314:7 Of course the child, on becoming nubile, is not bound by such an agreement, but may make use of her right of ‏מאון‎, or refusal, if she thinks proper, as mentioned in chap. IX. of Yebamoth; but it binds the father that he cannot betroth her during her minority to another man, before she received a Get of the first.

314:8 This is, in case he said, "If my father does not express his disapprobation within a certain time, say thirty days."

314:9 Within the thirty days, or stipulated time.

314:10 This is done in favor of the woman, to release her from the obligation of waiting for any brother of his to receive Chalitzah of, or be married to by Yeboom, as, till either is done, she would be tied to that brother-in-law. (See Treatise Yebamoth.)

315:11 Which releases his widow from the obligation of Yeboom.

315:12 So that the widow cannot marry again till these brothers are found, and she is released from them.

315:13 Because he may have said so, with the intention of preventing his widow ever to marry again.

315:14 But the younger ones must have Get before they can marry.

315:15 Whom he married one after the other.

316:16 And is no longer a bastard.

Next: Chapter IV