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


§ 1. Whatever a woman finds, and [likewise] the produce of her labor belongs to her husband: of what she inherits he enjoys the usufruct during her life. [Damages awarded to her in compensation for] insult or injury 1 belong to her. R. Jehudah ben Bethera saith "[If the injury inflicted on her is] hidden [not visible] two-thirds [of the damages recovered] belong to her, and one-third to him [the husband]. But if it is apparent [visible] two-thirds belong to him and one-third to her. His [share] is paid [over] to him at once: for her share land is bought, of which he has the usufruct."

§ 2. Should a man stipulate [to give a certain sum of] money [as dowry] to his son-in-law, and his son-in-law dies, he may say [to the brother of the deceased who is to marry his childless widow], "To thy brother I would have given [the money], but to thee I do not intend giving it."

§ 3. If she [the bride] stipulates to bring him one thousand dinar [in ready money as a dowry], he must against that sum assign to her [in the Ketubah] fifteen maneh. 2 But against [articles subject to] appraisement, he assigns to her one-fifth less than her valuation. 3 [Should the articles be] appraised at a maneh, and are [actually] worth a maneh, he assigns to her only one maneh. [But if he is required to assign her that sum for articles] to be valued at a maneh, she must bring him [property to the value of thirty-one selah], 4 and if [he is to assign] four hundred dinar, she must bring him [to the value of] five hundred.

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[paragraph continues] But if he assigns [the amount of her dowry in the Ketubah after the property has been appraised], he deducts one fifth [from the amount of the valuation].

§ 4. If she stipulates to bring [her dowry in] ready money, he must [in the Ketubah] assign her six dinar for every selah [of four dinar]. The bridegroom must also take upon himself [to allow her] ten dinar pocket money 5 for every maneh she brings him. R. Simeon ben Gamaliel saith, "Every thing is regulated according to the custom of the country."

§ 5. He who gives his daughter [in marriage] without any [previous] stipulation [as to dowry], must not give her less than fifty zooz. If it is stipulated that he [the husband] is to take her naked [without any outfit], he must not say, "When I have brought her to my own house I will cover her with my raiment," but he is bound to clothe her while she is yet in her father's house. So likewise must he, who [by virtue of his office as overseer of the poor] gives an orphan in marriage, not give her less than fifty zoos [for her dowry], and if there is sufficient [means] in the box 6 she is to be provided [with an outfit] becoming her condition.

§ 6. An orphan who was given in marriage by her mother and brothers with her consent, and they had assigned to her a dowry of a hundred or of fifty zooz, she is entitled when she comes of age to recover from them whatever is her due. R. Jehudah saith, "If the father has given one daughter in marriage, the same amount [of dowry] must be given to the second [daughter] as he had given to the first;" the sages, however, object that sometimes a man was poor and becomes rich, or was rich and becomes poor; 7 but the property [the father left] is to be appraised, and [her fair share] given to her.

§ 7. If a person deposits money for [the dowry of] his daughter in the hands of a trustee, 8 should she say, "I have full confidence in my bridegroom," 9 the trustee must [nevertheless] act according to the strict letter of the trust reposed in him. 10 Such is the dictum of

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[paragraph continues] R. Meir, but R. Joss saith, "Suppose it [the trust money] had been converted into a field, which she is desirous to sell, she has a right to sell it at once." 11 To whom do these remarks apply? To a grownup female; but as to a minor, whatever a minor does is as nothing [void].


256:1 Such as the loss of a limb, or any other permanent blemish.

256:2 He adds one third for the use of the ready money which may at once be productive of profit to him.

256:3 Because it is assumed that to gain favor with her bridegroom, the amount of her dowry has been swelled, and the articles composing the same rated beyond their real value.

256:4 A selah is four dinar, so that the actual value must exceed the amount assigned to her by one fifth.

257:5 ‏קופה‎ box: some commentators render it "perfume-box," others "cash-box."

257:6 Should the charity funds be exhausted, the overseers are bound to borrow the money necessary for this purpose, on the security of the rates.

257:7 And as his mind would be influenced by the change in his circumstances, what he gave to one daughter is not a fair criterion of what he would give to the other.

257:8 To purchase land withal.

257:9 Therefore let him have the money.

257:10 And not comply with her wish.

258:11 Consequently her wishes are to be complied with.

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