Halacha for Monday 18 Sivan 5777 June 12 2017

Some Details Regarding the Ketubah-Continued

Question: In the previous Halacha, you have mentioned that a woman is not “owned” by her husband; however, this seems to be incorrect, for there are many times that the Sages use the term “acquisition” with regards to the wife relative to the husband? Additionally, in the previous Halacha, you have mentioned that a man must fill out a Ketubah for his wife before marrying her. What happens if later on in life the Ketubah is lost; must a replacement Ketubah be written?

Answer: Regarding the first question, although we do find that our Sages used the word “acquisition” to describe what the husband does to the wife, such as, in the beginning of Masechet Kiddushin where the Mishnah states, “A woman is acquired in three ways, with money, a bill etc.” and later on in that same Mishnah, “And she acquires herself in two ways”, among many other instances, nevertheless, this “acquisition” does not refer to the usual definition of the word, for a husband cannot do whatever he wishes to his wife and therefore, he cannot sell her as he would a slave or other property. Rather, the “acquisition” mentioned in these contexts refers to a marital bond, i.e. as a result of the husband’s act of giving an object with a monetary value of at least a Perutah (or a ring, as is customary today) or by means of any other method of acquisition mentioned thereof, the woman leaves her prior marital status of being “single” and now enters a new marital status entitled “a married woman”. Thus, the only practical application of this “acquisition” is with regards to the woman’s newfound marital status whereby she becomes forbidden to the rest of the world and permitted only to her husband.

Although this acquisition affects other issues which revolve around monetary matters as well, such as with regards to the husband’s ownership of any lost object found by his wife, nevertheless, there is no connection between these monetary acquisitions and the acquisition of the wife, for the husband likewise takes upon himself many obligations he must perform for the wife at the time of marriage and it would certainly make no sense to say that as a result of these responsibilities, the husband is “acquired” by the wife. Rather, these are merely obligations that must be fulfilled.

Regarding the second question, if the Ketubah is lost, the husband must write a replacement Ketubah for his wife. Since a husband may not live with his wife without a valid Ketubah, the husband must make sure to consult a Torah scholar proficient in the laws of Ketubot as soon as possible so that the latter may draft the appropriate language relative to the situation and have it filled out and signed post-haste.

This is especially common with regards to those couples who were once further from Torah observance and have since adopted a more Torah-observant lifestyle in that many times, the Ketubah filled out on their wedding day had since been lost. Such couples must make their way to a qualified halachic authority so that he may ask the couple the appropriate questions and if need be, fill out a new Ketubah for the couple, as we have explained.

Ask the Rabbi

8 Halachot Most Popular

Eating Meat Following Rosh Chodesh Av

The Mishnah in Masechet Ta’anit (26b) tells us that on Erev Tisha Be’av during the last meal one eats before the fast, one may not eat meat, drink wine, or eat two cooked foods, such as rice and an egg. Although the letter of the law dictates that the prohibition to eat meat only applies......

Read Halacha

Laws Pertaining to Tisha Be’av

There are five categories of abstinence which must be observed on Tisha Be’av: Eating and drinking, washing one’s self, rubbing one’s body with oils or lotions, wearing leather shoes, and marital relations. Our Sages also prohibited learning Torah on Tisha Be’av, for the word......

Read Halacha

Havdala on Motza’ei Shabbat Which Coincides with Tisha Be’av and the Laws of an Ill Individual Who Must Eat on Tisha Be’av

On years during which Tisha Be’av falls out on Motza’ei Shabbat, such as this year, 5782, there are three opinions among the Rishonim regarding how Havdala should be recited on a cup of wine on Motza’ei Shabbat. The first opinion is that of the Geonim who write that one should r......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Taking Haircuts During the “Three Weeks"- The Year 5782

The Customary Prohibition of Haircuts As a result of the mourning observed during the “Three Weeks,” the Ashkenazi custom is to abstain from shaving and taking haircuts beginning from the Seventeenth of Tammuz until the Tenth of Av. Nevertheless, the Sephardic custom is not as string......

Read Halacha

Those Who are Obligated and Exempt from the Fast of Tisha Be’av and their Status When Tisha Be’av Falls Out on Motza’ei Shabbat

Someone Ill with a Non-Life-Threatening Illness, An Elderly Person, and a Woman who has Recently Given Birth One who is ill (meaning when one is actually bedridden and the like, even if the illness is not life-threatening) is exempt from fasting on Tisha Be’av. When in doubt about one’s......

Read Halacha

Frying Fish in a Meat Pot, Baking Fish and Meat in the Same Oven, and Maran zt”l’s Custom

There is a well-known prohibition of eating fish and meat together, as discussed by the Gemara and Poskim. Cooking Fish in a Meat Pot Although it is prohibited to cook a dairy dish in a meat pot as we have discussed in a previous Halacha, nevertheless, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writ......

Read Halacha

When Av Begins, We Diminish Our Joy

This coming Friday will mark Rosh Chodesh Av. Next Shabbat will mark Tisha Be’av, however, since fast days are prohibited on Shabbat (besides for Yom Kippur), Tisha Be’av will be observed next Motza’ei Shabbat and Sunday. May Hashem soon switch this month to one of joy and celebrat......

Read Halacha

The Laws of the Last Meal Before the Fast of Tisha Be’av on Shabbat

On Erev Tisha Be’av, our Sages prohibited eating meat and drinking wine during the last meal before the onset of the fast of Tisha Be’av held after halachic midday. They likewise forbade eating two cooked foods during this meal.  Nevertheless, this year, 5782, since the fast of T......

Read Halacha