Violating Daat Moshe

Ketubot (7:6) | Yisrael Bankier | 12 years ago

The Mishnah lists certain cases where a woman can lose her ketubah (7:6). One group of cases is where she violates Daat Moshe. This consists of a number of serious biblical violation which she caused her husband to violate by lying to him, including tevel, niddah and challah.

Ostensibly there are two ways to understand the reason why she loses her ketubah. Either it is a fine for her causing her husband to transgress or it simply because he can longer trust her and they can not live together.1

A debate that is relevant to our discussion is what if the husband decides not to divorce his wife despite what she did? The Rambam rules (Ishut 24:16) that she has lost her ketubah nonetheless. He explains that ketubah was institute to protect the woman so that the husband would not readily divorce her. The Rambam adds that it was instituted however to protect the tznu’ot (modest) and not the wife as described in our Mishnah. Put simply, the ketubah does not apply to her. The Ritva however maintains that if the husband decides to stay with his wife then she keeps her ketubah.

The Rosh states explicitly that the a violation of Daat Moshe only causes her to lose her ketubah if she causes him to violate these prohibitions or any other such prohibitions, e.g. she feeds him chelev or blood. If however she transgressed these prohibitions herself then she does not lose her ketubah.

The Chatam Sofer understands that the reason she loses her ketubah is due to the loss of trust. The Kovetz Shiurim understands this from the Rosh as cited above. Since it only relates to cases where she causes him to violate, it appears to hinge on the lost of trust. He brings a further proof from R’ Meir’s ruling. One of the other violations in Daat Moshe is if she makes nedarim and does not keep them. Even though this appears to a personal transgression, it has dire consequences on the children. R’ Meir suggests that he should provoke her to make a neder and then annul it in order that he can continue to live with her. Such a solution would only be affective if the concern was regarding the future and not a past transgression.

The Beit Yaakov however understands that the simple understand of the Mishnah is that she loses her  ketubah regardless if we learn that she has since done teshuva. Furthermore, the Rishonim teach that she only loses her ketubah if she warned prior to the violation. If the reason is suspicion then the prior warning does not make sense. Furthermore the Shulchan Aruch rules that one cannot rely on another that is suspected of violating the prohibition themselves. Finally he argues that the fact that the Rosh specifically limits it to when she causes him to sin means it must be kenas. Adequate suspicion would be aroused if she personally violated the prohibition.2

1 The content of this article was gleaned from Metivta, Yalkut Bi’urim, Ketubot 72a. 

2 The Tosfot HaRid and Shita Mekubetzet also understand that the lose of ketubah is due to kenas.


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