Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mitzvot of Marriage


The Torah's 46th mitzvah, as numbered by Sefer haChinuch, obligates a Jewish husband to fulfill his wife's needs in three areas: (1) Food, (2) Clothing and (3) Marital relations. According to Rambam and Sefer Mitzvot Gadol, building on Ketuvot 47b, all of these are biblical requirements; Ramban (Shemot 21:9) ruled that only the last item is a biblical obligation, and the others are rabbinic institutions.

The extent of each of these three responsibilities depends upon the couple's pre-marriage standards of living. For example: Should a woman from a poor economic background wed a man from a wealthier home, the husband would be obligated to provide according to his own standard of living. On the other hand, a man from a weaker economic background who married a woman who came from greater wealth would be obligated to provide according to her higher standard of living. For more on this see Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Ishut Perek 12-14.

המצפה לישועה,

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