Ketubot, Chapter Four, Mishnah Five

 

Introduction

This mishnah discusses the exact point in which a betrothed woman ceases to be in her father’s domain and is transferred to her husband’s domain.  We should note that different sources reflect different answers to this question.  The question is of import because as long as she is in her father’s domain, he inherits her and he benefits from her work.  Once she is in her husband’s domain, the husband gains such rights.  Furthermore, there is importance for an Israelite girl who is betrothed to a priest.  As long as she is in her father’s domain, she does not eat terumah.  She is allowed to eat terumah when she enters her husband’s domain.

 

Mishnah Five

1)                     She remains in the domain of her father until she enters the domain of her husband [by going into the bridal chamber] at marriage.

2)                     If her father delivered her to the agents of the husband she passes into the domain of her husband.

a)                                 If her father went with the husband’s agents or if the father’s agents went with the husband’s agents she remains in the domain of her father.

b)                                 If her father’s agents delivered her to the husband’s agents she passes into the domain of her husband.

 

Explanation

Section one:  In a normal situation the girl is in her father’s domain until she enters the bridal chamber (huppah) with the intent of becoming married.

Section two:  The following clauses of the mishnah deal with a situation in which there is some distance to be traveled between the father’s home and the husband’s home.  If the father turns his girl over to her husband’s agents, she is already considered to be married.  If her husband is a priest, on her journey she may eat terumah.  If the father or his agents accompany her on the trip, then she is still in her father’s domain.  She enters into her husband’s domain only when she is fully turned over to him or to his agents. 

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