Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wife's Shabbos Clothing

It was stated (Kesuvos 54a) : When Beis Din collects a kesuvah for a widow, Rav said: An assessment is made to the clothing that she wears (all the clothing that she received from her husband is deducted from the amount of the kesuvah). Shmuel said: That which she wears is not assessed.

The Rashba writes that according to Shmuel, there is no distinction between her clothing that she wears during the weekday and her clothing for Shabbos. One might have thought that we do not deduct her weekday clothing from her kesuvah because those are regarded as a necessity, but her Shabbos clothing, which is intended for beautification purposes, perhaps they belong to the husband. The Rashba rules that all her clothing, including those worn exclusively for Shabbos are hers and may not be deducted.

The Meiri disagrees and maintains that the dispute between Rav and Shmuel pertains only to her Shabbos clothing, but Rav would concede that her weekday clothing, which are a necessity, is not deducted from her kesuvah.

The Rambam rules that a woman’s Shabbos clothing belong to the husband. In Hilchos Malveh V’loveh (1:5), he writes that a creditor may not collect his debt from the wife’s clothing because they belong to her. However, the Rambam qualifies and states that this is only regarding her weekday clothes; her Shabbos clothing, however, belong to the husband and the creditor may seize them.