Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Migu with an Impaired Document

The Mishna (Kesuvos 87a) had stated: If a woman impairs her kesuvah (she admitted that a portion of it was paid), she can only collect the remaining portion if she takes an oath that the complete kesuvah has not been paid.

The Shitah Mekubetzes cites Rabbeinu Yonah, who asks the following question: Why is it necessary for her to take an oath? Shouldn’t she be believed with a migu; “Believe me that I was only paid in part, for if I would want to lie, I could have said that I wasn’t paid at all”?

He answers: There is a principle that we do not believe someone with a migu to extract money from someone else. Secondly, we do not apply the principle of migu to exempt someone from taking an oath.

The Ketzos Hachoshen (82:10) asks: There are several Rishonim who maintain that we do apply the principle of migu to extract money in cases when a legal document is present; since her kesuvah document is intact, let us use the migu to collect the remaining portion of her kesuvah?

He answers: Since the woman admitted that the kesuvah is impaired, she will no longer be allowed to collect from encumbered properties (even from the portion that has not been collected). Only a valid document that has the ability to collect from encumbered properties can assist a migu to extract money. This document will not help her in this respect and therefore, she is compelled to take an oath.