Monday, December 03, 2007

Marrying Multiple Women on the Same Day

The Mishna (Kesuvos 93a) states: If someone was married to three wives, and died, this one's kesuvah is a maneh, and this one’s two hundred, and this one’s three hundred, and there is only a maneh, they all share equally (since they all have a lien of one hundred on his property).

Rashi explains that each of their kesuvah’s were signed on the same day, for otherwise, the one which was signed first would be entitled to collect her kesuvah first.

The Haflaah asks: The Chachamim instituted that a man is responsible for a kesuvah even if he does not write one; accordingly, the halacha should be that the one who was married first should be entitled to collect her kesuvah first?

The Haflaah adds that they obviously were not married on the same day, for the Gemora in Moed Katan (8b) states that we may not intermingle one joyous occasion with another, and that is why one may not marry a woman during the festival; so too, there should be a prohibition against marrying multiple women on the same day!

He answers that although a man is responsible for a kesuvah even without writing one, his property is not mortgaged for the payment, and therefore, the woman who was married first will not have any stronger rights that the women who married later.

It is noteworthy that the Rambam in Hilchos Ishus (10:13) writes that one is permitted to marry two women on the same day. The Haflaah writes that our Mishna is the source where the Rambam derived this halacha from.