What are the prerequisites for getting married according to halachah in terms of income and job security?

  • 1
    That she says yes?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 4:15
  • I don't think there are any actual halachos about this, but the Gemara does discuss it (as aggadata) in various places.
    – Shmuel
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 5:16
  • 1
    Both income and job security are variables. Income changes, esp. if you're a day trader. And the only career I can think of that has 100% job security is weatherman. They can lie about the weather, but still stay on the job :-)
    – DanF
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 19:09
  • I would have thought tax collector and mortician provide pretty certain income.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 19:24
  • @DoubleAA Your comment about the income of a mortician reminded me of the Ibn Ezra's lament: לו יהיו נרות סחורתי לא יאסף שמש עדי מותי איגע להצליח... אהיה סוחר בתכריכין לא יגועון אנשים כל ימי
    – Fred
    Commented Jun 11, 2014 at 2:37

3 Answers 3


The Rambam in הלכות דעות פרק ה says the following:

כג: דרך בעלי דעה, שיקבע לו אדם מלאכה המפרנסת אותו תחילה, ואחר כך יקנה בית דירה, ואחר כך יישא אישה--שנאמר "מי האיש אשר נטע כרם, ולא חיללו . . . אשר בנה בית חדש . . . אשר אירש אישה" (ראה דברים כ,ה-ז)

"The behavior of intelligent people is to first get [trained in] a job so he can support himself, then buy a house and only then get married. "

This - says the Rambam - is the reason for the order in the Psukim:

ה וְדִבְּרוּ הַשֹּׁטְרִים, אֶל-הָעָם לֵאמֹר, מִי-הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר בָּנָה בַיִת-חָדָשׁ וְלֹא חֲנָכוֹ, יֵלֵךְ וְיָשֹׁב לְבֵיתוֹ: פֶּן-יָמוּת, בַּמִּלְחָמָה, וְאִישׁ אַחֵר, יַחְנְכֶנּוּ. ו וּמִי-הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר-נָטַע כֶּרֶם, וְלֹא חִלְּלוֹ--יֵלֵךְ, וְיָשֹׁב לְבֵיתוֹ: פֶּן-יָמוּת, בַּמִּלְחָמָה, וְאִישׁ אַחֵר, יְחַלְּלֶנּוּ. ז וּמִי-הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר-אֵרַשׂ אִשָּׁה, וְלֹא לְקָחָהּ--יֵלֵךְ, וְיָשֹׁב לְבֵיתוֹ: פֶּן-יָמוּת, בַּמִּלְחָמָה, וְאִישׁ אַחֵר, יִקָּחֶנָּה.

[The following are sent home from the war front]: the one who planted a vineyard, the one who built a new house - and finally the one who got betrothed.

The Rambam then continues:

כד: אבל הטיפשים, מתחילין לישא אישה, ואחר כך אם תמצא ידו יקנה בית, ואחר כך בסוף ימיו יחזור לבקש אומנות או יתפרנס מן הצדקה; וכן הוא אומר בקללות, "אישה תארש . . . בית תבנה . . . כרם תיטע" (דברים כח,ל)--כלומר יהיו מעשיך הפוכין, כדי שלא תצליח דרכיך. ובברכה מה הוא אומר, "ויהי דויד לכל דרכיו, משכיל; וה', עימו" (שמואל א יח,יד)

"But the stupid people, first they get married, then - if they can afford it - they buy a house, and then - later on in life - they try find a profession, or rely on charity".

This - the Rambam says - is hinted to in the Psukin of the curses:

ל אִשָּׁה תְאָרֵשׂ, וְאִישׁ אַחֵר ישגלנה (יִשְׁכָּבֶנָּה)--בַּיִת תִּבְנֶה, וְלֹא-תֵשֵׁב בּוֹ; כֶּרֶם תִּטַּע, וְלֹא תְחַלְּלֶנּוּ

I.e. your approach will be backwards, so that you don't succeed.

The Rambam ends with King David's approach for which he was praised:

וַיְהִי דָוִד לְכָל-דְּרָכָו, מַשְׂכִּיל; וַה', עִמּוֹ
"And [King] David was sensible in all he did, and HaShem helped him."

(This is one of about 10 times the Rambam calls somebody a טיפש.)

  • @DannyShoemann I very much appreciate the effort you put in into your answers Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 11:13
  • No discussion of the Rambam is complete without the end of Shmitta and Yovelos
    – Yishai
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 15:34
  • ...or without discussing what the Rambam really meant there.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 18:27
  • The Rambam in Dei'os is based on Sotah (44a): תנו רבנן אשר בנה אשר נטע אשר ארש לימדה תורה דרך ארץ שיבנה אדם בית ויטע כרם ואח"כ ישא אשה ואף שלמה אמר בחכמתו הכן בחוץ מלאכתך ועתדה בשדה לך אחר ובנית ביתך הכן בחוץ מלאכתך זה בית ועתדה בשדה לך זה כרם אחר ובנית ביתך זו אשה.
    – Fred
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 20:27

Exodus 21:10

אִם אַחֶרֶת יִקַּח לוֹ שְׁאֵרָהּ כְּסוּתָהּ וְעֹנָתָהּ לֹא יִגְרָע

If he takes another [wife] for himself, he shall not diminish her sustenance, her clothing, or her marital relations.

This law is commonly known as שאר כסות ועונה.


Ramba"m seems to disagree with the mishnah in Pirkei Avot (Chapters of the fathers) Chapter 5, mishna 23:

He used to say (i.e. - Rav Yehuda ben Tabai), "At five years (the age is reached for the study of the) Scripture, at ten for (the study of) the Mishnah, at thirteen for (the fulfilment of) the commandments, at fifteen for (the study of) the Talmud, at eighteen for marriage, at twenty for seeking (a livelihood)..."

  • That's not a mishna and the rambam probably never read it.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 13:29
  • Is this an answer or a comment?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 13:31
  • @DoubleAA - It IS an answer, and since when is part of Pirkei Avot "not a mishnah" and how would you know that rambam never read it?
    – DanF
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 13:41
  • DanF, that statement, like the entire chapter six of Pirkei Avos, was almost certainly added later, and the Rambam, based on Pirush HaMishnayos, didn't have it in his version of the Mishna. The Rambam doesn't really pasken like it (which is why he may not have seen it). Either way, though, instead of making it a question on the Rambam, the answer would be better stand alone - Pikei Avos 5 says etc.
    – Yishai
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 14:04
  • @Yishai - The mishnah is in Chapter 5, not 6. And, I deleted the question following my answer. I know that Ch. 6 is a collection of braitot. But since I mentioned that it was in 5, I was REALLY puzzled by the comment that it's not a mishnah. Who needs better glasses, besides me? :-)
    – DanF
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 14:18

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