The Rambam, before starting Hilchos Ishus writes

הלכות אישות. יש בכללן ארבע מצות, שתי מצות עשה, ושתי מצות לא תעשה. וזה הוא פרטן:‏
.א: לישא אשה בכתובה וקידושין

Does the Rambam hold that Ketubah is דאורייתא?


2 Answers 2



The Rambam writes (Ishus 10:6[7]):

וחכמים הם שתיקנו כתובה לאישה, כדי שלא תהיה קלה בעיניו להוציאה

The sages are the ones who established a Kesuba for a wife, in order that he should not regard it as easy to divorce her.

He also doesn't list the requirement of Kesuba in Sefer HaMitzvos as the Mitzvah of Kiddushin.

As to why he terms it that way, Rabbi Moshe Shmuel Shapiro suggests that Kiddushin alone, without the Kesuba, is incomplete as it doesn't permit the husband to the wife. Even though the issue is Rabbinic, the Mitzvah is to make marriage possible, not to just do the Kiddushin.

  • Does that mean that the "Shatar" mentioned Ishues 1:2 is something different than a Kesuba ? Perhaps what the Rambam means is that while according to the Torah you could use kesef, shtar, or biah, the Chachamim came along and mandated a kesubah(shtar?) must always be written in a prescribed manor i.e.200 dinar and given. So while the shatr stays D'Oraysah per 1:2 the current format is mandated by the Chachmim and when the Rambam wrote that the mitzvah is with Kesubah/Kiddushin he meant the current form of the mitzvah since any other shtar or biah are not valid ways of kiddushin anymore.
    – eramm
    Sep 4, 2014 at 16:02
  • 2
    @eramm The Shtar in 1:2 is definitely not the same thing as the Ketubah. It's a piece of paper that says "Harei at mekudeshet li bishtar zo" and you give it to her in front of Eidim. Nothing to do with Ketubot. Shtar and Biah are still completely effective ways to do Kiddushin even today.
    – Double AA
    Sep 4, 2014 at 16:04
  • @DoubleAA so you are saying that the Kesuba is a new creation of the Chachamim with no roots in the torah ?
    – eramm
    Sep 4, 2014 at 16:08
  • @eramm No. I'm just saying your first comment is inaccurate. I have made no other claim in this thread.
    – Double AA
    Sep 4, 2014 at 16:09
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    @eramm, For a proper answer you could make a question out of it, but AFAIK there is no opinion that a Kesuba could be substituted for a Shtar Kiddushin. The only similarity between them is that they are words on paper. I don't know if they could be combined on one document, but in any event, the Kesuba is a separate and distinct requirement.
    – Yishai
    Sep 4, 2014 at 17:05

The idea of a kesubah is what you are obligated to each other this If you look in the rambams mishnah tirah hilchos ishus perek yud beis halachos aleph and beis includes 10 things 3 of which are midioraisah including cloth food and relations mentioned in shemos chof laeph posuk tes and yud 7 are midirabanan

  • Indeed. The precise way we account for these obligations (the document we call a Ketubah) is a rabbinic enactment that ensures this biblical value is accounted for. This is the simplest read of the Rambam IMO.
    – Double AA
    Sep 4, 2014 at 16:06

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