In the Garden of Peace, Rabbi Shalom Arush says that a man should give his wife all the money she needs and not worry her about any financial issues you are experiencing.

To me, this seems a bit excessive. What if the wife is selfish and decides to take advantage of her husband?

Is this idea founded in other sources or is it unique to Rabbi Shalom Arush?


2 Answers 2


To add to Shalom's answer:

Rav Avira says (in the name of R' Ami and R' Assi) that a husband should "honor his wife and children more than what he has" (Chullin 84b). Rashi (ad loc., s.v. "פחות") seems to interpret this as meaning one should spend beyond his means to honor his wife. (See R' Chaim Shmuelevitz's discussion of this, cited here).

The Rambam appears to say, however, that while a person should allocate more of his money for spending on his wife and children than would be typical for a person of his means, he should not do so to the extent that he spends beyond his means or overly exerts himself to earn the extra money (Hil. Dei'os 5:10; see also Hil. Ishus 15:19, that a husband should spend money on his wife to the degree that he is able).

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 76b) praises a husband who "loves his wife as himself, and honors her more than himself." Rashi (ad loc., s.v. "והמכבדה") says that honoring her includes providing her with adornments (e.g. nice clothing and jewelry) beyond what he gets for himself.

Note that, while these sources indicate a husband should go above and beyond in providing for his wife, they do not support the idea that a husband should allow his wife to "take advantage" of him or totally destroy their family's finances by demanding an endless supply of luxuries (per the extreme hypothetical case you raised in the OP).

In any case, as R' Chelbo taught, blessing rests on a man's home in the merit of his wife. As Rava advised the people of Mechoza, they would do well honor their wives if they wished to become wealthy (Bava M'tzi'a 59a).


I think that may have been a bit of an overstatement for emphasis. The Gemara says there is such thing as giving too much charity -- you are not allowed to endanger your own financial security. (And if you do so, you will not be in a position to help anyone else, and will in turn need help from others.)

Thus, someone who spends on his wife until he is in ruin is not, in the long run, helping him or her.

The Talmud says a man should "love his wife as much as himself, and honor her more than himself"; it also recommends buying her new clothes for the holidays. I've never seen "blank check", and that actually runs contrary to the nuts-and-bolts monetary arrangements described in the mishna in Kesubos.

The goal is a healthy relationship with healthy conversations; a good marriage should be able to have conversations about finances.

  • 2
    Which mishna in Kesubos are you referring to?
    – Ani Yodea
    Dec 9, 2015 at 13:57

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