i see that relations are forbidden if their is no Kesuba
and i understand that a Kesuba is a lien on the property of the husband

theoretically, can a husband have relations with his wife if he has less property then the minimum necessary for the kesuba

minimum of the kesuba seems to be: 1 mana/2 mana (for Sifardim 60/120 gram (today $33/$66), for Ashkenasim (maybe not minimum) 60/960 gram (today $33/$528))?

  • 1
    It should be pointed out that this is only d’Rabbanan - the Torah expressly commands that a husband have relations with his wife, and the Kesuvah itself is only from the Rabbis. Presumably, if the enactment of the Rabbis doesn’t apply, then we’re back to Torah Law - as is the case by a Pilegesh, where there is no Kesuvah.
    – DonielF
    Sep 24, 2017 at 21:45
  • 3
    Why would you possibly think it is forbidden? So what that a ketuva puts a lien on his property?
    – mevaqesh
    Sep 24, 2017 at 23:14
  • @mevaqesh i guess that is (answers) my question what is necessary in the kesuba, just that he owes her, or he needs to have what he owes her?
    – hazoriz
    Sep 25, 2017 at 1:01
  • @mevaqesh from the end of this it seem you are right that he does not need to own the property sefaria.org/Chelkat_Mechokek.66.8
    – hazoriz
    Sep 25, 2017 at 1:23
  • @DonielF it seems you are right but only for ashkenazim ובאיסור קל כזה אין ראוי להחמיר ולבטל מצות עונה ופ"ו ובפרט בזמן הזה שאין מגרשין בע"כ וא"כ ליכא טעמא שיהי' קל בעיניו להוציא'): end here sefaria.org/Chelkat_Mechokek.66.6
    – hazoriz
    Sep 25, 2017 at 1:30

1 Answer 1


One cannot get married without a kesuba but he does not necessarily need to own anything when he gets married under circumstances mentioned bellow.

In order to get married with a standard kesuba one needs the minimum amount of assets that can cover the kesuba and if he has more than the sum of her kesuba, all his assets are collaterals for her to claim from when she is divorced (i.e she can choose whichever of his assets she wants to cover her kesuba).

Shulchan Aruch Even Haezer 66,1
אלא צריך שיכתב לה שטר על עצמו בדמי הכתבה ויהיו כל נכסיו משעבדים לה, או שיעידו עליו עדים ויקנו מידו שהוא חיב לה.
He has to write a document on all his property with the value of her kesuba and his property is "bound" to her (I.e if he sells it all and burns the cash she can go to the buyers and take the items (Takanas geonim) or land from them for her kesuba).
Alternatively he can make a verbal commitment on his property with an acquisition in front of 2 witesses, (even though there is no shibud which means she can't go to the buyers of his property to claim her kesuba as there is no document).*

ibid 66, 9: כל הפוחת משעור הכתבה, בעילתו בעילת זנות;
Anyone who sets aside less than the amount required for her kesuba, his relationship amounts to prostitution (i.e he is not married).

However if one is poor and does not have money the Rema in Even Haezer 66,1 ועין בחשן המשפט סימן ס' אם יוכל לשעבד עצמו בכתבתה בנכסים שלא באו לעולם.
He points to the Shulchan aruch Choshen Mishpat 60 which says:
המחייב עצמו בדבר שלא בא לעולם או שאינו מצוי אצלו חייב אע"ג דאין אדם מקנה דבר שלא בא לעולם ה"מ כשהקנה לו בלשון מכר או בלשון מתנה ואפי' כתב לו שעבוד על שדה או קבל אחריות על כל נכסיו ואפי' נתן לו משכון אינו כלום אבל בלשון חיוב כגון שאמר הוו עלי עדים שאני מתחייב לפלוני בכך וכך חייב (וכן הוציאו מבעה"ת שער ס"ד) והוא שקנו מידו -
Someone can accept a debt upon himself to make a shibud (liability) on his assets that are not yet in his possession, - as long as he writes "the eidim are witnessing that i am Mechayev (endebting) myself so and so amount when it comes into my possession," with this document and when the creditor makes an aquisition (for the debt that it will belong to him) from the borrowers hand - the transaction is effective.

However the Rema says that one does not need to change the document: מיהו כל זה לסברת הרי"ף וקצת רבוותא אבל רבים חולקים על זה וס"ל דכל האומר נתתי לפלוני כד וכך הוי הודאת בע"ד וכמאה עדים דמי ואין מדקדקים כיצד נתן דמאחר שהודה אמרינן דודאי נתן באופן המועיל וקנה מקבל המתנה (טור בשם הראב"ד והרא"ש סוף כלל ל"ו ותו' ר"פ אע"פ וע' בב"י)
Since many Rishonim argue that as long as the borrower claims that he owns the ammount he is endebted, we believe him like 100 witnesses, and even when eidim testify he hasn't got a penny, he is meshabed (endebts himself automatically that any possessions he "has" or will have can be claimed for the debt) himself via the document with eidim through his admission.

In Ashkenazi kehillas one who is poor can get married and need not change the procedure of the standard kesuba where it is written that the assets which the husband owns now will be claimed for the Kesuba.

In Sefaradi Kehillas it is very unlikely nowadays one cannot afford 200 zuz when people spend thousands of dollars for the wedding but if such a case ever occured one would change the nusach to say that the husband accepts the debt on any property he acquires in the future with a Kinyan and eidim signed on the document



*{Note: the Rema allows this second option only in extenuating circumstances like if they get married on Shabbat because after Shabbat they will straight away write a shtar (document) for her kesuba and from that date (Sunday) on, his assets are collaterals for her kesuba and she can claim anything he sells from buyers.(The Chelkas Mechokek says that even if he scams her by selling everything before writing the document, she can refuse to divorce until he pays up. The Bach argues with everyone and says a document is mandatory so that his assets are collaterals for her to always claim, and option 2 of a verbal kinyan does not exist)}

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