The Gemorah (Kiddushin 7a) renders the expression "You're married to my half" valid for kiddushin, deciding that she's acquired to him as whole for the sake of kiddushin itself, but does not add detail on practical ramification. Rambam writes an interesting addition (Ishut 3, 9)here:

האומר לאשה התקדשי לחציי הרי זו מקודשת.
הא למה זה דומה לאומר לה תהי אשתי את ואחרת שנמצא שאין לה אלא חצי איש.

This raises the question: what's the effect of such an arrangement? Any man is allowed to marry additional women without his existing wife's consent. Does it mean he's obligated half the Oyna and half the Mezoynos and Kesuso? Does it start right away? What if he says "Marry one fourth or one hundredth of me"?

  • Why do there have to be Nafka Minas? There are lots of sayings which can effect Kiddushin and this is one of them.
    – Double AA
    Nov 16, 2017 at 20:40
  • @DoubleAA - Do you have a convention about writing Hebrew terms like Oynoh, Mezoynos etc. Does it have to be capitalized, italicized or else? And also pronunciation - do we stick to Ahkenazi or not, do we say oy and ey or not?
    – Al Berko
    Nov 18, 2017 at 18:37
  • @DoubleAA Oynoh for example. A man can not rule the Oynoh out completely (against the Torah) but maybe by saying "You're Mekudeshet to 1/100 of me (as I can marry a hundred women" and hence be obligated in 1/100 of his regular Oynoh? Same about Mezoynos, as Mazoynos are financial obligation, we know he can hold this condition, though.
    – Al Berko
    Nov 18, 2017 at 18:46
  • 2
    The de facto site policy is to allow you to use your own preferred transliteration scheme so long as it is understandable to others
    – Double AA
    Nov 18, 2017 at 22:39

1 Answer 1


From the way Rambam Ishut 3:9 is written, she is completely mekudash to the man. The half just means that he is using language as if he had married two women (which is allowed). Thus, they are married completely and there would be no nafka minah in the matter.

The Rambam (as I read it) says that once the kiddushin "takes hold" it is considered a full kiddushin and must follow all the appropriate halachos as it says in the pasuk. I understand the analogy to be as if he had been married to two wives and one of them had died or been divorced. The remaining wife is in the same situation as the wife married by half.

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

Note that if he had married two women, he would be required to share his time between them and provide for them both. Mezonos means the living expenses of the household, however many women are involved. A man married to two women does not spend twice as much on living expenses. That is, a man married to two women, who then divorces one of them, does not still only spend half his time with the wife that remains. This case, would be considered as similar to that situation. As a result, once she is completely mekudash to him, she is treated in every respect as his full wife.

Rambam Hilchos Ishut 10:4 shows what is done if he is married to two wives as far as conjugal rights. Halacha 3 shows that he must fully fund the household of each of his wives in any case. Thus, marrying half would not decrease the mezonos that he is responsible for.

We see here

This mitzvah applies in all times and all places, but only to men. It is discussed in the Talmud in the fourth and fifth chapters of Kesubos. In the Shulchan Aruch, it is found in Orach Chaim 240. It is number 262 of the 365 negative mitzvos in the Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvos and number42 of the 194 negative mitzvos that can be fulfilled today in the Chofetz Chaim’s Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar.

The second half of the halacha shows under what circumstance the kiddushin does not take hold at all.

When a man tells a woman, "Become consecrated to my half," she is consecrated. To what can this be compared? To his saying, "May you become my wife, and also another woman." And so, she has only half a man.

If, however, he said: "Half of you is consecrated to me," she is not consecrated. For a woman cannot be consecrated to two men. Similarly, if he says, "Behold, you are consecrated to me and to him," the woman is not consecrated.

  • This does not answer the question, as he says it before he's married to another woman. If the woman indeed has "no more than half the man" what does it mean to Onah and Mezoynos?
    – Al Berko
    Nov 18, 2017 at 18:35
  • @AlBerko I added a clarification explaining what I had meant and why I consider it an answer. Nov 19, 2017 at 1:49

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