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Jul 10, 2022

Interesting Psak: feeding the wife

A printing mistake in a ketuba seems to have affected tens of thousands of young couples, both in Israel and abroad - a word was left out, and it is a word that invalidates the contract.

A rav and dayan from Bnei Braq, Rav Yaakov Yosef Cohen, discovered the missing word in a ketuba he was looking at - the word "V'Izon" - where the husband says to the wife I will feed you. In the ketuba being signed, there was no commitment for the husband to support the wife (the other words of I will honor you, I will support you, etc were all there, just the I will feed you was missing). Without this commitment, the ketuba is invalid.

And it turned out, upon further research, the printing mistake involved tens of thousands of couples around the world.

Uh oh.

Big problem. That is a lot of young couples living together without a valid ketuba.

Rav Cohen paskened that anyone with such a ketuba needs to go to a mesader kedushin and have a new ketuba written to replace it. While there is a slight possibility the ketuba is kosher, and there is such an opinion, the mainstream psak is that this word missing invalidates the ketuba and people should not take such a serious situation lightly and rely on the lenient psak. 
source: Behadrei

Humorously I might say that there is no problem with the ketuba in many, or at least some, of these marriages, since in some of them the man is not feeding his wife anyway nor supporting her but she is supporting him and feeding him by being the main breadwinner of the house while he is in kollel. Maybe that could be a factor for some of the affected people.

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  1. Not a posek, of course - but with Ketubot now up in the Daf Yomi, I thought that support, as in the word "ואיזון", is one of the basic conditions of the ketubah that are therefore considered written even if omitted. Which should mean that the ketubah itself is not technically invalidated, even if a correction is advisable.
    To be honest, I doubt that even Rav Cohen meant that couples who have such ketubot have an actual issur to sleep together until correcting the ketubah - as would be the case if the ketubah was actually invalid. This may be another case of the press (or the haredi/posek/pashkevil world) over-sensationalizing an issue, perhaps in order to stress the importance.

  2. Exactly. No real Halachik issue here. And there are another 3 words in the Kesibah which all mean support.


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