QUESTION: The Gemara explains that although the husband is entitled use the
property his wife owns at the time of his marriage (Nichsei Milug), his
rights are limited to reaping the Peros (fruits) and using them for personal
consumption. He may not *sell to someone else* the rights to reap the fruit.
The Gemara gives two reasons for this limitation. Rava says that the reason
the Peros are given to the husband is for the sake of "Revach Beisa" -- in
order to provide for and benefit the entire household, including the wife. If
the husband were to sell the Peros, the household would not benefit (but only
the husband would).
Abaye says that the Rabanan did not permit the husband to sell the Peros,
because the buyer might not take care of the field, knowing that he has only
purchased the rights to reap the fruits of the field and has not purchased
the field itself. The buyer will misuse the field, consequently causing a
loss to the wife's property.
Rava's reason for not allowing the husband to sell the Peros is unclear. If
the husband does not bring in the Peros for the family to eat, but he instead
sells the Peros, why will this not be considered "Revach Beisa?" The money he
receives from the sale will be used for the family's benefit, thus
constituting "Revach Beisa!" The Gemara itself says that if the husband takes
the profits of the sale of the Peros and invests them ("Iska"), the income is
"Revach Beisa," since the family benefits from his investment. In a similar
manner, anytime he sells the Peros, the family should benefit from the
Second, the Gemara only says that the husband cannot sell "Karka la'Peros" --
he cannot sell the *land* with regard to reaping the Peros (that is, he
cannot give the buyer ownership in the land insofar as keeping its produce).
This clearly implies that the husband is permitted to sell the *Peros* after
reaping them from the land, as long as he does not sell the land itself.
Indeed, we do not find that the family must eat each and every fruit.
Presumably, the reason for this is that the whole household will benefit from
the sale of the fruits. Why, then, is he not permitted to sell the *land* as
well, if he sells it only with regard to reaping the Peros? The whole
household will benefit from that sale too!
(a) The RITVA explains that if the husband sells the Peros after picking
them, certainly some of the fruit will be eaten by members of his household.
In contrast, when he sells all of the land with regard to reaping the Peros,
and the husband does not even pick the Peros, it is not possible for them to
eat any of it. That is why it is not considered "Revach Beisa."
It is possible that the Ritva would answer our first question in a similar
manner. The Gemara only permits investing the profits of the sale (when the
land is sold with regard to Peros) if it is invested in land or commodities
from which the family can directly benefit. He may not invest the money in,
for instance, a bank account or stock investment, which returns money and not
(b) The ROSH (8:11) writes that if he sells the Peros as he picks them each
year, then the profit that he makes and invests is certainly going to benefit
the entire family and is considered Revach Beisa." In our Gemara, however, he
sells the land for its Peros for a long period of time (for example, he sells
to someone the rights to reap all of the Peros of the land for ten years).
Since he receives the value of a few year's Peros at once, he will probably
spend in one year all of the profits he has received for the fruits that the
buyer will reap in the next few years. As a result, there will be no "Revach
Beisa" from the land during the *following years*, since the money for the
sale has already been spent.
This answers our first question as well. What is the difference between
selling "Karka la'Peros," and selling the Peros themselves and investing the
profits? If the profits are invested in some sort of marketable merchandise,
the husband is not going to use up all of the profits at once, but will
continue to trade with those goods and profit from them each year. If,
however, he just receives a lump sum of cash (or consumable goods) for the
rights to reap the fruits and he does not invest it in another commodity, he
will probably spend it all on consumable goods (or consume it all, if he
received consumable goods) during that year and there will be no further
benefit from the Peros of the field in the following years.