For the week ending 12 March 2016 / 2 Adar II 5776

Kiddushin 2 - 9

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • How marriages begin and end
  • Analysis of the terminology used in this and other mishnayot
  • Which forms of acquisition are invalid for kiddushin
  • The source for the effectiveness of money in creating kiddushin
  • A father's rights regarding his daughter’s marriage and other matters
  • When a Jewish girl sold by her father into servitude goes free
  • Whether a chupah can also create kiddushin
  • Who must do the giving of money and making the proposal for kiddushin to be valid
  • An incomplete proposal or one in an unusual form
  • Proper and improper terminology used in a get to a wife or an emancipation document to a slave
  • Kiddushin created through a forfeited loan or a gift which must be returned
  • Kiddushin created without the money going directly from man to woman
  • The validity of a partial kiddishin
  • When the man gives her materials which he declares to be of a certain value
  • Subjective value in regard to redeeming a first-born
  • When a woman can back out before gift is completed
  • When the woman's reaction to receiving money is considered a rejection
  • The source for the two other methods for creating kiddushin

When Giving is Considered Receiving

  • Kiddushin 7a

In order to acquire a woman as a wife the Torah requires a man to give his wife money or something of value and not for her to give to him. The Sage Rava raises the question of whether there is a possibility of this kiddushin process to be valid if the woman offers the man money in order to become his wife. The answer given by Rabbi Papa is that such a kiddushin is valid on the condition that the man involved is an important person. Since his acceptance of a gift from her gives her significant pleasure, it is considered as if he actually gave her something of value.

What is the definition of an important person?

Rashi establishes a simple criterion: if he is not in the custom of accepting gifts from everyone.

Rabbeinu Osher (ROSH) is more reserved as he states that serious thought must be given as to whom is not considered an important person in order to justify negating kiddushin when the woman is the giver.

An interesting point is made by a commentary on the ROSH, the Korban Netanel. He limits the reservation of the ROSH to a case where it is the man who makes the initial proposal for kiddushin. In the case described in our gemara, where it is the woman who is initiating kiddishin, there is no longer a need for investigating whether the man is objectively considered important since she indicates by her offer that he is important to her and his receiving money from her is like giving to her.

What the Sages Say

"It is better to live together than to live alone (even if only for the sake of company- Rashi)."

  • Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish

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