Kiddushin With Snacks

The Shulchan Aruch Even Ha-Ezer 31:3) states that if “he betrothes her with food or with a vessel or with something similar that’s worth less than a peruta, she is considered to have been acquired through kiddushin by safek (doubt), lest this thing be worth a peruta in another place (ie a different part of the country or a different country.)” He then goes on to add that some say that if one is betrothing with cooked food or vegetables that aren’t technically in hand, and they’re not worth a peruta locally, she’s not considered betrothed because the stuff isn’t going to travel well enough to be priced someplace else.

For information on safek kiddushin, check this and this post for information, background and issues with it, as well as pros and cons.

The idea of betrothing with a lollypop or a single fig might appeal to some couples’ sensibilities.

A peruta is considered to be the value of pure silver in the size of a half kernel of barley. Silver prices being what they are today, that’s less than a penny. However, R. Moshe Feinstein ruled that to be considered a peruta the coin must have purchasing power, which today would probably be a nickel. Still, it’s on the side of controversial–some might argue that a peruta is less than a penny, so check with your rabbi first if you’re thinking about doing this.

ADVANTAGES: There’s question about whether anybody gets bought, snacks get given, the couple is sufficiently married to require a get while avoiding the classical issues of get requirements.

DISADVANTAGES: There’s some safek about safek kiddushin, and this could be a risky game to play in terms of what’s being communicated or understood to be happening. The value of a peruta (and thus the ability to make sure that the gift given is less than this value) is potentially the subject of debate. Rings could be given separately under the chuppah (see Tokens of Love), but they don’t play a halakhic role.

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