Tokens of Love

The Rema writes (Shulchan Aruch, Evan Ha-Ezer 27:3) that

“one who says to a woman when he gives her [a ring or equivalent] that he gives it to her out of love and affection, there is suspicion about the kiddushin, lest he said it [in order to get the woman to love him], as behold, it’s as though he said to her, “Miyuchedet li” (You are exclusive or special to me)… and in any case, if she says that she received it in the spirit of kiddushin, it’s considered safek (doubtful) kiddushin.”

Again, safek kiddushin is a marriage about which there is some question as to whether or not kosher kiddushin has occurred–is understood to require a get l’hatchila (at the outset) but not b’deiavad (after the fact; so if, say, the marriage breaks up and the bride marries someone else, her second marriage holds even if there’s been no get). There is some debate about whether a wedding that intends to be safek kiddushin can really count as such.

If a ring is given under the chuppah with the above declaration and/or the explicit specification that the ring is a token of love and affection, it may have a dobtful kiddushin or even safek kiddushin status–no kinyan is effected, but the ritual is considered binding enough to require a get.

And yet, if someone hands a ring to someone else under the chuppah, with invited guests and caterers and such and announces that this ring is a symbol of affection, will there be much doubt that the intention is to get married? Probably not. And yet, will the intention also be clearly not to effect the kinyan of kiddushin? That is less clear, and good arguments could probably be made on all sides.

ADVANTAGES: Nobody gets bought, rings 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.

1 Comment

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One response to “Tokens of Love

  1. R

    I don’t understand- this idea- what is its value
    it is not “nobody gets bought” just a safek if she was bought the underlying principle is still one of buyi that is why she needs the get- what exactly have you gained?

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