Broken Engagements

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    “How can a person even consider doing something as important and life changing as getting engaged or breaking an engagement without asking a shailah? “

    In matters of halacha, I agree with you. But I do not have to ask my rov a shailah about getting married, unless there is an inyan that bothers me in the shidduch and he is nogeya to it. If he doesn’t know the boy or girl, what exactly is the shailah you are asking? If it is OKAY to get married? I might want my rov to give me a chosson/kallah shmuz, or counsel me about different things that might come up in the future. But I certainly do not need his heter. I would ask for a bracha, not ask a shailah. Where are the parents in all this?


    I’m not saying that engagements should be broken without good reason and in the most mentchlich but I still think some are making it sound much worse than it is. And comparing it to divorce.. I know someone who had both nisyones in their family and said that the broken engagement was a breeze compared to the anguish that the divorced family member suffered.


    It’s obvious that having t’naim right before the chupah is either to give kavod to another two eidim and the reader of the document, or to fulfill the emotional need to say “We had t’naim”. Either way, it’s rather pointless. In Israel it is often skipped and no one is worse off for it.

    As far as asking a shailoh if breaking an engagement is acceptable, I recommend asking the shailoh on condition that the answer will be affirmative. If one of the two parties involved don’t want to be married, then break it off. To force the marriage is stupid and evil.


    oomis1105: A Shaila (in this case) is not neccessarily to a Rav. The Bais Shmuel in question says its (breaking up) OK if “many people are asked”. That would (seemingly) mean that advice was asked from multiple sources, none of them having to be a Rav. They could be a grandparent (Parents may be Nogayah), Rebbe, Morah, Shrink, Social Worker, etc. People with whom the guy/girl feels comfortable discussing the issue and are aware of possible problems / are experts so that they can give good advice.



    “How dare you call a minhag that yidden have observed for thousands of years “pointless”?”

    If this is regarding my statement made previously,if you are using quotes, please quote accurately (all you need to do is copy and paste).

    Please bring proof that shtar mechilah is something we have been doing “for thousands of years”. I believe, as I stated previously, that this concept of this shtar is something new that was never done previously, and I will stand by words unless proven otherwise.

    The statement and quote by mosherose was clearly in response to Wolf, quoted exactly, and was regarding tanaaim not shtar mechilah.


    I never heard of this practice until two years ago, and I have of LOTS of broken engagements.

    GAW. what you said makes a great deal of sense. Of course if one contemplates getting engaged, breaking it off, or getting divorced, advice should be sought from people who can help the person. That is NOT the same as saying one should ask a shailah. Shailahs are specific halachic questions. They require a p’sak, not simply advice.

    I guess I take issue with the notion that every single aspect of one’s life needs to be addressed to a rov and governed by his pronouncements. We need to be adults and take responsibility for our own decisions in life, as well as charge of our lives. If I splashed a drop of milk in the chicken soup, I have a chiyuv to run to the rov with the shailah. But – if I am thinking of moving into a new home, that is my business and doesn’t require the input of a rov, unless he happens to be my father/father-in-law, or a realtor. In my experience many rabbanim, contrary to popular belief, are NOT qualified by mere virtue of having semicha, to discuss personal issues and give helpful advice. An engagement is not a pot of soup.


    jaw22: Mosherose was using an exact quote. It was from Wolfish Musings. Not you. And it was regarding reading tanaim at the chuppah.



    “An engagement is not a pot of soup.”

    Wise words.

    And the point is a good one as well. 🙂


    >>”An engagement is not a pot of soup.”<<

    of course not. Everyone knows it is a bowl of cherries.


    of course not. Everyone knows it is a bowl of cherries.

    < Forrest > Life is like a box of chocolates… < /Forrest >


    Um… Did someone say CHOCOLATE?????????


    mosherose, you can take it up with R’ Moshe.

    Do you see a point in signing an engagement contract 2 minutes before marriage?


    >>o you see a point in signing an engagement contract 2 minutes before marriage? <<

    Yes, give them a contract that is really easy to keep, to build their confidence for the one to come, which is somewhat more difficult.

    happy girl

    I heard about this shtar mechila document recently. what is it? is it always needed for a broken engagement? Is it true that no one will go out with someone who doesn’t have one? which side is the one to give it? and what if one side does not forgive the other side? Is is good to sign it just to have the paper and show it off to a future shidduch?


    It is basically a signed statement that the party who was wronged in the broken engagement forgives the person who broke it off. So if Sorah breaks off the engagement to Avrumi, Avrumi gives her a signed shtar that says he is mochel her for breaking it off with him. It is apparently crucial in many Yeshivishe circles. I personally never heard of it at all until two years ago when my friend’s son’s engagement was broken by the kallah’s side, and no one would redt her a shidduch without her receiving it from him. Of course he gave it to her ASAP, but I think it is not always shayach. What if BOTH parties agree the engagement should not continue because both want out? What if the engagement is broken i.e.,because the kallah finds something crucial and very negative out about the chosson that was withheld from her (like he was married before and has a child in another country) and she breaks it off. Should she then be expected to receive a shtar from HIM that he is mochel her for the breakup? Makes no sense. But people do it.


    happy girl; It is a document stating that you carry no grudge towards the other party

    of the broken engagement. Some people will not date the girl or boy without it.

    Some people don’t mind as long as their research bears satisfying results.

    The side that did the breaking usually in this case would require a shtar,

    Though both sides might want one for shidduch purposes.

    (To prove the other side has no resentment and (evileye) towards them.)

    In the case of a mutual breakup, both sides might definitely want one,

    why not?

    In a case like you mentioned, R”L one should try to beseech the other side

    till they are willing to forgive.

    I’m not clear as to you your last question.

    happy girl

    I heard that the shtar mechila is only needed if you have a teniyim. I don’t understand…honestly, if it wasn’t heard of until 2 years ago then how important can it be?

    If someone gives the shtar just for shidduch reasons because “no one will go out with her unless she has one” but does not really forgive the other side ….whats the point. They were just engaged. why can’t they just move on. You can’t control a person’s feelings. you can’t force someone to really forgive. Just because you have the signed paper doesn’t mean there is no grudge.

    also, who has to sign the paper. is it just the girl and the boy or do the parents also have to sign? what if the parents lost a lot of money with the whole engagement and they refuse to sign? are the parents just expected to forgive and forget the lost money? If a parent is rich that might be easy to do but what if the parent is tight on money and now lost money and will have to spend it again for a future shidduch. It might not be so easy to forgive in such a situation.


    Do you know of any cases where a Shtar Mechila has been withheld, keeping someone from getting married?


    Happygirl, you asked a number of very pertinent and reasonable questions, and I am in agreement with you. I think the entire concept is a use of time that would be better spent in trying to ensure that the next shidduch has a happier ending. Moving on with one’s life is a far better way to show one holds no grudge.


    happy girl:

    Check out what I wrote on page two (about 3/4’s of the way down the page).

    (Mods is there a way i can reference my previous posts) without pasting and/or retyping them?


    Where it says “posted 1 week ago”, or whatever, under the post of interest, there is a blue number sign #

    Click on the number sign

    Copy the resultant url from your browser

    Paste it to reference that post

    happy girl

    Thanks jewishandworking22!!!

    I agree with you all the way.

    why do things have to be so complicated when it can be so simple.

    hope you find your bashert soon!!!


    happy girl:

    Thanks. You too!


    i know someone who is engaged. i’m concerned for the other party, who i have not met, b/c i don’t know what they know. i’m aware in general you don’t try to break a shiduch, if anything you try to strengthen their connection, but here i feel its different. the party i know has severe problems. if the other party knows about it and still accepts than that is fine, but i feel its my duty in case they don’t know to make sure they do the appropriate research. if i should contact them, how should i. how anonymously-through someone else…what to do.


    If the information is about a subjective thing keep quiet. After all different strokes for different folks.

    Health (physical, mental, emotional) issues can be assumed were checked and okayed by the respective party involved. If you have new information you have no right to blab.

    But, information regarding criminal activities involving the future spouse or their family MUST be revealed. Criminal behaviors can entrap and ensnare innocent people who with advance knowledge can back out of the engagement.

    Some families and people are simply not marriage eligible.



    IMO: If you are really close to either the bride or groom (the party you believe is being misled) then you should approach them directly. If you aren’t then you should approach a good friend or relative that is really close to that person, who WILL approach that person and inform him/her as such (and not use it maliciously).

    As you said “if the other party knows about it and still accepts than that is fine, but i feel its my duty in case they don’t know to make sure they do the appropriate research.”

    Definitely do not be anonymous. Anonymity is useless because people dismiss whatever is being said as heresy or rumors and won’t add any value to it.


    This could be checked in halacho.s lashon hara and is not a simple matter.


    haros – You are obligated to ask a shaila before talking.


    I just found this thread and thought I would contribute something that most seem not to know: Tenaim are NOT required for a Jewish wedding. There were none at mine.


    a lot of people sign t’noim at the wedding..this is what i did, and plan to cont.this tradition..

    haros: I’m sure u know that when it comes to shiduchim only necessary info is found out to make or break a shiduch. therefore u must ask a shaila if u are allowed to disclose this information…there is a reson they did not come to u for information before the shiduch was finalized..

    I had a situation like this and was asurd to say anything..I kept my mouth shut…the couple is B”H happily married!

    It really depends what kind of information this is, and has to discussed..

    Good Luck


    The reason why there are hundreds if not thousands of broken engagements is quite simple. Before i start lecturing for those who had one it no big deal its not a divorce!(its much better earlier than later and i know that sounded cliche). Among the hundred of reason here are the most essential reasons in my eyes why the shidduchim system is a bit ironic . First young adults from the ages of 18 to 22 feel like they must get married peer pressure. Its what there mother and father want sometimes or its the girl watching all her friends getting engaged and just feels like jumping into it her self. Second Most guys and girls this generation are not getting profession how do you expect to pay bills people(not my problem) but for this reasons people back out of relashionships MONSEY$$$$$. How can people commit withought having a financial plan and im not talking about relying on the rich controlling father-in law. Third people rush into relashioships withought getting to know the other person emotionally. Many relashionships are superficial out there exspecially with high maintence girls (they always want to be center of attention japs they think there hollywood actress stay far away from such girls there trouble you will be divorced in time in most cases unless you spoil them to death of course). Forth you cant blame shatchanim eventhough majority of times its all bout the cash. When a stranger sets you up on a date, you have to date for a really long time you cant know someone in a few days even months. I hope my infomation was informitive eventhough its ovious!


    skyfall: “The reason why there are hundreds if not thousands of broken engagements is quite simple.”

    You know the reason behind hundreds if not thousands of broken engagements? wow! You are really smart!

    Each and every single broken engagement is a story with different circumstances. I don’t understand how you can lump together so many peoples’ pain and unfortunate situations to say that the reason for it is quite simple. Each story is an individual case that can not and will not ever happen or be repeated again with a different couple.

    Just wondering if you have any personal experience in this area?


    postsemgirl: Bravo true words each circumstance is diffrent I agree with you one hundreded percent. YOU asked if I have had personal experience and the answer is no, but I have had many friends who had broken engagementS. The reasons I gave are ligatement reasons why people break immaturiy, money, and not giving it enoug time. Look oviosly you can never pinpoint exatcly what happened when you dont know the people. I mentioned before it happened to freinds these are the messages there relaying. In additon to elderley people with lots of life experience who shed there light on this matter . When I said its quite simple I did not intend for it to mean this happens to evryone.


    All I’m saying is that making sweeping statements like that is just not right. Especially next to the words “It’s quite simple.” There is nothing simple about a broken engagement.


    Skyfall, my question was why it was necessary for you to create an account here in the CR to pull up a thread that had not been posted on for 3 years so that you could tell us your spiel. Whether or not you’re right totally loses significance since no question was posed recently and all discussion was by people who in the vast majority no longer post in the CR (I did see oomis post back there).


    Girls wants to remain Kosher for a Kohen, so if they realize there is resonable likelihood of an impending divorce if go thru with the upcoming marriage, they may as well keep themselves Kosher for a Kohen suitor.

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