January 21, 2018 6:59 pm at 6:59 pm #1454083GadolhadorahParticipant
There was a wonderful story in the news section several hours ago the President of th Ponevezh yeshiva, HaRav Eliezer Kahanema and Ms. Chana Sternshaus an administrative assistant at one of the Ponevezh mosdos were going to be married as a result of a shiduch by a mutual friend. Both are in their early 70s. This story raised the question of why we don’t hear more stories like this. Are they happening and simply not being publicized? With so many of our generation having the z’chus of living much longer and active lives, opportunities to broker new relationships among the older generation should be stressed and pursued.January 21, 2018 9:46 pm at 9:46 pm #1454149
Why don’t you hear more of this?
In the USA, such a marriage might got total Social Security benefits received by the individuals, as well as cause the loss of other pension and insurance benefits.
A wife collecting on her husband’s Social Security benefits gets 50% of his check amount. When he passes away, she then gets 100% of the amount of his check as long as she is a widow. If she remarries, that increase is gone.
Many pensions have provisions to pay the surviving spouse as long as no remarriage occurs.
My father’s plan paid my mother’s health costs (above Medicare) as long as she did not remarry.
I’m a Family Law/Wills and Trust Attorney. Almost every trust we write had surviving spouse’s benefits end on remarriage so that the maker of the Trust can be sure his/her children/grandchildren get every penny set aside, not have any go to a second spouse or their children/grandchildren.
When people had no or little money it was different. Widowed seniors were married off to keep each other company, save on the cost of maintaining two homes for a single person, and give relief to the children and grandchildren..knowing that the widow/widower was not alone.January 21, 2018 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm #1454158
Nu, you have a spiritual marriage (chuppa v’kiddushin), which as far as the government is concerned is no different than a boyfriend living with a girlfriend. Which has no effect on SS benefits and is entirely legal.January 22, 2018 6:16 am at 6:16 am #1454217MalachOfCholentParticipant
I happens a lot in israel, i heard of a bunch of such stories and i know some of them- i have two friends that their grandparents remarried,
i think people keep it a secret usually because it’s a later age and they don’t need the publicity.
CTLAWYER- i don’t think the money is most people’s reason for not remarrying as their happiness is more important for them and for their children who want their parents to be happy,
also the reason many people don’t remarry is because second marriage especially in old age is difficult, many people are afraid of the change and many people have a hard time finding the right zivug they want to spend the rest of their livers with, and/or are afraid of being widowed too fast once again.January 22, 2018 6:23 am at 6:23 am #1454216
In Seminary a teacher of mine came to school excitedly saying her grandmother was engaged.
I believe the couple were in their 60’s or 70’s,
She showed us a picture, it was hysterical, they looked so cute.
I know of another 2 couples.
Doesn’t make headlines unless your famous.
Just like any other shidduch won’t make headlines unless your famous or there’s something really special and unique about it, the idea of people finding their second zivug in their older years is baruch hashem not unique, that’s why it’s not publicly announced all the time. It is uncommon though, so in the cases I’ve heard, most of the neighborhood/city knows and becomes involved in the chasuna and preparations. Still, not uncommon enough to make newspapers.January 22, 2018 7:10 am at 7:10 am #1454240
Unfortunately yo are wrong about money not keeping people from remarrying, it happens regularly.
Back in the 90s, my eldest BIL (who was a pulpit rabbi) also assumed the duties of Rabbi at a Jewish Senior Housing facility in the Boston area for a year to cover for the rabbi who was on sabbatical.
He found quite a few widowed couples who were living together, but had not married. The standard answer was that they could not afford to live on the reduced Social Security or pension benefits.
He then offered to perform ‘Jewish’ marriage ceremonies with ketubos without the couples obtaining marriage licenses from the government. After performing a few of these, he was told that he had exposure for helping these couples perpetrate a fraud on the pension payers and had to stop.January 22, 2018 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm #1454457
Speaking of couples, my upstairs neighbor who is 65 just got engaged.January 22, 2018 1:56 pm at 1:56 pm #1454535
CTL- why is that fraud? One is allowed to have a Jewish halachic marriage without a civil license, no? Legally there would be no difference between a couple who lives together stam, or a couple who lives together with a kesuba. Is it fraud to live together unmarried and collect both pensions/ss? if not, then why would it be fraud to do so with a kesuva? The rav is just ensuring that these couples are not violating halacha. Please explain.January 22, 2018 2:47 pm at 2:47 pm #1454821
WTP , what people don’t realize is that a religious martaige can be considered a legal marraige, particularly when they present themselves as man and wife. The fraud comes in when they fail to register their marraige.January 22, 2018 3:02 pm at 3:02 pm #1454928
LC: There is absolutely no legal requirement for someone who had a kesuba/kiddushin to get a state marriage certificate.January 22, 2018 4:30 pm at 4:30 pm #1454980☢️ Rand0m3x 🎲Participant
I would guess that they’re just not generally publicized,
due to those involved not being such community figures.January 22, 2018 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm #1454997
The recipient of Social Security (and some pensions) has an obligation to notify SS of a change in marital status. The officiant of a Jewish Marriage marries them, having convinced them not to live in sin, telling them they don’t have to get a government issued marriage license (and record the completed document after the ceremony).
The officiant knew they were marrying and keeping it a secret form the government to continue receiving finds for which they are no longer eligible.January 22, 2018 7:05 pm at 7:05 pm #1455002zahavasdadParticipant
There are alot more Widows than Widowers usually because men have shorter lifespans than women and the husband is usually older than the wife so there is a severe shortage of older single menJanuary 22, 2018 7:05 pm at 7:05 pm #1455003
CTL, in the case WTP described why would they no longer be eligible for the full SS or pension? Legally they aren’t married since they never got a state marriage license.
As a side note, al pi halacha you don’t need a rabbi for kedushin. Any religious Jewish layman can be mesader kedushin.January 22, 2018 7:06 pm at 7:06 pm #1455024
Joseph, didn’t say it was. But it is illegal to continue to collect Social Security/pension benefits as if they weren’t marriedJanuary 22, 2018 7:20 pm at 7:20 pm #1455042
LC, on what basis do you assert that a couple who isn’t legally married is considered married for SS/pension based on kedushin alone?January 22, 2018 9:34 pm at 9:34 pm #1455068zahavasdadParticipant
I am not a lawyer, but there is a concept in secular law called Common-law-spouse. Meaning 2 people who arent legally married but are together.
I dont know about every states, but certainly in some states common-law-spouses have the same rights as legally married spousesJanuary 22, 2018 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm #1455073
ZD, common-law-marriage is recognized only be a very small number of states. Most states (including NY, NJ, CA, etc.) do not recognize common-law-marriages.January 23, 2018 1:04 am at 1:04 am #1455104
CTL, the מסדר קידושיו might be מסעיה לדבר עבירה if he knows that they will do it. I know a rav who was told by a caterer that if he paid cash he would get a discount of $1,000 as the caterer could get away with not declaring it. He asked a dayan and was told that it was not permitted. It may also be illegal to perform a marriage ceremony without a license (here in Israel this is the case). BTW, if one of the parties has not yet received a civil divorce it could cause legal problems for both. I would consult an attorney who specializes in family and benefits law as well as a competent rav first.
Here in Israel common-law marriage (ידועה בציבור) is recognized for purposes such as single-parent family and social insurance purposes – and there are inspectors who check up on people. There once was a law rescinding the pension of IDF widows who remarried but it was repealed because of the hardships it caused. It also did not make much sense as women with high incomes also received it.January 23, 2018 1:05 am at 1:05 am #1455088
BTW…from personal experience, Social Security accepts a Ketubah as proof of marriage for benefit purposes.
My parents OBM, never got a civil marriage license. They were married in Manhattan in the early 1940s. When my mother went to collect a wife’s SS benefit on my father’s earnings she was asked for a copy of her marriage license. She replied, I don’t have one. She said I have a Jewish marriage contract, signed and witnessed. SS told her to bring it is to the office. She said it’s framed and hanging on my bedroom wall along with a wedding photo. SS said bring the frame in and we’ll photocopy it on a blueprint size copier.
She shlepped the framed ketubah to the New Haven office, it was copied and she rec’d her checks for more than 30 yearsJanuary 23, 2018 1:06 am at 1:06 am #1455086
There are only 14 states that recognize Common Law Marriage and in some of them it had to be established in the last century.
States That Recognize Common Law Marriage
Only a few states recognize common law marriages, and each has specific stipulations as to what relationships are included:
District of Columbia
Georgia (if created before 1/1/97)
Idaho (if created before 1/1/96)
New Hampshire (for inheritance purposes only)
Ohio (if created before 10/10/91)
Oklahoma (possibly only if created before 11/1/98. Oklahoma’s laws and court decisions may be in conflict about whether common law marriages formed in that state after 11/1/98 will be recognized.)
Pennsylvania (if created before 1/1/05)
UtahJanuary 23, 2018 7:41 am at 7:41 am #1455129
Joseph, in NY, a religious marraige conducted by a qualified indivdual and with a ketuba is considered a legal marraige. Failure to notify SSA is fraud.January 23, 2018 8:39 am at 8:39 am #1455140
“in NY, a religious marraige conducted by a qualified indivdual and with a ketuba is considered a legal marraige.”
Which NY statue says this? NY does not recognize common-law-marriages.January 23, 2018 10:10 am at 10:10 am #1455253
Not everything in law is reduced to what is in the statute books. Sometimes it is just by precedent. Most states recognize marriages performed by pulpit Rabbis, Ministers, Priests and Mullahs. They are permitted to sign the civil marriage licenses as the officiant. They do not recognize most of these people if they do not hold a pulpit or the pulpit is out of state.
I’m a Justice of the Peace. When last Ms. CTL was married here at our home this August, the Mesader Kiddushin was from South Africa. He could not sign the CT marriage License, so I signed it.
See my post about my parents who married in Manhattan with only a Rav as Mesader Kiddushin, not a marriage license. Their marriage was recognized as legalJanuary 23, 2018 10:53 am at 10:53 am #1455266👑RebYidd23Participant
This is why I’m anti marriage.January 23, 2018 11:57 am at 11:57 am #1455361
Joseph, marraige by a rabbi, priest etc is not considered a common law marraige.January 23, 2018 3:06 pm at 3:06 pm #1455438
CTL/LC: As I earlier mentioned, kedushin can be done by any frum layman. No Rabbi needed altogether. As such, that approach would seem to avoid the problem of losing benefits from SS/pensions.January 23, 2018 3:08 pm at 3:08 pm #1455415
Learn something new every day. I never thought that a Jewish marriage in itself is a legal marriage, I just thought that the mesader kedushin is qualified to sign the civil marriage license, and that it’s 2 separate things.January 23, 2018 4:00 pm at 4:00 pm #1455701
Joseph, so a kula is ok if it helps you commit fraud. If you are married, you are not entitled to the benefits! Just because you do it in a way that the State might not recognize doesn’t make it kosher.January 23, 2018 5:33 pm at 5:33 pm #1455398
The source is in NY Domestic law 25. In addition, there have court cased. In 2009 , a son challenged his mother’s right to manage his father’s estate as they had a Muslim religious ceremony but no marraige license/certificate. The Court ruled that since the marraige met the requirements of Part 25 of the Domestic law and they had lived as man and wife, the marrage was valid.January 23, 2018 7:27 pm at 7:27 pm #1456005
LC: What are you hocking chinik about. If the NYS law says that if a non-clergyman performs a religious ritual kesuba/kiddushin then it has no effect or validity in being considered a legal marriage in NYS, then such a religious marriage under the eyes of NYS law is no different than a senior couple living together without any marriage altogether. It involves no “kulas” (hey, aren’t you all about “less chumras” anyways?), involves no fraud, and you’re fully legally and halachicly entitled to the benefits – all of which are kosher. That’s the law in NYS, and someone doing this is following it completely. No less than unmarried goyim who are bf and gf and collect full benefits.January 24, 2018 7:34 am at 7:34 am #1456062
CTLAWYER: This thread just goes to show how many are ignorant of the laws in the country they live in, and many people do not do it on purpose.
I really think they should have a class on this in school, about the laws of the country you live in.
How does the government expect people to keep laws when nobody actually knows them?January 24, 2018 8:39 am at 8:39 am #1456052
Joseph, I asked a retired shul rabbi and he said that it does not sound right (from the point of view of Jewish ethics) and would not be a party to it. Atthe very least it is naval b’reshut haTorah. Moreover, it could be a double-edged sword as the survivor might not be eligible for survivor’s benefits.
So far as NYS not recognizing common-law marriage, that does not necessarily bind the Feds. For example, they are prosecuting people in states that legalized marijuana for violating Federal laws. Here are relevant quotes from an actual case (SSR 76-27):
“The claimant and a woman whom he holds out to the community to be his wife, reside in a State which does not recognize common-law marriages. The Social Security Administration determined that a husband-wife relationship existed according to section 1614(d)(2) of the Social Security Act. The claimant contended that since the State of his residence does not recognize a marriage relationship, the Federal Government should be precluded from recognizing one. Held, a husband-wife relationship as defined in section 1614(d)(2) of the Social Security Act, as amended, does exist whether or not such relationship is recognized by the State in which they reside. Because of this relationship, the claimant is subject to the income and resource deeming provisions of section 1614(f)(1) of the Social Security Act.
The general issue is whether the claimant is a ‘husband’ under section 1614(d)(2) of the Social Security Act, as amended, and if so, is the claimant affected by the deeming provisions of section 1614(f)(1) of the Social Security Act, as amended. The specific issues to be decided are: Whether the claimant and a woman who are holding themselves out as man and wife to the community in which they reside, are husband and wife under the Social Security Act; and what effect would a State’s nonrecognition of a common-law marriage have in the final determination as to whether they are husband and wife?
The claimant, an obviously disabled individual, appeared at the hearing with a woman whom he identified as his wife, Eve. Claimant admitted at the hearing that he considered Eve to be his wife and that they had lived together holding themselves out to the community as man and wife since 1971. He indicated that there had never been a formal marriage ceremony binding them but that they looked upon one another as husband and wife. Eve also indicated in her testimony at the hearing that the claimant’s testimony was substantially correct. Both indicated that the child now living with them was the natural son of the claimant and Eve.
Section 1614(d)(2) of the Social Security Act provides that:
‘In determining whether two individuals are husband and wife for purposes of this title, appropriate State Law shall be applied; except that . . . if a man and woman are found to be holding themselves out to the community in which they reside as husband and wife, they shall be so considered for purposes of this title notwithstanding any other provision of this section.’
Section 416.1005(a) of Regulations No. 16 reads in part as follows:
‘Two individuals may be considered to be husband and wife for the purpose of determining that one is the spouse of the other under title XVI of the Act if at the time the application for payments is made or at any later date:
(1) The individuals are living together in the same household, and holding themselves out to the community in which they reside as husband and wife. . .’
Section 416.1003(b) and (c) of Regulations No. 16 in this regard reads as follows:
‘For purposes of this subpart, the term “household” means one or more individuals living as a family unit in a single place of abode . . . A man and woman are ‘holding themselves out as husband and wife’ if they represent themselves as husband and wife (or as married to each other) to relatives, friends, neighbors, or tradespeople with whom they do business.'”.January 24, 2018 9:31 am at 9:31 am #1456143
Back through the early 1970s, all public school students took a class in Civics while in Junior High School which covered this subject. MY OOT Day School/High School also taught it. OOT schools are far more likely to have a full half day of secular subjects. We constantly read articles on YWN of Yeshivos NOT teaching the government required secular classes, turning out graduates who are ignorant of necessary information to live in the greater world.
I have three Chinese Foreign Exchange students living in an apartment I own and attending private high school in the US. I mentor them. They all are taking a Government class which deals with the basics of the US legal system.January 24, 2018 9:32 am at 9:32 am #1456128
Joseph, so now it’s ok because goyim do it?
What happened to chukas goyim?
There are many things that can technically be done on Shabbos by use of timers ( i.e. turn on a radio ) but we don’t because it violates the spirit of Shabbos and the intent of chazal. So, yes, technically a marriage officiated bya frum layperson is not recognized by the state, it violates the spirit and intent. We are supposed to be and claim to be, at a higher madrega.January 24, 2018 10:03 am at 10:03 am #1456198
LC, but you’re wrong. The government and private pensions are totally and officially okay for unmarried bf and gfs living together to collect full SS and pensions as if they haven’t remarried.January 24, 2018 11:30 am at 11:30 am #1456251GAONParticipant
“the מסדר קידושיו might be מסעיה לדבר עבירה if he knows that they will do it”
This is to a degree is Am Ha’aratzes – Halachakly; unlike by Clergy and etc. by non-Jewish laws the מסדר קידושיו has no implication on the very Maaseh Kedushin. He is just performing the “how-to” directions. All a Kedushin needs are two kosher witnesses. Perhaps, you can say that about two edim, but it has nothing with Mesader Kedushin, especially if the Kedushin on its own is not the Averah.
If its like Joseph says that a non-clergy marriage is not legally married, so they should get married without any official Clergy Rabbi. They can go over all the halachas beforehand and just give a Ketubah Kedushin in the presence of two witnessed and you are married by Jewish Law. As far as the State Law goes, let them be considered as b/f g/f and file as separate.
I wonder if you all are such machmir in other Halachas as well…January 24, 2018 11:30 am at 11:30 am #1456269
We had civil and government classes in school. They covered the levels and format of government, how bills become laws, election processes etc. It was not a “halacha” class in US law – i.e. did not detail the actual laws themselves, it would be impossible in any case to teach every law. And a lot would be state specific, and then what happens if a person grows up and moves out of state? Ignorance of the law is not a valid legal defense, but it is probably impossible for any person to know every single law on the book.January 24, 2018 11:30 am at 11:30 am #1456270
Joseph, I’m talking about married people. Noone dosagrees that unmarried people living together don’t forfiet benefits. As usual, you are muddying the waterJanuary 24, 2018 11:44 am at 11:44 am #1456285
LC, According to NYS law the Jewish people I described are unmarried people. For example, it would be against the law for them to file a Married Filling Joint tax return or to claim to the SS office or to their pensions that they’re married. They’re legally required to claim being single.January 24, 2018 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm #1456290
Different laws in different states is exactly why we have separate Bar Exams for each state. One day National law is tested, day two, state law is tested.
I am admitted in CT, MA (where I went to Law School), NY and FL. I am old enough that after practicing in CT for 5 years, all I had to do was pay my fee to NY, drive to Albany and be sworn in. Nowadays, I’d have to take and pass the NYS Bar Exam. I took and passed the other exams. I am also admitted to the Federal Bar for my District.
That said, No one knows every law on the books in their state. Lawyers and Judges tend to keep up to speed on the areas of their practice. Otherwise they look things up or have clerks and paralegals research and report results. I was in court this morning with a Judge in Housing Session, Superior Court. He had just been transferred in after 5 years in the Family Law Division. In one 30 minute session, he stopped and referred to the Connecticut General Statutes (on line version) 4 times before rendering a decision.January 24, 2018 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm #1456318
GAON (= never having heard of Rashi or Tosafot), if they do not know the “how to” and they will attempt to defraud the government he is helping them to do an aveira.
Joseph, according to the statutes I cited they are considered like married people for the purpose of benefits. while they cannot say that they are married they can claim to be a couple.
CTL, I doubt that anyone memorized the statute book. In fact, when I cited a statute in a case before the President of the Jerusalem District Labor Court (appealing a National Insurance Institute ruling) he had to look it up as it is not a well-known loophole (I checked the law on the Internet as I had once seen something that suggested it).January 24, 2018 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm #1456347
Joseph, you continue to ignore thr point. They consider themselves married and present themselves as being married
The sole pupose of being married by a layman was to collect benefits that an unmarried couple is entitled to but not a married couple. In other words, using halacha to steal is unethical, if not illegal, and behaviour not befitting a frum Jew. Besides, as another postet observed, Social Security is not bound by NY law and would consider them married since that was how they presented themselves and livedJanuary 24, 2018 3:30 pm at 3:30 pm #1456374
LC, it is you who continues to ignore the point. NYS law doesn’t give a hoot that they consider themselves married and present themselves as being married. They used Halacha to make sure their relationship was kosher. NYS law requires that they claim to be single for purposes of filing taxes, SS benefits, pensions, etc. NYS law doesn’t even allow them to claim to be married for those purposes. If such a couple claimed to be married they would be breaking the law.
Avi, Federal law doesn’t purport to determine whether someone is married or not. Federal law uses the State to determine whether anyone is deemed married or not. For the purposes of Social Security and SS only, the law you cited above does seem to hold that if they publicly present themselves as husband and wife then they are deemed to be so for SS purposes even if they are not under State law. This would affect SS but not pensions or other instances where it matters whether the party is married or not.January 24, 2018 3:36 pm at 3:36 pm #1456380GAONParticipant
“GAON (= never having heard of Rashi or Tosafot), if they do not know the “how to” and they will attempt to defraud the government he is helping them to do an aveira.”
Lifnei Iver has conditions of when or what and according to most it has to be בתרי עברי דנהרא. I will quote you Tosfos Shitah in beg. of A”Z if that’s what you want 🙂
מנין שלא יושיט אדם כוס יין לנזיר – … ולפי זה אסור להושיט למומרים לעבודת כוכבים דבר איסור, אע”פ שהוא שלהם, כי הדבר ידוע שיאכלוהו והוא” נאסר להם, דכישראל גמור חשבינן ליה. ומיירי בדקאי במקום שלא יוכל ליקח אם לא יושיט לו זה וכדמסיק, דקאי בתרי עברי דנהרא.”
Tosfos is clear when it can be done without his technical help there is no Issur of Lifnei Ivr..
This is not even בחד עברא דנהרא as it has nothing directly with the Kidushin, thus its not even an Issur of מסייע (i.e. the Rav does not have to know their financial status at all).
I still wonder if you all are such machmirim in all other issurim when it comes to מסייע, or you look for Kulos?
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