Married Couple Who Become Baal Teshuvas

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    If a married couple simultaneously become baal teshuvos, do they need to have a new marriage ceremony after they became observant?

    If only one becomes a baal teshuva, do they need to divorce?

    ☕️coffee addict



    If they had kosher witnesses, as is the case with many frei Israelis and sefardim, then there’s no need for a new kidushin/chupah/kesuvah. If there weren’t any kosher witnesses, such as a typical reform or conservative marriage, then they would need to do everything over again.

    That’s what most poskim say. Rav Henkin held that at some point kosher witnesses probably saw them going into the husband’s house, etc..which is enough to make a kiddushin. It could be he said it lechumra to necessitate a get, but not that they don’t need to redo their marriage. Whereas most poskim held that a standard frei ceremony wouldn’t require a get, and the wife can remarry at will. I don’t know what the accepted practice is among rabbonim in that case, but baalei teshuva routinely get remarried al pi halacha

    As for a chiyuv to divorce if one spouse becomes frum; this is very, very complicated and each case is different. Sometimes a frei person will agree to keeping a kosher kitchen and adhering to taharas mishpacha, while not being personally observant otherwise. This happens quite often.


    You are both right. There is no need for the ceremony. But as a technicality, the husband would still be obligated in the mitzva of kiddushin, and they would need to recite Sheva Berachos once. Which would demand a seudah. But they are not obligated to take off a week of work.


    Why would they not be chayav in sheba brachos, including the husband not working? They weren’t married before, and now they wre. It’s not “fixing” a bar kiddushin; without aidei kiyuma, nothing happened.


    Avira, are these frei Israelis that have a kosher kiddushin also getting kosher gittin?

    Reform and Conservative married BTs generally are getting a new kidushin/chupah when becoming observant?

    According to Rav Henkin, Reform and Conservative second marriages are creating masses of mamzeirim (due to a lack of kosher gittin from the first marriage)?

    Is agreeing to keep a kosher kitchen and adhering to taharas mishpacha sufficient to permit a frum Yid to be married to a non-frum person? And is your answer the same you gave if the situation is where by a frum couple one spouse r”l suddenly stops being frum, whether they can continue to remain married?

    CA: Which question are you answering? And why is your answer so unequivocal?


    Ujm, as far as i know, people who look for Orthodox rabbis for kiddushin will generally do things like marriage, divorce, funerals, etc…with Orthodox rabbis; it’s a mentality that “when” they do something religious, it’s authentic.

    But im sure there are many such disgruntled women who ger a civil divorce and remarry r”l.

    And yes, according to rav Henkin there’s a fairly large population of mamzerim, especially in America. But rav Moshe was rav moshe – he had the plaitzas to allow it, and i believe this is accepted by kiruv rabbis, but that’s not something i know for sure and i don’t expect anyone on here to take what is said on an online forum seriously enough to pasken such a shailoh.

    As for the issue of staying married to someone who’s not frum – for many BTs, having to divorce would send them way backwards, they would lose control over the chinuch of their kids, and they may drop it altogether – it’s dinei nefashos to tell a BT to do such a thing. While of course it’s not ideal to stay married, if the home is kosher and the frum spouse can keep shabbos and taharas mishpacha, I don’t know of any reason good enough to tell a person to make such a sacrifice if they’re not holding by the madrega of wanting to do so themselves. And even if they want to, there’s the children to consider.


    When I was young & naive (I believe Reb Moshe wanted no Kosher kidushin with the Non-Frum to avoid issues with Gittim & Mamzerim) my friend & I would go to a Reform Shul to be aydim. Usually it was the grandparents who insisted on an Orthodox ceremony. The Reform Rabbi (who was from the older generation & actually knew what he was doing) the bride & groom & me & my friend would meet in the Rabbis office where the groom said Harei At & put the ring on her finger & my friend & i would sign the Kesubah. This was the 80’s & we made a quick $10 or $20 for a few minutes work. We left & the Rabbi would perform a Reform wedding in the sanctuary.



    You’re stating your personal opinion that it’s not ideal to stay married. You’re not a Rabbi. There have been Rabbonim who have advised otherwise.


    Eidim are NOT halachically allowed to accept payment.

    Menachem Shmei

    Just pointing out the obvious (Avira already mentioned):

    Every case is unique, and a rov MUST be consulted


    Pekak, i went through a list of reasons why rabbonim usually tell people in that situation to remain married. But can you say that it’s an ideal for a person to have as their life partner someone who will not help them, and often hurt their progress? It’s just that the potential fallout is cumulatively worse; the BT might have regrets, might drop the whole thing, the frei spouse might get custody (especially if it’s the mother who’s not frum).

    Why on earth would it be ideal to have a non frum spouse??


    I’m just relaying my experiences with rabbonim; no one should take what is said on an online forum as a replacement for shimush or asking shailos. I’ve seen quite a few of these stories in both my line of work and elsewhere, so I’ve seen what rabbonim tend to do, but as i said in the beginning, it’s a very, very complicated question, and there are times that we simply cannot tell a BT that’s it’s ok. Does that mean we have to tell him to leave? Big difference; shev ve’al taaseh is sometimes a good option. But what if we know the BT will listen? Sometimes you’re mechuyav to tell them to leave.


    As I stated, “When I was YOUNG & NAIVE”
    Also, for many jobs which one can’t be paid we don’t pay them for the job we pay them the money they “Lost” by not being able to work a regular job due to being involved in klei kodesh.


    Would you ensure that those of these couples who divorced – had a kosher get?
    with all good intentions, this seems to be an illustration for Kiddushin ~ 13 discussion of those who do kiddushin and gittin without proper qualification and increasing mamzerim…

    _IF_ taking money would disqualify kiddushin, surely you can ask a shaila, you may want to go back to that office, trace them to second marriages and file testimony that wedding was invalid with a beis din in case there are baalei teshuva coming from the second marriages


    “If only one becomes a baal teshuva, do they need to divorce?”

    Dare to dream!

    Sorry to put all of my troubles out here CR but this topic which may have been meant purely as a hypothetical fit too well with something I’ve been struggling with lately.

    It is not an easy thing to end a marriage especially when children are involved, even if it is the right thing, even if there are religious grounds (verbal abuse seems to qualify so sadly I believe I would have grounds), even if he has always stifled my religious devotion. I am not blameless, I am not an easy person to be married to (as he often reminds me), but who does not have their flaws? All I can do is pray that hashem softens my husband’s heart, and gives me the strength to endure for the sake of the children. Even with couples counseling while the improvement has been noticeable, he still hurts me with his words every day. He says it is my fault that what he says hurts me, that I’m misinterpreting what he says, I am being too sensitive, or he is stressed at something else and to ignore the tone, profanity, and anger in what he says. But when someone says they hate you how else can you interpret it?
    He was away for a week and came back today and berated me for coddling the toddler in his absence. 🥺 Is it a wonder I did not miss him while he was gone?

    He originally blockaded my religious journey for example guess who pressured me to stop keeping kosher as I had for my entire life before we met, he did not want to celebrate shabbat with my friends but make plans for us to go out on friday nights with his, he will begrudgingly celebrate a few holidays a year or attend maybe one service if he has no conflicting plans. Once upon a time he treated me very well so I was willing to overlook his lack of religious devotion because he seemed devoted to me and I thought he would never hurt me. How wrong I was. I am not looking for anyone’s sympathy or even advice. I just really needed a space where I could share this safely and anonymously. Thanks for reading.

    Shimon Nodel

    @SACT5, no words


    Sact5, try to find a religious authority competent in these issues. get books by r Twersky, he writes about abuse and related topics.
    One thing he says that if one spouse abuses children, and the other doesn’t protect them, then children might later have a grudge against the healthy person excusing the sick one

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