October 18, 2013 2:51 am at 2:51 am #610924observeroftheyeshivishMember
How do us orthodox middle of the road (Not necessarily but not modern orthodox) propose do we get down on one knee if not what is the halachical reason and what do we doOctober 18, 2013 3:11 am at 3:11 am #986829observeroftheyeshivishMember
*Not necessarily yeshivish but*October 18, 2013 3:11 am at 3:11 am #986830
Getting on one knee is an Issur D’oraisa of Chukas Akum.October 18, 2013 4:14 am at 4:14 am #986831
I proposed by making a scrapbook of our time together and at the end of the scrapbook there was a page that said “will you marry me?” with check boxes for yes and no. The “no” box was shaped like a square and the “yes” box was shaped like a ring. I handed him a pen and he checked off “yes” (but not before going through a bunch of legalism about whether or not I had jurisdiction over him– luckily I appreciate his sense of humor!)
It wasn’t a surprise because we both knew we were going to get engaged, so he had the ring with him. Interestingly enough, he is makpid that traditional proposals are too similar to kiddushin. He took out the ring, put it down and declared it hefker, and then I picked it up and put it on my finger. The whole thing was really adorable and it’s a memory that I’ll treasure forever.October 18, 2013 3:26 pm at 3:26 pm #986832Just SmileParticipant
While traditional proposals may be similar to kiddushin, they have no halachic ramifications regarding kiddushin. (For starters the ring has to be given with intent to be makdish the women.)
What actually has halachik ramifications is the actual verbal agreement to get married (or in this case checking the box). According to most poskim, that is a binding halachik agreement that must be kept unless BOTH sides agree to revoke it. (Similar if he would verbally agree to sell you something at a certain price, neither of you can back out if the other wants to go ahead with it.) This has MASSIVE ramifications when it comes to broken engagements where only one side wants to break it.
The irony is the legalism about whether or not you had jurisdiction over him and your username. Halchically it is him having jurisdiction over you not visa versa, it would sound more like you should have run the legalism.October 18, 2013 4:45 pm at 4:45 pm #986833ironpenguinMember
How about just something sweet and personal? I think the one knee thing is kind of hollywood movieish, and your knees will get all dirty! Write a poem, watch fireworks at night, write words on a cake…possiblities are endless! As a girl though, I would want more thought involved than flashiness…think what she likes and what she would like to happen, maybe she’s the type to want bended knee? If she does, the halachic shailos are between you and your rav.October 18, 2013 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm #986834golferParticipant
Just go ahead and tell her you’re crazy about her and want to spend the rest of your life, in this world and the next, with her!
(If you’re yeshivish, you can keep your hat on while you’re telling her.)October 18, 2013 5:24 pm at 5:24 pm #986835WolfishMusingsParticipant
Getting on one knee is an Issur D’oraisa of Chukas Akum.
I didn’t know that. I’ll have to find a new way to tie my shoes, I suppose.
Interesting story: Eeees and I had been dating for a while, but neither of us were yet ready to get married. Nonetheless, one day, I was in her kitchen and she had her back to me. I said to her “Eeees, I need to ask you something.” At the same time, I had bent down (and got down on one knee) to tie my shoes. She thought I was going to propose at that moment, but the question I intended to ask was completely unrelated (I knew we weren’t ready to get married yet).
We still like to joke about that many years later. When I did actually propose, it was not on one knee.
The WolfOctober 18, 2013 5:43 pm at 5:43 pm #986836
“Getting on one knee is an Issur D’oraisa of Chukas Akum.”
Uh maybe in your Torah. Its not an issur Deoraysoh or Derabbanan.October 18, 2013 7:30 pm at 7:30 pm #986837eclipseMember
golfer, cute black-hat line
Wolf, that’s funny!October 18, 2013 7:46 pm at 7:46 pm #986838
They should rename this place the YWmakeupissurdoraysoroomOctober 18, 2013 9:18 pm at 9:18 pm #986839
Let me rephrase: Getting on one knee to propose is an Issur D’oraisa of Chukas Akum.
Just smile: What you say is not entirely accurate. If there are two male friends present when you propose then that probably does constitute Kiddushin, even if you don’t have explicit Da’as “L’sheim Kiddushin”. Look up EH 26 (maybe 27?).October 18, 2013 9:31 pm at 9:31 pm #986840FiddlerMember
I don’t think Sam2 meant that getting on ones knee is assur in general. He is only talking about proposing like that.October 19, 2013 5:00 pm at 5:00 pm #986841
“The irony is the legalism about whether or not you had jurisdiction over him and your username. Halchically it is him having jurisdiction over you not visa versa, it would sound more like you should have run the legalism.”
It was secular legalism (my husband is a law student) and my “jurisdiction” over him was because I was proposing.October 19, 2013 5:56 pm at 5:56 pm #986842interjectionParticipant
To all these guys who feel they must have the most unique/cute/funny etc proposal, it really needn’t be a stress. You can do it standing, sitting, in public or private and you can mess up the words but she will cherish the moment whatever you do.October 20, 2013 2:53 am at 2:53 am #986843
I repeat that theres no such issur deoraysoh regarding proposing. I would like you to provide one source.October 20, 2013 3:50 am at 3:50 am #986844FiddlerMember
WIY, the bending on knee proposing tradition stems from the Christian church rite known as genuflection.October 22, 2013 1:42 am at 1:42 am #986845Just SmileParticipant
Sam2 – 100% incorrect – If giving something worth a shava pruta to a woman in front of two men while not at all intending to marry them at the time is kiddushin – then I better tell my daughter not to go shopping with a male cashier
jewishfeminist02 – I know – I got it – it was simply ironic – I thought it was cute – that’s allOctober 22, 2013 2:58 am at 2:58 am #986846
Just Smile: That’s not what I said. What I said was it could be Kiddushin in certain circumstances, even if you’re not thinking of being M’kadeish with it. Proposals almost certainly count as those situations. Learn Even HaEzer Siman 26. It’s fairly clear that giving an engagement ring with Eidim present is Kiddushin.
WIY: Rare as it is, Joseph happens to be right in this case.October 22, 2013 3:22 pm at 3:22 pm #986847WolfishMusingsParticipant
Proposals almost certainly count as those situations.
Except that you’re missing one important part — intent.
The chosson knows that he’s going to do an actual kiddushin later by the chuppah and that he doesn’t mean for this to be a kiddushin.
The kallah knows that she’s going to receive a ring for kiddushin under the chuppah and that this isn’t an actual kiddushin.
The people viewing the event know that there will be an actual kiddushin under the chuppah and that the engagement ring is not being given l’shem kiddushin.
Since everyone involved knows that this is not an actual kiddushin, it seems fairly clear that giving an engagement ring (as is commonly done these days) is not an actuall ma’aseh kiddushin.
The WolfOctober 22, 2013 9:00 pm at 9:00 pm #986848
I asked a Rav and also a second person who knows a lot of Halacha and he doesnt think its assur. I’m assuming either many Ravs dont know about genuflection, or for some reason its not assur. I will have to keep asking until I get to the bottom of it.October 22, 2013 9:40 pm at 9:40 pm #986849writersoulParticipant
But genuflection has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with proposals…
If in communion ceremonies they have wine can I not make kiddush?
What does one have to do with the other?October 22, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm #986850berntoutParticipant
Because the idea of proposing that way, as a token of respect, is an offshoot of genuflection. One came about from the other.October 22, 2013 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm #986851
WIY: Maybe show them the Wikipedia article on genuflection then ask if they still think it’s not a problem? You don’t need to find a Rov who knows of the Goyish concept. If you tell a Rov about the concept (and he believes you) then he should be able to decide whether it falls under Chukas Akum or no.
Writersoul: Getting on one knee as a means of supplication (and you are asking someone to marry you) without a doubt in my mind constitutes an Assur form of genuflection.
Wolf: I think I once made that same claim (that a proposal isn’t Kiddushin because it’s D’varim Sheb’leiv Uv’leiv Kol Adam). In fact, I think I made it in the CR. I’ll have to think about this more. It could be that you are right.October 22, 2013 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm #986852Bookworm120Participant
@Sam2 – I thought it was getting down on both knees that’s, from a worship-perspective, chukas akum. But I could very well be wrong.October 23, 2013 1:56 am at 1:56 am #986853
Bookworm: Getting down on 2 knees as a form of worship is a separate Issur.October 23, 2013 2:55 am at 2:55 am #986854HaKatanParticipant
I think Sam2 is 100% correct that this practice is assur.
But even if genuflecting in proposal weren’t technically assur, do you really want to engage in this practice knowing that its origin is in Avoda Zara?
Aren’t the many beautiful hanhagos of, lihavdil, our Torah traditions not sufficient?October 23, 2013 6:43 pm at 6:43 pm #986855mehaylegehMember
You can’t just “think that someone is right” that something is assur. That’s not how halacha works. You have to learn the sugya to have an opinion. Emotional decisions like that will put you in danger of following something that just isnt yiddisheit. Learn what the halacha has to say, define what the factors are, then make a decision as to if this case falls into the category of issurim.October 28, 2013 9:23 pm at 9:23 pm #986857
I emailed Gateways and was told its not assur. I pushed it further and asked them to pose the question to Rabbi Becher and he said “It is not a specifically christian custom. Also the fact that he is not going down on both knees means he is not imitating kneeling in Church. However, I would not recommend it as it does have an odor of a gentile practice about it.”
What do you say?October 28, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm #986858
The christian practice is to get on one knee, not two knees. So it is like their practice.October 28, 2013 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm #986859
Good point. I will ask him about this.October 31, 2013 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #986860November 1, 2013 2:31 am at 2:31 am #986861
It is a specifically Christian thing to do. No other religion does it and the entire idea came into existence through it being a Christian church rite. That church rite made it to be considered a sign of respect and that rite is how and the reason it came to be used in marriage proposals. Research how proposing on one knee came about. Almost all the articles on it, including the wikipedia article called “marriage proposal”, reference genuflection. What other time do you know of that people davka get on one knee to do something as a sign of respect?November 1, 2013 3:23 am at 3:23 am #986862
“You can’t just ‘think that someone is right’ that something is assur. That’s not how halacha works.”
No, you can’t make up a psak, but I don’t think that’s what most people mean when they use that phrase. Most people B”H have learned a fair amount of halacha and if someone asks them something, they will say “yes, I think so” if they don’t remember exactly. That doesn’t mean they made it up; it means that at one point they did learn the sugya and it’s just not so fresh in their minds anymore.November 1, 2013 4:26 am at 4:26 am #986863
You should read the Wikipedia again. Genuflection is thousands of years old and predates Xtianity. It has always been a way of showing honor which is why Royals and nobles use it.November 1, 2013 5:04 am at 5:04 am #986864
WIY: I don’t know who Rabbi Becher is but I will assume he is a Talmid Chacham. The Poskim (YD 179 I think) say that any practice that started with an Avodah Zarah remains Assur. Even if the Makor is Persian or Alexandrian as Wikipedia states, it is still an Assur practice because it stems from religious reasons (even if the origin wasn’t religious itself the widespread practice-from where kneeling while proposing comes today-is indeed a church practice). And even aside from that, the Gra holds that anything done Stam by non-Jews gains a D’oraisa-level Issur of Chukas Akum if there’s no obvious logical reason for it. (The Minhag in America doesn’t seem to be to be Machmir like this Gra, though, as the major Nafka Mina is ties and most Frum people in America wear ties. I may have quoted here earlier a second reason that a tie is meant to represent a cross. Apparently, that is a myth with no historical basis.)November 1, 2013 5:04 am at 5:04 am #986865
For the past over 500 years it has only been practiced in Roman Catholicism. And wherever it is done nowadays, including in marriage proposals, it came about there as an offshoot from the Catholic practice.November 1, 2013 2:58 pm at 2:58 pm #986866RedlegParticipant
Getzel, while we don’t expect you to be an expert on Catholic religious practice, FYI, Catholics genuflect on both knees, not only one. Further, genuflection is not specifically a Christian practice. Moslems do it five times a day and no one thinks Islam is avodas zora. For goodness sake, WE do it on Yom Kippur in remembrance of the avodah in the Beis Hamkdash.. If anything, the Christians and the Moslems got it from us.November 1, 2013 3:22 pm at 3:22 pm #986867ToiParticipant
I’m gonna chime in here and suggest that people not ‘think’ as a basis for their ‘psakim’, go learn the sugyos of chukas hagoyim. I think Sam would be correct. It certainly originated as a form of worship to something unjewish. it neednt be christian exclusively to assur it.
redleg- see tosfos AZ in the sugya about bamma and why its assur today.November 1, 2013 3:40 pm at 3:40 pm #986868
Redleg, you’re mixing up Catholic worshiping on two knees, which is their typical way of worship, and their separate and distinct (and much less frequent) rite of genuflecting on one knee, which is where this one knee idea comes from (for the past 500+ years.) Muslims do it on two knees not one. And we don’t do it on one knee on Yom Kippur.November 1, 2013 8:28 pm at 8:28 pm #986869
Redleg: Genuflection as a Christian practice is not the same as bowing. Bowing isn’t Assur.
And the Ran holds that Islam is Avodah Zarah, arguing on the Rambam. (And the massive Pele is that the Tzitz Eliezer Paskened like the Ran.)November 15, 2013 3:18 am at 3:18 am #986870octopiMember
i dont know much about it from the halachic point of view, but i know plenty of people who have gotten down on one knee that are completely frum and very learned. plus, getting down on one knee is romantic, and who says we cant be romantic sometimes?November 15, 2013 4:25 am at 4:25 am #986871live riteMember
Just because people did it or do it, doesn’t make it right or allowed. Even if they are frum they were probably ignorant that it can’t be done.
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