Validity of Jewish Marriage where it’s for other reasons

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    I wonder if people could opine on the following:

    If a couple (in NY so it’s not Israel) seek out an Orthodox Rabbi to issue a ketubah and he does it correctly (rings, glass, ketubah etc.) but the couple are doing it purely to get a specific advantage (get their kid into a Jewish school who demand to see the parents Ketubah to show Jewishness) but the couple don’t intend to be married or get a civilly married or have any benefits/obligation of a regular marriage, is the Jewish marriage still valid halachically or is it somehow invalid because it’s in ‘bad faith’ because it’s only being done for the school?
    (Note, in NY even without a license, a religious wedding can be recognised as a civil one but let’s not get into the secular law…)



    Who cares why they did it? If its done according to halacha it’s binding


    If the people are Jewish (by halacha, not “culturally” or “genetically”), and they are living together as man and wife, and its their child, the only possible objection to the marriage is that the woman didn’t go to mikva. It might be an issue if they they weren’t living together, or if the child wasn’t there child, or the man was married to another woman -but what the question describes is a proper Jewish marriage by a couple that is already de facto married, and wants to “make it official” for a legitimate reason. Consider if the reason was so that they could easily file taxes as a married couple or to own a house by the entireties (since it is very hard to get a marriage recognized without the expected paperwork, even though it is a valid marriage).

    They most probably would need a “get” to marry anyone else, as well as a government divorce, since New York, like most states, recognizes the validity of religious marriage ceremonies even if you don’t have the marriage license (the couple and the clergy might owe a fine, but that’s a revenue measure, not a domestic relations matter).

    Shimon Nodel

    This has to be one of the most pointless threads of all time. What exactly is your desired purpose of posting this? If this is a real case, you need to consult the relevant halachic authorities. You won’t receive any wise information on the matter from the coffee room.
    If you were just wondering, well then keep wondering. I have much better and more entertaining theoretical halachic quandaries

    Shimon Nodel

    Also, it doesn’t seem to me that you’re very orthodox or knowledgeable of halacha practice. What in the world does glass have anything to do with the validity of a marriage? That’s like asking if I forgot my tie kerchief, can I still legally drive


    Seek out a Rabbi to issue Ketubah? A ketubah is written in conjunction with marriage. So it would be went to a rabbi to perform the marriage. Also “rings”. There is one ring if done correctly. The glass is not a meakev. I find it inconceivable that a knowledgeable orthodox rabbi would perform a marriage if the parties had no intentions to actually be married. This would likely result in mamzeirut. Or sofek makzeirut at the minimum. Best bet, you are a troll.


    Wow, with a couple of exceptions, what a hostile reaction from nasty keyboard warriors… FYI, the question was meant sincerely but some people can’t control their snobby contempt. What’s the point in a discussion forum if people attack questioners whose questions they don’t like or who aren’t frum/knowledgeable enough for them. Grow up! You might know more about halacha but I know more about manners and civility….


    You do not need a Rabbi to effect a valid and binding Jewish marriage. You can halachicly get married without a Rabbi. And without ever getting a civil marriage license.

    In fact, it is even possible to be halachicly married based on “just a joke” scenario of pretending to get married — but doing it halachicly correctly.


    As far as secular marriage laws interacting with Halacha, suppose the following scenario. A Teimani or Sefardic couple get married Kdas Moshe V’Yisroel. But they never get any civil marriage license in NY (or NJ). Later the husband marries another wife Kdas Moshe V’Yisroel and again never files for a civil marriage license.

    Is either or both marriages legally recognized as valid under secular law?

    Shimon Nodel

    @moishe1977 absolutely no apologies. You brought a very complex and serious halacha question to a forum that’s almost exclusively for schmoozing purposes. It’s called the coffee room for a reason. I immediately assumed you were trolling or even worse, mocking halacha.

    Could you imagine if I presented an extremely intricate medical question here?


    ” Later the husband marries another wife….”
    In the immoral words of R’ Ron Reagan, “there you go again”. Why is a certain CR participant so fixated on polygamy when most yidden have enough difficulty with a single spouse.


    @OP, why don’t you ask your buchrim friends once the zman starts.
    PS hope you don’t talk about such silliness on your dates.


    I’ll share a real interesting story (though I don’t know the Psak).
    2 Conversos got married (no Jewish wedding) in a Christian ceremony in a church. The Priest was a Converso (doesn’t really matter). Some of the guests were also Conversos. The wife (around 20 years old) heard you could live openly as a Jew in N. Africa so she went there. Meanwhile the husband decided he liked his current life as a Christian so he stayed in Spain & would not give a Get.
    The question posed to the Rabbanim was, “Did this Christian ceremony witnessed by Conversos count as a valid Kidushin?”
    This had very serious consequences. If they said it was valid she’s a 20 year old Agunah. But if they say it wasn’t valid when it was her children would be Mamzerim.
    As my Rabbi teaches, if you want to see what Judaism looked like during a certain time period look what kind of Shailos were being asked.


    Kuvult, that was indeed a fascinating story.
    But now you’ve just made me curious ad to what the story was resolved.
    I hope I’ll be able to sleep tonight.

    Shimon Nodel

    @kuvult, your two ‘if’s really kept me on the edge of my seat (that could be because my suka is on a slope)

    Avram in MD

    Shimon Nodel,

    “You brought a very complex and serious halacha question to a forum that’s almost exclusively for schmoozing purposes”

    How is it a complex and serious shaila? If a man properly does erusin and kiddushin and gives the woman a kesuba and she accepts them from him, they are married. These are not light things, even if done lightly or for ulterior purposes.


    “In the immoral words of R’ Ron Reagan…”

    “Immoral” or “Immortal”???


    Avram, i think you meant erusin and nisuin – erusin and kidushin are the same thing

    Pine Lake Park

    If the Converso marriage was not kosher, then everything is fine. Her kids from the Spanish Converso are NOT mamzerim.

    BTW, there is a lot of “lack of education/understanding” of the Law on the CR, not surprisingly.


    Pine Lake Park,
    I understand I didn’t write that clearly.
    She had no children from this marriage. The issue is if the wedding was declared invalid when it was any future Children with a new husband would be Mamzerim.
    The difficulty is if you say the Converso marriage was valid to avoid any chance of Mamzerim you are sentencing this 20 year old woman with no children (who gave up so much to live as a Jew) to a lifelong status of an Agunah.

    Gedol Hador

    If the ‘bride’ and ‘groom’ did not tell the witnesses that they aren’t really getting married, then their intentions are דברים שבלב and they are halachically married.

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