Is it permissible to be mekadesh (betroth) a princess in "Kiddushei al-menat" (קידושי על מנת, betrothal on condition, such as here), on the condition that the person, a heroic knight, will go and slay the dragon that's terrorizing the kingdom?

Possible problems:

  1. The high mortality rate makes the condition Batel b'shishim (בטל בשישים) and is therefore canceled and is an irrelevant condition.

  2. The dragon belongs to another Jew, in which case its terrorizing is comparable to "shor mu'ad" (שור מועד) and can only be slaughtered upon the conferral of Beit Din and not automatically by any well-meaning knight.

  3. The dragon is sentient, passed a conversion course and is Jewish, at which case it is unclear why it's attacking the kingdom, but nevertheless, is a fellow Jew and should be helped, or at least killed m'din rodef (מדין רודף), but since rodef is a mitzvah, can you really betroth someone on this condition? After all, there's the issue of ein osim mitzvot chavilot chavilot (אין עושין מצוות חבילות חבילות, one does not do mitzvot in bundles).

  4. The willingness of the knight shows that he is (possibly) touched in the head and is therefore both an improper match and is not a bar-da'at (שוטה בלע"ז), and therefore can't be mekadesh in any case (as says the Rosh: "Shoteh doesn't have Kiddushin and Nissuin even from d'rabbanan).

This question is Purim Torah and is not intended to be taken completely seriously. See the Purim Torah policy.

  • 1
    Honestly, I’d love to see a non-PTIJ take on this question. – DonielF Mar 1 '20 at 1:10
  • @DonielF probably doable, assuming my assumed problems are correct. It'd probably look like this: 1. Can one betroth on condition of killing a dangerous animal (or doing any other dangerous thing), high mortality rate, etc? 1b. The animal is owned by a Jew and must be properly tried in court? 1c. The willingness of the person shows he is crazy and therefore can't be mekadesh (he's a shoteh)? 2. Can one betroth on condition of killing a rodef, after all, that's a mitzvah (not bundling mitzvot, etc)? – Harel13 Mar 1 '20 at 6:51

Since a dragon is avoda zarah, as in the Mishna (Avoda Zarah 3:3), killing it should be a mitzvah; therefore שומר מצוה לא ידע דבר רע, one doing a mitzvah will not know bad things, and the knight should have Divine protection, so he doesn't need to worry about dieing.

We would, however, have to deal with what requirement there is to uproot avoda zarah from outside of Eretz Yisroel, where this kingdom presumably is.

  • Okay, but can you betroth someone on condition of killing it? And how does it invalidate a conversion (the conversion was made before the slaying)? Can't Akum convert? – Harel13 Feb 29 '20 at 21:31
  • Can Baal and Zeus convert? – Mordechai Feb 29 '20 at 21:55
  • I don't know...chain PTIJ? :D Having looked at your source, which also brings the sun and the moon as examples - the sun and the moon aren't avodah zara in themselves, but are/were often worshiped as such - בהיקש we can say the same about dragons - they aren't avodah zara in themselves but were sometimes worshiped as such. Therefore I don't see a problem with dragons being Jewish... – Harel13 Feb 29 '20 at 22:00
  • Fine, scratching that. – Mordechai Feb 29 '20 at 22:03
  • 3
    Waitaminnit... what's this about dragons being avodah zarah and needing to be destroyed? What about Puff the Kosher Dragon? – Meir Mar 1 '20 at 3:50

Point 1

See Rambam Hilchot Ishus 6.11


התנה על האשה בשעת קידושין או בשעת גירושין: שתבעל לאביה ולאחיה או לבנה וכיוצא בזה הרי זה כמי שהתנה עליה שתעלה לרקיע או שתרד לתהום ותנאו בטל. שאין בידה שיעברו אחרים ויבאו על הערוה, ונמצא שהתנה עמה בדבר שאין בידה לקיימו. וכן כל כיוצא בזה.

If a man made a condition to his wife during betrothal or divorce that she should have relations with he father or her brother or her son it is like he made a condition with her that she should fly to the sky or descend to the depths of the sea and his condition is null. Since she cannot force others to do a prohibited act so he has made a condition concerning a matter which is not in her hands to fulfill.

It is clear from the Rambam that this halachah does not apply in the space age since the woman may now fly to the sky (and hitch a ride in a submarine). Therefore the condition is valid, the dragon may be slayed and the maid may be saved.

Points 2 and 3

See https://www.etzion.org.il/he/%D7%91%D7%91%D7%90-%D7%A7%D7%9E%D7%90-%D7%93%D7%A3-%D7%9E%D7%92-%E2%80%93-%D7%AA%D7%A9%D7%9C%D7%95%D7%9D-%D7%93%D7%9E%D7%99-%D7%90%D7%93%D7%9D-%D7%A9%D7%94%D7%95%D7%9E%D7%AA

According to the Rambam, a tam that killed a ben chorin is patur, this is possibly because ein damim le'ben chorin. Similarly here, since the dragon is sentient and also possibly Jewish (point 3), it has the din of a ben chorin. The knight is obviously a tam since he would have been killed in his previous dragon killing attempts, were he to have attempted them. Therefore the knight is patur mi'tashlumin.

Point 4

Regarding whether or not the knight is crazy for approaching a dragon, the question seems to be, do we measure da'as absolutely or relatively.

That means, let's say you have a society where everyone is crazy, like the USA in 2021, so should you say that no-one is a bar da'as, since they are all crazy, or should you say that everyone is a bar da'as, because le'shitasam they are all sane. So since it is trendy in some places for knights to approach dragons, the knight is not considered meshugger for wanting to do so.

Lichorah this is toleh on the machlokess in the mishna in Shabbat 6.4


לֹא יֵצֵא הָאִישׁ לֹא בְסַיִף, וְלֹא בְקֶשֶׁת, וְלֹא בִתְרִיס, וְלֹא בְאַלָּה, וְלֹא בְרֹמַח. וְאִם יָצָא, חַיָּב חַטָּאת. רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר אוֹמֵר, תַּכְשִׁיטִין הֵן לוֹ. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, אֵינָן אֶלָּא לִגְנַאי, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה ב) וְכִתְּתוּ חַרְבוֹתָם לְאִתִּים וַחֲנִיתוֹתֵיהֶם לְמַזְמֵרוֹת, לֹא יִשָּׂא גּוֹי אֶל גּוֹי חֶרֶב וְלֹא יִלְמְדוּ עוֹד מִלְחָמָה. בִּירִית, טְהוֹרָה, וְיוֹצְאִין בָּהּ בְּשַׁבָּת. כְּבָלִים, טְמֵאִין, וְאֵין יוֹצְאִין בָּהֶם בְּשַׁבָּת:

Just as it is prohibited for a woman to carry out certain items unique to a woman into the public domain, the Sages said that a man may neither go out on Shabbat with a sword, nor with a bow, nor with a shield [teris], nor with an alla, nor with a spear. And if he unwittingly went out with one of these weapons to the public domain he is liable to bring a sin-offering. Rabbi Eliezer says: These weapons are ornaments for him; just as a man is permitted to go out into the public domain with other ornaments, he is permitted to go out with weapons. And the Rabbis say: They are nothing other than reprehensible and in the future they will be eliminated, as it is written: “And they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not raise sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4).

Rabbi Eliezer is of the opinion that we follow popular opinion and people today think carrying weapons is cool. The chachamim follow the absolute position and since from an absolute perspective carrying weapons is uncool therefore it is prohibited on Shabbat.

Therefore according to Rabbi Eliezer the knight is sane and can betroth said damsel, whereas according to the chachamim the knight is insane and his kiddushin is not chal.

  • :D In point 1, you're saying that in the modern age any conditions are relevant because Rambam's psak canceled itself out? If so, what would the din have been prior to the invention of flying machines (when real knights in shining armor existed)? – Harel13 Feb 12 at 6:45
  • 1
    @Harel13 Lichorah it's not worse than being mekadesh an ishah with me'ah arlos Pelishtim? – The GRAPKE Feb 14 at 22:15
  • That is an excellent point. – Harel13 Feb 14 at 22:16

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