For those that watched the TV miniseries "Unorthodox", is it considered a Kosher Halachic marriage?

Two irreligious Jews (don't keep kosher or Shabbos in public) who get married (the ring and the saying) in front of Jewish witnesses (irreligious as well)...

  • 3
    Define "irreligious."
    – DonielF
    Apr 5, 2020 at 1:18
  • 2
    Are you referring to the actors, who pretended to be getting married for the movie? Apr 5, 2020 at 16:28
  • I watched the series as well. Regarding your question I think there needs to be intent of actual marriage. There was a case i think in Israel where a young teen boy gave a girl a ring on public steps said the words and his friends witnessed it. In the end the “marriage” was not considered marriage. I’ll try and find the article. Apr 6, 2020 at 0:14
  • @IsraelReader It appears that the question is regarding the story and not the actors. That is, if such a story occurred in real life, would this be considered a valid marriage or would the fact that none of the people were religious mean that it was invalid. Note that the witnesses are described as irreligious would mean that they are not allowed to be witnesses. Apr 8, 2020 at 18:05

2 Answers 2


Rav Heinemann explains in his sefer on Shidduchim through Sheva Berachos (2:44) that

If you are mekadesh a woman without anyone there, then it’s not a valid Kiddushin. We learn דבר דבר מממון – the same way that you need two witnesses for money, you need two witnesses for gittin and Kiddushin. If the witnesses are posul, then the Kiddushin doesn’t work (Shulchan Aruch EH 42:4) . If the witnesses aren’t kosher mid’oraysa, then the Kiddushin is posul mid’oraysa (Shulchan Aruch CM 34:1-2) . If the witnesses aren’t valid m’derabanan, then the Kiddushin is posul m’derabanan but would be kosher min hatorah. Therefore, if someone desecrates Shabbos, he is not a valid witness min haTorah (Shulchan Aruch YD 119:7) even if he’s a tinok shenishba.

If the witnesses at such a wedding do not keep shabbos for whatever reason, they might be kindhearted and caring people but the kiddushin does not take effect.


Orthodox Jewish weddings

Basically, so long as the groom gives an item of value to the bride and says the recitation, and there are two Jewish orthodox Male witnesses to witness the event, the marriage may possibly be deemed “Kosher”.

As a result, the way that you describe the story would imply that that the wedding is invalid. This would actually be good if the two people divorce without a valid get (divorce document).

  • Many times, there may be at least two "kosher" guests in the crowd, who technically could be considered witnesses. Apr 9, 2020 at 18:55
  • @IsraelReader that is why people are often told to look away in those circumstances. In any case the circumstances described in the question did not bring up that point. The case described in the question did not seem to allow for kosher witnesses. Apr 12, 2020 at 1:51

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