• Do premarital sexual relations effect Kiddushin (betrothal/first step of Jewish marriage) if there is no intention of getting married?
    • If so, is the physical act itself determinative of whether or not there is a kinyan (transaction effecting Kiddushin)? (Let's say they would instead be just hugging and kissing: would that effect a kinyan also?)
  • Does the Yichud (seclusion) that the couple is having effect Nisuin? What if there are no kosher witnesses around?
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    Dani, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thank you for your question! If you haven't yet, I hope you will consider registering your account so that you can gain all the benefits of membership. Please remember that we are not here to provide practical Halachic advice. Please CYLOR for practical guidance.
    – Seth J
    Jun 13, 2012 at 14:29
  • Dani, because of what @SethJ wrote (that this site is not for personal guidance), I've depersonalized your question, making it more about general rules and less about the specific situation you described in the earlier version of the question.
    – msh210
    Jun 13, 2012 at 16:04
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    Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/14146/…
    – SAH
    Dec 9, 2015 at 0:34

1 Answer 1


Premarital sexual intercourse is not a kinyan unless it is done with the intention of being koneh. Not only that, but the man must say as much. Rambam Hil Ishus 3:5 (my own translation):

ואם קידש בביאה אומר לה הרי את מקודשת לי או הרי את מאורסת לי או הרי את לי לאשה בבעילה זו וכל כיוצא בזה. ומתייחד עמה בפני שני עדים ובועלה

If he betroths (mekadesh) with sexual relations, he says "Behold, you are betrothed (mekudeshet) to me", or "Behold, you are married (me'ureset) to me", or "Behold, you are a wife to me with this intercourse", or anything of that sort. He secludes himself with her before two witnesses and copulates with her.

Now, the seclusion works because there are witnesses and because they know that his intention is for marriage. (See Maggid Mishna.) If there's no witnesses, there's no kiddushin.

As a side note, there is a separate prohibition against premarital sex. See Rambam Hil. Ishus 1:4.

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    What about ain adam ose beilaso beilas zenus?
    – YDK
    Jun 13, 2012 at 17:16
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    @YDK, If there is reasonable doubt as to his intentions, then I think we apply that rule. Nowadays, though, I would say that the average premarital relationship is not l'shem kiddushin. I'm no posek, though, of course.
    – jake
    Jun 13, 2012 at 17:21
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    @jake I wonder though how specific the intent has to be, as they are clearly planning on having this be part of a long term relationship.
    – Double AA
    Jun 13, 2012 at 18:18
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    @jake What I meant was if his intention is "this should symbolize the start of a long term committed relationship" (given that the person doesn't understand the word koneh) that might be enough intention. It's certainly different from "this is a one-night-stand because I'm a hedonistic pig".
    – Double AA
    Jul 7, 2013 at 11:23
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    "some interpret as sex" Well there goes your credibility...
    – Double AA
    Jan 8, 2016 at 5:45

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