May the One Ring be used to be mekadesh a woman?

At least from one perspective, the Ring seems ideal, given the verse:

אַשׁ נַזְגּ דֻּרְבַּתֻּלֻקּ, אַשׁ נַזְגּ גִּמְבַּתֻּלּ , אַשׁ נַזְגּ ת׳רַקַתֻּלֻקּ, אַג בֻּרְזֻם אִשִׁי ק׳רִמְבַּתֻּלּ׃
One Ring to bring them all and … bind them.

(Chaburas HaTaba‘as I, perek 2)

This implies that the Ring is ideal for creating the bond of husband and wife. Is this reasoning correct?

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

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    Chaburas HaTaba'as! :) – Daniel Mar 5 '15 at 18:24
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    Is the quote actually from an actual source? – Joshua Pearl Jul 8 '15 at 18:14
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    @JoshuaPearl it’s my own transliteration into quasi-Hebrew of the Ring inscription from The Lord of the Rings. – J. C. Salomon Jul 8 '15 at 23:50

The first question to be resolved is whether the Ring is שווה פרוטה shavah p’rutah; but the repeated description of the Ring as “precious” indicates that it would be.

There is a minhag that the ring used for kiddushin be without pattern. Since the Ring’s inscription is only visible when it is heated, it would be preferable not to put the Ring in fire immediately before the ceremony. (Not heating the ring before kiddushin is actually a more general rule, a takanah instituted מפני מעשה שהיה.)

An objection can be raised from the halachah of כל העומד לשרוף כשרוף דמי, an object which must be destroyed has the status of already destroyed. But we know there is a dispute as to the necessity of destroying the Ring, so our discussion can rely on the opinion of ר׳ ברומיר בר דנתור who held it should be used and not destroyed.

There is a more severe problem though. In Kiddushin 41a, Rav Yehudah quotes this ruling from Rav: “אסור לאדם לקדש אשה עד שיראנה A man is forbidden from betrothing a woman he cannot see.” Since the One Ring produces invisibility, it may not be used for kiddushin.

(See also the discussion at One Ring to Bind Them: A Halachic Inquiry on the Occasion of Purim 5775 where a different answer is offered.)

  • 1
    slow clap – Isaac Kotlicky Mar 10 '16 at 17:25
  • In retrospect, the issur of being mikadesh an invisible woman is AD shiyirenah. Since she only becomes invisible ONCE THE RING IS WORN, she is visible before the process and the kiddushin is valid. This is similar to the concept of being mishachrer an eved - gito viyado ba'in ke'echad – Isaac Kotlicky Mar 20 '19 at 23:40
  • Well done, @Isaac Kotlicky; I was wondering when someone would notice the (deliberate) flaw in the logic. – J. C. Salomon Mar 21 '19 at 0:24

It would seem that based on the כלל of כל העומד that you can't use it. Being that the Ring is to be destroyed, we may apply כל העומד לשרוף כשרוף דמי, and say that the ring is כתותי מכתת שיעוריה. If so, the Ring is in essence worthless.

Furthermore, we פסקין in מסכת סנהדרין that someone who worships one's self is עובר on עבודה זרה, and being that the Ring was basically a form of self-worship on the part of Sauron, the ring is אסור בהנאה as עבודה זרה.

In response to Daniel above, it is theoretically possible that the Ring will be stolen and acquired by the thief, but being that A) Sauron was not מייאש from the Ring, and B) it is not possible to affect any שינוי on the Ring, as is proven from the time that Gandalf threw it into the fire in the chapter "A Shadow from the Past", is is not possible that anyone was קונה through שינוי. When Frodo declared that it was his on the Fiery Mountain, it is possible that he was קונה through שינוי רשות, bt at that point it is obviously כל הומד לשרוף כשרוף דמי, if he was קונה or not is a moot point.

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    +1. I did cover כל העומד לשרוף כשרוף דמי in my answer, but forgot the precise phrase; thank you. – J. C. Salomon Mar 5 '15 at 19:35
  • Was the original owner not meyayesh? ....my understanding of that case was that he just straight up forgot about it after he lost it. – MTL Mar 5 '15 at 22:03
  • @shokhet no he definitely did not have yeush. The entire series revolves around the "chaburas hataba'as" trying to destroy the ring while Sauron does everything in his power including sending out massive armies to try to get it back. – Daniel Mar 6 '15 at 1:58
  • @Daniel Of course he'll claim he wasn't meyayesh after it's already within his power to get it back. But I'm fairly certain he was meyayesh before then, and yiush isn't something that you can back out of afterwards. – MTL Mar 6 '15 at 2:52
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    Am I missing something about the whole stealing thing? It was taken in war, it's kivush milchoma! What shaychus ye'ush? cc @Shokhet – Y     e     z Mar 8 '15 at 19:58

This answer is inspired by my wife:

It is essential that the ring for kedushin be the property of the chasson in order for it to effect a kinyan. Since we know that the ring was stolen from Sauron by Isildur, it is stolen property and therefore cannot be used for kiddushin under any circumstances.

A good point was made in the comments that the ring was captured from Sauron in battle and can't rightly be described as stolen by Isildur. That's a reasonable point, but nonetheless the ring was eventually stolen from Deagol by Smeagol and from Smeagol by Bilbo so it is certainly still stolen property and should belong to Deagol's יורשים.

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    He took it as weregild; you have to discuss whether grabbing something in payment of debt counts as theft. – J. C. Salomon Mar 5 '15 at 18:37
  • @J.C.Salomon What debt? – Daniel Mar 5 '15 at 18:39
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    Wasn't it taken in war? Kivush milchomah? – Y     e     z Mar 5 '15 at 19:24
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    @Daniel: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weregild – J. C. Salomon Mar 5 '15 at 19:33
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    @yez true but then it was subsequently stolen from Deagol by Smeagol. And then possibly from Smeagol by Bilbo depending on your interpretation of events. – Daniel Feb 18 '18 at 17:19

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