If one marries Mr. X under the assumption that he is a tzaddik (or rich or smart etc), but he is really a rasha,that marriage was done under a false understanding and is not valid and does not need a get to dissolve because it is nothing.

I, with two kosher witnesses in tow and a video camera approach the bride before the ketuba signing and ask the following: "You think your Fiance is a tzaddik and a desirable husband, but if he were the sort of person to refuse to grant a get when asked, would you not want to marry him?"

If she answers that she would not want to marry him if that were the case, and several years later the husband turns out to be a get refuser, is my evidence sufficient to demonstrate that the marriage was done under a false understanding? If not, what additional rigors are needed?

Apparently R'Moshe Feinstein ruled that these 3 conditions must be met to annul a marriage. The potential issue is that "being the sort of person to..." doesn't count as a preexisting condition (2).

(1) The woman must discover a serious defect present in her husband after they are married.

(2) That defect must have been present in the husband at the time of the marriage.

(3) The woman must have been unaware of the defect at the time of marriage

  • 1
    How could you possibly prove he is a Rasha? Maybe he had done Teshuva in his heart just then.
    – Double AA
    Apr 20, 2016 at 3:45
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    "Apparently": why/how is it apparent?
    – msh210
    Apr 20, 2016 at 3:47
  • @DoubleAA if "Teshuva in his heart just then" was a concern, it would always be unprovable. Besides, you can't do teshuva for an interpersonal sin without remedying it with the person.@msh210, I found the 3 things attributed to him on the internet and haven't seen it inside. Apparently means that the info is new to me. Apr 20, 2016 at 4:07
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    @ClintEastwood Indeed, it is always unprovable. That's why the Talmud says על מנת שאני צדיק אפילו רשע גמור מקודשת שמא הרהר תשובה בדעתו
    – Double AA
    Apr 20, 2016 at 4:23
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    I dont know this subject. But I am not sure you can make these kind of conditions. Annulling a marriage is not the same as annulling a vow. Perhaps today he wasnt that kind of person and only became one later.
    – newcomer
    Apr 20, 2016 at 7:31

1 Answer 1


A twist on this is Rabbi Rackman's proposal, there is an implicit condition "I'm only marrying you if you're the type of person who wouldn't leave me an agunah."

Rabbi Yitzchok Breitowitz refers to this as the "bad seed argument."

The problem is that people can change. Sadly, maybe at the moment of the wedding he was not the sort of person who could do such a thing, but three years later, who knows?

Just as proof: the mishna says if they wed "on the condition that he's a totally righteous person", there may in fact be a valid marriage there and she'd need a Get afterwards. What if he goes and eats cheeseburgers the next day? Well the next day is the next day; people can change. The condition was looking at the moment under the Chupah, nothing more.


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