The Mishnah says "האיש מקדש", just like on Shabbos. Nevertheless, on Shabbos we call it a Kiddush (single) but on wedding we call it either Kiddushin, Erusin, Nissuin which are all plural.

  • Finding sources that use these respectively plural and singular terms, would improve the question. – mevaqesh Sep 18 '17 at 13:48
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    Do you mean "why are the words in the plural" or "why do we use the plural out of the plural context, when referring to a singular concept?' – rosends Sep 18 '17 at 14:41
  • I don't think there is anything more to this than it just being a "group name" that has a plural ending but is still singular. It refers to the subject or concept itself. Like saying "marriages", "engagements", etc. A person has one marriage or engagement at a time, but the word doesn't apply to the individual, it applies to the general subject or concept. – DanF Sep 18 '17 at 17:07
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    Isn't it simply because the three examples mentioned are instances of two people? The noun is referring to the ceremony which always has two, as opposed to the verb "מקדש". – Oliver Sep 18 '17 at 17:23
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    Also Geirushin is always in the plural. – DonielF Dec 18 '17 at 22:50

R. Yissakhar Tamar addresses the term kiddushin in Alei Tamar to Yerushalmi Berakhot (2:3), and his explanation answers erusin as well.

He explains that the plural expression references the three ways that kiddushin can be performed (cf. Kiddushin 1:1). However, he notes that Teimanim traditionally referred to it in the singular.[i]

It should be noted that this explanation probably does not address nissuin though.


[i] Lest anyone ask that the tractate is called 'Kiddushin', that is like 'Pesahim', the korban is still called a 'Pesah'. So too, the tractate refers to marriages, but individual ones are referred to as 'kiddush'.

  • One example left out of the OP which this doesn’t explain either is Geirushin. – DonielF Dec 18 '17 at 22:49
  • Aren't there multiple ways to perform nisuin? Chuppah is one, as well as biah. Also if chuppah doesn't mean yichud gamur, yichud gamur also should work (Taz EH 55:2) – robev Dec 19 '17 at 15:26
  • @robev I thought that essentially only huppa works. The question is, what is huppa. This would be similar to kiddushei kessef which can use many forms of money. But I was unsure. – mevaqesh Dec 19 '17 at 15:30
  • At the very least Kesubos 48b mentions two types of nisuin: נכנסה לחופה ולא נבעלה and נישואין ממש which Rashi says means נבעלה – robev Dec 19 '17 at 15:31
  • @robev But aren't those two iterations of the concept of huppa. (Part of why I didn't get into it, is that it is somewhat of a semantic question. One could argue that all forms of kiddush have some conceptual similarity, and are themselves just different iterations). – mevaqesh Dec 19 '17 at 15:36

Kiddush means Havdolo(separation).Rashi says in Bereishis 2,3 on the word וַיְקַדֵּשׁ -קדשו במן שלא ירד כלל בשבת - Hashem separated Shabbos from the rest of the week by not making the manna fall at all on shabbos in contrast to the rest of the week where it did fall.

On shabos You are doing one separation between a Chol weekday, and a Kodesh Shabbos this is indicated in the Brocho where we say Mekadesh Hashabbos (note that Ki vonu bocharto.. micol hoamim is in brackets and some people don't say it for this very reason that we are mainly marking the difference between Shabbos and Chol, other separations are subordinate. This would also explain why in havdala [singular] that even though there are 4 separations, the preeminent separation is between Shabbat and Chol).

This is 1 division

At a kidushin there are numerous divisions, because through marrying a women That man becomes separted (see Vayikra chapter 18 for the list)i.e biblicly forbiden to:
1. her mother,
2.her Mother's mother
3.her Father's Mother
4.her daughter(s)
5.her Son's daughter(s)
6.her daughters daughter(s)
7. Her sister(s)
8. He's Rabbinically forbidden to the Bride until she enters his domicile (i.e chuppa).

She is also forbiddon to everyone in the world like Hekdesh.

So we see 9 different separations: 8 on the mans side and 1 separation to an entity(which includes all men including the husband who is rabbically forbidden to her until she enters his domicile) on the womans side.

This is indicated in the Brocho (kesubos 7b) ברכת האירוסין מאי מברך רבין בר רב אדא ורבה בר רב אדא תרוייהו משמיה דרב יהודה אמרי בא"י אמ"ה אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו על העריות ואסר לנו את הארוסות והתיר לנו את הנשואות על ידי חופה וקדושין - Arayos are new forbidddon relationships that are biblically forbiddon, arusos are the man and woman who are rabbically forbiddon to each other until she enters his domicile.

"האיש מקדש" is singular because he is only one man (we're not dealing with many men betrothing simultaniously). But he can sanctify (separate) many things at once e.g האיש מקדש את אשתו ואת עצמו מן אמה אם אביה בתה בת בתה

Eirusin is plural because it means 2 things are happening the husband is betrothed to the woman and the woman is betrothed to the man, result being they are both ossur to each other as it says ואסר לנו את הארוסות.

Nissuin is plural because it means 2 things are happening the husband is permitted (i.e the prohibition is lifted of himself) to the woman and the woman is permitted to the man, result being they are both permitted to each other. Nissuin litterally means lifting off oneself (the prohibition of being together from the time of betrothal) as it says famously in Tashlich from micha 7,19 מִי אֵל כָּמוֹךָ נֹשֵׂא עָו‍ֹן - Who is G-d like You who lifts off sin from upon us.

  • Thank you for a long answer, but I don't see any connection. Only one woman is מקודשת to him, not the relatives, as relatives are allowed to their spouses, as the Gemmorah says "she's forbidden to the whole world". I could not also understand your hint in the Berocho - אסר לנו את הארוסות - we all know, once woman is מאורסת she's forbidden to all. My point is, all those words are plural, inc Nisuin. – Al Berko Oct 19 '17 at 18:08
  • its nice to have feedback from the questioner.what i am trying to say is that the word kiddushin means many separations, had he not betrothed this woman, he could have betrothed her mother (assuming she wasn't married at the time), or her grandmother, or daughter etc. Now that he chose this women, even if he divorces her, her mother grandmother and daughter who are also unmarried are forbidden to him forever (exception sister who is permitted after death of wife). So we see he has many new mitzvos of separations which never applied before. i hope this sounds clear. – user15464 Oct 19 '17 at 18:25
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    Interesting. Is it your own idea? Otherwise, can you edit into the answer post a citation of your source? – msh210 Oct 20 '17 at 11:20
  • @user15464. I replied 2 days ago. First, Kiddushin is not "separation", but "dedication". Once something is dedicated it is automatically separated from other uses. Here, there's no dedication for wife's relatives. They are not "re-dedicated", and not "separated", they are allowed to others. Second, you answer does not explain other languages - Erusin and Nissuin. – Al Berko Oct 21 '17 at 19:50
  • By this logic, why don’t we say that when a person buys an object he performs קנינין, rather than קנין, since the object, previously forbidden to him, is now permissible, and still forbidden to the rest of the world? Also, why do we refer to the prohibitions when discussing these acquisitions - would it not make more sense to discuss the fact that she is now becoming his wife rather than her inability to become someone else’s wife, or his inability for certain people to become his wife? – DonielF Nov 23 '17 at 12:37

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