Based on the basic idea of marrying through a messenger (Shaliah) both by a man and a woman (Kiddushin 41).

First, the bride and the groom say to the messengers: "go bring me any man/woman". So one messenger meets another and says to him before two witnesses: "let your sender (woman) be Mekudeshet to my sender (man) with this ring" and voila, the senders are married, having no idea of to whom (and the fact that they are married at all, but that's a different question).

How does this work? Why in Judaism is it possible to get married without knowing at all to whom?


  • I'm aware of the Gemmorah ibid that Rav forbids marrying without seeing first, but that did not become an obligating Halachah.
  • I'm aware of the idea of buying a cow without seeing, but as I understand Kinyan Ishut (Kinyan Issur) is (or should be) different (somehow).
  • 1
    "Kinyan Ishut is (or should be) different (somehow)" - so why is Rav's forbidding marriage without seeing first not the difference you're looking for? – b a Nov 19 '18 at 12:26
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    If you send a messenger to marry you to anyone they want, then what do you expect to happen? – Double AA Nov 19 '18 at 12:30
  • @ba Rav's ruling is not "so" Halachic, it is just a regulation to minimize damage, there's nothing wrong with marrying a woman one does not like - we don't ask a groom do you really like her.. – Al Berko Nov 19 '18 at 12:43
  • @DoubleAA This is what the question is about. How is this possible to send a messenger to marry "whoever". – Al Berko Nov 19 '18 at 12:44
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    Why shouldn't it be possible? If people want to do stupid things, we need to stop them? No one will do this by accident – Double AA Nov 19 '18 at 12:45

What you're missing in your description (though it's obvious if you read between the lines) is that the messengers were sent by the bride and groom.

One possibility is that the bride/groom said to their messenger "get me married to X", in which case bride/groom know who they are planning on marrying.

The other possibility is that the bride/groom said "get me married to somebody" in which case they are fully aware that they have no clue they are getting married to.

But back to your question: Kinyan Ishut - becoming husband & wife by proxy.

All that has happened in your scenario is Kidushin which sets aside (is Mekadesh) the bride to the groom. Specifically, the bride can no longer marry anybody else without a Get. (And the groom may have to pay for her food if after 12 months he doesn't marry her.)

No Kinyan Ishut involved.

The actual Kinyan Ishut - marriage - (aka Nisuin) only takes place when the bride and groom meet each other in private.

  • I didn't understand what is your answer about. I did mention "my sender" that every messenger says, so it is clear they were sent to mary "any man/woman". So the first 4 paragraphs are unnecessary. The next paragraph says they are married - we already know that. Now, Kinyan Ishut (or Issur) is what Kiddushin (not Nissuin) is about, that makes it different from buying a cow, so the woman is forbidden for others. But how does it works if both groom and bride don't know who they are married to? – Al Berko Nov 19 '18 at 15:51

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