This might sound a bit silly, but "that's the Torah and I need to learn it" (R"A).

  1. A woman can be Mekudeshet in three ways which Halachah-wise are all equal (neither makes a better Kiddushin).

  2. A messenger can do the work on behalf of the sender either by money or a bill, but not ביאה (Kesubos 74a).

  3. We also hold that there does not have to be proof of the מעשה, only ראוי למעשה, so the witnesses only see them entering and exiting (and zipping up). So theoretically we could allow the messenger to seclude with the bride on behalf of the groom without doing the מעשה.

To remind that that ביאה is for Kiddushin only and is different from the second ביאה for Nissuim.

I need a source that speaks explicitly about why not the last. Thank you.

  • 2
    עיין תוספות רי"ד מצוות שבגופו כמו תפילין
    – kouty
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 16:37
  • 2
    For a Brisker take on the question: etzion.org.il/he/קידושי-ביאה
    – Joel K
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 16:39
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    Wouldnt the biah make her mekudashes and at the same time make her in to an adulterer, since she is now considered married to the meshaleach,so it's somthing which cant be allowed
    – sam
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 17:47
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    @chortkov For a) wouldn’t it be a case of קידושין שאינן נמסרו לביאה?
    – Joel K
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 18:43
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    3 is totally false
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 13:01

2 Answers 2


R' Elchonon Wasserman in Kovetz Shiurim (Kesuvos 74a) brings this question from R' Akiva Eiger, and explains how the Kiddushin of Biah is fundamentally different from Kessef and Shtar, and why that has ramifications with Shlichus and Tnai.

Others (source to follow in edit, bli neder) explain that Kiddushei Biah is not just an arbitrary maaseh kinyan (like Kessef and Shtar would be); it's power lies in that fact that it is a haschalas ishus, which would only be if the husband (the Mekadesh) would perform the action. The Biah of the Shliach is not just performed by the wrong person, but is the wrong action.

  • R' Akiva Eiger's question would invalidate the second answer - he has a way of the Shliach performing the Kiddushin with the Biah of the Mekadesh.
    – chortkov2
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 18:13
  • I haven't seen the sources inside for about six years, so please correct me if I misquoted.
    – chortkov2
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 18:13
  • 1. THe first paragraph must be explained I think, not only referenced. 2. It is a common problem with "inventing" new, undefined terms to draw a distinction between other terms which makes it a Pandora box. The "haschalas ishus" term is not defined a-priori and therefore can not be used to explain other phenomena. Where does the Gemmorah in the forst Perek f Kiddushin speack of such a difference between Biah and Kesef? Both are mere Kinyonim. To remind you, that the First Biah only makes Kiddushin and for Nissuin one has to do it again.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 10:09
  • The questioner asked for a source, not an explanation. When I have a moment to check it up again, I'll try place add an explanation. (The rough idea is that one is a chalos hatorah and the other is chalos ha'adam (terminology of pre-war Achronim - See Kovetz Haaros §74)
    – chortkov2
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 11:54
  • The Kovetz Shiurim I referenced in the answer is Kesuvos 254, and the Kovetz Haaros is 76, not 74.
    – chortkov2
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 20:23

In a lecture at YU's Gruss Kollel (I think this one) R. Aaron Rakeffet described how this question was asked by the high school students in the 1960s, and the answers they were given:

I always tell the story of what happened in YU in the early 60s when the rebbeim were set up by the students. Every rebbe got the same question. We were teaching Masechet Kiddushin, I apologize to the ladies here for this example, but it's a true story.

So if you've learned Masechet Kiddushin you know you can marry a woman in three different ways: kessef, shtar, biah. Then you have Perek Sheini – that you can marry her, you can send a shliach to marry her. So very innocently, I get the question, and this goes back maybe to '62 '63, I get the question: "Rebbe, can you send a shliach to be mekadesh a ishah for you al yedei biah?" You follow the question?

So I look at the class, baruch Hashem I had seen chiddushei Torah from R. Shurkin of Chaim Berlin a few weeks earlier, and he asked the very question. And he says over from R. Chaim, and this is typical R. Chaim, there are two different types of acquisition – kinyanim – one kinyan is the universal form: the way I buy a field, the way I buy a car, whatever you can sell, there's universal forms of kinyan. Buying an ishah is no different. But relations between a man and wife by definition is ishut, it's not universal. So when can you make a shliach? When it goes with universal concepts. Just like I can make a shliach, Sam, to buy a car for me, to buy a house for me, I can make a shliach to buy a wife for me. But when it comes to dinei ishut no shlichut is possible. And I gave that answer. And that's R. Chaim.

(My transcription, fillers removed)

  • 1
    You have to know the person asking the question to see if he is honestly asking or trying to make laitzanus.
    – Mordechai
    Commented Dec 15, 2019 at 20:00
  • Very difficult with text-based communication
    – Mordechai
    Commented Dec 15, 2019 at 20:01
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    I believe this Rav Chaim he's referring to is why yibum doesn't work with a shliach. I guess it's valid to apply it to kiddushin
    – robev
    Commented Dec 15, 2019 at 23:37

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