Some people used to elope (run away with their loved ones to marriage).

More colloquially, elopement is often used to refer to a marriage conducted in sudden and secretive fashion, usually involving a hurried flight away from one's place of residence together with one's beloved with the intention of getting married. From wiki.

Is elopement considered as marriage halachically?


The following question was asked at yeshiva.org.il of הרב ש. יוסף וייצן

אני ובן זוגים מאורסים, אנו כעת בני 17 ובעוד פחות משנה כשימלאו לנו 18 אנו מתכננים להתחתן. ייתכן וזה יגרום להתנגדות מצד ההורים, לכן היינו רוצים לדעת ביתר פרטיות על נישואים בסתר, לאן לגשת? מהו התהליך? מה נדרש לשם כך? כמה זה יעלה וכו’...

My partner and I are engaged. I am 17 years old and when I am 18, we plan to marry. This will likely cause pain to the parents. Therefore we want to know what is involved in getting married secretly.

The full text of the reply is

הרבנות הראשית אוסרת נישואין בסתר. בכל נישואין צריך שיהיו עשרה מישראל. אולם ניתן להסתיר זאת מההורים. אולם אני ממליץ לכם שאם לא מדובר במקרה חריג [כגון סכנת נפשות וכד'] שלא תסתירו זאת מההורים. הרי בסופו של דבר ההורים ידעו מכך. עשיית הנישאין בהסתר תגרום להם להגדיל את ההתנגדות שלהם לקשר בינכם. הרי ניתן לעשות בעיות לזוג גם אחרי נישואין. אני ממליץ לכם שקודם כל תהיו בטוחים מאה אחוז שאתם רוצים אחד את השני. לאחר מכן תספרו זאת לאדם מבוגר שישמע אותכם ויחזקו את הקשר בינכם. לאחר מכן תעזרו באדם המבוגר שסיפרתם לו בכדי להודיע להורים

The essential answer is:

The Chief Rabbinate do not allow secret marriages. There must be 10 Jewish people present at every marriage. But one can hide it from the parents.

The Rav goes on: (my rough translation)

However, unless we are talking about an exceptional case (like danger to life etc.), I would advise you not to hide your marriage from your parents. They are in the end going to know about it. Making a secret wedding will likely cause their opposition to your union to grow. This could cause problems to your marriage after the wedding. I advise that before you do anything, you should be 100% sure that each of you wants to marry the other. Then tell this to an older person who will hear you and strengthen the connection between you. After that, you should ask the older person to help you inform your parents.

The critical requirement of the Rav is that the wedding should take place in the presence of a minyan.

For interest:

Bill Williams in his “The making of Manchester Jewry” Chapter 11 describes the “chevrot” that served the religious needs of the poor immigrants after 1860. They were independent of the “Old (established) Congregation” while taking advantage of its facilities, shechita for example. Occasionally writes Williams, “they provided cheap illicit services such as the Shtille Choopah or secret marriage correctly performed according to Jewish rites but not registered by the State.” Footnote 38 states that the wedding was well known within the chevra communities.

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    @IsaacMoses done as requested. I'm not sure about my translation of the last sentence of the advice - feel free to edit it. – Avrohom Yitzchok Feb 28 '19 at 18:12

It is completely allowed. enter image description here

It happened and the marriage was considered halachically right. Rabbi Akiva and Rachel were secretly betrothed and then ran away to get married and the rest of the story is written in the Talmud. If done halachically correct, an elopement is consider as marriage in its full terms.

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Judaism does not care about the circumstances or the reasons or the environment of a marriage ceremony.

As long as the couple are allowed to marry and the marriage procedure (Kiddushin) is Kosher, a couple is free to choose the scenery.

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  • Your own unsourced logic contradicts that of sourced answers from Rabbis. Can you cite a source to this effect? – DonielF Feb 28 '19 at 18:43
  • @DonielF Are you serious "The critical requirement of the Rav is that the wedding should take place in the presence of a minyan." - where's the source? And since when does the chief rabbinate count as a Halachic authority? THey have their secondary considerations, which are maybe preferable but in no way obligatory. The CR is subordinated to the State and the Ministry of the Interior, not to the Gdoylim. – Al Berko Feb 28 '19 at 19:06
  • @DonielF I completely agree that I disagree with many authorities, but it does not make me "contradict" the Halacha. It's just another approach. – Al Berko Feb 28 '19 at 19:07
  • @DonielF I've been thinking, if I was at the place where the Chachamim argued with R" Eliezer on Tanuro shel Achnai, which side would I choose? – Al Berko Feb 28 '19 at 19:09
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    Many authorities hold that sheva brachos are a required part of the marriage ceremony (she may be mekudeshes but she is assur to the arus), and that they require a minyan to be recited. Are you aware of contemporary authorities which go like the dissenting opinions, halacha lemaaseh? – robev Feb 28 '19 at 19:16

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