Wednesday, February 09, 2011

the term kiddushin

Tosfos (Kiddushin 2b) writes that the term "kiddushin" in the context of marriage means that a wife is designated as being permitted only to her husband, just as an item of "hekdesh" is designated for the use only of the Beis haMikdash.

What if a person uses the term of "kiddushin" to refer to an object? Can a person say, "This talis is mekudeshes for me," meaning designated only for that individual's use? Tosfos says not. Designating a wife to be one's partner precludes her having a relationship with any one else (b'mah she'meyuchedes li hi ne'eseres...). The same cannot be said with respect to an object.

Why not? What does Tosfos mean? If a talis is lying in the street, anyone can take it. If I designate it as my talis and acquire it, this creates a prohibition of gezel which precludes anyone else from taking it. Why does the term kiddushin work with respect to a wife but not with respect to the talis -- in both cases other parties are precluded from having access?

Maybe I'll update with my thoughts later, but first I'll give you a chance to think it over.


  1. Daas Yochid9:42 PM

    Two ideas:
    1)You can lend out your tallis, not so your wife.
    2)some objects may be borrowed without permission, not so your wife.

  2. How do these distinctions fit Tos' sevara?

  3. Menachem12:47 PM

    A woman can decide herself to go to someone else- an object cannot. She is mekudeshes in that it is ossur for her to be with another man. The same does not apply with an object.

  4. Daas Yochid11:24 PM

    "How do these distinctions fit Tos' sevara?"

    I think I was alluding to the exclusivity, which you mentioned as no 2), in the subsequent post. "
    It is this second aspect which allows us to invoke the term "kiddushin," excluded from others."

  5. Bartley Kulp3:16 AM

    Because we assume that the talis lying in the street is hefker through yeush of the owner. In that case there is no longer any preclusion of access.

    However a wife is differant because she cannot be forgive the term "used" by someone else. A talis can, ownership non-withstanding.