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The three elements of eirusin (kiddushin), "Betrothal"

 

The formal statement of the law of eirusin (also called kiddushin), or "Betrothal", is found in the opening paragraph of the Mishnah treatise Kiddushin---

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A woman is "acquired" [in marriage] through three things, and regains her independence through one of two things: she is "acquired" [in marriage] through kesef, and through sh'tar, and through biy'ah... and she regains her independence through a get ["deed" of divorce] or her husband's death.

Something that is not widely known is that before the eirusin (kiddushin) formalities begin, it is customary for the bride-groom to enter the bridal room, where the bride will often be seated on a kind of "throne", surrounded by her (female) relations and friends---and the bride-groom ceremonially lifts her veil to make sure that he is marrying the right girl (think about Ya'akov and Rahel if you're wondering why this custom began).

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