Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Virtual Kiddushin


BBC today reports Pakistani couple who got married over the phone - one in Pakistan, one in Italy. It's apparently legal (in Pakistan).

I wonder how this would work for Jews getting married with VOIP?

1 - would a webcam satisfy the requirements for bedeken?

2 - could he send a perutah to her PayPal account for kinyan?

3 - can Verisign and Comodo serve as the witnesses to validate the couple's virtual signatures on the e-ketubah?

4 - should she walk seven times around her computer?
5 - I'm not even going to touch yichud... ;)

3 Comments:

Blogger Halfnutcase said...

I do not think that a money order would suffice for kedushin, as I believe that it must be a physcial object.

However, I think it could very well work if a ring or other object of some worth where mailed to the perspective kalla, and then over the phone or webcam the guy pronounced in front of witnesses (and I'm not sure if they'd have to be on her side or his, or both) "herei et mukedesh li" or it more customary equivelent. That would be at least enough that there would be a serious shaila an the girl (if consenting) would be prohibited from marrying anyone else due to doubt, if it wasn't actualy valid.

I Believe this would work because the mailman who delivered the ring would be like the emisary bringing the kidushin payment to the girl, and I think that it would not matter that the actual words where pronounced over the phone. THere would have to be in person witnesses though.

After that one could haphazardly arange the rest of the ceremony, kesuba and everything else (which I believe would have to be paper. You need actual signatures for that, and I'm not sure that electronic means wouldn't be ruled to easy to fake or alter).

However you could not make nesuin that way. The only way you can do that is to actualy bring the two in to yichud, or more properly in the same house where they can enjoy each other. (yichud is substituted because anyway boys and girls are not alone and the sufaik is termed enough to count for legal purposes.)

I'm not expert but based on what I have learned these are the issues. Certainly you could not perform the whole traditional ceremony as it is done today, but fortunately one can very easily perform a halachic ceremony (I think).

2/22/2007 6:18 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Jude said...

Funny! No I don't think that would fly in the orthodox world anyway... Just my feeling on it though.

2/22/2007 4:57 PM  
Blogger flatbushrenegade said...

"I Believe this would work because the mailman who delivered the ring would be like the emisary bringing the kidushin payment to the girl"

Er, no, he could not, as an emissary needs: 1. appointment ('minuy shlichos')-where the 'sender' gives him specific authorization to prform Kiddushin on his behalf. 2. he must have 'daas', (knowledge and forethought) that he's preforming Kiddushin on someone's behalf, 3. According to many rishonim the one prefoming kiddushin needs 'dibur', to verbalize that he is handing over the object, be it money or whtever else, for kiddushin, and to whom she will be betrothed 4. he must be jewish ("ain shlichus l'acu"m).

Aside from that there are a multitude of technical problems, however the thought is still cute

2/26/2007 3:15 PM  

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