April 9, 2022

Yevamot 31

Much of today’s daf (Yevamot 31) explores the difference between קידושין (marriage) and גירושין (divorce) and, specifically, the differences between the requirements of a marriage document (שטר קידושין) and a divorce document (גט).
In particular, we are taught (on Yevamot 31b) that while a גט (divorce document) must include the date of the divorce, a שטר קידושין (marriage document) need not include the date of the marriage.
For some people this fact may seem surprising – especially since the opening lines of a Ketubah, which is read aloud at most Jewish weddings, begins with the date of the marriage. However, like a שטר קידושין, the halacha is that if a Ketubah does not have the date of the marriage then it is nevertheless valid.
Reflecting on this point it occurred to me that the best of marriages are those where the couple feel that they’ve known each other their whole life – even where this is clearly not the case, and the best of weddings are those where the couple feel that the wedding ceremony is a form of reunion with their ‘other half’.
Understood this way perhaps this is why a marriage document does not need a date on it because a wedding is akin to a reunion of two people who – even before physically meeting – sense that they were somehow joined together.
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