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TERUMAH 5782

02/04/2022 01:00:15 PM

Feb4

Our parashah talks of donations of materials that people were asked to bring to the tabernacle. [Actually, in modern Hebrew, a donation to a charity is called terumah.] For example, from the gold that will be brought, the menorah will be constructed.  It must be from pure gold.

Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein is recognized as a leading halachik authority in Israel. Many intriguing halachik questions come to him, many of which his students have published, arranged according to the weekly parasha. The work is entitled veHa`arev Na. Here is a question that relates to this week’s parasha:

A man, (let’s call him Reuven,) 6 years after his marriage, brings his wife’s wedding ring to a jeweller for a minor repair.

The conversation went something like this:

-- Are you sure this is your wife’s wedding ring?

-- Of course I am! Why do you ask?

-- Because wedding rings are usually made of gold; this one is copper!!

Apparently, from my reading of the case, Reuven did not suspect the seller of having intentionally cheated him.  Lets give the seller the benefit of the doubt, and say that by accident he just didn’t give Reuven the ring for which he had paid.

But, if that’s the case, Reuven was afraid that maybe this ring had not been his, and that his marriage might be invalidated, because the halakha states that you must marry with a ring that belongs to you: not a borrowed one.

Rabbi Zilberstein ruled (whew!) that there is no reason to worry, and he proves from classical sources that the marriage was and still is valid.

Yet, there is another very interesting halachik consideration. Maybe we should invalidate the marriage, because the bride assumed that she was being betrothed with a genuine gold ring! If that assumption is proven false, the marriage would legally be invalid!

No worries!  Rabbi Moshe Isserles, the leading source of Ashkenaz halakha, (in his gloss to Shulhan Aruch, section Even ha`ezer, 31:2,) says that is a reason why a bride covers her face with a veil, to show that she doesn’t care about the value of the ring that is being used!

Shabbat shalom

Sat, June 25 2022 26 Sivan 5782