*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Giving jewelry to one’s Kallah
Is there any halachic issue with me giving jewelry to my Kallah prior to the wedding. I had bought her a diamond necklace for the engagement and planned on giving it her, although was then told that it is forbidden for the Chasan to give anything to his Kallah before the wedding and doing so could be a worry of Kiddushin. Is there any truth to this?
The above is not accurate. It is permitted, and customary, to give jewelry as a gift to one’s Kallah in honor of the engagement, and it is permitted to do so throughout the engagement period and there is no worry that doing so is considered Kiddushin.
Giving a ring: Many communities have the custom of giving an engagement ring to the Kallah, as was the age-old custom in Jewish communities. However, the Rebbe and other Gedolei Yisrael implored for rings not to be given as a gift prior to the wedding due to Chashash Kiddushin, and hence Chabad Chassidim, and others, avoid giving a ring until the Chuppa. Other jewelry however may be gifted even according to the Rebbe’s directives and Chabad tradition, which can include a necklace, bracelet, earrings, and the like, and so is the custom.
Who is to give the gift of the Kallah: Although many are particular for the mother of the groom to give the presents of jewelry to the Kallah, by no means do we claim today that if the Chasan does so that it enters into a question of Kiddushin, although initially it is encouraged for it not to be given directly from the hand of the Chasan to the hand of the Kallah.
There is a major discussion in the Talmud and Poskim regarding the subject of Sivlonos, otherwise known as gifts, that are given to the Kallah prior to the wedding and the various worries that these gifts can be viewed as Eirusin/Kiddushin, and require the Kallah to receive a Get if for whatever reason the engagement breaks up. There are many details, scenarios, customs, and opinions relating to the subject of when a gift has the worry of being viewed as Eirusin/Kiddushin and when not. Practically, the widespread custom today, as recorded in the Poskim, including the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, is not to suspect for any worry of Eirusin/Kiddushin upon giving a gift to the bride, as everyone knows today that it is customary to give gifts to both the bride and groom which are not intended for the sake of Kiddushin, and that the Kiddushin takes place only when the ring is given under the chuppah. Nonetheless, various stringencies and customs still exist regarding gifting prior to the wedding in order to negate any worry of Kiddushin and/or to also ensure the ultimate modesty between the bride and groom prior to the wedding. These may include the following stringencies, which may be followed by some but not all:
- Every time a present is sent, it is explicitly stated that it is a mere gift.
- The present is given by the mother of the groom and not directly from the groom to the bride.
- The present is given to the bride at a time that two kosher witnesses are not present.
- Although it was customary in previous times to give a ring, and so remains the widespread custom even today, the Rebbe and other Gedolei Yisrael publicized, and asked to be publicized, that a ring should not be given as a gift being that it is connected with the Chuppah, and doing so can enter into a question of whether she will need a Get if the Shidduch.
Sources: Ani Ledodi p. 20; Haeirusin Vehanesuin Hashaleim 1:98, 117; Minhag Yisrael Torah Nissuin p. 74; Nitei Gavriel Shidduchin 33 See regarding the general custom to give gifts to the bride and groom prior to the wedding and the issue of worry of it being Kiddushin: Michaber and Rama E.H. 45:1-2 in great length; Kiddushin 50b; Pachad Yitzchak Erech Savlanus; Otzer Haposkim 45:3, 16-18; 24-25; Taamei Haminhagim 938; Mishpitei Uziel 5:60; Hanissuin Kehilchasam 3:97; Likkutei Sichos 19:510; Sichas Parshas Ki Sisa 5742:42 [Sichas Kodesh 5741 2:512]; Shulchan Menachem 6:35; Yechidus Lechasanim Vekalos 17th Shevat 5745 Hisvadyos 2 p. 1181; Sefer Hasichos 5748 p. 191; Hisvadyos 2:172; See regarding the general custom to give gifts to the bride by the engagement party: Admur 444:15; M”A 444:9; Shut Beis Yosef E.H. 1; Atzei Arazim 45b; Shulchan Hazer 2:2 Simla Tzevi 21; Nitei Gavriel Shidduchin 33:3 See regarding that to be explicitly stated that it is a present: Rama ibid; Maharam Mintz 109; Nitei Gavriel Shidduchin 33:3 footnote 9 See regarding if witnesses are not present: Rama ibid; See regarding that the present should not come from him directly: Opinion in Rama ibid; Maharam Mintz 109; Taamei Haminhagim 938 Kuntrus Achron; Nitei Gavriel Shidduchin 33:3; Other opinions: Main opinion in Rama ibid that it makes no difference See regarding not giving a ring to the Kallah: Pirushei Ibra 5:13; Likkutei Sichos 19:510 [not to give a ring as a gift, and that this should be publicized in his name or not his name so it be accepted]; Sichas Parshas Ki Sisa 5742:42 [Sichas Kodesh 5741 2:512]; Shulchan Menachem 6:35; Hearos Ubirim Ohalei Torah 806:92; Nitei Gavriel Shidduchin 33:3 footnote 6 Customs of giving a ring: Mahariy Viyal 65; Shach Al Hatorah Parshas Titzaveh; Kishutei Kala 187; Nitei Gavriel Shidduchin 33:2 that so is the custom