Rosh Yeshiva Responds
Rabbi Linzer answers halakhic questions from rabbis and community members

3 01, 2021

Ketubah with Signatures in the Middle of a Line

January 3rd, 2021|Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|


I am to be a mesader kiddushin and the wedding is very soon. The bride and groom intend to use a ketubah where there is an inch or so gap between the text and signature. In addition, the signature lines are indented a good deal from the right margin of the body text, and there is a branch from the illustration that runs up on the right side of the signature lines and also interrupts

25 12, 2020

When does a Kallah Say Harei Ani Mekabelet?

December 25th, 2020|Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|


Brooklyn, NY

At a chuppah in which, after the chatan says harei at, the kallah responds with harei ani mekabelet etc. when should the kallah say it? Before the ring is given? After he places ring on her finger?


I would have her say it before accepting the ring, as it communicates her da’at before undergoing the act. However, some have concerns around נתן הוא ואמרה היא when she says it before to frame the kiddushin (NB: this sugya in the Gemara (kiddushin 5b)and Rishonim is

25 11, 2020

Weddings with No Minyan

November 25th, 2020|Berakhot, Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|


Maryland, USA

What is your pesak on weddings during Corona that don’t have a minyan. Is it ok? If so, do we leave anything out like Sheva Berakhot?


Kiddushin doesn’t need a minyan, but there is a strong minhag to do it with one. In sha’at hadechak (e.g., jail) that can be forgone. For the nisuin, a minyan is required – not for the nisuin per se but for the Sheva Berakhot. If this is really not possible, then you need not postpone the wedding, and you should do Sheva Berakhot at the

15 11, 2020

Hefseik in Sheva Berakhot

November 15th, 2020|Berakhot, Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|


Brooklyn, NY

Should I be concerned for hefseik when doing Sheva Berakhot at a chuppah?

If so, is asking someone to offer a personal (not liturgical) blessing to the couple, between Sheva Berakhot, constitute a hefseik?

(I want to have seven women each speak personally, after each of seven men recite a berakhah.)

(I assume having seven women offer translation wouldn’t be a hefseik, but this is different/personal.)


I have done something like this before. We rule

29 10, 2020

Sheva Berakhot Over Zoom

October 29th, 2020|Berakhot, Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|


Brooklyn, NY

Zoom questions: Counting in a minyan for Sheva Berakhot? Either way, leading a berakhah?


What a good question. I have dealt with it several times already. It depends on whether you think that the 10 of Sheva Berakhot has a din of a minyan, or of rabim. If the latter, I think Zoom could work. But if the latter, then women should definitely count, so I think you need to be consistent (you can decide which way).

As to leading a berakhah, let us assume you have

31 07, 2017

Marriage for People with Down Syndrome

July 31st, 2017|Disabilities, Kiddushin and Ketubah, Marriage and Family|

This is a shiur that Rabbi Linzer gave at the Young Israel of Sharon, MA, on July 26, 2017. Click on the following audio link to listen to the shiur and follow along with the sources below:



1. This couple with Down’s syndrome are celebrating 22 years of marriageMetro UK

They were criticized 22 years ago for wanting to get married.

But now this Down’s Syndrome couple have proved their doubters wrong by showing just how happily married they are.

Maryanne, 45, and Tommy Pilling, 59, were thought to be the first Downs couple to tie the knot in

6 03, 2017

May a Woman Recite Birkat Eirusin?

March 6th, 2017|Kiddushin and Ketubah, Lifecycles, Marriage and Family, Women|


I am a woman serving as a member of the clergy in an Orthodox synagogue. I have been asked to officiate at a wedding. I would like to say Birkat Eirusin, the blessing before the giving of the ring. Although I could be the mesaderet and not say this b’rakhah, neither I nor the couple like the message that would be implied, were I to step aside for someone else to recite the b’rakhah. It signals that I am not truly the one officiating at the wedding. Is it permissible for me as a woman to recite the Birkat Eirusin?



19 02, 2010

Is the Ketuvah d’Oraitta or d’Rabanan?

February 19th, 2010|Kiddushin and Ketubah, Marriage and Family|

There is a debate in the gemara (Ketuvot 10a) whether the ketuvah is mi’di’orraita, Biblical, or mi’di’rabanan, rabbinic. The position that ketuvah is Biblically-based is an individual one, that of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, and he even states this position somewhat tentatively – mikan samkhu li’ktuvat isha min haTorah, from here the Rabbis found support to the institution of the ketuvah from the Torah. It would seem that the position that ketuvah is from the Torah is somewhat tentative, and indeed, most Rishonim conclude, based on this and other sugyot, that the halakha is not like Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel

29 01, 2010

Kiddushin as a Speech Act

January 29th, 2010|Kiddushin and Ketubah, Marriage and Family|

The act of kiddushin, the giving of the ring, is accompanied by a verbal statement – harei at mekudeshet li bi’taba’at zo ki’dat Moshe vi’Yisrael, “behold you are betrothed to me with this ring, according to the laws of Moshe and Israel.” On the face of it, this expression would appear to be nothing more than an expression of intent, and not an actual constituent part of the act of kiddushin. This assumption, however, is challenged by the Gemara (Kiddushin 5b) that states that the bride cannot make this statement, and, if she does, the kiddushin is either definitely or