Double Ring Ceremonies

How the bride can give the groom a ring without halakhic (Jewish law) problems.

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This is how such a ceremony would look: Immediately after the kiddushin, the witnesses are called, and it is explained that they are to witness the bride giving a ring to the chatan, upon receipt of which the chatan will undertake his ketubah obligations to the bride.

The bride then gives a ring to the groom, stating: Tikabel taba'at zo vi'tihayev li bkhol hiyuvay ketubah zo k'dat Moshe v'Yisrael--"Accept this ring and obligate yourself to me with all the obligations of this ketubah, according to the law of Moses and Israel." The groom accepts the ring, and the witnesses sign the ketubah.

Such a ceremony makes it explicit that the bride is not doing an act of kiddushin, but rather initiating the groom's acceptance of the ketubah obligations. It allows for the bride's giving of the ring to take place immediately after the kiddushin, to be done with significant ceremony (witnesses and the signing of the ketubah) and to play a central halakhic role.

The ketubah was originally instituted to make the woman more of an equal in the marriage, so using the ketubah to create a two-ring ceremony is particularly apt and in keeping with the spirit of the halakhah.

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Rabbi Dov Linzer

Rabbi Dov Linzer is the Rosh HaYeshiva and Head of Academics of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in New York. Rabbi Linzer lectures widely at synagogues and conferences on topics relating to halakhah, Orthodoxy, and modernity.