Can You Betroth A Woman Through A Messenger?

If the messenger has sex with your bride. Is that a valid Jewish marriage?

Ask your rebbe that.

That’s what Dr. Marc B. Shapiro advises Jewish teenagers. If the rebbe gets flustered and angry at the question, then he’s not much of a rebbe.

Dr. Shapiro passes down this story he heard from Louis Jacobs, who grew up in Manchester.

The rav in town around the turn of the last century, Yehuda Levitz (sp?), was not popular.

The rebbe would travel around town in a horse-drawn carriage. One day the rebbe’s congregants put a couple of prostitutes in the carriage and had them get out with the rebbe.

This let the rebbe know he was not popular with his congregants and he left town.

This sounds like the Charles Kushner real estate developer/Jewish philanthropist in New Jersey who employed prostitutes to do sexual things with people he wanted dirt on, and Kushner got videotape of the dirty deeds.

Yehuda Levitz then came to New York and proclaimed himself the Chief Rabbi of New York. Then he went to Boston. At the time, he was the greatest Talmudist in America.

This comes from Dr. Marc B. Shapiro’s second lecture on Rabbi Hayyim Hirschenson for Torah in Motion.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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