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Mitzvah #44a

Sefer Ha’mitzvos Ha’Katzar (The concise book of mitzvos)
By the Chofetz Chaim

This book lists the Torah mitzvos that can be observed today

First Section – the Positive Commandments

44. It is a positive commandment to marry a woman through Kiddushin (Jewish ceremony of marriage)

As it states in Devarim (Deuteronomy)24:1, "For a man shall take (marry) a woman." When he comes to marry a woman, he first must acquire her to be his wife. He can acquire her with money of his own that he gives her that is a prutah (a small amount of money) or equal to a prutah and he says to her, "You are consecrated to me according to the law of Moses and Israel." This must be done in front of qualified witnesses.

Before kiddushin (the marriage ceremony), the blessing of Arusin (betrothal) must be recited. The blessing states, "You are the Source of Blessing, Hashem, our G-d, King of the Universe, that has sanctified us with his commandments and commanded us in Erusin, and forbade us those betrothed to us, and has permitted us to those married to us through chuppah (bridal canopy) and kiddushin." The blessing then concludes with "You are the Source of blessing, Hashem, who sanctified His people Israel through chuppah and kiddushin."

When one betroths a woman, she is called "Arusa" (betrothed), and according to Rabbinic law, he is forbidden to be with her until they are married under the chuppah with seven blessings. Before the chuppah, he must write for her a kesuba (marriage contract). After the chuppah, the woman is called Nesu'a (married), even though she has not been with her husband, as long as she is fit to be with her husband. But if she is ritually impure, even though she has undergone the chuppah ceremony and has been alone with her husband, the marriage has not been finalized and she is considered an Arusa in all matters.

This applies in all places and at all times.