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Section: Halacha   Category: Tshuvos
Chelkas Yaakov: Can You Break A Shidduch If The Girl Lied About Her Age?

The Chelkas Yaakov (EH 80) was asked about a girl who was supposedly 28 years old a the time of her engagement and when when it was time to get married three years later it turned out she was 36 and not 31. Does the Chosson have halachic grounds to break the engagement?

He answers that we don't find anywhere in the gemara (Chulin or Kesuvos) among the list of Mumim, blemishes that age is considered a Mum. However the Chassam Sofer says that the gemara in Bava Basra says that a women who is over 40 years old and never married cannot have children, therefore not only can you break a shidduch but even if they were already married you should divorce her because of the mitzva of Pru U'Rvu. Other than that he says that breaking an engagement because of age is not justified.

Important Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

RELATED ARTICLES:age  Chasam Sofer  Chelkas Yaakov  halacha  lying  shiduchim

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Visitor Comments: 9

Anonymous, 2007-10-30 09:25:40
Isn't the fact that she lied enough of cause for not wanting to marry a woman?
Anonymous, 2007-11-03 16:53:29
It sounds like it would have been a mekach taut.
Anonymous, 2007-11-03 22:41:56
Mekach Taus has guidelines as determined by the gemara and the poskim. just because it doesn't conform to our wishes doesn't make it a mekach taus.
US, 2009-09-02 09:13:19
I have heard about men lying about their ages. Is that different to a woman ? I dont understand the Chasam Sofer, as there are women who have never been married & have children over 40 ?!
YH, 2009-09-02 11:17:50
What is meant by "Halachic grounds" and What does it mean that breaking the shidduch is not justified? What if he doesn't want to marry a liar? There's something wrong with that?


AA, 2009-09-03 15:32:05
the chassan should just give a get because he no longer likes her. This, in my opinion is much worse than burning your food which the last mishna in gittin lists as valid grounds for divorce!
RC, Brooklyn, 2009-09-04 08:24:29
Lying is lying and how can that not be justified? If anyone in an engagement withholds any information that would be pertinent to any type of future; then, that is wrong on so many many levels. Let me take this further, if he/she lied about her age, then what else has he/she lied about? And this doesnt extend to age it can be a variety of things.

Truth is the best. Just let it out and then have the other person decide whether or not to continue.

Interesting how he did not bring down the following: Rashbatz, Yad Remah, Bava Bathra 172a. Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 402,12. Chofetz Chaim, Introduction, Positive Mitzvah 13. Responsa of Rema, 11 and Responsa Shailath Yavetz 1,5, who are among the halachic authorities who write that lying violates a Torah prohibition, both in the course of everyday conversation and in business.
EE, Chicago, 2011-01-05 13:21:15
We're talking about the Tnaim here, not kiddushin. If nobody lied about their age, and it was known to be a factor in whom you marry, then I can't believe they wouldn't allow him to break the tnaim. But the fact is that many many people 'misrepresent' their age, and so the chassan can't claim it was conditional.
NH, 2013-08-11 04:16:38
Nowhere in the article does it say that she lied about her age. Perhaps he was told by others her age and never spoke to her about whether it was accurate.

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