1) Why do we no longer use kiddushei shtar?
2) Can kiddushin be done with dollar bills (if a ring is not available), or must it be with actual coins?
If possible, I’d appreciate knowing the mekorot of the Rabbi’s answers.
- Technically a person could be mekadesh with a shtar, however the minhag is to do the kiddushin specifically with a ring for kabalistic reasons. As a side point the Shel”a Hakadosh (brought in Igra Dbei Hilula pg. 40, also see Ben Ish Chai Shoftim -9) says that the ring symbolizes the letter “yud”, the chossons sticks out his hand, which has 5 fingers on it, symbolizes the letter “hey”, the same with the kallah, and the extended finger of the kallah is like a “vav”. Together all of this is the name of H-shem (Yud- Hey- Vav and a Hey) to symbolize that the divine presence is between them.
- There is discussion among the poskim if it is permitted to be mekadesh with coins, (see Beis Shmuel 31-5, Avnei Meluim 27-2, Rosh Pina 27-1), however as mentioned the minhag is to be mekadesh specifically with a ring.
See Shulchan Aruch E:H 32, Rema E:H 27-1. As a side point there are Rishonim that say that it isn’t the minhag to be mekadesh with a shtar. Rambam Hil. Ishus 3-21, Orchos Chaim 7-4.