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Monetary questions regarding a broken engagement


My daughter got engaged on the Shabbos right after Purim. She was living in a community of mostly older singles. Her future chasson was “koneh” the Engagement ring for her before Shabbos and proposed and gave it to her on Shabbos afternoon.
The rabbi of The community saw them later in the afternoon, and wished them a Mazal Tov, but also asked him if he made a kinyan before Shabbos for the ring. He answered in the affirmative. The rabbi then asked, “so even if she said ‘no’, then the ring will still be hers because you did a kinyan for her?” And he answered “yes”.

Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus situation, his family was unwilling to set a wedding date and that created much stress on their relationship. Ultimately, the engagement was broken right after Shavuos. He is the one that initiated breaking the engagement.

There are a number of financial issues that need to be settled due to this broken engagement. My daughter plans on settling these issues correctly, al pi halacha, however she would like to know what is required:
A) al pi din
B) lifnim meshuras haDin
C) completely unnecessary.

There are four main questions:
1) the signed a lease together on an apartment that was to begin on June 1st. He put down $2500, for the security deposit and half a month rent. (They informed the landlord before June 1st that they will not be taking the apartment). The landlord agreed to refund $500. Must my daughter give her ex chasson anything?

2) He lent my daughter $500 a few months before they were engaged. Shortly afterwards, my daughter wanted to pay him back, and he said “no”, because he was afraid that that would end their relationship. So he said not to pay him back.
Must she now pay him back for the loan.

3) They saw a therapist/counselor a few times Together before their engagement and afterwards. He paid for the sessions. Does she now owe him anything for his outlay of money for these sessions. (By the way, the therapist told them to have a very quick engagement).

4) Lastly, since he was koneh the engagement ring before Shabbos. Without a “tnai”. It was a gift. Must she return the ring.

Once again, she is not looking to cause him any undue financial loss. And she plans on doing what is required by halacha; she is just inquiring what is required al pi din, and Lfnim mShuras haDin and why is completely not necessary.


Answer from Horav Yosef Fleishman shlit”a

The expenses he incurred-rented apartment, therapist no need to return-since he broke the engagement so he caused his own damages. The ring she must return because it was given in order to get married (see beginning of EH 53),. The loan she doesn’t have to return but if she is convinced that he only did it because he wanted to get married maybe there is a point to return the loan. Definitely she isn’t obligated because it isn’t crystal clear, but if she really believes so there is a point because then it would be like a condition.

All the best

Yosef Fleischman


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