7

What are Jewish conventions regarding honeymoons? Is a honeymoon taken, and, if so, is it done immediately after the wedding--or later, once the woman is again tehora?

  • 2
    The Jewish tradition is called Sheva Berachot. – Double AA Feb 16 '12 at 0:09
  • Really? I thought the sheva berachot were the blessings said at the wedding... – SAH Feb 16 '12 at 0:15
  • 1
    The words do literally mean "seven blessings" and these blessings are also recited at the wedding, but they also refer to the festive meals thrown for the couple in celebration of the wedding for up to a week after the wedding at which the same seven blessing are also recited. – Double AA Feb 16 '12 at 0:40
  • How hilarious is it that R' Abadi refers to a honeymoon as ירח דבש? – רבות מחשבות Apr 4 '19 at 18:10
3

There is no sanctioned "vacation" in Judaism or Jewish weddings. The whole concept appears to be a "new invention" even in Christian Society.

However, "honeymoon" periods do exist.

Firstly, there is the week of sheva brachot, where all meals are supposed to be joyous and glad with many members from the community. There is also a custom to invite people who could not make it to the wedding.

After the week of Sheva Brachot, there is also a concept known as "Shana Rishona" Or "The first year". During the first year of marriage, the couple, if possible should never spend a night apart. They should not invite guests for Shabbat, and A soldier should not go to war. Over the generations, other customs have grown out of "Shanna Rishona"

As for the aspect of being Tahor I have seen various customs on the issue, some of which arguably go against halacha.

One custom I have heard of is that after the first night of marriage, the couple does not consummate the marriage, so that they may touch each other during the week of Sheva brachot, and only once the stress has been reduced, and family is gone, and "life is normal" do they sleep together. As far as I am aware, this is a common custom, yet not approved by anybody.

Another custom is to have a 'honeymoon' on the evening of the wedding, where the bride and grooom will spend the evening in a fancy hotel, and they will spend the first day together before getting involved with the family and friends for the sheva brachot.

Another custom I have seen, is to take a "honeymoon" months after the wedding, waiting for a good time in the calendar where they can have a long weekend together and go away.

| improve this answer | |
  • Do you have a source for "a custom to invite people who could not make it to the wedding" or "should not invite guests for Shabbat"? And can you make more explicit what you mean by "some of which arguably go against halacha", please? – msh210 Feb 16 '12 at 17:25
  • 1
    Never heard about a custom of refraining from relations on the wedding night. Frankly, it is preposterous. Has anyone else heard of such a thing? – Barry Feb 17 '12 at 18:04
  • @Barry You can read about it all over the internet. Here is one such example: hashkafah.com/index.php?/topic/64329-getting-around-dam-besulim – avi Feb 18 '12 at 16:38
  • 3
    Sounds to me like a misunderstanding. It is extremely common for things to "not work out" the wedding night, and thus the bride is still available on subsequent nights. Not everyone realizes this, and when the yentas talk about how they witnessed the chassan passing the salt to the kallah, all kinds of misinterpretations arise. – Barry Feb 20 '12 at 20:03
  • tiffanieatillman.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/… -1 for plagiarism. – Double AA Mar 22 '15 at 14:35
4

The modern custom of honeymoons raises a significant halachic question, famously addressed by R. Yitzchak Abadi in his sefer Ohr Yitzchak which is the problem of "dam besulim". After the first time a couple is intimate on the wedding night, they are normally required to avoid relations until the wife becomes pure again, as you allude to in your question. But on honeymoons, which most couples take immediately after the wedding, couples are generally assumed to have relations again, within the prohibited timeframe. R. Abadi attempts to find a way around this problem in order to make sure that the majority of couples that go on honeymoons are not transgressing. His approach is rejected by R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, whose response is published in R. Abadi's sefer along with R. Abadi's rebuttal.

| improve this answer | |
  • The Or Yitzchak discusses issues of n'gia (touching one another) and zera l'vatala, but I don't see that he mentions honeymoons specifically, and AFAICT his concerns seem to be independent of whether the couple honeymoons. By your answer ("couples are generally assumed to have relations again" on honeymoons) do you mean to imply the issue is one of mar'is ayin? I don't see that in the Or Yitzchak at all. I'll admit, though, that I haven't read every word of it. – msh210 Feb 16 '12 at 19:59
  • 1
    Look at the second page of the tshuva (שכז), the very top line and you'll see honeymoons, specifically. – Curiouser Feb 16 '12 at 23:50
  • Thank you! I take back my objection re "I don't see that he mentions honeymoons specifically", but still don't see why he does so: why is he concerned more about such a case than any other? because (as he puts it) "who is the watchman over them in such days and in such places"? Who watches them in the bedroom anyway (viz, if they're at home)? Why is this more of a concern if a honeymoon is taken than otherwise? – msh210 Feb 17 '12 at 0:15
  • Because he assumes that in regular married life the people are careful to use the mikveh normally (although you can see he has his doubts about that too), but he sees the honeymoon as a common problem where people are not careful, and thus is motivated to try to find a solution. Since the idea of taking a vacation together (a honeymoon) became common, the temptation is much greater and thus he hopes to find a solution. – Curiouser Feb 17 '12 at 2:07
2

Saw three opinions re: taking a honeymoon immediately after a wedding cited in this OU article about Sheva Berachot:

1) Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef

Even though making daily sheva berachot is not obligatory, halachah does not endorse the secular custom of a honeymoon either. Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef (Yabia Omer 3:EH:11:11) strenuously objects to such a practice and views it as indicative that the couple “is not interested in the berachot.”[15]

2) Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan

On the topic of the honeymoon, Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan (Made in Heaven: A Jewish Wedding Guide [New York, 1983]) writes:

It is not the Jewish practice for the bride and groom to “escape” on a honeymoon right after the wedding. Rather, they remain in their home community. They are beginning their married life, not separated from the community but as an integral part of it (p. 230).

3) Rabbi Shlomo Aviner

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner ("Rayim Ahuvim" pp. 167-169) is in the minority when he says he sees no problem with a honeymoon and that couples should do as they please.

AGAIN, IMPORTANT TO NOTE:

Even those cited above who are opposed to honeymoons (R' Ovadia, R' Aryeh Kaplan), they seem to be only referring to a honeymoon IMMEDIATELY after the wedding.

A honeymoon taken a few weeks/ months after the wedding would seem to be fine to everyone as it's nothing more than a nice trip for the husband and wife!

| improve this answer | |

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .