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Someone told me that it is proper to make a Sheva Brachos se'udah during every day of the 7 days of rejoicing after a wedding.

  • Is that a requirement?

  • Does it depends on which community you live in?

  • Is there a difference in tradition between Ashkenazim, Sefardim and even between the smaller subgroups within these groups?

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You have to make as many as will make the couple happy. There is no obligation to have a fixed number of meals, but there is an obligation for the couple to be happy (or to make the couple happy (ShA EH 64:1, 65:1)).

So instead of focusing on having ten men present for a Minyan or new people around when they aren't really good friends anyway (there's often a reason they weren't at the wedding), focus on having the right combination of family, friends and food so the couple has a good time. If you happen to have the right conditions, say the Sheva Berakhot, and if not, just say the last blessing "Asher Bara..." (if there was bread).

Remember: as long as the couple is happy it's a success.

  • Very interesting article. Case in point that the mitzvah is to make the couple happy - when my cousin was married, he and his wife were invited to so many sheva brachot, that they got tired of shuttling around to all these places. Mid-week, they suddenly booked a honeymoon to the Carribean. That made them happier. – DanF Nov 16 '16 at 19:00
  • @danf I'm not sure that going to the Caribbean is a wise decision, but you're right that people who drag couples far away for meals with mass produced food with people they've never met are seriously missing the point. Most couples would love a quiet mom-cooked meal with their immediate family at some point. – Double AA Nov 16 '16 at 19:03
  • Note that the linked article states that originally, the family and friends would make the meal at the bait chasan rather than having them travel around to different places. This would either be a central hall (what we nowadays call the honeymoon) or the home of the chasan. – sabbahillel Nov 16 '16 at 20:22
  • @sab some still do that – Double AA Nov 16 '16 at 20:23
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Ketubbot 7a:

תנא מניין לברכת חתנים בעשרה

From know we that Birkat Chatanim needs ten men?

Daf 8a:

אי איכא פנים חדשות בריך כולהו ואי לא אפושי שמחה בעלמא הוא

If there is panim Chadashot, it's good enough to provid meals characterized by abundance.

Thus we need two conditions to allow us to make Birkat Chatanim. Ten men, Panim Chadashot.

Ketubbot 5a:

שקדו חכמים על תקנת בנות ישראל שיהא שמח עמה שלשה ימים,‏

Chachamim were commited to promote the wellbeing of daugther of Israel, and imposed to rejoice with her.

Ketubbot 7b:

מברכין לבתולה שבעה

They bless for the virgin seven days.

Stated in SA (EH 64, 1:)

a Sheva Brachos se'udah during every day of the 7 days of rejoicing after a wedding. . Is that a requirement?

A seudah is a requirement, not for the marriage only, but for the whole week. The chatan needs to eat and drink and enjoy with the kalla, at least one per day. The presence of ten men, of Panim Chadashot depends not only on his will, this is not a requirement. But if the conditions are fulfilled, it seems to be a requirement, each day.

•Does it depends on which community you live in?

•Is there a difference in tradition between Ashkenazim, Sefardim and even between the smaller subgroups within these groups?

--> NO.

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According to the Ben Ish Chai, these meals are not obligatory, but it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to pray for the new couple and praise Hashem in the context of their wedding. If it’s too expensive or too much of a hassle, they are not obligated to celebrate with others every night. His Pesak is cited by many, including Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach.

Rav Pealim vol. 4 Even HaEzer 6, quoted in Yalkut Yosef (Sova Semachot 17:fn.1), Birkat Hashem (vol. 4 page 342) and Shalmei Simcha page 345

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