Perhaps they are referring to the idea mentioned here.
That is one shouldn't invite anyone to a bris as declining such an invitation would be bad (Rema Yoreh Deah 265:12). But if you don't receive an invitation at all, one can choose not to show up.
Much depends on the household of the friends. There are a variety of possible practices and traditions which you might encounter but not everyone has the exact same take on everything.
For example, if they have yet to light their Channukiah (the 9 branched candelabra) you might watch them do that and sing 3 blessings. They might say the blessings in English,...
From "The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning" by Maurice Lamm:
Community business meetings, such as synagogue or fraternal
organization membership meetings, are permitted the mourner after
Social dinners, even though no music is played, and even though they
are held for charitable causes, are not to be attended by mourners for
The source is Medrash Esther Rabba 7:13
אמר רבי יצחק נפחא המן הרשע בעלילה גדולה בא על ישראל הה"ד ובמלאת הימים האלה עשה המלך לכל העם הנמצאים בשושן הבירה וגו' ואין העם האמור כאן אלא ישראל הה"ד (דברים ל"ג) אשריך ישראל מי כמוך עם נושע בה' וגו', אמר המן לאחשורוש אלהיהם של אלו שונא זמה העמד להם זונות ועשה להם משתה וגזר עליהם שיבואו כולם ויאכלו וישתו ...
The Hamodia newspaper had an article related to the Gemoro Nedorim 32.
Pri Megadim records two opinions concerning the proper time to
recite “l’chaim.” According to one opinion, one should make
the brachah, drink some wine and then say “l’chaim,” whereas other
opinions maintain that one should recite “l’chaim” before even
reciting the brachah ...
Halachically Speaking - page 11 quoting Miyum Hahalacha 4:46 says one should not put candles on the birthday cake.
The practice of putting candles on a birthday cake corresponding to
the celebrant’s age does not stem from a Jewish custom and should not
Rabbi Eli Mansour quoting Rabbi Avraham Blumenkrantz says it should not be done.
I don't think the Magen Avraham says that. It looks like 193 discusses a more complex case of people leaving small groups and the remainder reassembling etc.
Shulchan Aruch 195:1 simply says that if groups of people are eating in the same house or even two different houses, if some of the people at each table can see each other then they can combine for ...
Saifer Hasidim 1120 brings that you can not say shehasimha bmoinoi if woman are sitting with men
So it seems to me that halohacly it is not required, but it is preferable
As @sam commented below this minhag (not to say shehasimha bmoinoi) is brought in the BaCh (on the tur)
"http://beta.hebrewbooks.org/tursa.aspx?a=eh_x7291 see the Bach (...
Haman and the King were the guests. However, as nobility there were servants and "members of the staff" there. The modern concepts of privacy did not exist in those days. Consider that a noble would be able to sit down without considering if a chair was there, because one would "miraculously" appear under him. Thus, Charvonah was standing there waiting to be ...
Well I found the probable source in R. Akiva Eiger's responsa (vol. 1 ch. 29) where his uncle R. Binyomin Wolf Eiger make a feast in honor of R. Akiva Eiger's wedding.
R. Akiva Eiger responds (ibid ch. 30)
תודות אלף אל אדוני על הדבר אשר עשה לשמוח ביום שמחתי בפומני והוא אות
נאמן על עזוז אהבהו, אם כי לא ידעתי על מה, ותשואות חן לכם...וכו
A thousand ...
You should have a bigger, nicer meal. (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 419)
Add hallel in davening and ya'aleh v'yavoh in Shmoneh Esrei and bentching. (SA OC 422 and 424)
Some women have the custom of not doing melacha. (SA OC 417)
Other than that, not really.
** hope you'll understand my english :) **
It seems there's no formal Mitzva or Halakha for making a party in this situation, but something that was formed over the medieval times. A little more about it you can read here:
I'd like to add (from the Hebrew Wikipedia of Zeved habat) that the source of the word Zeved (which means present/מתנה) ...
The Chofetz Chaim wrote many seforim which are well less known to the masses,and one of them is called Geder Olam. In this sefer the Chofetz Chaim goes through many laws of modesty,however in chapter 9 (Chasimas HaSefer pg 38 in hyperlinked version) he dedicates the whole chapter to this exact issue. The Chofetz Chaim brings numerous sources from the Bible,...
I saw a number of additional reasons mentioned in R Yosef Deutsch's Let my nation live (pp. 250ff)
Esther was taking a cue from Jewish history. Yaakov prepared to defend himself against Esau in three stages (see Rashi on Bereshit 32:9: prayer, gifts and battle). Esther began with prayer, the first feast was a gift, the second feast would be the battle (R ...
See the (fanciful) discussion here: http://onthemainline.blogspot.com/2009/12/vilna-gaon.html
where it is suggested that the work HEP is an acronym for Haman, Amalek, Pharaoh which was said by the Jews against their foes in order to show how all previous enemies had all been defeated and so too would they. Thus it would seem to be a very appropriate Jewish ...
The laws vary from place to place. Many caterers have deals with charities to pick up the leftovers. As such, you really need to ask. Personally, I have asked a caterer for leftover pineapple boats, which I was happily given. (Dried pineapple is delicious!)
To answer specifically: "Is it considered, then, a mitzvah to take these cakes as we know they will ...
Your concerns are well-founded. While a number of bands are unaware of, or ignore, the clear health-related and halachic ramifications of loud music, it is certainly contrary to Jewish law to have loud music played at simchas (or otherwise). For an in-depth response and much more information on this matter, I would recommend Rabbi Forsythe's article "Dangers ...
Nitei Gavriel Nisuin1 49:2 in the name of Teshuras Shai 2:150, Imrei Yosher 2:23, MaHarash Engel 5:53, and Shem M'Shimon 9 mentions that no Tenaim are done by a Zivug Sheini, only a Kinyan. He does not mention by this the reason of Luchos Sheini. In 49:3 footnote he mentions that no invitations are sent for a Zivug Sheini wedding similar to the Luchos Sheini ...
The Baby shower is a modern concept, based on consumerism.
The modern baby shower started after WWII during the baby boom era and
evolved with the consumer ideology of 1950s and 1960s. In other words,
baby showers in the mid-twentieth century not only served an economic
function by providing the mother-to-be and her home with material
I am going to address what I assume to be the scenario that you are seeing. Often, a "L'chaim" is said in the middle of a meal. Now according to many opinions, liquor would need its own bracha even in the middle of a meal where one said hamotzi; however, it is likely that the person who is making the l'chaim had already had some to drink and had probably ...
Many Sephardim include L'Chaim as part of kiddush:
HOST: Savri meranan v'rbanan v'rabotai.
HOST: Baruch ata Hashem elokenu melech haolem borei pri hagefen.
(Yes I know, Ashkenazim say hagafen.)
So I'd follow that precedent. A hearty "L'Chaim" all around, followed by the bracha.
I suppose you could also make the bracha, take a ...
[This is slightly long so let me point right away to other helpful sources here, here and here. The last two include primary references to SA and Aruch Hashulchan.]
In one of the classic English books on the topic (The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning), R Maurice Lamm writes
During shiva the mourner must refrain from doing those things which
Extracted from here
There were seven joyous events that happened on the 15th of Av
The dancing maidens of Jerusalem
Said Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel: There were no greater festivals for
Israel than the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur.On these days the daughters
of Jerusalem would go out... and dance in the vineyards. And what
would they say? "...
Not that I'm aware of, though the midrash does comment that in noting at the very end of the book of Esther that "the King levied a tax" is a polite way of saying that he had gone broke from all the partying. Similarly Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein zt'l notes that the point of view here is just about those on the receiving end of such a lavish party, not all the ...
From http://www.torah.org/learning/hamaayan/5769/yisro.html# (hattip: @Salmononius2):
Thursday night of the week of Parashat Yitro: It was the custom among the Jews of Tunis to hold a "Seudat / Feast of Yitro" on this night. Some say that the feast commemorates the feast that Yitro made in this week's parashah (18:12). Others say it celebrates the ...