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26

Yes, there is plenty that is worth knowing ahead of time about Orthodox weddings. First, I'll talk a little about what will or might be expected from you at the wedding and then I'll talk a little about what to expect at a Jewish wedding and how it's different from a non-Jewish or non-Orthodox wedding (I'm assuming since you say you've never been to a Jewish ...


23

There is no reason not to have a Jewish wedding. On the contrary! There is a strong reason to have one, in order to live according to halacha with a kosher wedding and ketuba. Note that, in many European countries (e.g., Switzerland, France), it is forbidden to have a Jewish wedding without first having a civil wedding. As such, all Jews first have a small ...


16

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein was strongly opposed to a two-ring ceremony in which he says "harei at mekudeshet li" and she says "harei ata mekudash li", but in a later responsum -- EH4:32b (addressing R' Elyakim "Getzel" Ellinson, who was questioning men wearing bands and Rav Moshe defending the practice) he clarifies that for a man to simply wear a band is not ...


16

Like many things in life, this will obviously depend on the specific situation. For example, if the relevant people understand your lifestyle and why you would be sensitive to this issue before it came up would be a very different question than if they are militantly opposed to your zealous bigotry. I had a close relative marry a non-Jew, and I actually ...


15

There are numerous halahic problems in attending a mixed marriage: Aiding one committing a sin. Sourced in BT AZ (6b). There is a difference of opinions among Rishonim if this applies to a scenario where the offender can still sin without aid (cf. Bet Yosef YD 151 & Rema ibid. 151:1). Some authorities argue that the disagreement is only regarding an ...


14

The Ritva in Kiddushin 43a brings the custom of designating specific witnesses at a ceremony where there are invalid witnesses present, to get around the problem of עדות שבטלה מקצתה בטלה כולה (the dictum that any single witness from a group of witnesses who is found invalid invalidates the entire group). מיהו כל היכא שיש באותו מעמד כשרים ופסולים או קרובים ...


13

That specific formulation is certainly not necessary. The Gemara (Kiddushin 5a) has several variant formulations: כיצד בכסף? נתן לה כסף או שוה כסף ואמר לה "הרי את מקודשת לי", "הרי את מאורסת לי", "הרי את לי לאינתו"-- הרי זו מקודשת How does [betrothal through] money work? He gives her money or monetary equivalent and says to her &...


12

The Minhag is mentioned in sources as early as the Teshuvas HaGeonim (Harkavy no. 65) and the Zohar, quoted by the Rama in Even Ha'Ezer 27:1. It is indeed a Minhag, and is quoted as such in many places (such as here, the Nitei Gavriel) The Rogotchover in his commentary to Rambam Ishus 3:1 gives the custom a creative halakhic basis: today, when Kiddushin and ...


12

Practically speaking, the wedding goes ahead as planned, with minor differences at the ceremony: The groom is careful not to touch the bride when putting the ring on her finger. The groom does not hand the Ketuba to the bride. The bride & groom do not hold hands after the ceremony. The Yichud-room has another person present; usually hiding there in ...


11

Shevet HaLevi 5:12 - end of Teshuva says that a Kallah in the Ezras Nashim would not be sufficient reason not to say Tachanun since she is not combined with the Minyan.


11

To supplement, not supplant, Daniel's good answer: Orthodox Jewish weddings start late. (Even later, often, if the bride and groom are Sephardic.) This varies geographically; for example, in my experience, ceremonies start almost on time in St. Louis, Missouri, but as much as an hour later than scheduled in New York City and environs. It may also vary by ...


11

The Seder Olam Rabba (ed. Leiner) states (ch. 2) that they were twins and were both 22 when they got married: נמצאו רחל ולאה נשאו בנות כ"ב כ"ב, שהיו תאומות Thus, Rachel and Leah were both married at age 22, for they were twins. According to Rav Chaim Kanievsky's sefer Lamechsa Atik, which gives names and dates and other unspecified details for the ...


11

R. Avraham Azulai (Hesed LeAvraham, Nahar 48 bot. of pg.) describes this custom as a symbol of dominion. He relates as follows (trans. by Israel Abrahams, Jewish Life in the Middle Ages, pg. 203 fn. 4): If the bridegroom places his right foot over the left foot of the bride when the seven blessings are being said, he will rule over her all her days, she ...


11

I don't know if it's the earliest but Kesubos 17a provides three examples of shtik. אמרו עליו על רבי יהודה בר אילעאי שהיה נוטל בד של הדס ומרקד לפני הכלה ואומר כלה נאה וחסודה רב שמואל בר רב יצחק מרקד אתלת With regard to the mitzva of bringing joy to the bride and groom, the Gemara relates: The Sages said about Rabbi Yehuda bar Elai that he would take a ...


10

The answer is that the Mishna (Ketubbot 2:1) says that a Betula goes to the Chuppah with her hair uncovered. So what is there to talk about? Well, there's a responsum (#9) of Mahari HaLevi (the Taz's brother) where he rules that even an Arusa needs to cover her hair. This position seems difficult in light of the above Mishna (and indeed see Yechavveh Daat 5:...


10

Bavli Ketubbot 8a: לוי איקלע לבי רבי בהלוליה דר"ש בריה בריך חמש רב אסי איקלע לבי רב אשי בהלוליה דמר בריה בריך שית...רב אשי איקלע לבי רב כהנא יומא קמא בריך כולהו מכאן ואילך אי איכא פנים חדשות בריך כולהו ...&rml; Levi came to Rebbi's house after R Shimon [Rebbe's] son's wedding and said [all] of the blessings. Rav Assi came to Rav Ashi's house after Mar [...


10

There are two steps to marriage in Judaism: Kiddushin and Nisuin. Once those two are completed, the couple is married. In our days, the first act, Kidushin, is generally done by giving the Kallah a ring. The second act is done in a variety of ways (as what constitutes Nisuin is actually a Machlokes). The Chuppah is one such view, the Yichud room is another ...


10

This question was posed to R. Moshe Feinstein by R. Ephraim Greenblatt in 1969, and is recorded in Igros Moshe E.H. 3:18. In the first paragraph he explains that the kiddushin is still effective even with a double-ring-ceremony: בדבר אלו שאחר שהחתן קדש בטבעת את הכלה נתנה גם הכלה להחתן טבעת ואמרה הריני מקודשת לך או אתה מקודש לי ודאי לענין הקידושין מאחר ...


9

I was involved with someone who had the following situation (I don't know the sources involved in the decision, just the guidance that was given. HaRav Tzvi Berkowitz was the Rav being consulted): The father of the groom was Jewish, but his mother was not, and the groom had converted. However, it was not publicly known that he had converted. The parents of ...


8

One source for the story you mentioned: http://yeranenyaakov.blogspot.co.il/2012/06/rav-wosner-asks-kallah-for-blessing.html In short, the author relates how a young woman received a wonderful shidduch. However, the chatan became ill and the local beit din advised that the couple not go forward. the kallah wrote to R' Wosner, who said that although he had ...


8

Nitei Gavriel Nisuin 1 15:1:4 mentions this Minhag in the name of Maharam Mintz, Likutei Maharich and Shulchan Haezer. He mentions that some Chasidim do not wear total white as it is Chukas Hagoyim. Based on this I would say that there is no source in the Torah that requires such. However the fact that a majority of Klal Yisrael does so should make one ...


8

"Im Bat Gilo" -- very roughly, "with a woman suited to his nature." The Gemara Nedarim 39b says that a hospital visit is especially efficacious for the sick fellow if the visitor is "ben gilo" with respect to the visitee. Rashi (or whatever medieval commentary there pretends to be Rashi) says simply -- "roughly the same age, not a young man visiting an old ...


8

She has a chuppas niddah. It was a dispute among the Rishonim as to what extent chuppas niddah is effective, but common practice is that they go ahead with the wedding as normal (Shach Yoreh De'ah 192:8). There are some questions that arise in this situation. For example, does the groom put the ring onto the bride's finger? There are varying customs. In my ...


7

The Talmud talks about having shushbinin -- close friends -- escort the bride and groom, to the point that someone who was shushbin at your wedding can't testify in court about you, as the personal connection is too tight. What is still found today is having one good friend (each) serve as "honor escort", (shomer) for the bride/groom: for a day or two ...


7

First question: the mishna at the beginning of tractate Kiddushin makes it clear that the only way a Jewish married woman is allowed to marry someone else is either with a Get (a Jewish divorce), or if the first husband dies. Deuteronomy 24:1 makes it clear that the first husband has to give her a writ of divorce. (A civil divorce is issued by the courts; a ...


7

A boy at the age of 13, and a girl at the age of 12, who have fully matured according to halacha, (as explained in Rambam Sefer Nashim Hilcos Ishus perek 2) are considered adults according to halacha. So as long as the kedushin and nissuin were done according to the basic guidelines, there is nothing others can do to break them up, other than getting the ...


7

I don't believe there is a single set one, but a few with minor variations. Some of the classic Tenaim texts were collected in Sefer Nachalas Shiv'a, and another version was drafted by Rav Moshe Feinstein more recently. To the best of my knowledge, Rav Moshe's is the most commonly used in non-Hassidic Ashkenazi communities. (There are of course earlier ...


7

The earliest source for having a large Challah at a wedding is the Maasas Binyomin (d. 1620) There is a wide spread custom to distribute slices of the large challa to the friends of the Chosson and Kallah. Some say (Nittei Gavriel quotes Darkei Chaim p27, who heard this from R' Akiva Eiger) that this is based on the famous question posed at every marriage: '...


7

Hidabroot (here) writes It is a well-known fact that Rabbi Yaakov [Ben Asher, the Baal Haturim] wrote his entire commentary on the Torah in one night, orally, although no reliable source has been found. which is what you might have heard, although they don't connect it to his wedding night. Thanks to @msh210, I found an official source in the ...


6

The most straightforward halachic source would appear to be the prohibition of chanufa, falsely flattering a sinner by implying that his/her sin is permitted. (This is different than a vague statement of "you're an okay guy.") Rabbi Moshe Feinstein has a responsum in Igrot Moshe (OC 2:51) concerning giving synagogue honors to sinners. (He explains ...


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