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25

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 ...


21

Per the Igros Moshe the bride does not have to cover her hair until the morning after the wedding. The reasoning is that so long that she retains a public presumption of virginity, she has no obligation to cover her hair.


16

YD §193 is about this. It is too comprehensive a discussion for me to adequately address here. Some basic points, however: Blood which comes from a wound - דם מכה - does not render a woman a Niddah. Technically speaking, hymeneal bleeding - דם בתולים - is blood from a wound. However, due to certain Halachic concerns, various amora'im (and some tanna'im ...


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

As a convert, this has been a bone of controversy in my family. My Rav, Rabbi Gedaliah Anemer, zt"l, said it was forbidden to enter the sanctuary of a church. Rabbi Maurice Lamm, in his book Becoming A Jew, also does not allow any leniency. When my father died, I brought up the issue because I was asked to speak at the memorial service. Another ...


15

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 ...


14

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 ...


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 "הרי את מקודשת לי" (...


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 ...


12

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 ...


11

Nitei Gavriel Nisuin1 37 mentions this in the name of Shaalos U'Teshuvos Pri Haadama 3:10, Shaar Hamifakaid Kidushin 16b 12, Klilas Chasanim 10:4, Shulchan HaEzer 8:8:3 (daf 67a). However he mentions that many Gedolim oppose this Minhag based on the Biur Hagra 25:1.


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

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 ...


10

The primary application that has been discussed over the years has been with regards to mixed seating at weddings. See also Rabbi Eli Clark, "Mixed Seating at Weddings" (pdf), Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein allowed it (OCI:41), based on Talmudic discussions related to seating at the Passover Seder. His son-in-law, Rabbi ...


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

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

I don't have a source for the custom, but I think it's irrelevant. The onus is upon him to show a source that it isn't tznius. Standing for a woman in general certainly isn't a violation of tznius - in fact the Gemara says one is obligated to stand up for the wife of a talmid chacham (Shevuos 30b).


10

Jewish Action, Summer 2005 edition, has a "What's the truth about..." column by Rabbi Dr. Ari Z. Zivotofsky on not meeting for the week preceding the wedding. His main point is the lack of old sources for this custom, but he does cite several newer sources and the reasons they give. See there for the details, but the reasons and post-facto rationales offered ...


10

Jewish Action, Summer 2005 edition, has a "What's the truth about..." column by Rabbi Dr. Ari Z. Zivotofsky on not meeting for the week preceding the wedding. His main point is the lack of old sources for this custom, but he does cite several newer sources and the reasons they give. See there for the details, but the reasons and post-facto rationales offered ...


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

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 ...


9

Good question. Would the laws of taharat mishpacha kick in, for example. They should definitely keep taharat hamishpacha, which is irrelevant of what exact marriage ceremony they did/didn't have. We would advise such a couple to go through a proper Jewish ceremony when they can; on the other hand, there is no halachic stigma on children born from two ...


9

In theory, as long as it's intrinsically worth a perutah it's good enough, but there can be no misunderstandings about what it is! If she thinks she's getting a diamond when in fact you're giving her a cubic zirconia, then it could be claimed the kiddushin occurred under false pretenses. So we avoid stones or fancy engravings. THEREFORE, to avoid any chance ...


9

There is definitely no Halachic requirement to get married at night. I personally got married on Labor Day and the wedding was in the daytime. It is mostly done since it is convenient. Bli Ayin Hara with many weddings and Simchas on a daily basis, it would be dificult for many to attend if they were all held in the daytime. Nitei Gavriel Hilchos Nesuin 16:...


9

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 ...


8

A veil is worn, of course, but that hardly seems to be a full covering. I learned that due to the large argument about when the bride first must cover her hair, it is sufficient at the wedding to have a partial covering which satisfies the Biblical requirement (dat moshe) but not the rabbinic requirement (dat yehudit). [See the Talmud Ketubot 72b where a ...


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