Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Attending a Non-Orthodox Chasuna

Since becoming Orthodox Jewish, I have been invited to two non-orthodox weddings.  In both cases I had the z'chus of have a moreh ho'ra'ah to guide us in what we could and could not do, how much of the event we could attend, etc.  But let's suppose you wanted to find a discussion of this topic in the Mishna Brura; where would you look?  True enough the Mishna Brura is structured as a commentary on the Orach Chaim section of the Shulchan Aruch, but R' Yisrael Meir Kagan planted oodles of goodies (aka easter eggs) on all sorts of topics that face a Jew in his daily life.  So where would you look?

The place you are most likely to first stumble on this topic is in hilchos Chanuka, siman 670, sk 8.  The Shulchan Aruch says (syef 2) that the extra eating on Chanuka is not a mitzvah, but (adds the Rema) by singing songs in praise of the Creator, the s'udah becomes a s'udas mitvah.  The Mishna Brura comments, "and similarly when the daughter of a talmid chacham marries an am ha'aretz, you can turn the s'uda into a s'udas mitzvah by singing z'miros).  As surprising as it is that just singing songs in praise of the Creator can transform a meal into a s'udas mitzvah, I was much more surprised to learn that a s'uda at such a chasuna was not otherwise a s'udas mitzvah!

That's the entire discussion there, but the Dirshu pointed me to siman 415.  That one is trickier to find, as it is in the "Hogwarts Platform 9¾" of the Mishna Brura -- chelek 4.  In case you haven't seen it, it is thinner than the rest of the volumes and is nearly always in mint condition on the shelf where s'farmin are supposed to be re-shelved when you have finished with them (hint, HINT).

Anyway, there in hilchos eiruvei t'chumin, you will find that one is only allowed make an eiruv t'chumin in order to be able to get to a mitzvah event, such as a chasuna.  The Mishna Brura (sk 2) again notes that a bas talmid chacham to an am ha'aretz is not a s'udas mitzvah.  However, he adds, we don't really have the caliber of am ha'ratzim that the gemara is discussing.  Nowadays, if two Jews are getting married, you should go.  Unless, notes the Mishna Brura, they are among those who disgrace the Torah; eg rabbis of the Reform religion.  So if two reform rabbis are getting married you should not attend.  Unless (I love all the unlesses here) you can have a positive influence on them; preventing mixed dancing, for example.

That is precisely what happened in the two cases I mentioned at the beginning.  Several of us orthodox Jews attended on condition that there be separate dancing.  We stayed, danced our hearts out, made a nice kiddush HaShem (several of the single guests came to thank us and told us they plan to have some separate dancing when they get married because they had never had so much fun dancing at a wedding before), and then left when things began to deteriorate.

You may want to check out more wonderful and mystical topics contained in volume 4.  Be careful, though... it could change your life.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Using a Mitzvah Object for Non-Mitzvah Purposes

As I am -- Baruch HaShem -- getting older, I am more cognizant of the fact that I'd like to stay as healthy as possible right up the moment I leave this world.  Stuff hurting is not the problem (I am told there is an old Russian saying that once you are 40, if you wake up and nothing hurts -- you're dead), stuff not working, however, is a problem.  To that end, for several years now I commute to work by bicycle (weather permitting, 30 minutes on an elliptical machine when weather does not permit).  I recently took up some upper body weight training.  Not because I want to be governor of California, just simply to slow down loss of bone mass and extend my body's healthy span.  Simple hishtadlus.  I have an 18 month old grandson who is just the right weight for arm curls (yes... I am that weak), so I do about 10 reps when I greet him at night.  He laughs, I get my exercise; all good.  (Main problem is explaining to the older ones why zeidy can't give them the same "…

Thought for the Day: Thanking HaShem Each and Every Day for Solid Land Near Water

Each and every morning, a Jew is supposed to view himself as a new/renewed creation, ready for a new day of building his eternal self through Torah and mitzvos.  We begin the day with 16 brachos to praise/thank/acknowledge HaShem for giving us all the tools we need to succeed.  We have a body, soul, and intellect.  We have vision, mobility, and protection from the elements.  Among those brachos, we have one that perhaps seems a bit out of place: רוקע הארץ על המים/Who spreads out the land on/over the water.  After all, it's nice to have a dry place to walk, but does that compare to the gratitude I have for a working body and vision?  As it turns out, I should; as explained by the R' Rajchenbach, rosh kollel of Kollel Zichron Eliyahu (aka, Peterson Park Kollel).  Your best bet is to listen to the shiur; very distant second is to continue, which I hope will whet your appetite for the real thing.

First... since we have dry land, I don't have to slog to work through even a foot…