Engagements and Weddings during Sefirah

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*All customs listed below are only practiced during the period of time in which one is accustomed to observe the mourning customs, as explained in the previous Halacha. For semantic purposes we will refer to this as “the mourning period of Sefira”. All mourning customs apply both to men and women unless explicitly stated otherwise!

 

Engagements and Weddings:[1]

The custom is to avoid getting married and making weddings during the mourning period of Sefira.[2] [Getting married during the mourning period of Sefira is a danger to the future marriage and hence a Rav should not allow it to be done even if there are many sides to be lenient.[3]]

Shidduchim and Engagements: It is permitted to date [Shidduchim] and get engaged[4] during Sefira.[5] It is permitted to have a Lechaim/Vort [engagement party], celebrated with a feast, during Sefira.[6] It is forbidden however to dance during the party within Sefira.[7]

Rosh Chodesh Iyar which falls on Shabbos:[8] When Rosh Chodesh Iyar falls on Shabbos one may get married on Erev Shabbos.[9] This applies even according to those who follow the mourning period from after Pesach until Lag BaOmer.

 

 

Q&A

May one attend a wedding during his period of mourning?[10]

Being that different customs exist regarding the days of mourning, as explained above, therefore it is possible that one may get invited to a wedding of a couple who keeps a different mourning period. The question arises as to whether one may attend this wedding during his period of mourning. The same question would arise regarding a Rav who is Misader Kiddushin and is asked to be Misader Kiddushin by a wedding taking place during his Sefirah period of mourning.

Some Poskim[11] rule one may not attend a wedding that is taking place during one’s accustomed mourning period. Other Poskim[12] rule it is permitted for one to participate in the wedding.[13] Others[14] rule that one may attend for the Chuppah, however he must leave prior to the meal and dancing.

 

According to Chabad custom, may one get married during the Shloshes Yemei Hagbala?[15]

Although in earlier years the Rebbe negated having weddings prior to Shavuos, nevertheless, in later years, the Rebbe instructed to permit weddings during the Shloshes Yemei Hagbala, and so is the ruling of certain Chabad Rabbanim.[16]

 

Weddings on Lag BaOmer:

See Chapter 4 Halacha 2B!

Getting married on Erev Shabbos when Lag Baomer falls on Sunday: In years that Lag BaOmer falls on Sunday the custom is to get a haircut on Erev Shabbos, in honor of Shabbos.[17] Some Poskim[18] are lenient to even allow weddings on Friday in such a scenario.

 

If a Sefaradi is marrying an Ashkenazi, when may the wedding take place?[19]

In such a case, the wedding is to take place either before Pesach or after Shavuos, or during another date in which neither side follows a mourning custom.[20]

 

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[1] Admur 493:1; Michaber 493:1

[2] One who does not have any children, or is single with children: In these countries, the custom is to not marry even if one has not yet fulfilled the Mitzvah of having children or does not have anyone to attend to his needs. Nevertheless, from the letter of the law, one who does not have children, or has children but has no one to attend to his needs, is allowed to marry during these days. This is derived from the fact that even during mourning for one’s parents, in which it is a decree of the Sages not to marry, nevertheless, in the above-mentioned situations, he may do so. Thus, certainly during Sefira, which is only a custom of mourning, it is allowed. Nevertheless, as stated above, the custom in these countries is to be stringent even in such a case. [Admur 493:3; Peri Chadash 493:1; Bach 493; Chok Yaakov 493:1]

[3] Shvus Yaakov 2:35

The danger: A Rav once allowed a certain couple to marry during Sefira and their marriage was unsuccessful. One is thus to be stringent against marrying even in cases of need as danger is more severe than Issur. [ibid]

[4] This includes actual Kedushin. [Admur ibid; Michaber ibid]

[5] Admur 493:1; Michaber 493:1

The reason: As perhaps if one were to delay the shidduch or engagement, she may commit to marry another person. [Admur ibid; M”A 493:1] From here we see that Divine decree does not enforce that a person always marry his true Zivug Rishon [i.e. other half]. The divine decree motivates such a union and promotes it. However, to assure its occurrence, it is dependent upon the effort of the man. [Igros Kodesh 2:193]

[6] Admur ibid; M”A 493:1

[7] Admur ibid; M”A ibid

Dancing by Keddushin:Eirusin party: Admur ibid rules it is forbidden to dance even by a Kiddushin party. Other Poskim however rule it is permitted to dance by a Kiddushin party. [Elya Raba 493:2; P”M 493 A”A1; Machatzis Hashekel 493:1 in implication of M”A ibid] The practical ramification in this matter is regarding whether one may dance by a Seudas Mitzvah.

[8] Admur 493:8; M”A 493:2

[9] The reason: As the main meal will take place on Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh. [Admur ibid]

[10] Piskeiy Teshuvos 493:13

[11] Chasam Sofer 142; Tosefes Chaim 131:14

[12] Igros Moshe 1:159

[13] The reason: This is allowed being that since the Baal Hasimcha is allowed to make the wedding, one’s own attendance is also considered a Dvar Mitzvah. This can be proven from the fact that we allow Sheva Brachos to take place after Lag Baomer for those weddings that took place on Lag Baomer. [ibid]

[14] Minchas Yitzchak 4:84; Shraga Hameir 6:91; Koveitz Mibeis Levi in name of Rav Wozner

Opinion of Admur: Admur 493:1 prohibits dancing by a Kedushin party, thus implying that one may not dance even by a Seudas Mitzvah. Accoridngly, Tzaruch Iyun if one may join the Seudas Mitzvah of another with dancing and music, as even though it is a seudas Mitzvah, Admur prohibits dancing for oneself.

[15] Hiskashrus Shavuos

[16] So was the accustomed ruling of Rav Zalman Shimon Dworkin, the first Rav of CH. [Hiskashrus ibid]

[17] Admur 493:5; Rama 493:2 in name of Mahriy Viyal  51

Custom of Sefaradim: According to the ruling of the Michaber, one may not get a haircut even in such an occurrence. [Kaf Hachaim 493:32]

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule it is forbidden to get a haircut on Friday even in such a scenario. [Leket Yosher p. 97; Maharil and Elya Raba 493:9 brought in Kaf Hachaim 493:33-34]

[18] Halef Lecha Shlomo 330; Divrei Malkel 3:23

[19] See Minchas Yitzchak 4:84

[20] The reason: As from after Pesach until after Lag Baomer the Sefaradim follow laws of mourning, and hence even on Lag Baomer they can’t get married. Now, after Lag Baomer, many Ashkenazim keep the mourning customs until Shloshes Yemei Hagbala, or Erev Shavuos. [ibid]

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