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Weddings During Sefirah

We all know that during our time of mourning during sefiras haomer we don't make weddings, get haircuts etc. etc. However there are different customs as to the exact period of this mourning. Some don't make weddings from the beginning of sefirah until Lag Baomer. Others begin on Rosh Chodesh Iyar. One year I received an invitation to attend someone's wedding at the end of Nissan. I was shocked!

Why would someone invite ME to their wedding!! I am not such a great dancer. I am not really a special person. So why would he invite me?! Truth be told I have been working for years on my "Sefardic Woman At The Kotel On Monday And Thursday Rallying Cry" - "LU LU LU LU LU LU LU!" I use it at weddings to gladden the chosson and kallah, but that should not be enough to justify inviting me. So I couldn't understand it.

But there was another reason I was shocked. Obviously the custom of the chosson and kallah was to begin the period of mourning on Rosh Chodesh Nissan. But what about many of their guests who follow the custom to begin earlier? They cannot attend! Apparently.

However Rav Shlomo Zalman ruled [Sefer Halichos Shlomo] that it is permitted to attend a wedding even though during according to one's own custom the mourning customs are in force.

If this is so, then why does the same ruling not apply to people who are in aveilus? Why can't they dance at weddings and hold like the chasson and kallah, even though there own mourning customs are in force?

Good to hear from you Koby!!!!

Excellent question. I think the answer lies in the halachic distinction between aveilus chadasha [when the person died within the last 30 days] which entails stricter laws of mourning and aveilus yeshana [more that 30 days since the passing] where the laws are more relaxed.

Since most historians agree that Rebbe Akiva's students died more than 30 days ago there is more room for leniency.

Kol tuv and regards to Ari!

Sorry. Also the aveilus for family members is [lo aleinu] is more scrict than that of others [in this case talmidiei Rebbe Akiva] which would explain why after 30 days one in aveilus [again lo aleinu] for their parents would not be allowed to participate even AFTER 30 days from the passing but during seirah it is permitted.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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