New York - Halachically Speaking: Inviting to a Wedding Do you Have To Go? Shemirah for Chosson Kallah
Inviting to a Wedding
Some bring down the custom for the chosson and kallah to go the cemetery to invite their non-living grandparents to the wedding.
The Gemorah in Pesachim says that if one who is called to attend a bris milah and does not go is excommunicated by Hashem. This halacha is brought in Shulchan Aruch as well. Some poskim say that this inyun also applies to a seudas milah and to a seuda at the marriage of a daughter of a kohen to a talmid chachum only if there are “good people” by the wedding. Based on this, the Pischei Teshuva says it is not proper for a shamos to announced that everyone is invited to a bris because that would obligate all present to come. There is an opinion in the poskim who says that this is only referring to the following situation: The bris has just taken place and then the shamos announces that all are invited to the seuda of the bris. However, if one is invited on a different day then it is not a problem if he does not go. Others say the inyun only applies to a seudas milah where everyone is eating and one does not want to partake in the seuda. In any case one should not “invite” someone to a bris, and should say he is informing everyone about it.
Many poskim say the custom is that this din is not extended to a wedding. Many reasons are offered for this. Some say that a wedding is very long and one is not obligated to go and stay so long as opposed to a seudas bris which is much shorter. Others say one who receives an invitation in the mail is not considered “invited” and does not have to partake in the wedding. Some say it means if one is invited the day of the wedding. Others maintain that since the ba’al simcha invites so many people because he has to, he does not really care if someone does not come. Some say the reason is because sometimes there may be people who are not good by a wedding.
Based on the aforementioned, one does not have to go to a wedding if he is invited. Nonetheless, the mitzvah to make a chosson and kallah happy still applies.
There is a known custom that the chosson and kallah require a special shemirah –watching before the wedding, and they can not go around by themselves even in their own home. Some say this inyun starts from after the Shabbos before the wedding, while others say it is only the day of the wedding, which starts from the night before. A chosson who can not find himself a shomer to walk him to shul may go to shul without a shomer since many people walk in the streets. Based on this some say if one lives in an area where there are always people in the street he does not need a shomer. One is allowed to take a cab ride with a driver who is a goy and he is considered your shomer.
The above article is reprinted with permission exclusive to VIN News from Halachically Speaking, a monthly publication compiled by Rabbi Moishe Dovid Lebovits, a former chaver kollel of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath and a musmach of Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita. Rabbi Lebovits currently works as the Rabbinical Administrator for the KOF-K Kosher Supervision. To subscribe to Halachically Speaking via email for free sign up at www.thehalacha.com
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