Ask The Rabbi

Father's Wedding

The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Topic: Marriage, 2nd of one Parent, Attending

David Bitton wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

Is one halachically allowed to attend the marriage of a parent? For example my mother passed away many years ago, and my father is now remarrying. I've heard that it is not permissible for the children to attend the wedding, is there any basis for this?

PS If you could reply ASAP I would appreciate it, the wedding is next Sunday.


Dear David Bitton,

Yes, there is a basis for this. According to widespread custom, children do not attend a parent's second marriage. One logical explanation is that the children's presence is a reminder of the first spouse, and could thus mar the joy of the occasion.

I asked Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, shlita, about this custom. He gave the following explanation: Children have an obligation to respect their parents even after the parents have passed away. Attending the marriage of a surviving parent would be disrespectful to the deceased parent.

Sources:

  • Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De'ah 240:9 & Rema

 
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