Ethics

For the week ending 6 May 2006 / 8 Iyyar 5766

Sharing the Honors

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Question: In planning the forthcoming wedding of my daughter I am in somewhat of a dilemma regarding dividing the honors at the chupah amongst all the relatives and the distinguished rabbis connected to my family and those of the chatan. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: The most important thing to do is to avoid any dispute between you and the chatan’s family. Although our Sages warn us that there is no marriage contract without some measure of discord, there is no need to go looking for a fight that is so unnecessary.

While it is customary for the rosh yeshiva or rabbi of the chatan to be honored with officiating as the mesader kiddushin, there are many honors left which can be fairly divided. There is the reading of the ketubah and the blessings that follow, and serving as a witness to the kiddushin and the ketubah is also considered an honor. And don’t forget the blessings at the end of the wedding feast that can serve as an honorable consolation prize for anyone who was left out or came late.

It may indeed be impossible in some cases to cater to everyone who deserves an honor. In such a case it would be nice to approach the ones you left out and apologize for doing so because of unavoidable pressure.

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