Ask the rabbi

  • Family and Society

Permission to Marry

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Rabbi Chaim Tabasky

22 Elul 5764
Question
Is there a Halacha or obligation for a son or daughter to ask permission of one’s parents to become engaged? (If not would it be considered "essential "Derech Eretz) If no request is made is it considered perfectly okay for the son or daughter to just inform their parents of his or her engagement?
Answer
Although technically not required under the heading of "Kibbud Horim" (honoring parents) it is the custom in many communities to ask permission from parent to become engaged. It would certainly be a lack "Kibbud Horim" to spring an announcement in such a way that would imply disrespect. OTOH, if parents do not approve of an engagement, the vast majority of Poskim agree that the decision is made by the couple themselves, and the parents have no right to veto.
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