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  • The Day of the Wedding

No-wedding days


Rabbi David Sperling

Sivan 20, 5772
Could you please tell me the dates when no weddings can be celebrated, and which events are related? many thanks and Shalom
Shalom, First of all, let me hope that this question is in light of a happy event, and let me wish you Mazal Tov! Before I list the days in the Jewish calendar that are permitted or forbidden to marry on, please take into consideration that the dates are in the Jewish calendar, and you need to look up the equivalent dates in the secular calendar. Also be aware that the Jewish date begins at sunset the night before, so (in general) any date we mention here refers to the night before and the day of the date itself, but not the following evening [for example, one cannot get married on Yom Kippur - if it falls out on a Wednesday, it means you cannot marry on Tuesday evening, or all Wednesday, but you can get married after dark on Wednesday night]. No weddings may be held on:- 1) Shabbat (the Rabbis forbade it lest we come to write the marriage contract) 2) Rosh Hashanah [New year] – 2 days 3) Yom Kippur [Day of Atonement] – 1 day 4) Succot [Tabernacles] - all 8 days (9 days outside Israel) 5) Pesach [Passover] - all 7 days (8 days outside Israel) 6) Shavu'ot [Pentecost] - 1 day (2 days outside Israel) 7) During the days between Pesach and Shavuot (which are called Sefirat HaOmer, or just the Omer, or Sefirah) there are different customs. These customs reflect the days of mourning for the students of Rabbi Akiva who died during 33 days of this time period. Different communities mourn for different days - a) Some refrain from Passover until the 33rd day of the Omer (Lag B'Omer), and get married either from the night of the 33rd, the day of the 33rd, or from the 34th (night or day) and onwards. b) Some people allow weddings immediately after the Passover week ends, until the beginning of the month of Iyar (about 8 days later). They then forbid marriages from the beginning of the month of Iyar for 33 days, until after Shavu'ot, (or the 3 days just before Shavu'ot). Though many of these communities allow weddings also on Lag B'Omer, the 33rd day of the Omer itself. c) Some refrain from marriages altogether during the Omer period, and do not have weddings at all from Passover until after Shavu'ot - some allowing Lag B'Omer weddings, some not. - You need to ask the Rabbi who will perform the wedding as to the custom of your community in this issue. 8) From the 17th of Tammuz until the 9th of Av [Tisha B'Av] are the 3 weeks of mourning for the destruction of the Temple. Ashkenazi communities do not hold weddings then, whilst Sephardic Jews refrain only during the 9 days of the month of Av. 9) Most communities refrain from holding weddings on the night after the 9th of Av. 10) On the minor fasts - the 10th of Tevet, the 3rd of Tishray (Tzom Gedaliah), and the fast of Esther (the day before Purim) - the common practice is to refrain from holding weddings on these days, but it is probably technically allowed. One may hold weddings ;- 1) On Purim 2) On Hanukah I hope all this is a help to you - and may we merit to continue to see the fulfillment of the words of the prophet, that once again we will hear the happy sound of the bride and groom in the cities of Yehudah and the streets of Jerusalem. Blessings.
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