Ask the rabbi

  • Family and Society
  • Obeying One's Parents



Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Iyyar 29, 5774
What would the following scripture mean today? Exodus 22:17 - If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins. For example, what if a young lady, age 19, decides she wants to get married, albeit, without the blessing of her parents (and for good reasons why the parents won?t attend the wedding)? How would the Orthodox Talmud & Rabbis view this issue in the 21st Century?
ב"ה The question you are asking is "Can a child marry the person her choice against the will of her parents?" The context of the verse you quoted is on a different issue. It is written in the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 140:25), the Code of Jewish law, that a child does not have to accept the opinion of his or her parent when choosing a spouse. There is no doubt that these situations are painful for the child and parents alike and therefore professional counselling is needed for which a Rabbi is not necessarily qualified. It is important for the child and the parents that a new marriage starts in a pleasant atmosphere. All the best.
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