18 06, 2021

Birkat Eirusin When the Bride or Groom Cannot Drink Wine

June 18th, 2021|Berakhot, Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah, Orach Chayim|

QUESTION

South Central, USA

I’m officiating at a wedding, and the kallah said she can’t drink wine or grape juice. The only liquids she can drink are water or tea. What would you recommend they say the berakhot over at the wedding? Thank you.

ANSWER

A couple of possibilities:

1. The chatan can drink without the kallah doing so.

2. You don’t need wine really – Shulchan Arukh EH 62:1 ואם אין יין מצוי מברך על השכר.

3. Bedieved you don’t need a kos at all. See Beit Shmuel there who writes ואם אין שכר מצוי יברך בלא כוס.

I think if you don’t want to do #1, she should do tea, which […]

2 05, 2021

A Non-Literal Translation on the Ketubah

May 2nd, 2021|Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|

QUESTION

New York, NY

What does the Rosh Yeshiva think about having a non literal translation, or something similar to a Brit Ahuvim, on a traditional Aramaic ketubah. Meaning that the artwork would have the regular ketubah and an English translation on the same document.

ANWER

If it is on the bottom after חתימת העדים or on the side, such that you can cut it off and the ketubah remains whole, then it is fine. It is another document written on the same piece of paper. Just don’t say that it is a translation of the ketubah, and don’t have it say anything that […]

2 05, 2021

Does a Chuppah Needs Poles?

May 2nd, 2021|Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah, Marriage and Family|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

Can a chuppah hang from the ceiling? Is it sufficient for it to be a canopy over the couple or must it have poles to create four invisible walls through Tzurot HaPetach or some such mechanism?

ANSWER

Sephardim do not use poles, and just hold a tallit over the chatan and kallah. Ashkenazim do have poles. This seems to be rooted in the debate whether a chuppah is a פריסת סעיף על הכלה or if it is a בית חתן. Even though בית will be satisfied later by the yichud room, there is a need to do the chuppah/nisuin now to make the Sheva Berakhot. Some argue that even […]

6 03, 2021

Ketubah in Hebrew

March 6th, 2021|Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|

QUESTION

Midwest, USA

Rabbi, a close friend is getting married soon and is interested in using a ketubah with modern Hebrew text (apparently this is starting to catch on in Israel). Is this permissible, and is there a Hebrew version out there you have seen that you feel is the most “authentic” or recommended? Thanks so much.

ANSWER

It is totally permissible. At the end of the day, this is a legal document, so any language, certainly Hebrew, is fine. It was originally in Aramaic because that was the vernacular.  As to a good text to use, I found two good examples […]

10 01, 2021

Ketubah for Wedding in Rural Area

January 10th, 2021|Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|

QUESTION

Oakland, CA

I’m performing a wedding in a rural area. The mailing address and Google Maps lists the nearest city in the address, but it is outside the city limits in an unincorporated part of the county. What should be written on the ketubah?

ANSWER

In such a case, the practice is to write סמוך לעיר פלונית, so here- fill in פלונית with the city name in Google. This would be true even if it were under the jurisdiction of one city, but closer to another one, […]

3 01, 2021

Ketubah with Signatures in the Middle of a Line

January 3rd, 2021|Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|

QUESTION

I am to be a mesader kiddushin and the wedding is very soon. The bride and groom intend to use a ketubah similar to the attached picture. Is it a problem that there is an inch or so gap between text and signature, or that the signature line doesn’t go across the entire line?  Or, that in first line and last line, a branch from the illustration interrupts between two words of the text?

I am OK having them sign the backup […]

25 12, 2020

When does a Kallah Say Harei Ani Mekabelet?

December 25th, 2020|Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|

QUESTION

Brooklyn, NY

At a chuppah in which, after the chatan says harei at, the kallah responds with harei ani mekabelet etc. when should the kallah say it? Before the ring is given? After he places ring on her finger?

ANSWER

I would have her say it before accepting the ring, as it communicates her da’at before undergoing the act. However, some have concerns around נתן הוא ואמרה היא when she says it before to frame the kiddushin (NB: this sugya in the Gemara (kiddushin 5b)and Rishonim is […]

25 11, 2020

Weddings with No Minyan

November 25th, 2020|Berakhot, Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|

QUESTION

Maryland, USA

What is your pesak on weddings during Corona that don’t have a minyan. Is it ok? If so, do we leave anything out like Sheva Berakhot?

ANSWER

Kiddushin doesn’t need a minyan, but there is a strong minhag to do it with one. In sha’at hadechak (e.g., jail) that can be forgone. For the nisuin, a minyan is required – not for the nisuin per se but for the Sheva Berakhot. If this is really not possible, then you need not postpone the wedding, and you should do Sheva Berakhot at the […]

15 11, 2020

Hefseik in Sheva Berakhot

November 15th, 2020|Berakhot, Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|

QUESTION

Brooklyn, NY

Should I be concerned for hefseik when doing Sheva Berakhot at a chuppah?

If so, is asking someone to offer a personal (not liturgical) blessing to the couple, between Sheva Berakhot, constitute a hefseik?

(I want to have seven women each speak personally, after each of seven men recite a berakhah.)

(I assume having seven women offer translation wouldn’t be a hefseik, but this is different/personal.)

ANSWER

I have done something like this before. We rule […]

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