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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 first available opportunity.

Even without a minyan, you would still say the final berakhah – אשר ברא. Rema says you need 3, but he is talking in the context of doing it at Birkat HaMazon. For the chuppah, even this is not necessary in order to say אשר ברא. Shulchan Arukh EH 62:4,

אבל כשאין אומרים אחר ברכת המזון, אלא ברכת אשר ברא, אינו צריך עשרה. (ומ”מ ג’ בעינן)

Biur HaGra EH 62:12,

ומ”מ כו’. שיהא ברכת זימון:


FOLLOW-UP QUESTION

Would people on Zoom count towards minyan for nisuin/Sheva Berakhot since it’s not a דבר שבקדושה and more (as I understand it) a takanat Ge’onim to have it be done in front of kahal?

ANSWER

Kiddushin with 10 is takanat Ge’onim. Sheva Berakhot needing 10 is in the Gemara. You are right that it’s not a davar shebikdushah. I wrote about this earlier in this group. I think the key question is whether the person making the blessing is seen as representing the 10 or is he making a blessing in the presence of 10 people but not representing them? If you say the former, they would have to be in the same room – to form a corporate entity of 10 and to have him as their representative. If you say the latter, then there is good reason to think that it can work even by Zoom – this would count as in their presence. Its seems from the Gemara (Ketubot 7b) like the latter,

גופא אמר רב נחמן אמר לי הונא בר נתן תנא מנין לברכת חתנים בעשרה שנאמר
{רות ד-ב} ויקח עשרה אנשים מזקני העיר ויאמר שבו פה ורבי אבהו אמר מהכא {תהילים סח-כז} במקהלות ברכו אלהים ה’ ממקור ישראל ו

Although I would prefer (maybe even strongly advise) that the מברך be with the חתן וכלה since the Gemara says that you make this berakhah בבית חתנים. I have to give this point more thought.

To some degree this is connected to the question about women counting towards the 10 and women making Sheva Berakhot. ואכמ״ל.