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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 7, 2007 / 19 Iyar, 5767

The Magic Moment

By Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir


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Are wedding celebrations getting out of hand?


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: Should we condemn lavish weddings?


A: Anything good can be taken to extremes, and having a memorable wedding is certainly one. Opulent weddings, or those beyond the means of the families, can be wasteful and immodest. But fundamentally, Jewish tradition has always recognized that any wedding is a momentous and memorable event and should be celebrated in a joyous and dignified fashion. The object is not to show off wealth, but on the contrary to make sure that every bride and groom, rich or poor, are queen and king on their wedding day. The Midrash teaches:


A groom is like a king. Just as all praise the king for the seven days of a feast, so all praise the groom for the seven days of the feast. Just as a king wears clothes of honor, so the groom wears clothes of honor. Just as a king has joy and feasting before him all the time, so the groom has joy and feasting with him all seven days. Just as the king does not go out unaccompanied, so a groom doesn't go out unaccompanied. Just as the king's face shines like the rays of the sun, so the face of the groom shines like the rays of the sun, as it is written, "And [the sun] is like a groom emerging from his canopy". (Psalms 19:6) (1)


A bride also is likened to a king in the Talmud (2), and the Talmud also tells us that the king of Israel Agrippas gave an ordinary wedding procession precedence over his own royal entourage. (3).


The Mishna likewise tells us that after a couple become engaged, it is acceptable to delay the marriage in order to enable the bride and groom to prepare themselves, and the commentators explain that this includes the need to amass the means not only for the dowry (the needs of the household) but also for the wedding celebration itself. (4)


It goes without saying that the human element is primary in the celebration, and the material dimension is secondary. There is great emphasis in Jewish tradition on having adequate attendance at the wedding party, and Jewish law states that even regular Torah study, which is generally considered the highest opportunity to cleave to G-d's ways, should be interrupted to accompany a bride and provide respectable attendance at a wedding. (3)


But the material celebration is also not neglected. For example, music for dancing is required. Rabbi Yaakov Segal, one of the most influential medieval authorities, ruled that having musicians at a wedding is "the principal rejoicing of the bride and groom".(5) A wedding feast is also a requirement. (6)


Our prophets tell us that G-d demands that we "go modestly with G-d" (Micha 6:8), and Jewish law includes many traditions to keep weddings from being immodest or immoderate. Certainly having adequate resources to build a household should take precedence over a fancy wedding party, and having a dignified meal for a few dozen close relatives and friends is an adequate fulfillment of an ideal Jewish wedding.


But while we shouldn't splurge on wedding expenses, we also should not stint.


Having a joyful celebration according to the means of the families has an important role in demonstrating to all that the wedding of any bride and groom is a momentous and joyous occasion, and reminding them that their union is not only a private affair but also a source of rejoicing and happiness for the entire community.

SOURCES: (1) Midrash Pirkei deRebbe Eliezer, chapter 16 (2) Babylonian Talmud, Yoma 78b (3) Babylonian Talmud, Kesubos 17a (4) Babylonian Talmud, Kesubos 57a and Rashi's commentary (5) Sefer Maharil, Eiruvei Chatzeros (6) Babylonian Talmud, Kesubos 5a

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JWR contributor Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir, formerly of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Reagan administration, is Research Director of the Business Ethics Center of Jerusalem, Jerusalem College of Technology. To comment or pose a question, please click here.

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