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Wedding With Musical Instruments

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Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg ztz”l. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications and is the author of the books, Fascinating Insights and Incredible Insights. His writings inspire people across the spectrum of Jewish observance to live with the vibrancy and beauty of Torah. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes, and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

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Wedding With Musical Instruments

A student of the Maharil (1365-1427) related the following in the name of his Rebbe:[1] The female ruler of the country passed away and for the sake of her honor, the current ruler ordered that there should be no playing music with musical instruments in the entire country for that year. This edict interfered with the Jewish wedding that was scheduled to take place within that year in a certain city in that country. The Mahari Segel (i.e., Maharil) was asked if the wedding should take place without musical instruments.

Reznikov Yosef- Jewish Wedding – Israeli Art Market

He ruled not to make the wedding without musical instruments because that is the main simcha of a Chosson and Kalla… He instructed that if it was not possible to do it in that city, then they should move the wedding to a place where it would be possible to play with musical instruments. And that is what they did. They traveled three parsaos (around 12 kilometers) to the city of Mainz (Germany) and had the wedding with musical instruments.[2]

The Ra’avya[3] (1140-1225) wrote regarding a wedding that took place on Shabbos that it is permitted to tell a non-Jew to play musical instruments on Shabbos for Simchas Chosson V’kalla. This was because there is no Simchas Chosson V’kalla without musical instruments.

[1] Maharil, Minhagim, Hilchos Eruvei Chatzaros, 7. Interestingly, the majority of the Maharil’s parnassa was from Shadchanus money. He would write and send letters far and wide to match up boys and girls since everyone would listen to him. With this the following pesukim (Iyov 29:21-22) were fulfilled: לי שמעו…מלתי, people would hear me with anticipation; await my counsel silently. After my word nothing more was said; my speech would be pleasing to them (Maharil, Hilchos Chanuka, 1). In the Sefer Maharil in the Mechon Yerushalayim edition, there is an addition (Shinuyei Nuschaos, 10) “People would give him much more shadchanus money than to others because they knew this was his livelihood.”

[2] The Maharal (Chidushei Agados, Baba Kamma, Perek Hamineach, s.v. bou vneitzei) tells us that a Kalla is like a queen because a chosson is like a king (Pirkei D’Rebbe Eliezer, Chapter 16). A hint to this is found in כטוב לב המלך (Esther 1:10), when the heart of the king was merry, as its initials form the word כלה.

[3] Hilchos Yom Tov, 795.

Writer of the weekly Fascinating Insights Torah sheet in Englishעברית ,אידיש and français
Author of Five Books including the recently released “Magnificent Marriage Insights: Captivating Torah Essays about Marriage”

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