Getting married and no money

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  • #615639
    flatbusher
    Participant

    I can never understand how people commit themselves to make a wedding when they don’t have the money to do it. BH,Klal Yisroel is generous and helps in these causes, but would it not make more sense to put off wedding plans until either the parents or the couple themselves earn the money to pay for it? This is more common in Israel than here, but I am hearing it a lot more in New York. Why is this type of behavior tolerated or accepted?

    #1086995

    Because being married is better than being single.

    #1086996
    flatbusher
    Participant

    So everyone else has to pay for it?

    #1086997
    Joseph
    Participant

    Getting married is as natural as eating and is an obligation as well. Getting married earlier is almost always better than getting married later. And pushing off marriage because someone is poor is never a good reason. Otherwise the next thing to be argued is that poor people shouldn’t get married unless they’re no longer poor.

    #1086998

    So how long should I wait for that kind of money to appear if my budget doesn’t indicate it ever will?

    #1086999
    flatbusher
    Participant

    My question is what are they doing to pay their way other than going around collecting tzedakah. But the obligation to pay for things is on the individual not on the community, especially if that person makes no effort other than to go around collecting. It is relatively common among chasidim to schedule a wedding several months after the engagement. Maybe the chasan and kallah should find jobs and help pay for their event.

    #1087000
    from Long Island
    Participant

    There are two separate issues here. Making a wedding/getting married.

    When you find the right person you do not put off getting married. However, making a wedding is a choice. I remember, in my generation, 40 years ago, several of my friends got married without a wedding – with a rav, family & a minyan. Then her friends & family made “extra special” sheva brachot for the couple.

    I know it is hard, but just ignore social pressures.

    #1087001
    flatbusher
    Participant

    Moderator: Then make a really small wedding. But this is just the beginning, if they can’t afford the wedding, how will the couple support themselves? Do you not believe a person should be responsible for his own expenses?

    #1087002
    akuperma
    Participant

    Is the complaint about getting married (as opposed to being single or “living in sin” as the goyim say), or about making a wedding.

    Being married is probably cheaper than living separately, and if everyone waited until they were fully able to get married humanity would probably have become extinct a long time ago (which is probably why we are designed to have a biological urge to get married at an age when most people are unlikely to be financially secure). It’s always been this way. Among many goyim they put off getting married until they are ready, and then are too old to start a family.

    A wedding isn’t all that expensive. There is no halacha about needing a fancy hall, fancy meal, photographer or band. A kesubah is inexpensive. By most opinions, if the wedding ring is too expensive it might be a shailoh (since expensive would involve easy to fake gems). You should have ten adult males present but that’s a humrah. The seudah requires rolls to wash on.

    #1087003
    a mamin
    Participant

    Flatbusher: You can choose where you want to give tzedaka and do chesed. No one is forcing you to pay for their wedding.If there is one thing I cant stand is people who are approached for Tzedaka, don’t want to give and give their unsolicited advice instead! Don’t worry the couple will get married without your contribution!We are a people of chesed. The amount of tzedaka and chesed the Jewish nation give is uncomparable! My wish for you, is that you should always be on the giving end …. and never have to understand or feel what its like to need.

    #1087004
    Joseph
    Participant

    It’s okay to admit to yourself that you’re cheap and don’t want to give tzedaka. Someone else will grab the opportunity to give.

    #1087005
    Poster
    Member

    going around collecting is an effort!

    #1087006
    ironpenguin
    Member

    from LI- I agree that as soon as you find the right one, you should get married. But I think the topic is really pertinent. Society, our Frum society dictates how we spend money.

    When people get married, most will absolutely refuse to have minimal weddings and to cut down on expenses. No one wants to feel weird and not the norm when they get married and the slightest deviation from the norm is painful. Ex. not having a sushi station, getting a gold bangle instead of a diamond bracelet…

    This is what’s unreasonable. As a wonderful young man once told me, all you need to get married is a minyan. You can even splurge for chinese. If you ignore the societal, one upping that we have fallen into, weddings could be affordable and enjoyable by all. Unfortunately, we can’t do that. It’s too hard to be different and feel like the neb. This we learned from infanthood.

    I don’t know anyone who had to collect for their own wedding or someone who got married based on donations, but were the donations needed for a fancy wedding hall, pearl jewelry and a gold watch? Or was the money needed for rent, a refrigerator, pots, and the gemach rental for the gown?

    To clarify though, its not just the kids’ fault. Anyone who turns their nose up at the jewelry the neighbor’s kallah got, or sneered how “The Goldsteins just had fruit and cake by the shmorg”, is contributing to the problem.

    If you have the money, then by all means go all out. But when everyone feels that they need to get married off like the rich people, you run into this problem.

    If we stop looking over our shoulders at what our neighbors are spending and spend what we can afford, there will be much less of a problem of people spending money they don’t have. Of course, that is quite obvious, and yet when will it happen?

    #1087007
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    There are two separate issues here. Making a wedding/getting married.

    When you find the right person you do not put off getting married. However, making a wedding is a choice. I remember, in my generation, 40 years ago, several of my friends got married without a wedding – with a rav, family & a minyan. Then her friends & family made “extra special” sheva brachot for the couple.

    I know it is hard, but just ignore social pressures.

    I second this. There is no need to not get married; one can then pitch a tent in Lakewood’s Tent City and search for roots in the swamp instead of relying on others.

    #1087008

    There are plenty of people who can come up with rent and living expenses every month but cannot come up with a lump sum of several thousand.

    #1087009
    dafbiyun
    Participant

    Tosfes in Kesubos make it clear that even in their days a chosson getting married without any assets was an everyday occurrence, both “tolerated” and “accepted”.

    #1087010
    Francorachel3
    Participant

    I think the situation in Israel is horrendous, where parents must buy an apartment for the newlyweds, and if you’re unable to promise that, you can barely get redt shidduchim for your child!

    #1087011
    akuperma
    Participant

    Francorachel3: There is no halachic or legal requirement that parents must by the newlyweds an apartment, or anything for the matter. If they have no money, the parents must make a gift of money to pay for the ring (or whatever) since the halacha is that the hasan has to own the ring in order to give it to the kallah.

    People who think they are too fancy to be poor will eventually come to their senses. They should do tseuvah and return to the traditional derekh of the Bnei Torah, who focused on midos and building families – not showing off material wealth.

    #1087012
    lesschumras
    Participant

    By all means get married. However, I don’t agree that the community has to pay for a mega wedding. When I was married 44 years ago, an average wedding had 200+ guests; a large wedding had 300. Parents didn’t go deep into debt. If a couple and their parents can’t afford to make a large wedding, then don’t! I’ve attended two weddings recently that were made in a shul and the dinner was in the Kiddush/shalos seudos room. They were very nice, laibe dik and did not bankrupt the parents.

    #1087013
    golfer
    Participant

    Akuperm, I did not see anywhere in her post that Francorachel is suggesting a Halachic or legal requirement. She is stating a fact, which is, unfortunately, very true and very sad. It’s a societal norm, widely accepted in many circles. Newlyweds in the US most often pay rent, with or without help from parents; in Israel buying a dira is de rigueur.

    #1087014
    flatbusher
    Participant

    A mamin: For the record, I did give to the person collecting most recently. and I didn’t offer any advice. As he stood there, he looked to be 19 or so, about seven or eight other people came in to collect. It is not a matter of being cheap on my part, but does it occur to anyone that there are other ways to get money you need–like get a job? I would sooner give to a working person who is struggling then someone whose entire effort is collecting.

    Ironpenguin: well said. yishar koach

    I apparently stepped on some toes who have been in this situation. For people of chesed, some of the comments don’t illustrate it.

    #1087016

    I don’t agree that a person should wait until they can afford to get married, but I also don’t agree that people should go around collecting for their wedding. I have been asked to give money that I don’t really have to people who want to pay for a wedding/dira that I myself will probably never be able to give to my own kids.

    I have NO objections to giving tzedaka to whomever asks, but I am just stating my opinion of the concept. When I got married we found anonymous donations in envelopes in our mailbox several times. I am very indebted to those who did that. If someone has it to give, then great. I don’t think I am capable of asking.

    #1087017
    Joseph
    Participant

    flatbusher: You’re selfishly assuming he isn’t working. He may be working and his income still not covering the expenses. (Or he may he have a legitimate reason to not be working. Yes, such reasons exist. Don’t assume there isn’t a good reason.)

    #1087018
    newbee
    Member

    The whole concept that its fine for people to buy very fancy things as long as they give tzedka is mamish wrong. How do they not realize the pressure it puts on others.

    #1087019
    Mammele
    Participant

    I believe the real estate market in Israel is (or used to be) structured differently than in the States. Because the Medinah didn’t want people to run when trouble arose a rental market was dissuaded. Perhaps someone here can fill in the details as I’m not sure exactly how.

    Unfortunately many people here live hand to mouth and can’t mangage to save up. It’s a mindset as well as a result of the high cost of living and high living standard. Waiting to get married would be disastrous. Although fundraising is not preferred, it’s probably better than starting a new home with credit card debt.

    There’s a reason “Hachnasas Kallah” is rewarded in this world and the world to come. It’s literally a life saver/creator. The first mitvah in the Torah is nothing to sneeze at either.

    #1087020

    newbee – although i do agree with you on one hand, i also believe that Hashem has been very clear with us that we should not be concerning ourselves with what others have. So while you are right, and that is where nature will take us, it’s a chisaron in us that needs to be worked on.

    #1087021
    newbee
    Member

    Dont take it out on the couple, Rabbonim should refuse to be mesader kiddushin at very expensive weddings and bans should be placed on expensive weddings.

    I have been to weddings where they had personal cigar rollers, I have been to weddings where everything was so fancy that the couple could not afford to invite their own extended family members who wanted to come, they paid for all these expensive things over their own family members who could have came if they just had it at a more affordable place- its disgusting

    #1087022
    newbee
    Member

    syag- accroding to you these people are still being lifnei iver on lo sachmod. according to me though lo sachmod does not mean that you should not what others have for yourslef also, it means that you should not want their personal items. So its a lose – lose either way you look at it.

    #1087023

    this is the way goyim do it. they wait until they both finish college & find a house to live & have enough money saved etc…

    I work with lots of goyim at my job & they keep telling me the same thing, that for now they’re just staying friends…

    #1087024
    bigkhuna
    Participant

    akuperma I do not know what you mean by a biological need to get married. Maybe girls have such a desire. Also, a diamond wedding ring wedding does not make in Jewish law. It is the plan gold ring where the girl can look at it and immediately know its value that fulfills Kedushin. Using a ring with fake stones is not acceptable to fulfill Marriage. We have a family story where a couple got engaged my grandparents made the wedding seuda. My grandfather said will get a couple of turkeys schect them and make a meal. That is the way it was in America 70 80 years ago.

    #1087025
    golfer
    Participant

    Newbee, it’s not really up to us to decide that a wedding’s arrangements are disgusting. What is it they say? – “Al ta’am v’reiach…”, or if you prefer, “different strokes…”

    Personally I dislike cigars intensely and I would have no idea what to do with a personal cigar roller, unless he also does dishes or windows.

    But what can I say?

    I happen to know for a fact that some people enjoy cigars.

    And some others do not at all enjoy their “extended family members”…

    As for wedding Takanos, we’ve all been there, done that, read about it, heard about it. The system does work beautifully in some Chassidish communities where there is unwavering loyalty to the Rebbe, and his wishes trump societal pressure and personal desires. Other groups, other places, there’s a whole long list of reasons why the takanos idea just never took hold.

    If you want to help marry off a Chassan & Kallah, by all means.

    And if you’re happier spending your Tzedaka funds on other important causes, likewise.

    And if you need to learn more about how exactly to allocate your ma’aser money- well, you already know what I”ll suggest- speak to your Rav.

    #1087026

    golfer

    Monsey & Lakewood also have takanos weddings & they don’t have rebbes with them to listen to & they go beautifully with all the savings they come with

    #1087027
    mewho
    Participant

    one can spend 100k to make a wedding at terrace on the park and one can spend 10 k to make a wedding in a place in williamsburg. each one lasts 4 to 5 hours. a good photographer will make you an album that looks almost the same as the one from terrace on the park. as you look back at your wedding album in 20 years, it will be a beautiful memory and saving 90k is definelty worthwhile

    #1087028
    Satmer101
    Participant

    To Joseph that posted:

    flatbusher: You’re selfishly assuming he isn’t working. He may be working and his income still not covering the expenses. (Or he may he have a legitimate reason to not be working. Yes, such reasons exist. Don’t assume there isn’t a good reason.)

    Flatbusher and the rest of the working Klall Yisroel can smell a rat when we see one.. Yes we can assume that he is not working…. because as we all know “the facts are very stubbern” and the facts are that 99.9% of 19 year olds collecting dont have a job because their Roshei Yeshivos want them in Yeshivah! I dont give those guys a penny, but yes I give them plenty of advice!

    NEWBEE posts:

    syag- accroding to you these people are still being lifnei iver on lo sachmod. according to me though lo sachmod does not mean that you should not what others have for yourslef also, it means that you should not want their personal items. So its a lose – lose either way you look at it.

    No one is Over on lo sachmod… you are only over this issur if you stole something, then you are over 2 issurim… lo sachmod and lo signov..you cannot be over on something in your heart!

    #1087029
    golfer
    Participant

    You are wrong, Satmer.

    There are definitely Mitzvos Aseh that we must perform in our hearts, and Mitzvos Lo Saseh that one can ch”v be “over” in one’s heart.

    We are obligated to serve HKBH with all the gifts He has given us: our bodies, our voices, our hearts and minds, and all our talents and belongings.

    I’ll leave it to you to do the research and clarify which Mitzvos are performed in our hearts. It would be a terrible shame to omit this part of our Avodah. Challenging as it may seem, we have been instructed and informed that the performance of all Mitzvos is within our reach although we are just human.

    #1087030
    rt
    Participant

    I often hope that some of the comments I find are actually jokes and the purpose is to get a rise out of people.

    Here is a mitzvah, hachnosas Kallah, which is listed as ochail pairosahem b’olam hazeh v’hakeren kayemes l’olam haboh. A mitzvah of chesed based according to the Rambam on v’ahavta l’raacha kmocha THE Klal gadol baTorah. Who is Patur from that? Who would want to run away and avoid that?

    Does anyone think that hachnosas kallah is just for showing up to the chasunah?

    #1087031
    a mamin
    Participant

    satmer: when is the last time you heard a 19 year old afford to pay for their own wedding?

    Don’t be ridiculous! Usually in our circles the parents pay for the chasunah of their children. that being said , Baruch HaShem with a large family , how can one put away money to marry off all their children without outside help, even if they are working! Most families are happy they get by, but to put away money is another thing all together!

    #1087032
    newbee
    Member

    golfer: “I happen to know for a fact that some people enjoy cigars.”

    Few! I thought you were going to say you only have substantial evidence that some people enjoy cigars, but you lacked enough data to prove it as fact.

    “there’s a whole long list of reasons why the takanos idea (of limiting wedding costs) just never took hold.”

    What is this so called “long list of reasons?”

    #1087033
    a mamin
    Participant

    In many communities the takana weddings are working. So they’ve accomplished bringing down the cost of marrying off, but they still need outside help to marry off their children.

    #1087035
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    In many communities the takana weddings are working. So they’ve accomplished bringing down the cost of marrying off, but they still need outside help to marry off their children.

    Perhaps I’m just not understanding, but what costs are there to marry off children that they still need “outside help”? Didn’t they realize over the past 15-20 years that they would need to marry off children, and save accordingly?

    As Chazal say, Eizehu Chacham HaRoeh Es HaNolad.

    P.S. Unless the parents are not “Chachomim”, and can’t understand the concept of saving. Then their children should certainly be helped, B’Din Yesomim.

    P.P.S. Talking about Takanos, perhaps there should be a Takana that one must put away $10 a week per child for their Chassunah, then they would have over $11K by age 18 (assuming only a 2% return. A 6% return would yield almost $17K).

    #1087036
    akuperma
    Participant

    Barukh ha-Shem we live at a time when people feel they need to spend thousands of dollars on weddings and tens of thousands to establish a household. Seventy years ago (1945 to be exact, BTW, happy V-E day) most frum Jews would be happy to be able to manage with an improvised hupah and enough rolls to be able to make a shevah brachos and a roof over their heads.

    #1087037
    from Long Island
    Participant

    When my first child was born, my husband wanted to set up a “college fund” that we would contribute to, on a small basis, every month.

    I said – you can always borrow money for college, go to a community college for two years, have the kids work etc. BUT, how can you afford a wedding, after paying yeshiva tuition for 20 something years?

    That is what we did, opened an account, put a small amount in each month, a percentage of any unexpected income, etc.

    When all our children got married, we were BH” able to afford nice, middle-class weddings, Sheitlech, etc.

    College & Grad School were a mishmash of scholarships, loans, partial tuition, grants, etc.

    THAT we finally paid off, 7 years after our youngest finished her education.

    This I learned from MY parents.

    #1087038

    Gavra, you are making an assumption, that families have that $10 per week, per kid, to put away. That’s often not the case. A lot of people aren’t even making ends meet.

    Also, 11k is a fraction of what’s necessary in the real world.

    Who gets 6% nowadays? I don’t even know that 2% is easy with small sums.

    L’shitascha, you have put imagined scenarios into a real world discussion.

    #1087039
    a mamin
    Participant

    DY: On target, as usual!

    GAW: Whats $11,000 when you’re marrying off a child? I’m not talking about lavish weddings or lavish expenses. Though Baruch Hashem with Hashems help we marry off our children and set them up as well. Then they’re on their own …..

    #1087040
    newbee
    Member

    $40 a month per kid?

    Many people cant afford to put away $40-50 a month per kid every month for 20 years. More realistically, even if many people did do this, if the family is tight that money would be used up way before 20 years because of some medical emergency, needing to pay rent, needing to leave a rent deposit, needing to get some sort of car- no matter how junky, needing to see a dentist- the list goes on an on. You are living in a world that many people would consider fantasy with your 20 year at $40 a month technique.

    #1087041
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    DaasYochid – That is a very good point, and one that needs to be made. There has to be different solutions for different classes (in the Marxist sense) of people. Those who can’t make ends meet, or can’t put away money (even a rather small amount like $10K per child) should recognize that they can’t make the same Chassunahs that others are making. If that means they can’t marry a Wolfson or Rothschild, so be it. It is not the responsibility of the Klal that every Ani should be able to marry Rothschild’s son. If the marry someone similar to themselves, expectations will be lower and they will live on less, maybe much less. The wedding might be rolls under a canopy, or in a shul, but they will still be married.

    Those who can put away a smaller amount than what is “Socially acceptable” should make a smaller wedding, not beg others for money for what is a 5 hour event. This may help:

    Inexpensive Wedding Halls

    VFNIX (Vanguard 500) had a 4.1% return over the past 15 years (on average), as an example.

    #1087043

    Really, you should talk to people in this type of situation before making your incorrect statements. Find out how much it costs to make a basic chasunah in a normal, low-end hall, and find out what all the other expenses are (and that they’re collectively a lot more than the hall).

    Can I open a Vanguard account with $10 (even assuming that the $10 isn’t needed for food, rent, shoes, tuition, etc.)?

    A maamin, thank you.

    #1087044
    Mammele
    Participant

    GAW: what family size are your assumptions based on? For six kids, for example (and I know they’re not all born at once nowadays…) we’re talking $260 a month. That’s a lot of money to be able to put away for an average family. It would definitely be nice, but hard to implement with tuition costs, housing etc.

    As an aside is it just me or have the Kosher grocery prices been soaring lately?

    #1087045
    Mammele
    Participant

    GAW: At least in my world, the wedding night is NOT the main expense. It’s clothing for everybody, especially a kallah, houseware, linen, furniture, gifts for the Chosson/kallah (jewelry, silver becher, shas etc.), perhaps refresh an apartment etc. Not to mention Shabbos Sheva Brochos which is a mesechta for itself. Maybe some things can be cut back on, but it’s unfair almost to marry kids off young and not provide the stuff they’ll need the first year or so.

    Does anybody know how much for example Kallah courses cost? This is just one expense that you don’t want to skimp on, but there are many others with varying degrees of importance. So yes, we’re talking a couple of 10ks total.

    And some kids would probably rather wait a few years than get married without anything, but we as a klall should discourage it, as it’s counterproductive and against Yiddishkeit as we know it.

    #1087046
    A jew who cares
    Participant

    Not everyone can afford to make a small wedding either (even after trying very hard to put away money) Unless you are suggesting they make it in their dining room?

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