- This topic has 324 replies, 57 voices, and was last updated 11 years ago by Feif Un.
August 9, 2010 8:09 pm at 8:09 pm #592129simcha613Participant
I actually just posted this question by an article about a concert that got cancelled because of mixed seating, but I wanted more people to see the question because I’ve wondered about it for a long time, so I decided to post it in toe coffee room also:August 9, 2010 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm #876735A600KiloBearParticipant
At certain concerts, especially of the sort that was canceled, people dance in their seats if not standing. This is best done separate for the sake of tznius if not out and out negia.August 9, 2010 9:45 pm at 9:45 pm #876736charliehallParticipant
May more singles mix with each other, get married, and raise frum kids!
More seriously, separate seating is a must for tefillah b’tzibbur, but otherwise there is absolutely postively no issur for a man to sit next to his wife.August 9, 2010 9:47 pm at 9:47 pm #876737
Then cancel the DANCING. I do not go to anything of this type where my husband and I cannot sit together as a family with our children. I am forced to do so at simchas on occasion, but I emphatically do NOT like that, especially if the only person I know there is my husband and the wife making the simcha.August 9, 2010 9:56 pm at 9:56 pm #876738YW Moderator-80Member
the dancing is not scheduledAugust 9, 2010 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm #876739
Of course there should be separate seating by simchas, especially if there will be dancing in between courses or after the meal. I don’t know about you but at the weddings I’ve been too, where there have been mixed seating, not a lot of the men went to the other side to dance, they just stood and watched.August 9, 2010 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm #876740
On the issue of separate seating by davening – what is the exact issur? Is it that you just can’t sit together but nothing in the middle, except an aisle is fine? That the men can’t see the women davening? Is a women allowed to daven in a shul where there is a see thru mechitza? Is a man?August 9, 2010 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm #876741holtzichfestMember
The basic reason why mixed seating is assur is because of a siyug. A siyug or geder is something the chachomim are goizer to protect the torah. There is a posuk in the Torah that says “usu mishmeres limishmarti” which means make a gaurd for my watching. This is mitzvas aseh on the Chachomim to make gizeiros so people wont come to be oiver an aveirah. separate seating is to a gzeirah because we all know that one thing leads to the next and mixed seating can lead to aveiros.August 10, 2010 1:12 am at 1:12 am #876742Feif UnParticipant
There is a rule that we don’t make one gezeirah on top of another; basically, if something is a chumrah to prevent you from transgressing something, we don’t put an additional chumrah on top of that.
Most of the things (if not everything) which can come from mixed seating is a chumrah. Forbidding mixed seating would be a gezeirah al gezeirah.
At simchos, separate seating is something that started recently. Look at pictures of the gedolim from the previous generation. When they made weddings, they were mixed seating.
EDITEDAugust 10, 2010 2:33 am at 2:33 am #876743
Sister Bear, at the seperate seating weddings I’ve been to, there are plenty of men on the womens side watching dancing too.August 10, 2010 2:37 am at 2:37 am #876744Max WellMember
…which shows that if even WITH the mechitza it doesn’t fix that problem, how much worse it is WITHOUT it.August 10, 2010 3:29 am at 3:29 am #876745
Sister Bear, I don’t know what kind of men you know personally, but the ones I know like to dance with the men.August 10, 2010 3:33 am at 3:33 am #876746
“mixed seating can lead to aveiros. “
And it can ALSO lead to mitzvos – that of young men and women meeting each other in an enjoyable environment, and possibly dating and getting married. I know several people who met each other at simchas where they were seated together. Of course this was in the days when people were not afraid of mixed seating leading to aveiros. They had a little more faith in the young people of that day. And deservedly so.August 10, 2010 3:33 am at 3:33 am #876747
that is when the men are not looking at the women dance; but since there is no mechitza, there will be more “interesting” views.
and of course there is no need to enumerate the terrible sinning that takes place when men and women, especially the young, hook up and continue the relationship inappropriately. thats why we have the separations that are so necessary; we see what goes on in the secular world – and is unfortunately penetrating within our communities, with the obvious disastrous results.August 10, 2010 3:42 am at 3:42 am #876748yechezkel89Member
outside of davening and torah learning (which is a machlokes check igros moshe orach chaim chelek aleph, i forgot which siman but is one on mechitzot) there is no need for separate seatingAugust 10, 2010 4:04 am at 4:04 am #876749Max WellMember
The Sridei Eish Vol 2, 8 rules that by gatherings, even which are not for matters of sanctity, men and women should sit separately so as not to mix.
The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 149:1 (based on the Bach and Beis Shmuel) rules that “shehasimcho bimoinoi” is not said during the benching of a sheva brochos if men and women are seated in the same room because there is no simcha when the evil inclination is active. This is one of the basis that many contemporary poskim use to rule that there must be a mechitza at weddings and sheva brochos.August 10, 2010 4:53 am at 4:53 am #876750holtzichfestMember
Oh please give me a break only bad can come out of mixed seating, we have shadchanim for dates.Also this is not a gzeira al gzeira mixed seating can lead to THE aveira!! need i spell it out please dont make me.Furthermore there should be no reason why someone should want mixed seating if not for taiva/aveira i think everyone understands the matzev just some hide their understanding because of taiva!August 10, 2010 5:58 am at 5:58 am #876751Josh31Participant
“no reason why someone should want mixed seating if not for taiva/aveira”
Perhaps someone wants to sit with his wife and / or children?August 10, 2010 6:07 am at 6:07 am #876752
“wants to”? judaism isn’t based on what we want to do, but rather on what the torah wants us to do.August 10, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm #876753
Maybe hang out in the coffee room a little longer and you’ll see that there’s a problem of too few shadchanim. What’s wrong if singles meet at a simcha (if done appropriately)?
Stop preventing singles from getting to know each other and then complaining that there’s a shidduch crisis. Mixed seating at a wedding is a way to help the situation.August 10, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm #876754
True. But if something isn’t forbidden in the Torah (or through Rabbanim) one can do it. For example, I can eat a cream cheese sandwich because I want to.August 10, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm #876756
Let me rephrase that: at the mixed seating weddings I’ve been to vs the seperate seating weddings I’ve been to, there have been approximately an equal number of men on the womans side.
I’m not sure what aveiros would occur when you are surrounded by 400 people. But you may meet your bashert!
On Tu B’av women used to dance in the field and the men would pick them. So if you go to a wedding on Tu B’av there should be no reason to have the singles seperated right?
When I go to a simcha, I like to sit with my husband. We work all day and if we spend our precious evenings or sundays at a simcha, I want it to be with him. If we know the affair is seperate seating, often one of us stays home with the kids.August 10, 2010 1:28 pm at 1:28 pm #876757
Maybe singles could meet at bars too to help the shidduch crisis. Or at the racetrack. Or on reality shows. No can do. There are correct ways for shidduchim. Encouraging potential licentiousness, whether at bars or with mixed seating, is destructive.
SJS, they shouldn’t be there. Two wrongs don’t make a right.August 10, 2010 1:36 pm at 1:36 pm #876758
So right, if the issue is men watching women dance, the mechitzah doesn’t do a thing. So is your contention that men and women shouldn’t sit at the same table?
Perhaps providing a kosher outlet for people to meet (and yes, a wedding is a kosher outlet), many people would not have to go through the stress of shidduchim. Plus, once you meet a person you have some sort of connection to, you can still do your research to make sure the person is a good person and doesn’t use a plastic tablecloth.
I really want to know what licentiousness occurs around a table of men and women. Perhaps the same licentiousness that would occur at a Shabbos table?August 10, 2010 1:38 pm at 1:38 pm #876759
No, SJS, the mechitza does a lot. Foolish men going on the wrong side of the mechitza is wrong, and does not negate its utility. You seem to be in weddings where this aveira occurs frequently of men ogling at women dancing, though I have better experience than you whereas it is quiet infrequent. Either way the mechitza belongs.
There are wrong ways to go about shidduchim and making “connections”. Some examples are bars and mixed seating. Unregulated male/female hookups is not a good thing. And once a bad “connection” is made, the emotions rule and breaking it despite determining unkosher information regarding one of the parties can be virtually impossible.August 10, 2010 1:45 pm at 1:45 pm #876760
Like Oomis said, most of the men dance. The mechitza doesn’t stop those who want to look. They will look no matter what.
Do you think Tu B’av dancing was wrong? That wasn’t a shidduch system.
There is nothing wrong with meeting your spouse on your own in a kosher outlet. Meeting at a bar is usually problematic. Meeting at a wedding can add another level of simcha to the simcha. Please find me a halachic basis for saying that meeting someone at a wedding is wrong.August 10, 2010 1:47 pm at 1:47 pm #876761
The same reason (as even you admit) a bar is wrong. And the mechitza DOES stop many men who would otherwise be ogling the women dancing. Most are not brazen enough to go around it. The few that are, are a disgrace, but remain the minority. Whereas without a mechitza it would be prevalent.August 10, 2010 1:59 pm at 1:59 pm #876762
The weddings I’ve been to, with the separate seating, I don’t remember ever seeing men on the womens side, maybe an odd one to two. I’m going to a wedding this week, I’ll check it out.
As for the weddings with mixed seating, not that the men come and to the women’s side but they just stand around by their seats talking and yes watching the women dance.August 10, 2010 2:01 pm at 2:01 pm #876763
What’s wrong if singles meet at a simcha (if done appropriately)?
Oh please give me a break only bad can come out of mixed seating, we have shadchanim for dates.
No one will tell you that shadchanim are doing a bad job, but there is still a Shidduch Crisis that needs to be dealt with. SJS & Oomis correctly point out that a Chassuna is a good time to have these unmarrieds meet (after all, they are already all dressed up:)
On the other hand, So right & holtzichfest correctly point out that our immature children going on shidduch dates can not do so without having someone holding their hand and watching.
So the solution is to have a third section. One for men, where they would dance. One for Women, where they would dance. and in between, a section for friends of the Chassan & Kallah, together with some “shaddchanim” (perhaps mutual friend couples), who can try to “match” the unmarrieds.
In a table of 12, we could have two couples, four girls & four boys. That way the unmarrieds would get to meet, and perhaps be “set up” by one of the couples.August 10, 2010 2:21 pm at 2:21 pm #876764missmeMember
A wedding is to be m’sameach choson v’kalah. maybe these “shadchanim” can try their hand at the local bar. at least a bar is “designed” for “shidduchim”.August 10, 2010 2:34 pm at 2:34 pm #876765MoqMember
Oomis & SJS – you’re right, in way. Say, thirty years ago, or even twenty, to a degree it was a positive thing to have some mingling between eligible singles, and a wedding was a great opportunity. This used to be the Hanagah be the Gedoley Yisrael, as well.
But our culture has got straight down the tubes. Dressing to kill & Promiscuity have invaded our world in a way they never have before. Hence, we try to make more gedarim. Does it work? I don’t know; but I know that a single modern orthodox girl of twenty five years would call some of our yeshivish kollel girls – in dress, and action -well, I won’t use the term here. Guys? I dabble as a shadchan; the question I get asked about a girl – well, they didn’t get them from their Rosh Yeshiva. The secular culture has experienced this as well, to a far greater degree, and we are not immune.
And I mean “excellent excellent” girls and boys.
That’s the real tragedy. So we throw up another mechitzah and another mechitzah. Who thought about speaking to cousins back then? Or having a “mixed” shabbos meal? But things have changed; tension between the genders exist on a scale that we never had before, and look around you to see. So we try to separate and separate. And yes, often it’s a bummer – I also well – just don’t go to concerts anymore, even though my wife enjoyed them. To spend money to stand next some guy I never met and call it a date? But concerts did get out of hand, and the singles were certainly meeting, but not getting married. We have an epidemic of internet addiction – ultimately, we always must pay the piper.
A price? Definetly. A response to modern times? Also. Is there another solution – or is this even a real solution? I don’t know. But this is where it’s coming from.
The idea of a controlled,mixed, shadchan based environment is always done by Invey HaGefen. It’s been pretty successful. Each shadchan sees everyone’s picture and resume beforehand, and points everyone in the right direction, but it’s open. I think it’s a good idea.August 10, 2010 2:39 pm at 2:39 pm #876766
No, I think a bar is a highly inappropriate place to go to. A bar is a place meant for things that don’t conform to Jewish values. A wedding, however, is a place to meet in an appropriate setting. As SJSinNYC said, it is highly unlikely that any aveiros will happen in the presence of 400+ people. Most girls and boys who are ready for marriage will know how to act when in a mixed setting.August 10, 2010 2:42 pm at 2:42 pm #876767missmeMember
“most”? so you’re going to throw the dice with peoples lives on the line…
here’s the thing. the people who would meet shidduchim at mixed partes, are not being left at the alter. people are not remaining unmarried because, nebech, they missed mixed parties.
there aren’t more unmarried 40 year olds (frum) today then there was 30 years ago. and the shidduch crisis that does exist stems from the age gap, not lack of mixed social settings.
people are getting married. even those who dont go to mixed settings. think of it like this: there is NOT a larger pool of unmarried singles in the chareidi community (which eschews mixed settings) than in the MO community (which favors mixed settings). hence the chareidi folks are getting married in at least as much numbers as the MO folks – without the mixed parties.August 10, 2010 2:43 pm at 2:43 pm #876768
You pointed out the singles event done by Invey HaGefen. It is an excellent endeavor but why wait until the singles are “old”? The need of a singles event can be prevented if they would be allowed to meet by a weddings (yes, weddings are a pretty controlled environment).August 10, 2010 2:43 pm at 2:43 pm #876769
Moq: Well put.
As I have said before, the Agudah used to have a mixed picnic specificly to create shidduchim.
It would just not work today, not with our children.August 10, 2010 2:53 pm at 2:53 pm #876770
I agree that there is a concept of yeridas hadoros but it’s totally blown out of proportion. Not everyone is that bad! Many singles would utilize such mixed events solely for finding their bashert…not just to “hang out.”August 10, 2010 2:58 pm at 2:58 pm #876771
many will, and many won’t – with tragedy as the result. it is the latter we must be concerned with.August 10, 2010 3:26 pm at 3:26 pm #876772
I keep seeing the argument that more good than bad will come out of having mixed seating in chasunahs because it it an “controlled environment”. I don’t think that this makes a difference, seeing as once a boy and girl have each others name and phone number, they are free to continue their relationship anywhere and anyway they chose.
I also have seen mixed chasunahs compared to kosher “singles events”. However, I think the key factor that makes these events kosher is that all the singles there are seriously interested in getting married, while the singles at a chasunah can be there for any reason (and the mixed seating would just be another reason for not so serious singles to come).August 10, 2010 3:26 pm at 3:26 pm #876773
Those that won’t behave properly in a mixed setting once they reach marriagable age are clearly not ready to get married. So, lets at least let those mature enough to marry meet in a more relaxed setting.August 10, 2010 3:33 pm at 3:33 pm #876774
like mw13 said, once you open the floodgates, you cannot control the can of worms.August 10, 2010 3:42 pm at 3:42 pm #876775
Those that won’t behave properly in a mixed setting once they reach marriagable age are clearly not ready to get married.
But they go out, and do get married anyway. And those are the people who either meddle through or end up getting divorced, or the lucky ones grow up and mature with each other (not a bad thing). We don’t want to enable those who should not be dating, and may end up in sin, to go ahead and meet boys/girls s/he would otherwise not be meeting.
In short, who says that people who are clearly not ready don’t get married?
seeing as once a boy and girl have each others name and phone number, they are free to continue their relationship anywhere and anyway they chose.
Same idea with dates from shaddchanim. Although I ahve heard that the boy no longer has the girl’s phone number to call her, so once again, NisKatnu HaDoros.
I think the key factor that makes these events kosher is that all the singles there are seriously interested in getting married
I would imagine that once someone in the class is married, the rest are at least entertaining doing so as well, and would go out for a great shidduch. But you have a good point to exclude friends that are of a younger age, if there are any.August 10, 2010 4:17 pm at 4:17 pm #876776aposhitermaidelParticipant
I recently went to a chasanah that a cousin of mine made for her son. There was mixed seating. One great uncle of the chosson refused to come because of the mixed seating but another who is a well known choshiva Litvish Rosh Yeshiva (in his 70s) had no problem coming to join his niece’s simcha. While he is from the other side and not a relative of mine – he sat at the table with my side of the family and he and his wife engaged us in conversation. This is a Rosh Yeshiva from an extremely frum yeshiva and this man is considered a Gadol B’Torah and B’Midos by all.
EDITEDAugust 10, 2010 4:25 pm at 4:25 pm #876777squeakParticipant
One Mashgiach that I know (who is a Gadol B’Torah and B’Midos) decided that he needed to attend a mixed seating event for exactly the reason you mentioned – not causing hurt to the family. He ignored the table number on his place card and sat at the children’s table since, as he said, “I do not want to socialize with men and women, but I do not mind socializing with children”.
There are ways to do what is right and still not compromise your own values.August 10, 2010 4:26 pm at 4:26 pm #876778
Why aren’t you as concerned for the uncle’s hurt at having to miss his nephew’s wedding due to his religious principles? And the pain he suffered realizing the family situation he had to endure as a result of abiding by his religious principles. And why, if the other family member, is such a well known respected RY are you reluctant to PROUDLY mention who it is?
Doing what Gedolei Yisroel decree IS NORMAL. Doing otherwise is not. And Gedolei Yisroel clearly and unambigously are 100% opposed to mixed seating at a wedding.August 10, 2010 4:33 pm at 4:33 pm #876779MoqMember
“Those that won’t behave properly in a mixed setting once they reach marriagable age are clearly not ready to get married. So, lets at least let those mature enough to marry meet in a more relaxed setting.”
I wish this were so. This is a problem amongst the married, single – everyone. Maturity has left the stage. Tachlis, without structure has gone the way of the pony express. And we as a community, cannot keep our heads in the sand, and write off everyone who acts inappropriately as “immature” and hence irrelevant.
The age of KAJ’s mixed graduation seating with “what’s the worst that could happen, a shidduch?” are over. Far worse can and does happen. Open your eyes! Look around. Listen to the stories we never heard decades ago. Listen to the news – and I mean frum news! The rules of the game have changed totally. I wish things were different. But they are not; we need to deal with on the ground reality, even if people ought to know how to control themselves. They don’t, or stopped, or don’t care, or whatever. Now what? Do let marriages (yes! of those ‘immature’ people) keep falling apart? Do we let young people keep making dumb decisions that haunt them for the rest of their lives?
Or do we do something. I am in doubt about mixed seating amongst married couples, but among singles I am against. The fire burns horribly.August 10, 2010 4:35 pm at 4:35 pm #876780
gavra_at_work – “”seeing as once a boy and girl have each others name and phone number, they are free to continue their relationship anywhere and anyway they chose.”
Same idea with dates from shaddchanim.”
Again, the difference being that only singles seriously intrested in getting married are going to a shadchan in the fist place, while anybody can be a wedding for any reason at all.
aposhitermaidel – I have seen my Rosh Hayeshivah attend mixed simchos as well. I do not think there is any halachic issue, only that it is asking for trouble (especially if you actually encourage boys and girls to meet, as some on this thread suggested).August 10, 2010 4:58 pm at 4:58 pm #876782
so right – “And Gedolei Yisroel clearly and unambigously are 100% opposed to mixed seating at a wedding. “
This is news to me. As I mentioned before, I have seen my Rosh Hayeshivah attend mixed simchos, and he’s pretty into following the Gedolim. Which gedolim have paskaned that mixed seating is assur?August 10, 2010 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #876783
mw13: We are agreed that only shidduch-possible children should seat mixed with supervision, not young teens. That was the last paragraph of my earlier post.
Do we let young people keep making dumb decisions that haunt them for the rest of their lives?
This is the question of our times. The best plan is to teach them to make the right choices. And everyone makes mistakes, we can only try to minimize their results.August 10, 2010 9:35 pm at 9:35 pm #876787simcha613Participant
I would like to try and take this topic back to the original questions, in what public situations (shi’urim, concerts, buses, smachos, etc..) is mixed seating allowed and not allowed and what is the mekor if it’s not allowed?
But, on the topic of weddings, I have been to many mixed weddings. At most of the mixed weddings I’ve been to, the single boys and girls sat on opposite sides of the dance floor (boys on the choson side and girls on the kalah side). The only mixed seatings are for married couples who want to eat with their spouses, and the cousins sit together because they don’t really know the friends. Is that really much worse than a Shabbos table, or should a Shabbos table not be mixed too?
And with regard to dancing, I’ll be honest, I’ve never seen women dancing at a wedding, even when I was on the women’s side. All I have seen is a bunch of women walking around slowly the outside circle. That’s about as exciting as the women hanging around at the after shul kiddush on Shabbos morning. I understand men should not be staring at women, but assuming that the singles are not mixing with each other because they are on separate sides, are women walking around slowly the outer circle a reason to separate men from their wives? If that’s the case, maybe men shouldn’t be allowed in most shopping areas on Erev Shabbos because you see just as many women walking just as fast.August 10, 2010 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm #876788YW Moderator-80Member
sometimes they dance
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