Separate seating at Weddings

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  • #605192

    adams
    Participant

    What is the proper approach. Personally I dont’ get the need for sep. seating. But then I personally don’t flirt or am chatty with women in that setting anyway so I may be out of touch.

    Suppose one person is from a community that virtually never had sep seating incl. the Rav’s children while the other side is used to almost excl. sep and wants that.

    Who is supposed to compromise and is it poss. to have on people can select their seating preference?

    I know this can be funny and joking is fine but is all a serious question as to what to do.

    #1037915

    One thing you need to realize is that if there is any mixed seating, you may have a large number of guests who will decline to attend the wedding since their (via their rabbonim) personal position is to decline to attend any wedding with any mixed seating.

    From a practical standpoint, mixed dancing is strictly prohibited according to all sources. And men being in view of women dancing is strictly prohibited. That being said, how will the men be precluded from viewing the women (in the mixed section) dancing? If that cannot be prevented, it is halachicly prohibited according to all sources.

    #1037916

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    We had a mixture at our wedding. Those who wouldn’t be comfortable were seated family style. Those who were single and wouldn’t be comfortable in mixed seating sat separate. We had all the tables centrally located with the separate male and female tables far from each other on either end of the group of tables. The dance floor was at the end of the group of tables, instead of the middle, with the mens dance floor facing the tables and a mechitza across so you couldn’t see the women on the other side. It worked out well.

    #1037917

    golden mom
    Member

    Most “frum” halls today will not allow mixed seating @ a wed so u would be really limiting ur self were u can make a simcha but I did see by a few simchas were they had sep seating w a michitzah and then they had like 2 mixed tables all the way in coner like for work mates or the like who wouldn’t know what to do on a sep table

    #1037918

    oomis
    Participant

    We had mixed seating at our simchas, but offered the alternative for those who wished to be separate, and kept the separate men’s tables (there were 2)on the side of the mechitzah where the men were dancing. The spouses of those men were seated on the side where the women danced.

    #1037919

    Sam2
    Participant

    Simchah Goreres Simchah.

    #1037920

    How did the women (in the mixed section) dance with men being able to see them dance?

    #1037921

    147
    Participant

    What is the difference with mixed seating on an aircraft? V mixed seating at w wedding? Especially in light of the fact that I am served Kosher food at these 2 scenarios.

    #1037922

    There are problems when men and women socialize (without the only intent being considering the opposite gendered person to be your possible shidduch.)

    #1037923

    lebidik yankel
    Participant

    who is hosting? I think that has a lot to do with whose standards prevail. Or the location; if it is in a mixed seating community or if it is in the non-mix area.

    #1037924

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Almost all frum places allow mixed seating even in Williamsburg. Its mixed dancing they will not allow

    What people do is have areas of mixed seating for those who wish it and seperate for those who dont. (The host should know in advance who wants what)

    As far as the “socialize” comment. I was at a chassidic wedding in New Square (There is some big hall there) and while I did not stay for the meal, I was there for the Smogosgord and it was a mixed Smogosboard.

    And what really frum people do who go to a mixed seating event is sit next to their spouces on one side and a member of the same gender on the other.

    #1037925

    There is no such thing as a mixed smorg in New Square. The hall has a brick wall between the men and woman downstairs, and the woman are upstairs while the men are downstairs.

    #1037926

    ZeesKite
    Participant

    Most halls today allow for separate seating. They’ll accommodate. In fact I haven’t been to one of the opposite in a long time. We’ve modernized!

    #1037927

    Feif Un
    Participant

    The Litvishe Kiryas Yoelite: I don’t think it’s the women’s responsibility not to dance if men are nearby. It’s the responsibility of the men not to look.

    #1037928

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    You can say what you want, I was there, It was mixed Shmogasbard. It was that large building near the road that is blocked to the main part of New Square. (Sorry I dont know the name of the building. I am not so familiar with New Square), But it was the main building and it was very nice.

    . Like I said I left after the Chuppah as I had to get back to the City area so I dont know what the meal and dancing looked like. They couple were definatly Chassidic though. (If it was a big room with a Mechiza , or seperate floors)

    #1037929

    golfer
    Participant

    147, the aircraft i have been on offered absolutely no opportunity for dancing. I could barely make it down the aisle standing up straight.

    And while consumption of food is not the issue, i must add that the food that was served on aforementioned aircraft could arguably not be referred to as food.

    #1037930

    Feif: That isn’t entirely correct. Women are also prohibited from dancing in the presence of men.

    #1037931

    147
    Participant

    Tragically, the narrow sightness & inflexibility of these separated weddings are squandering numerous opportunities for meeting potential Shidduchim and hence tragically exasperating this tragic Shidduch crisis.

    #1037932

    gr8 masmid
    Member

    Seeing as though the old Gateshead Rov Ztvk”l saw the necessity to institute separate times for boys and girls in the public Jewish shops there (see thread: ”Separate times for bochurim and sem girls in Gateshead”), at least they shouldn’t be sitting together.

    They certainly shouldn’t be seated in such a way as to have unrelated members of different genders sitting next to each other.

    I have heard too, although I am not sure what the source is, that if there is no separate seating at a chassuna, then according to halacha one is not allowed to say “shehasimcha bim’ono” in the zimun because there is not a proper hashra’as hashechinah such gatherings. 147, maybe this is the answer to your question – you don’t need such a hashra’as hashechinah in an aeroplane!

    #1037933

    oomis
    Participant

    How did the women (in the mixed section) dance with men being able to see them dance? “

    If men want to b’davka watch women dance, BELIEVE ME they will find a way to do so, regardless of whether or not it is a separate seating simcha. The only way to absolutely ensure this will not occur is if the men and women are in two completely separate buildings. When we get to that type of circumstance, I think it will present a whole new meaning to separate seating.

    #1037934

    oomis
    Participant

    I have heard too, although I am not sure what the source is, that if there is no separate seating at a chassuna, then according to halacha one is not allowed to say “shehasimcha bim’ono” in the zimun because there is not …”

    Perhaps that refers to the chuppah itself (though in outdoor chuppahs, people all stand around together, mopre or less in my experience). Maybe if the chuppah is “tainted” by this, the zimun later on is also considered to be tainted. I have never heard of such a thing, however. Hashem created male AND female. It hardly seems likely that He would remove His Shechinah because men and women were in the same place together being mesameach with a Chosson and Kallah.

    #1037935

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    zahavsdad and litvishe; You are probably talking about “ateres charna”- a popular hall on the main road but not in the middle of New Square. I think it is owned by New Square and the income goes to the village. The “smorgashboard’ certainly is mixed. (I have been there numerous times). The hall is mainly used by non-skverer chassidim. The seating is separate snd a mechitza (of course) for dancing.

    #1037936

    Sam2
    Participant

    gr8 masmid: That is the Shittah of the Bach who is a very minority opinion (and the reason is not precisely as you say it, but close enough).

    #1037937

    Sam: It is hardly a minority opinion. It is cited in many other sources as well, including Sefer HaMinhagim, and 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.

    #1037938

    Wisey
    Participant

    1)Any ??? with real yiras shomayim and understanding of tzniyus wouldn’t feel comftorble dancing in front of men

    2) “If a man really wanted to watch he always could” -The point is to make it out-of-the-way so that as long as a man doesn’t try to tempt himself he won’t be.

    3)Sam2-please explain “Simcha goreres simcha” and it’s relevance to this discussion.

    4)I have a lot to say to those who prefer mixed chasunahs but to prevent this post from being deleted I’ll leave my machaos for a different time.

    #1037939

    Sam2
    Participant

    Wisey: It is a phrase I have heard used by several Chashuve Rabbonim and Roshei Yeshivah, Davka about this issue. Their point is that the Chassan and Kallah put all of their friends who might be Shayach for each other at the same tables so that they can meet and perhaps make a Chasunah of their own someday soon.

    #1037940

    GeshmakMan
    Participant

    Yes, even the “frum” halls, will allow a few mixed tables. We had that at our wedding. Regarding the men seeing the ladies dance, there is usually a “natural” Mechitza of ladies standing around the outer circle anyway so that it is very hard to see anything anyway. And yes, as mentioned before, if men want to look in, they will look in, even if they are in separate halls.

    You also have those “frum” couples, who will only bring their spouses IF it is davka mixed seating, since they will enjoy a night out together (yes, a novel idea in the frum world!).

    All in all, this topic can be discussed for days/weeks – it started out as a nice Chumra and now evolved into something larger than the Simcha itself unfortunately.

    Mazal Tov!

    #1037941

    yehudayona
    Participant

    I know of a situation where the mesader kiddushin had no objection to mixed seating per se, but he said that given the fact that many of those attending would not be frum, there was no way to assure that there wouldn’t be mixed dancing. Therefore, he gave a thumbs down to mixed seating.

    #1037942

    Regarding the men seeing the ladies dance, there is usually a “natural” Mechitza of ladies standing around the outer circle anyway so that it is very hard to see anything anyway.

    A “natural Mechitza” for the dancing!?! Surely you jest. Are you talking about an Orthodox wedding???

    #1037943

    haifagirl
    Participant

    I was at a wedding that had some mixed tables. They had two separate dance floors, one at each end, and there was a mechitzah around the women’s dance floor. (Therefore, even the men who were at the mixed tables could not see the women dancing.)

    #1037944

    oomis
    Participant

    I fail to really “get” what the big deal is about. Have any of you actually WATCHED the women when they dance? They basically run around in circles and THAT’S IT! Decades ago, there were real dance steps to the popular Jewish music. But no more (except maybe “Yidden”). Any man who is just DYING to watch a woman run around in a circle, and worse, LIKES what he sees, really needs to get out more.

    #1037945

    avhaben
    Participant

    Oomis: That comment of yours is hardly a halachic justification to allow men to watch women dance or to allow women to dance in front of men.

    #1037946

    gr8 masmid
    Member

    Anything that could possibly make any man have any illegitimate thoughts about a woman should be outlawed.

    In Gateshead, they would be rightly appalled at the suggestion of mixed seating, and not only that, but they take the further precaution that the Chassan and Kallah aren’t even allowed to hold hands as they step off the chupah, for that very purpose of avoiding hirhurei aveirah.

    Any inconvenience this may cause to the ba’alei simchah pales into insignificance when compared with the ‘kateigor’ of having caused someone to have improper thoughts at your simchah.

    #1037947

    Feif Un
    Participant

    R’ Moshe Feinstein had mixed seating when he married off his children.

    #1037948

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Anything that could possibly make any man have any illegitimate thoughts about a woman should be outlawed.

    that’s why I advocate for frontal lobotomies and shock therapy on all post pubescent boys. It’s the only way to keep ALL thoughts at bay.

    #1037949

    golfer
    Participant

    Oomis, i’m usually a big fan of your interesting, well written posts, but that last one makes no sense at all.

    The Torah was not presented for us to analyze, rationalize and take apart as if it was a work by Shakespeare or Rembrandt, presented for our enjoyment or approval. The Torah is Divine. Sometimes Mitzvos make sense (think Tzedaka or the prohibition against speaking Lashon Hara) and sometimes, to our limited human minds, they don’t (think para aduma or ben sorer umoreh). Our job is to follow Halacha as closely as possible. A man in the presence of an unwell 90 year old woman who is not dressed properly cannot daven. The likelihood that he will feel any sort of physical attraction is just not there. The fact that this doesn’t make sense to you, or anybody else, doesn’t change anything.

    #1037950

    Sam2
    Participant

    Avhaben: Her point was that what is done at weddings by women (I’m assuming, I haven’t investigated this for obvious reasons) doesn’t count as dancing.

    #1037951

    avhaben
    Participant

    Sam: What she is describing above constitutes dancing.

    Feif Un: That was only at the Tendlers wedding (and at the Choson’s wish, not Rav Moshe’s.) At Rav Dovid and Rav Reuven’s chasunas there was seperate seating only.

    #1037952

    golden mom
    Member

    All “sumorgs” are for ladies ie the kallah is there by the men “the mens tish” they also have food and hot food no body gaurds stand outside the ladies room forbiding men to come in it is not per se mixed but by litvish or modern men the men seem to trickle into the smorg (by the ladies side) and that is y u think it is a mixed smorg

    As far as mixed seating I personally was involved w sb that wanted no hall in boro park would accomidate and I think one is willi was they had to go out a little to get accomidated

    #1037953

    oomis
    Participant

    A man in the presence of an unwell 90 year old woman who is not dressed properly cannot daven. The likelihood that he will feel any sort of physical attraction is just not there. The fact that this doesn’t make sense to you, or anybody else, doesn’t change anything.”

    OK, I shoulda, coulda, woulda, made an emoticon to show I was speaking tongue in cheek. Of course, what you said is correct. I was making fun of the fact that what most women do is not even remotely anything resembling dancing these days, (so the men are not actually watching females dance), but of course, the idea is they should not be watching them no matter HOW bad the so-called dancing is.

    (Golfer, still nice to be appreciated, even when you disagreed with my ill-disguised attempt at humor). FTR, however, how do you explain the idea that on Tu B’Av, the young unmarried females specifically got all glammed up and danced in front of the single men (for purposes of shidduchim)?

    #1037954

    oomis
    Participant

    And thank you Sam2, for getting my point.

    #1037955

    oomis
    Participant

    Sam: What she is describing above constitutes dancing”

    Only by the greatest stretch of imagination and suspension of one’s disbelief.

    #1037956

    mdd
    Member

    Even without the issue of dancing, it is still a ma’alah to have separate sitting. Especially, taking into account how dressed up and covered with make-up most women are.

    #1037957

    I’m not sure how this discussion veered off-topic so quickly. The original post was discussing mixed seating, not mixed dancing.

    Anyway, yeah, I really enjoy those weddings I attend where I can sit next to my wife. Especially when I don’t really know anyone.

    #1037958

    Chortkov
    Participant

    A bochur once went to R’ Elya Lopian zt”l, asking him if for permission to miss Yeshiva and go to a wedding. It turned out that the wedding was mixed. The bochur said to R’ Elya: “I’ll sit on the side with a Sefer, and I won’t be ????”.

    R’ Elya turned to him and shouted: “I am eighty years old, and blind in one eye, yet i walk in the street with my head lowered towards the ground so that I shouldn’t ?”? be ????. You are a healthy teenager – how can you possibly assure yourself that you will not be ?????”

    I think there is an earlier source for this story: “?? ????? ????? ?? ??? ????”.

    Even the ??? ?’ ????? was once walking with thousands of Talmidim, and the Satan appeared on a tree disguised as a beautiful woman. R’ Akiva actually began climbing the tree to do an ?????, before controlling himself. And this is in public, the ??? ?’ ????? and UP A TREE.

    I personally don’t understand anybody who would put themselves into a situation of nisayon.

    #1037959

    Chortkov
    Participant

    There is a very long piece from the ??? ???? in ??? ?????, about mixed dancing. If anybody can find it, please write it here!

    #1037960

    Chortkov
    Participant

    See: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/mixed-seating

    See also: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/weekly_torah.php?id=454

    Aug 17 The Mechitza – Why How and When Part 10

    Aug 16 The Mechitza – Why How and When Part 9

    Aug 15 The Mechitza – Why How and When Part 8

    Aug 14 The Mechitza – Why How and When Part 7

    Aug 13 The Mechitza Why How and When Part 6

    Aug 12 The Mechitza – Why How and When Part 5

    Aug 11 The Mechitza – Why How and When Part 4

    Aug 10 The Mechitza – Why How and When Part 3

    Aug 09 The Mechitza – Why How and When Part 2

    Aug 08 The Mechitza – Why How and When Part

    Compiled by Rabbi Moishe Dovid Lebovits

    Reviewed by Rabbi Benzion Schiffenbauer Shlita

    All Piskei Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita are reviewed by Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita


    The Mechitza – Why How and When Part 7

    Mixed Seating at Weddings

    When men and women are seated together at a wedding the poskim say that the beracha of simcha b’miono is not recited at the sheva berochos because there is no simcha if men and women are sitting mixed.(38) The Levush (39) says if men and women see each other then no simcha b’miono is recited, but today since women are out on the streets more than in previous years we are not concerned that one will have thoughts about women. Many poskim say that the heter of the Levush does not apply in our day and age, since many women do not dress according to the way they are supposed to making people more susceptible to think about them. (40) Although years ago mixed seating may have been something which many people (even chareidim) did, this may not be done today and a mechitza should be made at every wedding.(41) Today, since the kallah is the only one brought into the men’s section at a wedding during sheva berochos, the beracha of simcha b’miono is recited. (42)

    At a Chupah

    Some poskim say that one should have a mechitza between men and women by a chupah.(43) Other poskim say the path separating the men and women (red carpet) is enough of a separation in this regard. The minhag seems to be like this second opinion.(44) Many Chassidim make the chupah outside; when the chupah is outside no mechitza is required. (45) (At a badeken and during the Smorgasbord a mechitza should be made, but it is not the custom). (46)

    Footnotes

    (38) Sefer Hapardes (Rashi) page 72:29, Sefer Chassidim 393:page 103, Yam Shel Shlomo Gittin 1:18, Kesubos 1:20, Bach E.H. 62, Be’er Heitiv E.H. 62:11, Bach Hachadoshes Y.D. 55:page 114, Bais Shmuel E.H. 62:11, Chasam Sofer C.M. 190:page 71, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 149:1, Orchos Tzaddikim simcha page 67, Pela Yoetz Chosson:page 249, Yeuhda Yaaleh 2:45:5, Ahavas Chesed 3:6:in footnote :page 286, Yabea Omer E.H 3:10:9, Natei Gavriel Nesuin 43:1, 94:3, Minhag Yisroel Torah Nesuin pages 210-212, Birchos Chasanim page 223:45:footnote 101, refer to Shulchan Aruch 529:4, Mishnah Berurah 22, Shar Ha’tzyion 21. (39) O.C. minhagim 36. (40) Lev Avraham 1:135, Vayivorech Dovid E.H. 1:121:page 12, Oz Nedberu 12:47. (41) Refer to Igros Moshe O.C. 1:39, 1:41, Be’er Moshe ibid, Teshuvos V’hanhugos 2:651, Natei Gavriel Nesuin 39:2, Journal Of Halacha and Contemporary Society 35:pages 34-35, Shearim Metzuyanim B’halacha 149:1. Some Chassidim have a wall between men and women (Yisroel Kedoshim pages 72-74). One should not let the women come to the men’s side of the hall (Ibid). It goes without saying that it is absolutely forbidden to have mixed dancing at a wedding (Refer to Ben Ish Chai Shoftim 1:18, Shiurei Beracha E.H. 21:1, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 152:13, Biur Halacha 339 “l’hukel,” Aruch Ha’shulchan 529:7, E.H. 65:3, Igros Moshe E.H. 1:97, 2:13, O.C. 2:30, 4:35, Minchas Yitzchok 3:109:1, 3:111, Be’er Moshe 4:147:31:page 236, Soveh Simchas 1:14:page 194, Nesuin K’hilchosom 13:26, Halichos Bas Yisroel 7:16, Yugel Yaakov pages 237-241:footnote 325, Yabea Omer 1:30:15). One is allowed to stay at a mixed wedding as long as he or she does not dance (Halichos Bas Yisroel 7:footnote 35). If a Yid wants to dance by a mixed wedding he should not take off his yarmulka (Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:33, see Yugel Yaakov page 232). One should not rent a hall to people if there will be mixed dancing (Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:72, O.C. 4:35). (42) Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, see Minhag Yisroel Torah Nisuin pages 210-212, Divrei Shalom 6:130. (43) Yabea Omer E.H. 3:10:9, Vayivorech Dovid E.H. 1:121, Be’er Moshe 4:147:31. (44) Refer to Srdei Eish 1:page 216:5, Asei Lecha Rav 3:40, 8:22, see Natei Gavriel Nesuin 18:1. (45) Vayivorech Dovid ibid:page 12. (46) Refer to Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society 35:page 61. One should not go to the women’s section to call his wife, rather a young child should be sent (V’ein Lumo Michshal 5:page 272).

    Copyright 2012 Halachically Speaking

    Halachically Speaking is a bi-weekly publication compiled by Rabbi Moishe Dovid Lebovits, a former chaver kollel of Yeshiva Torah Voda’ath and a musmach of Horav Yisroel Belsky, shlit”a. Rabbi Lebovits currently works as a Rabbinical Administrator for Kof-K Kosher Superivison.

    Each issue reviews a different area of contemporary halacha with an emphasis

    on practical applications of the principles discussed. Significant time is

    spent ensuring the inclusion of all relevant shittos on each topic, as well

    as the psak of Horav Yisroel Belsky, shlita on current issues. Detailed

    footnotes are provided for further study.

    #1037961

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Rav Shlomo Auerbach was at an affair of some sort and there was mixed seating.

    Someone went over to the Rav and asked him how he could be at such an event. The Rav then gave the person a sharp stinging rebuke on derech eretz and then proceeded to sit next to the Rebbitzen

    #1037962

    yehudayona
    Participant

    The reason the men go to the women’s smorg is that the food is better. Also, if the only person I know there is my wife, I’d rather hang out with her than be bored.

    Also, what’s with all the female relatives in form-fitting gowns? How is that considered tzniusdik? Even the so-called tzniusdik wedding gowns are form-fitting.

    #1037963

    Naysberg
    Member

    Sam2- Only MO rabbis would have made that MGM comment on this topic that you heard.

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