Separate seating at Weddings

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  • #1037964

    What if one side only eats Chinese food, while the other side never served Chinese food at a wedding?

    You serve Chinese food so that the first side can attend.

    #1037965

    Sam2
    Participant

    Naysberg: I have heard the phrase used by many Rabbonim, some “MO”, some “Yeshivish”.

    Here We Go Again: Please tell me that was facetious. A wedding should not be about making sure that every possible guest should be accommodated. The sheer ridiculous implications of that should not need to be expounded upon. (Also, what about the people who will not attend if it is completely separate because they would be insulted if they can’t be seated next to their spouses?)

    #1037966

    Feif Un
    Participant

    avhaben: I was told by multiple Rabbonim that R’ Dovid Feinstein had mixed seating at his wedding.

    I was also told that many yeshiva dinners (including Telz, Chaim Berlin, and Torah V’Daas) had mixed seating in the 1960s.

    #1037967

    vochindik
    Member

    Feif: Whoever told that to you about Rav Dovid, is very mistaken.

    Sam: HWGA is correct. He is not talking about guests. He is talking about one of the two sides of the shidduch. If they have a halachic objection to mixed seating, obviously the wedding cannot proceed with mixed seating.

    #1037968

    Sam2
    Participant

    Vochindik: Of course not. If the Ba’alei Simcha don’t want mixed seating why would they have it?

    #1037969

    gavra_at_work
    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.

    As usual, you are mixing up two completely different Halachos. Ervah (which is NOT Hirhur) and Hirhur (which is not Ervah). Both are not allowed, even without the other.

    As for the OP, what I have seen sometimes is three sections: One for Men, one for Women, and one for Shegetzes who want to sit with their spouses. The women can dance in their section, and the men in their own section, and the waiters can take over the middle section during dancing.

    #1037970

    2scents
    Participant

    in the 60’s the women were more tzniusdig and the men were less pritzusdig.

    I once attended a mixed simcha, it was disgusting, the socializing and laughing between the mingling men and women was really bad.

    Most of our relatives do not have mixed seating at their simchos, those that do already know that I will not attend.

    #1037971

    simcha613
    Participant

    I’m not sure if this has properly been addressed, but what is the halachic difference between dancing and walking? IMHO, it seems that the outer circle on the women’s side is very similar to the outer circle on the men’s side, in other words, walking around in a circle. That’s dancing? Why? Because there’s music? There’s a beat? No one is jumping up and down on the outside circle. No one is running. No one is doing wedding shtik and shaking wildly. Everyone is just walking around in a circle to music. And anything within the outer circle can’t really be seen.

    What is the halachic definition of dancing that is assur for men to watch women doing?

    #1037972

    Naysberg
    Member

    simcha: If two women are holding hands and moving together in a limited area (i.e. more than just from point A to B), it is dancing.

    Sam: I doubt that. Specifically which “yeshivish” rabbi did you hear that term used regarding a mixed seating wedding from? Your definition of a yeshivish rabbi is likely in fact not yeshivish.

    #1037973

    Feif Un
    Participant

    R’ Breuer zt”l was in favor of mixed seating for people who were looking for shidduchim. I’ve been told this before, and a quick search just now found this:

    Rabbi Aaron Rakefet of Jerusalem has similarly been quoted as saying that those who eat Sabbath meals in mixed company should celebrate their weddings the same way. He cites the “revered Rabbi Yosef Breuer” as saying that “young people should sit together at weddings [because] mitzvah goreret mitzvah [the fulfillment of one commandment leads to the fulfillment of another]. We want people to make shiduchim [matches]. We want boys and girls to meet. We want dates to come out of this [wedding].”

    #1037974

    Feif Un
    Participant

    Can someone please tell me, in a nice and simple manner, what is wrong with mixed seating? What are people scared it can lead to?

    #1037975

    2scents
    Participant

    Its plainly wrong to have young men staring at ladies especially when they are dancing.

    #1037976

    yaff80
    Participant

    gr8masmid:

    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.

    ????? ????? ??? ?????!!!!!!!

    #1037977

    Feif Un
    Participant

    2scents: I’m not talking about dancing, just seating. I’ve been to plenty of weddings with mixed seating. At most of them, they actually announce “The dancing will be starting momentarily, we ask all the men to please move to the appropriate side of the mechitza.”

    What is wrong with mixed seating?

    #1037978

    haltheman
    Member

    All of you who are anti-mixed seating are off-base! Benching is a form of Tefillah; that’s why the Kittzur S.O. mandates separate seating FOR THAT PART OF THE WEDDING. [For what’s its worth, most people gather near the Chosson/Kallah table during bentching anyway, so rearranging seating for Birchat HaMazon has never been that much of a problem.] Mixed seating at weddings should be championed and promoted. Mature eligible single men and women would be in prime position for establishing shidduchim; moreover, married couples would have golden opportunities and time to concentrate and talk to each other, thus strengthening Sholom Bayis. More importantly, spouses sitting together can serve as a ‘geder’ against the rampant Loshon Hora, Rechilus and Litzuhnus on display when men and women are sitting separate and don’t have to worry about their spouses shutting them up. Yes, mixed dancing is prohibited. Mixed seating, for the reasons stated, should be most definitely allowed and accepted. Everywhere.

    #1037979

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    For those against mixed seating?

    What do you do when you have Shabbbos guests over. Do you have a Mechitza in your own home.

    Is there really any difference between a Family Shabbos meal and a Family Simcha?

    When there is mixed seating at a simcha, you are usually sat with your family anyway

    #1037980

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    For those against mixed seating?

    What do you do when you have Shabbbos guests over. Do you have a Mechitza in your own home.

    Is there really any difference between a Family Shabbos meal and a Family Simcha?

    When there is mixed seating at a simcha, you are usually sat with your family anyway

    #1037981

    2scents
    Participant

    Harav Avigdor miller was once asked if mixed seating is permitted, He responded that only if its imidiate family. Otherwise there should be no mixed seating, when asked why, he said because of nature..

    #1037982

    Chortkov
    Participant

    ?? ???? ???? ?? ????… ??? ????? ???? ?? ???? ???? ??? ????? ????? ????? ???? ????? ????? ?????.

    (???? ?:?)

    What more can I say???

    #1037983

    Chortkov
    Participant

    And another quote from ???? quite relevant:

    ??? ?? ?? — ???? ?:?

    If your ?? tells you not to go, then don’t go.

    If your ?? tells you not to make your wedding mixed, then don’t make your wedding mixed.

    Whether your ??? ??? leads you to disagree or not.

    #1037984

    mdd
    Member

    Feif Un and Halttheman, why should not women be allowed to wear bathing suits in public? What are we afraid of?

    #1037985

    Nechomah
    Participant

    Feif Un and others want to comment that mixed seating could lead the shidduchim, so we should encourage mixed seating of singles. My comment is that in times like today, people are on such different levels of yidddishkeit and have many different other worldly values, so it is foolish to think that a shidduch can be made based on the appearances of girls and boys at a chassanah (all dolled up and acting on their best behavior) without investigation of the people and families involved to see if they are suitable one for the other. Each side get emotionally involved (if not physically) in a situation that could be completely not the right thing for them and it would, in all probability, end in disaster with the only question being when? The idea is frightening to me, as a mother of a 16 yo girl. I know she’s not in the parsha yet, but I would surely want to make sure that the boy she goes out with is someone whose background and goals as well as his personality would be compatible with hers. Why should she be left to figure this out by herself? Meeting someone “off the street” leaves the person having to figure out too many issues, something which can be minimized by proper investigation before the two would even meet. How do you know who is being invited to the wedding?

    #1037986

    Yeshivishsocrates1
    Participant

    The hand holding issue after the chuppa, as far as I’m aware, is subject to debate. In general, none (within reason) would maintain that it is ok for a couple to hold hands in public, however, an exception is made, according to some, in order that there should be no hefsek between chuppa and yichud. Note that this is a special exception at best, Gateshead is not the exception here, hand holders are. Ps. Reb Aaron Shexhter (to the best of my knowledge) the rosh yeshiva of Chaim Berlin, advocates the practice of holding hands, for this one exception.

    #1037987

    haifagirl
    Participant

    For what’s its worth, most people gather near the Chosson/Kallah table during bentching anyway, so rearranging seating for Birchat HaMazon has never been that much of a problem.

    How many people actually stay until the bentching? What do you propose to do about the people who want to bentch and leave early?

    #1037988

    haifagirl
    Participant

    When there is mixed seating at a simcha, you are usually sat with your family anyway

    seated

    #1037989

    oomis
    Participant

    Feif Un and Halttheman, why should not women be allowed to wear bathing suits in public? What are we afraid of? “

    Maybe they SHOULD be able to do so and the men should all stay off the streets! (I AM KIDDING, SO NO REPLIES, PLEASE).

    Honestly you are comparing apples and oranges, IMO. Women (or men, for that matter)dressing in a clearly immodest fashion in a public area populated by both genders, is NOT in any way, shape, or form the same as a young man and young woman or a married couple sitting at the same table together at a simcha or in someone’s home. If you believe it is (as is your right), there, in a nutshell, IMO is why we have many issues with our young people today.

    #1037990

    Feif Un
    Participant

    Nechomah: So you’re saying that when R’ Breuer was strongly in favor of it, it was only because times were different back then, and now things have changed?

    #1037991

    mdd
    Member

    Oomis1105, what about a man (especially, a bochur) sitting next to other people’s wifes who are very or very,very mekushat (fancy sheitels, lots of make-up, fancy outfits etc.)?

    #1037992

    Naysberg
    Member

    With mixed seating, inevitably, you will have men sitting next to — and shmoozing with — someone else’s wife.

    #1037993

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I always go to the women’s shmorg since it has better food, but I am too frum to go to the badeken.

    See, at the shmorg there is no problem because I am ???? in eating, but at the badeken there is no heter.

    #1037994

    Yeshivishsocrates1
    Participant

    Eureka, I’ve got it, cancel the cherem of rabbeinu gershom and have the men sitting flanked by their two wives, that way, the men only sit next to their own wives and mixed seating wont be a problem at all!

    #1037995

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    See, at the shmorg there is no problem because I am ???? in eating, but at the badeken there is no heter.

    Ta’avas Ochlin beats out Ta’avas Noshim. I like and hear this.

    #1037996

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    How many people actually stay until the bentching? What do you propose to do about the people who want to bentch and leave early?

    If someone is bentching by himself, he certainly doesn’t need to be separated from women.

    When you bentch at home, does your husband send you to another room? Or do you all bentch together?

    The Wolf

    #1037997

    on the ball
    Participant

    According to some Shitos, the Chasan davka should hold the Kallah’s hand when taking her to the Yichud room as this constitutes part of the Chupa/Nisuin.

    #1037998

    2scents
    Participant

    Why would a man WANT to sit near an unrelated female?

    Never mind, don’t answer that..

    #1037999

    Feif Un
    Participant

    2scents: It’s not that I want to sit near women who aren’t related to me. I’d like to sit with my wife, and have the people we’re friends with nearby also. That means couples that we’re friends with, not just the men.

    #1038000

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    With mixed seating, inevitably, you will have men sitting next to — and shmoozing with — someone else’s wife.

    That’s why I actually seat the guests in their specific seats, not just the tables. I make sure that singles and bachurim are only sitting next to ugly people or those with poor hygiene and the married people can sit with each other with an opposite sex sibling between them and the next couple. All improperly dressed guests are placed on the other side of a divider at the back of the room. It has worked well for us this way.

    #1038001

    golfer
    Participant

    Wolf, my husband sends me to wash the dishes and take out the garbage.

    At a wedding there are waiters and there’s nowhere to send the women at bentching.

    #1038002

    shlishi
    Member

    Syag: Very few mixed seating affairs do what you describe.

    #1038003

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    OK: Feif,

    You are certainly aware that we think men and women should not be socializing.

    Now, if the men are going to sit only next to their wives and other men, and the women only next to husbands and other women–then what is the point of the mixed seating? If you are talking to your wife, you can do that at home. If you are talking to the guy next to you, you can do that with separate seating much better.

    The point is to socialize. So what part don’t you understand? You simply disagree and think the socializing is ok.

    #1038004

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Wolf, my husband sends me to wash the dishes and take out the garbage.

    On Shabbos and Yom Tov too?

    At a wedding there are waiters and there’s nowhere to send the women at bentching.

    Again, so what? There is *nothing* wrong with a man saying Birchas HaMazon in the presence of a woman.

    The Wolf

    #1038005

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Its one thing to advocate one way or the other,

    But there are those here who said, a Mixed Seating Wedding is Traif or they will not attend a Mixed Seating Wedding and possible insult the host.

    I know plenty of very frum people who will attend a mixed seating event (They prefer seperate seating of course) but they will not insult the Baal Simcha by boycotting the event. Their only request is to sit with immediate family members and their spouses and they dont want to sit between 2 women even if the women are their Wife and Mother or 2 Daughters. or Wife and Sister .

    #1038006

    Feif Un
    Participant

    pba: You’re correct, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with talking to my friend and his wife at a wedding. I have friends over for Shabbos meals and I speak to their wives. Why should this be different?

    I certainly wouldn’t be alone with her. Chazal made halachos to prevent things from happening. Yichud is one such halachah. Do we now know more than Chazal? Are we putting gezeiros in place so as not to transgress other gezeiros? That is not allowed.

    #1038007

    simcha613
    Participant

    PBA- one benefit of mixed seating is if man is invited to a chasuna of a friend and his wife won’t know anyone there, or vice versa. In such a situation either the wife wouldn’t go, or she would be stuck with people she doesn’t know. If the husband would want to go with his wife to such a wedding, mixed seating would make it a lot easier for her.

    #1038008

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    pba: You’re correct, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with talking to my friend and his wife at a wedding. I have friends over for Shabbos meals and I speak to their wives. Why should this be different?

    I certainly wouldn’t be alone with her. Chazal made halachos to prevent things from happening. Yichud is one such halachah. Do we now know more than Chazal? Are we putting gezeiros in place so as not to transgress other gezeiros? That is not allowed.

    Right. So we can discuss that, but probably you should have just phrased your question “What is wrong with socializing with other people’s wives”? And then we could have avoided all sorts of talking around each other, and debating whether there is socializing at a mixed seating wedding.

    To the substantive issue: There are countless chazal that back us up on this one.

    ?? ???? ???? ?? ????

    There is a gemara that says that rebbeim of young kids are suspect because the mother talk to them when they pick up the kids.

    We lein the parsha of arayon on yom kippur bec the women come to shul.

    Etc.

    Look, I’m not trying to convince you to join my side, but you should not be surprised that we take it.

    #1038009

    mdd
    Member

    Frif Un, “al tarbeh sichah im ha’ishah” is from Chazal.

    #1038010

    mdd
    Member

    Feif Un, a one-to-one yichud with an ervah is min ha’Torah.

    #1038011

    Naysberg
    Member

    Feif Un: No one is putting in new gezeiros. Shulchan Aruch says it is required L’HALACHA to (quote) “STAY FAR FAR AWAY FROM WOMEN”. Why aren’t you adhering to this Halacha? How do you stay FAR FAR AWAY from the EISHESH ISH of your friend???

    #1038012

    WolfishMusings: You cannot make the Sheva Brochos of “shehasimcho bimoinoi” if the women are (or were) sitting next to the men.

    #1038013

    Feif Un
    Participant

    pba: Rabbeim may be suspect because the women come – and the Rebbe’s wife and the fathers of the kids are not there. Different from a wedding where couples are seated together.

    Al tarbeh is not a halachah, merely advice – not that it means don’t follow it, but you shouldn’t base a psak on it. And again, does that refer to a conversation with a woman when her husband is away, or is next to her as well?

    As for the parsha of arayos on Yom Kippur, I’ve heard many explanations. I heard a pshat from the Maharal’s on it, which say the reason is specifically to show unity in klal Yisrael – that we are forbidden to marry relatives so that we should reach out to others who we don’t know.

    I’m not surprised that there are those who want separate seating, and I don’t begrudge them having it. But it bothers me when they say it’s wrong to have it. You want to be machmir? Fine. Don’t impose it on others.

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