The process of asking for money for a wedding

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  • #2111556
    takahmamash
    Participant

    About once every two weeks or so an individual will come into our morning minyan, seeking funds for a wedding for a relative or even himself. I’m not familiar with how this works – does the kalla’s family know that the chatan’s side is going from shule to shule asking for money? Assuming there is some final figure involved, what happens if the chatan doesn’t reach his goal? Do the male members of the kalla’s family do this as well?

    #2111726
    mentsch1
    Participant

    I would like to think it is only tremendous pressure that would drive someone to do something so humiliating.
    And therefore I would like to think that all these cases are one of great rachmanus and we should give accordingly.
    That said, since I know of the “minhag” of some people in EY demanding that the Kallahs side by an apartment for the couple, it is difficult for me. Bc I didn’t buy my kids houses, so why would I buy some other kid real estate?

    #2111732
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Mentsch, are you familiar with nidunyos?

    #2111747
    ujm
    Participant

    Why does anyone else have to know? Tzedaka is supposed to ideally be done anonymously.

    #2111748
    ujm
    Participant

    Mentsch1: In America the Kallah’s side is expected to fund the bulk of the wedding costs and the engaged couple’s startup costs for housing needs, etc. In Eretz Yisroel not; so it more or less is about the same.

    #2111759
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Avira, you mean to collect money for dowry.

    #2111760
    takahmamash
    Participant

    Does anyone know the answer to my question about what happens if the amount isn’t raised? And mentch1, we also did not buy our daughter an apartment when she got married. (Of course, we’re not Chareidi, but I have heard of these things amongst the chardal as well.)

    #2111793
    ujm
    Participant

    takah: If the amount isn’t raised, it is borrowed. And then paid back afterwards (probably by raising it.)

    #2111803
    YWN reader
    Participant

    In the Chareidi world in Israel, a girls parents are supposed to provide all the couple need to start (housewares, bedding, kitchen utensils etc.), pay half rent for the first year, pay half wedding expenses, make the engagement, either the whole Shabbos sheva brachos or the other side sometimes splits with them, and put down a substantial amount of money, though nothing near the price of an apartment. This is when the kallah’s family are living simply, trying to live on a kollel budget.

    #2111805
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Really stupid question: If you cannot afford a wedding, scale back the plans to what you CAN afford. Invite fewer people, limit the costs of food/drink served, don’t rent a big simcha hall, etc. etc. Most importantly, if you cannot afford to even purchase a bed, some dishes and pay the rent, perhaps you should think about deferring kiddushin until one or both of you have some income and resources so that you are not literally begging money from strangers.

    #2111812
    mentsch1
    Participant

    Ujm
    I’ve got relatives in EY marrying off daughters.
    I can tell you that they turn down shidduchim all the time because of the question “will you buy the couple an apartment “
    The answer is no and that is that. It’s not “more or less the same” as here. I’ve never heard of anyone having the chutzpah to demand that here

    And OP
    Where do you live that it is only once every two weeks?
    Here in Flatbush it’s a daily occurrence

    #2111815
    ujm
    Participant

    And how do poor American parents marry off their daughters?

    #2111908
    ujm
    Participant

    Mentsch1: You misunderstood me. I know that outside Israel the Kallah’s family buying the Choson an apartment isn’t a thing. But outside Israel the Kallah’s family has many other expenses they’re responsible for, much more so than the Choson’s family — and it is widely accepted practice.

    And that’s all part and parcel of traditional Yiddishkeit. The Kallah’s family has always, from time immemorial throughout Jewish history, provided the Choson a dowry. As is proper.

    #2112020
    takahmamash
    Participant

    mentch1: In Beersheva. This is not a chareidi city by any stretch of the imagination; those that come to collect funds are from out of town.

    #2112022
    takahmamash
    Participant

    According to ujm, I guess we’re not traditional. When our daughter got married, we did not give the Chatan a dowry. We paid for half the wedding. (The Chatan’s parents are still living in the U.S.; we pretty much split wedding and transportation costs down the middle. We had the Shabbat sheva brachot in our home city.) We did not buy them an apartment, nor did we pay their rent. We didn’t buy them a car, or pay for their monthly groceries, or anything like that. Both kids worked before they married, and both work now, and the son-in-law continues to study for his Master’s. I find the “requirement” to buy an apartment quite distasteful.

    #2112084
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Takamamash: Kol hakovod having two kids who were responsible individuals who recognized that marriage means taking responsibility for their own expenses and are working and studying to earn a good parnassah so that they are not dependent on others. Its great when parents have the resources to assist in the chassanah and even help out a bit for the first few years of married life as we did with our kids. However, the notion that parents should purchase apartments, pay rent and subsidize living expenses in perpetuity is bizarre and even worse is the sense of entitlement of many kids who expect such parental support. I’ve read more recent studies that many parents who feel obligated to provide such support to their childeren are often ill-prepared to finance their own retirements and the problems is only growing worse as fewer employers offer traditional pensions.

    #2112091
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Somewhere out there is the line between highly judgemental and painfully clueless

    #2112092
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Lying limply across the two sides is the statement “I would never want that for my kid so why should I want to help you have it”
    As well as much of the rest of the comments.

    #2112105
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    Having married off 4 children BH without the need to beg or borrow, I cant think of anything more humiliating then the need to leave home for weeks and go from house to house and beg for a dollar, I always try to give them as much as I can.
    That being said the habit of buying a dirah for the couple needs to stop.

    #2112118
    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    I’m in the minority here, but if the couple doesn’t have the education and means to support themselves they have no business getting married.
    It is not the parents’ obligation to support adult children. They may choose to contribute, but this is a choice.
    We paid all the wedding expenses for our daughters. They were married in our gardens and the meals were cooked and served here. No expensive hall, a couple of hundred guests seated in banquet tents for the seudah, cocktails and schmorg were around the swimming pool and basketball court.
    Our sons married in NYC. We paid for orchestra, liquor, personal flowers and officiant.
    We did not buy any of our children houses. Three started married lives in apartments we owned, paying the utilities and expenses. One moved into the MIL apartment of my Late MIL’s home and helped to care for her. As they had kids, they moved to the 3BR upstairs unit and MIL moved downstairs to the apartment.
    All are professionals, many work in the CTL Law firm and all have bought their own homes over time. Our first tow married grandchildren are living in apartments we own as they finish graduate schools and get ready to earn a full living.

    Would we buy a child a home? Only if there was some physical or mental impediment to their earning enough to buy and support a home.

    What we would do and have done, is finance the home purchase so the children did not have to pay interest on a bank mortgage.

    #2112176
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    “That being said the habit of buying a dirah for the couple needs to stop.”

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here and try to make a point. I am NOT disagreeing with what you are saying but I realllllly would like to give a perspective shift. Working with the needs of community for decades has taught me a lot and I think lack of perspective is so much huger (is that a word?) than people realize.

    Purely as a response to that point above and NOT to go off on a rant, yes, so many people agree with you on that. But the same can be said for gowns for anyone other than the bride. For professional makeup for the families, for the basic expectations of the chuppah, flowers/centerpieces, music etc. These things are strangulatingly expensive and it’s always nice when big talkers (usually with money) say “oh, just have what you can afford”. Um, none of it is affordable. AND it’s nice to tell a family to have a simple meal served in a shul with 150 people and rented flowers but really?
    I have been to many weddings in E”Y where they DO do that. They have “family style” seating and serving. Chicken on the bone, 150-200 people. They do their own hair and makeup except the kallah. and guess what, the money goes to a dira. And they think you are the crazy one for wasting a dira’s worth of cash on stupid materialism.

    So the point is that it is very very hard to decide what other people should stop doing based on what your consider important. But it is even harder to look at what you consider important and wonder if perhaps you are mistaken.

    #2112172
    Amil Zola
    Participant

    The tradition in my family is young adults work and save. Most purchase their first homes prior to being married. Our weddings are simple and small, we don’t provide newlyweds with homes, furniture or furnishings. They are adults and if they cannot support themselves prior to marriage why even marry?

    #2112218
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Those of us who believe that a modicum of financial independence is a condition precedent to kiddushin are clearly in a minority. However, as others have noted, forcing the parents to wander around the beis medrash or going door-to-door begging strangers for funds to purchase housing for their kids or pay the caterer would appear to be a self-inflicted form of humiliation for parents who should “just say no”. Definitely assist within your means but don’t jeopardize your own economic well being.

    #2112216
    ujm
    Participant

    And is the tradition in your family that the young adults tend to marry approximately when they’re 19 years old or is it closer to when they’re 29 years old?

    #2112188
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @amil, how many children did you marry off?

    #2112189
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @syag, all my kids got married in a moderately priced hall with minimal bells and whistles. gowns were rented for the most part, I helped my kids with down payment when they got a house, did I ask strangers to buy my kids houses? BH no

    #2112192
    ipchamistabra
    Participant

    To Mentsh1 (and a few others writing about buying apartments): The situation in EY is such that this is de rigeur, as you probably well know. Actually, it was not started by frum Yiddn – or by Yiddn at all.
    A bit of history: up until 1948, most of the frum community – which still comprised the Old Yishuv + dropouts therefrom – lived in apartments under a system called ‘key-money’ whereby you paid a lump sum up front, followed by a very low rent for the rest of your life. Upon the death of both partners, subject to few conditions, the property reverted back to the original owner. In the new frum centres of Bene Beraq and parts of Tel Aviv, the situation may have been different; I don’t know. At all events, come the day in 1948 when one of the first decrees of the new regime was to declare that anyone living under the ‘key-money’ system had an automatic right-to-buy for a modest payment. Many of course took advantage of this. The logic of this new law was simple: to get as many as possible to buy and own their homes. Benevolence? No way! They knew a war was coming, maybe more than one, and people who don’t own their homes tend to flee wars. The new state was in danger of depopulating. Since then, this policy has been followed assiduously.
    Let me divulge a little secret (told by a member of the family concerned): A certain extremely wealthy frum Yid managed to make a deal with those who believe they own the Land of Israel, to build a city for frum Yidn. Everything was going perfectly to plan, until he innocently let slip that he intended renting the properties, rather than selling them. The deal collapsed on the spot. He was told the reason in no uncertain terms. We do not rent. I know well there are rental properties available, but they are a small minority. The official line is, from the top down: you must buy. Even most Israelis don’t know that it’s state policy. They take it as a fact of life. And for them it is. But since they are trapped in a situation over which they have no control, don’t they deserve our help rather than our condemnation?

    #2112225
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    “perhaps you should think about deferring kiddushin”

    “if the couple doesn’t have the education and means to support themselves they have no business getting married”

    “if they cannot support themselves prior to marriage why even marry?”

    It’s very interesting how different the values systems are among some of the posters here.

    #2112234
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    CTLAWYER,

    “We paid all the wedding expenses for our daughters … We paid for orchestra, liquor, personal flowers and officiant … Three started married lives in apartments we owned … many work in the CTL Law firm … Our first tow married grandchildren are living in apartments we own as they finish graduate schools … finance the home purchase so the children did not have to pay interest on a bank mortgage”

    But at least you didn’t outright buy them houses, so they can experience what true grit and self-reliance are! B”H you have the means to support your children and grandchildren. Your financial support of them far exceeds these parents who are getting newlyweds apartments, so maybe the negative judgement is unwarranted.

    #2112248
    Amil Zola
    Participant

    For those inquiring, working men marry after about 5 years. Most of my family members go on to college, work and pay their way and then marry. It’s silly to think that the average 19 yo can earn enough to support a family. Take some time and view the public areas of Imamother. Women are shopping for multiple gowns for siblings and relatives of the bridal parties. And at the same time others in bungalow colonies are begging for food and $$.

    As to the number of children I married off, I’m infertile due to cancer. My husband and I met when we were both in chemo (and graduate school). I have always been generous with wedding presents to relatives. In our family cash gifts are not used to pay off wedding costs since our weddings are simple affairs usually paid for by the brides and grooms. No gowns no makeup artists etc.

    #2112258
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Using Imamother as a source for anything other than a recipe is like using alex jones as a news source. Frankly I’m shocked someone of your education and intellectual level is able to read anything on there at all without retching.

    #2112264
    Amil Zola
    Participant

    Thanks for the compliment SL, even though it was left handed. You can also use a variety of other sources to take the ‘pulse’ of the frum community across America. Due to my education and intellectual level I will not provide you with the names of sites, BTDT.

    #2112267
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    absolutely not left handed. totally honest and sincere wonderment.

    #2112269
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    “Due to my education and intellectual level I will not provide you with the names of sites,”

    🤣

    #2112273
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    The mishna in Pirkei Avos sets forth the principle of Shemoneh Esrei L’Chuppah which is generally understood to mean that one should begin searching for their kallah as soon as he is physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially able to do so. At the time of the mishna, its quite possible that those criteria were frequently met by many bochurim around the age of 18 (or presumably, that was the Tana’s recollection of when HE felt prepared for marriage. Nowhere does the mishna make shidduchim contingent upon a W-2 showing sufficient earning to support his wife and family because in those days, the majority of bochurim reaching the age of 18 did work and earned a parnassah. As society evolved, the age at which most young men were emotionally and financially prepared to support a family has also risen to their early 20s so application of the principle can be understood to have evolved as well. However, nowhere does the Mishnah mandate that the parents of the prospective choson impoverish themselves in the process, whatever his age.

    #2112272

    Israeli rent v buy. Many governments including US support buying as it makes for stronger communities. Israel has I believe low mobility so buying makes sense. An anecdote that someone said something is not convincing. Another guy could have started a town without saying it. Are there actual policies that prevent rentals? There might be but you didn’t bring any

    #2112276

    Those who criticize apartment buyers do not understand the difficult and different situation those parents are, as Syag is saying. If children do not have immediate prospects for high earnings, how are they expected to live? Parents can’t really complain as they put the kids into this position by not giving them work skills. Beh, kids will eventually find a way to get some parnosah and then will do the same for their own kids, midah kneged midah..

    It is a really hard question how to respond to the requests: on one hand, one wants to help a person in need, on another – you are enabling a multigenerational problem … Maybe provide funds to chatans apprenticeship or help them buy a business instead of an apartment

    #2112282
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    “Parents can’t really complain as they put the kids into this position by not giving them work skills. ”

    “kids will eventually find a way to get some parnosah and then will do the same for their own kids, midah kneged midah..”

    I’d like to say you make me sick but it probably won’t make it thru the mods so instead I will say your attitude toward frum people you don’t understand makes me sick.

    #2112278
    ujm
    Participant

    Hadorah: The mishna in Pirkei Avos says that 18 years of age should be the ceiling of when to get married, not the floor. It wants us to be married no later than that age. The absolute Halachic deadline one must get married by is age 20. After that the Halacha is (content warning: readers with liberal tendencies are recommended to stop reading this comment) that if he isn’t trying to get married once he is 20, Beis Din should force him to get married.

    #2112314
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Reb Yosef: Can the beis din “force” the parents to pay for the chassanah and a dirah in in one of the nicer neighborhoods?
    On a serious note, are you aware of any contemporary beis din that has attempted to enforce the admonition of the mishna in Pirkei Avos? A bit unclear how such a psak would be enforced against an unwilling bochur. Would the beis din retain a shadchan (in the manner that a secular court may sometimes retain its own counsel and expert advisors) and then haul in a reluctant bochur and his “un-beschert” with the av beis din being mesader kiddushin)?

    #2112318
    Menachem Shmei
    Participant

    “content warning: readers with liberal tendencies are recommended to stop reading this comment”


    @ujm
    , I think this should be your screen name!!!

    You gave me a good laugh!!!
    You might have to do teshuva for providing such comic relief in the 9 days 🤣

    #2112344

    Syag, just as I am calling for understanding and commend you for the same, you are calling me out for attitude … We see here that several people with “working minhagim” do not understand the need to support kids after wedding, so lack of (immediate) work prospects clearly affects the situation. for example, working chosson vekallah should be able to get a mortgage to finance a house based on their salaries, maybe with some down-payment support from parents.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with this approach. While normative American saves for his retirement and expects kids to pay for their mortgage; in this approach parents pay for apartments, while children will then start working later and then pay for their children and maybe even respect & support parents in their old age al pi halakha, so parents need less of savings. So, if this works for most people, then it’s fine. If, as alleged here, it does not work for too many people and they are collecting, then clearly something is not right.

    #2112345

    where are takanah weddings? I understand that several popular Jewish towns in US limit how much people spend on weddings to a degree that, B’H, weddings halls are full (presumably not just by growing population but also by OOTners coming for cheap weddings and reduced supply of providers due to lower prices). Is this working? Is it also done in Israel?

    #2112347
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Obviously maturity has changed. Rashi in the beginning Parashas Toldos says that Rivkah was 3 years old when Yitzchak married her. Even according to Tosfas she was 14 years old.

    #2112367
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Gee, let’s try that again. Please focus instead of making up your own conversation.

    This line, ” Parents can’t really complain as they put the kids into this position by not giving them work skills. ”
    Stating that parents actively refrain from giving their kids work skills in the act of having them stay in learning.
    It is such a disgusting accusation, displaying such ignorance of their lifestyle. And it rolls off your tongue with zero thought behind it because your ignorance is so ingrained in you that you don’t even know what’s wrong with it.

    You complain very often about your daughter’s school saying MO as if it was a pejorative . Please understand that that is EXACTLY what you are doing here (and constantly). If you can come to understand that you are exactly what you accuse them of, perhaps you will finally stop doing it.

    #2112365

    RebE, maybe the secret of maturity was that Rivka’s father, a tzaddik as he was, sent her to work from early age?

    #2112376
    ujm
    Participant

    AAQ: The standard of livelihood required is bare minimum. “Kach hi darkah shel torah – pas b’melach tochal etc.” — Bread salt and water – if you have that, you have parnasah.

    #2112409
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @AAQ, “where are takanah weddings?” vast majority of charadisher wedding are takanos weddings, even given minimist nature [ plain food, one man band, rental of flowers or no flowers] you are looking at 15 plus new clothing etc jewlery so you are look at 25 K, for someone who lives beyond paycheck to paycheck, this is out of reach for most of them and are forced to reach out for help, put yourself in the shoes of that person next time you see him.

    #2112430

    ujm, I fully agree and fully respect people who live like that … It would seem that if we were to optimize life according to Torah principles, a man should first learn Torah and basics of math and English, then spend 2 years acquiring a profession (4 year college, including CLEPs and yeshiva credits), and maybe another two to get MS by age 25, and then continue working or doing business, say, 2 days a week, or 3 hours a day, whatever is better for his learning schedule. In this way, he can spend most of his life learning and maybe doing chesed using his professional skills (heal, teach ..). Unfortunately, seeing everyone else’s standard of living makes it almost impossible to limit your quest for gashmiyus.

    #2112433

    common, I understand. I am still not sure how ti distinguish between those who are unable and those who are unwilling or confused in their middos. We used to have kahalim that will provide support – upon investigation. Otherwise, this becomes lifnei ever. A guy travels around to raise funds for his firstborn, and think, great this worked, I’ll do the same for the rest.. If he were to have it hard time, maybe he’ll go get a job… I am not advocating refusing tzedokah, but these community policy questions exist even if refuse to acknowledge them.

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