Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Making a Wedding in Yerushalayim? Part 1

In the year 5625 / 6 a ban was put in place by the great rabbis of the settlement of the Old City against music with instruments at weddings in Jerusalem. At the time, there was an epidemic that claimed the lives of too many Yidden living in the Yeshuv of Yerushalayim. Through days of preparations and certain Holy prayers and procedures, one of the tzaddikim of the time ascertained that the reason for the epidemic was due to our not having our Temple. The ban was supported by rabbis of Chul (Chutz le Aretz / the diaspora) and upheld by later rabbis such as The Brisker Rav and Rav Yosef Chaim Zonenveld. The ban was put in place until Moshiach. What happened to that ban?

Since we are involved in photography of Smachot and have often found a full band at a wedding in Yerushalayim we asked a current Posek living in Yerushalayim about the ban here is his answer:

"Contemporary poskim hold that it does not only refer to the Old City, rather to greater Jerusalem. As per the article above, it has not changed. Most Ashkenazim only use a drum and singers. Those that only use an organ (keyboard) are following the ban according to their understanding, although Rav Shlomo Zalman and Rav Eliashiv prohibit it and only permit drums."

At every Jewish wedding around the world, the Chatan will break a glass to remember the Temple, even on our happiest day.

We have to remember that as things stand right now, we are in exile and our beloved Kotel is as though it is behind bars. We only have a percentage of our Land in Jewish hands. We are dictated to by all and sundry instead of by the Torah. The direction we daven every day is Yerushalayim and when within Eretz Yisrael we face the direction of the Kotel.

Even on the happiest day of our lives, we have to remember Hashem and His Dwelling Place. We have to remember the Temple and hence in Jerusalem, the whole of Jerusalem we are forbidden to have a full band, but rather just drum and singers.

May we be zocher to dance at the Real Wedding, the one of Hashem and Am Yisrael with the coming of our Righteous Redeemer. At this wedding, I am sure the Leviim will be back in business and we are taught that their music was "out of this world". It would put one in another dimension, ready to serve our Creator the way we are supposed to.

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