Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Gifts in the yichud room?

Harry Maryles blogs about the new "minhagim" of gifts for chatan & kallah at weddings, as well as more & more lavish weddings, and the takanot that some rabbanim have issued to limit the spiraling expenses and social pressure.

I totally agree with him. Thankfully my wife & I got married in our early 30's and did not socialize with the young couples who have this mindset. We did not give each other gifts in the yichud room. Neither did most of our friends. The attitude of many of these young people, especially the brides, seems to be more excitement about this paraphernalia than the marriage itself. As soon as the first dance is over, the girl's friends all huddle around her giggling while she proudly displays the jewelry she got from her groom in the yichud room.

Is it still a minhag for the girl's parents to get the boy a shas? The truth is, most people who have those big expensive sets of shas rarely use them. They use their old beaten up gemaras from their yeshiva days. What's the point of the big shas? It's just for show.


  1. If a study was done that charted marriage age, job experience, and earning power of a chatan and kallah vs. amount spent of "extras," I would not be suprised if an inverse relationship was plotted.

    The show of gifts that you mention is utterly un-tzniut, and rather distasteful, but of course, tzniut seems to only be talked about in terms of girls' and women's hemlines, etc.

    The material craziness surrounding engagements and weddings is a black eye imo opinion. I don't know what can be done. It is ridiculous families that can barely feed their own children and are borrowed to the hilt even entertain pearl necklaces and what have you.

  2. Unfortunately there's a very strong conformist streak in Orthodoxy. Rabbanim have spoken out but it hasn't been enough.

    In Israel, weddings are MUCH simpler. Not sure why we can't do the same here (in the US)