Reciting A Blessing Upon Seeing A Torah Scholar

(This should not be relied upon for practical halacha. When a question arises a Rabbi should be consulted.)

1. The Gemara (Brachos 58) says that upon seeing a Torah scholar one recites the blessing “Shecholak Mechochmaso Lireav” (Blessed are You…who apportioned of His wisdom to those who fear Him). This teaching was also codified by the Shulchan Aruch (224:6).

2. None of the commentaries on the Shulchan Aruch indicate that this blessing is no longer relevant and therefore, it would seem that this blessing should be recited today (see Az Nidberu 11:4).

3. The Chayei Adam (63:5) also rules that the blessing is recited, even today. He proves this from a ruling of the Tur. The Tur cites the Gemara that there is a different blessing to be recited upon an exceedingly great Torah Scholar, the blessing of “Chacham Harazim.” The Tur writes that this blessing is not said anymore since there is no longer a scholar of such caliber to warrant such a blessing. Since the Tur only made such a statement regarding the blessing of “Chacham Harazim” and not regarding the blessing of “Shecholok”, one can deduce that the blessing of “Shecholok” is in fact said today. A similar line of reasoning was advanced by Harav Ovadia Yosef zt”l (Yechava Daas 4:16).
4. The Sefer Yosef Ometz (450), however, writes the following, “I have omitted the laws of reciting a blessing upon seeing a Torah scholar since there are very scarce Torah scholars today (that would warrant such a blessing). If one wishes to recite the blessing without reciting the name of Hashem one may do so.” (see also Chesed Lalafim Orach Chaim 224:12)

5. The Aruch Hashulchan (224:6) says that it is unclear as to what level of a Torah scholar one must be to warrant this blessing and therefore many do not recite this blessing anymore. The Ben Ish Chai (Ekev 13) also rules that one should only recite the blessing without the use of Hashem’s name. This was also the view of Harav Eliezer Yehuda Waldenberg zt”l (Tzitz Eliezer 14:36:3).

6. It should be noted that Rabbi Yitzchak Eisik Yehuda Yechiel Safrin zt”l of Komarno, known as the Komarno Rebbe, writes that the scholar must also be proficient in Kabbalah to warrant such a blessing (Shulchan Hatahor 224:3).


7. The poskim offer some examples of different Gedolim upon whom the blessings were recited:

The author was present when a prominent New York Sefardic Rav recited the blessing upon seeing Harav Yitzchak Yosef shlit”a.

Harav Ephraim Greenblatt zt”l (Rivevos Ephraim 8:128) writes that one should recite the blessing upon seeing Harav Elazar Menachem Mann Shach zt”l, Harav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt”l, and (ybc”l) Harav Chaim Kanievsky shlit”a.

Harav Shmuel Wosner shlit”a (Shevet Halevi 10:13) writes that he recalls that when the Rogachover Gaon zt”l visited Vienna many recited the blessing upon seeing him.

The Minchas Elazar of Munkatch (5:7) also writes that he remembers the blessing being recited upon seeing Torah scholars (though he does not mention which Rabbi’s specifically).

It is also reported that the Chazon Ish was in favor of others reciting the blessing upon seeing the Steipler Gaon zt”l (Orchos Rabbeinu 1:109).
The Steipler Gaon zt”l told the author of the Sefer Orchos Rabbeinu (ibid, 110) that he recited this blessing upon seeing the Chofetz Chaim zt”l and Harav Meir Simcha zt”l of Dvinsk.

Harav Yisroel Taplin shlit”a (Orach Yosrael page 255) writes that he heard from Harav Yaakov Kamanetzky zt”l that Harav Baruch Ber Lebowitz zt”l recited the blessing upon meeting Harav Dovid Karliner zt”l and that Harav Dovid responded “Amen” to the blessing. Harav Yaakov zt”l also ruled that one should say this blessing upon seeing Harav Ahron Kotler zt”l.
Harav Taplin adds that he heard in the name of Harav Moshe Feinstein zt”l that today if one sees a Torah scholar who is proficient in all of Shas one may recite upon this scholar the blessing of “Shecholok.”

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How Far Must We Go To Save Another Person’s Life

(This should not be relied upon for practical halacha. When a question arises a Rabbi should be consulted.)

1. The Torah commands us not to stand idly by while someone’s blood is being spilled (Lo Saamod Al Dam Re’acha). We must therefore do everything in our power to save another Jew from a life threatening situation. If one is able to save another person and does not he has transgressed this commandment. (Rambam Rotzeach 1:14)

2. However, there is also a ruling of Chayecha Kodem, which teaches that your life takes precedence and therefore one is not allowed to place one’s self in a life threatening situation to spare another from a life threatening situation.One can not commit suicide or place himself in peril in order to save another person.

3. The question that the poskim deal with is whether one is required to enter a potentially life threatening situation (Safek Sakana) in order to save another Jew from an absolute life threatening situation. For example a man is drowning and if no one jumps in to save him he will die. However, the torrent is pretty strong and it is possible that the person jumping in may be in danger himself of drowning. The question is is he allowed or required to jump in the water?
4. Harav Yosef Karo zt”l, in his Sefer Kesef Mishnah, cites the Hagahos Maimon who rules in accordance with the Yerushalmi that one is required to place himself in a Safek Sakana in order to save another Jew from an absolute life threatening situation. He explains that because the other person will definitely die and the rescuer will only potentially die, we worry about the definite and not the potential. This was also the view of the Tiferes Yisroel (Peah 1:5).

5. The Kesef Mishnah and Hagahos Maimon do not tell us where in the Yerushalmi can this ruling be found. The Netziv (Emek Sheala Shelach) explains that they are referring tot the Yerushalmi in Meseches Terumos which records that Rav Imi was captured by robbers and was in a life threatening situation. Rav Yonasan said that there is nothing we can do and we must accept his untimely fate. However, Reish Lakish said, “I am going to rescue him and either I will kill them (the captors) or they will kill me.” Reish Lakish actively placed himself in potential danger in order to save his friend and this is the source of the ruling of the Hagahos Maimon.

6. Harav Yoel Serkes zt”l, in his commentary on Shulchan Aruch (Sma Choshen Mishpat 426), noted that the Rama and Shulchan Aruch both omit this ruling from their writings. It is in no doubt due to the fact that the pillars of halacha, the Rosh, Rif, and Rambam, all omitted the ruling of the Yerushalmi. It also seems that Rabbeinu Yona, in his Sefer Issur V’Heter (59:38), disagrees with the Hagahos Maimon and rules that one is not required to enter a potentially dangerous situation in order to save a person in life threatening danger. The Mishnah Berurah (329:19) also rules that one is not required to endanger himself in order to save another.

7. The Aruch Hashulchan (429:4) explains that the reason all these Rishonim do not rule in accordance with the Yerushalmi is that the Talmud Bavli disagrees with the Yerushalmi. He does not, however, include a source from the Bavli that would imply or convey a view different from that of the Yerushalmi. See the Tzitz Eliezer (9:45) who cites potential sources from the Bavli that seem to disagree with the Yerushalmi.

8. The Radvaz (shu”t 3:626) feels that according to the vast majority of opinions, who do not require one to endanger himself in order to save another person, not only is one not required to do so, one is not allowed to do so. He writes that one who places himself in Safek Sakana in order to save his friend is a “foolishly pious individual” and the potential risk out ways the mortal danger facing his friend. One is not allowed to endanger himself in order to perform a Mitzvah or in order to avoid a sin (except idolatry, murder, and sexual relations). Therefore, it is not permitted to endanger one’s self in order to avoid performing the sin of Lo Saamod Al Dam Re’acha. This ruling was also cited by Harav Yitzchak Weiss zt”l (Minchas Yitzchak 6:103).

9. Harav Moshe Feinstein zt”l (Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah 2:174) disagrees with the ruling of the Radvaz. He explains that although normally one may not endanger himself in order to avoid a sin, in this case one is permitted since his actions will lead to a Jewish person being saved. According to Harav Moshe zt”l the whole debate is whether one is required to enter a Safek Sakana in order to save his friend. However, everyone agrees that one is permitted to do so.

10. Harav Ovadia Yosef zt”l (Yechava Daas 3:84) found a discrepancy in the writings of the Radvaz. In one response the Radvaz (ibid.) writes that one is not permitted to endanger himself in order to save his friend. While in another response (2:218) he writes that one is required to enter a somewhat dangerous situation in order to save someone from a life threatening situation. Harav Yosef zt”l explains that there is no contradiction. If there is a 50%, or more, chance of death one is not allowed to save his friend. It is not allowed to perform an act with such a high risk of death, even in order to save his friend. If the chance of death is less than 50% one is required to save his friend. In this case the chance of death is so small that the reward of saving a Jew out ways the potential danger. He adds that the Radvaz, himself, seems to indicate such a distinction in one of the responses.

11. The Radvaz (3:626) does add that there is no requirement to donate a limb in order to save another jew, even if donating a limb involves a small (less than 50%) risk of death. He explains that the ways of the Torah are sweet and the Torah would never require someone to become mutilated and deformed. What if donating eyes could save a life, reasons the Radvaz, you would have half of Klal Yisroel missing eyes? The Torah cannot require such a thing. Although it is praiseworthy to donate a limb, the Torah would never require organ donation.

12. A soldier in war time may not be bound by the previous discussion and it is possible that a soldier may place himself in danger in order to save others. For normative halacha, a rabbi should be consulted.

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The obligation for a man to wear a yarmulka

(This should not be relied upon for practical halacha. When a question arises a Rabbi should be consulted.)

[The following is a translation from the authors hebrew work Umekareiv Biyamin.]

1. The source for the requirement for a man to cover his head can be found in the Gemara Kiddushin (31a). The Gemara says that Rav Huna (the son of Rav Yehoshua) would not walk four Amos with his head uncovered, because the Divine Presence is above. Similarly, the Gemara in Shabbos (118 b) relates that Rav Huna said, “I will receive (reward- Rashi) for not going four Amos with my head exposed.”

2. Many authorities, including the Tashbetz (559), Bach (O.C. 2), Gra (O.C. 8), Chida (Birkei Yosef O.C. 2), and Maharshal (72), deduce from the above Gemara that one is not obligated to wear a yarmulka, rather it is a Minhag (custom). For if it were an obligation why would Rav Huna expect to receive reward for fulfilling his obligation. Rather, it is not obligatory and Rav Huna was going above and beyond the letter of the law. It is for this reason that Rav Huna expected reward for his actions.
3. It is unclear as to the view of Harav Yosef Karo zt”l regarding whether the head covering is obligatory or customary. In Beis Yosef (O.C. 91) he cites the view of the Tashbetz that it is customary. While in Beis Yosef (O.C. 8) seems to explicitly imply that one is forbidden to walk without a head covering. What’s more, in his Shulchan Aruch, Harav Karo zt”l writes, “It is forbidden to walk in an erect posture. And a man should not walk four Amos with an uncovered head.” The Magen Avraham points out that from the fact that the Shulchan Aruch uses the term “forbidden” regarding walking with an erect posture and not walking without a head covering, it seems that the Shulchan Aruch feels that it is not obligatory. The Chida noticed the discrepancies and cites the Ben Ish Chai that any time one finds a contradiction between the Beis Yosef and Shulchan Aruch we follow the Shulchan Aruch.
The Chida summarizes his view with the following statement, “It is clear from the words of the Gemara and the poskim that it is not forbidden (to walk without a head covering), rather, it is a Midas Chassidus (pious conduct) or praiseworthy to cover one’s head. I, therefore, do not understand the view of Rav Yehuda Ayas zt”l who maintained that it is forbidden to travel without a head covering. Since according to the Gemara and poskim it seems that it is merely customary etc.” (Machazik Bracha O.C. 2)

4. However, the Taz (8:2) suggests that although a headcovering was originally an act of piety, it gained the status of Torah Law, due to the custom of non-Jews to remove their caps as a sign of honor. Since the Torah prohibits Jews from “going in the ways of non-Jews,” one who does not cover his head would therefore be in transgression of a negative Commandment of the Torah. However, Harav Moshe Feinstein zt”l (Igros Moshe O.C. 4:2) questioned this stringent view. He explains that not every action that non-Jews perform is forbidden. It is only forbidden if they do something for religious purposes, promiscuity reasons, or an action that has no clear reason. If they, however, perform an act for valid reasons a Jew is also allowed to act accordingly. For example, a non-Jewish doctor wears “scrubs” to indicate to others that he is a doctor and in case of need he may help. Since there is a rationale for wearing “scrubs” a Jewish doctor may likewise wear “scrubs.” Therefore, argues Harav Feinstein zt”l there is a clear rationale for the actions of non-Jews. They are not covering their head for comfort reasons. It is also not a religious act since many non religious non-Jews do not cover their hair as well. Therefore the view of the Taz is no longer applicable.

[Rav Moshe (Igros Moshe 4:40:14) does admit that there is one case where the view of the Taz still applies, and that is praying without a head covering. Because the non-Jews  remove their head covering when praying, one may not pray without a head covering.]

5. It must be noted that although most authorities feel that one is not obligated to wear a yarmulka, it has become a widespread custom amongst Klal Yisroel and one must always adhere to this custom. The Baal Hatanya (2:6) added that since it is customary for a man to cover his head if he fails to do so it is a lack of Tzniyus (which requires us to cover all body parts that are customarily covered). Harav Ovadia Yosef zt”l (Yabia Omer 9:1) noted that wearing a yarmulka nowadays serves as a symbol of one’s affiliation with the observant Jewish community and failing to do so would lead others to believe that he is non-observant. And the halacha of Maris Ayin tells us that we are not allowed to portray ourselves as less observant than we actually are.

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Untying Knots And Emptying Pockets

(This should not be relied upon for practical halacha. When a question arises a Rabbi should be consulted.)

1. Some have the custom that before the chuppah we untie any knots that are on the clothing of the chosson and kallah (Sefer Matamim Chosson V’Kallah 78 and Shulchan Haezer vol. 2 page 31). This is also the custom of Chabad Chassidim (Sefer Haminhagim page 76).
2. The custom of Chabad Chassidim is for the chosson to untie shoelaces as well (Shaarei Halacha Uminhag Even Haezer 37), while the opinion of the Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe, Harav Yekusiel Yehuda Halberstam zt”l, is that one need not untie the shoelaces (see Netai Gavriel Nisuin page 117).

3. Most ashkenazic and Lithuanian communities never accepted this custom of untying knots (see Hanisuin Khilchosom page 442).

4. Some, including Chabad Chassidim, have the custom that before the chuppah the chosson and kallah remove their jewelry, as well as anything that may be in their pockets.

This custom serves as an additional reminder to the couple of their mortality because one cannot take any objects or jewelry with him to the next world (Shulchan Haezer vol. 2 page 137. For a different reason for this custom see Mesorah vol. 8 page 51 from Harav Soloveitchick zt”l).

5. Many, however, do not have this custom (Hanisuin K’Hilchosom ibid.).

6. Some think that giving away one’s personal belongings, such as jewelry, to a friend before going to the chuppah is some sort of segula. In reality, there is no such segula (pashut- see also Hallachically Speaking vol. 4 issue 12).

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Placing Ashes On The Chosson’s Head

(This should not be relied upon for practical halacha. When a question arises a Rabbi should be consulted.)

1, The Shulchan Aruch (Even Haezer 65:3, the source is a Gemara Baba Basra 60b) writes that we must place ashes on the chosson’s head as a sign of mourning over the destruction of the Temple. The ashes are placed on the same area of the head that the chosson wears his tefillin.
2. The Kaf Hachaim (Orach Chaim 660) notes that the custom in his area was not to place ashes on the chosson’s head (see also Orchos Chaim Tisha B’Av 13).

Harav Ben Tzion Abba Shaul zt”l (Ohr Letzion vol. 3 page 277) also notes that many sefardim do not place ashes on the head of the chosson and wonders how they can disregard this custom, which has sources in the Gemara and the Shulchan Aruch. He therefore rules that even sefardim should participate in this custom.

Harav Ovadia Yosef zt”l (cited in Yalkut Yosef Sovea Smachos page 86), however, rules that sefardim should continue in their practice of not placing ashes on the chosson’s head.

3. The custom of Square Chassidim is also not to place ashes on the chosson’s head (Sefer Netai Gavriel Nisuin page 117).

4. The Taz (Orach Chaim 660:4) writes that some have the custom that as the ashes are being placed on the chosson’s head, the rabbi recites the verse “Im eshkocheich Yerushalayim etc.” The chosson then repeats the verse.

5. The overwhelming majority of poskim maintain that the ashes should be placed before the chosson enters the chuppah. However, Harav Yosef Dov Soloveitchick zt”l (Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchonon) would only place the ashes on the chosson after the birchas nisuin were recited under the chuppah. Before the chuppah ceremony the chosson is not yet considered a “chosson” in Jewish law, and there is not yet a requirement of ashes. After the chuppah ceremony he is considered a “chosson” and the ashes are then required (Journal Mesorah vol. 8 page 52). It seems that Harav Soloveitchick zt”l shared the same view of his uncle, the great Brisker Rav. As the Sefer Yismach Lev (page 76) reports, the Brisker Rav would only place the ashes after the birchas nisuin under the chuppah, for the very reason attributed to Harav Soloveitchick.

6. The Aruch Hashulchan (Even Haezer 65:4) feels that the ashes are removed immediately after their placement. However, the Shulchan Haezer (7:1:11) writes that the custom in his town was to leave the ashes on the chosson’s head. A similar view is expressed by Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l (Shalmei Simcha page 169 – ועיין שם דבר חדש בדף קס”ט: “ורבינו היה מורה ליתן את האפר על ראש החתן כשהוא עטוף בנייר, וזאת משום כבודו של החתן, וכשסידר את הקידושין היה הוא עצמו מניח את האפר עטוף בנייר על ראש החתן -).

7. Harav Auerbach zt”l adds that if they forgot to place the ashes before the chuppah they may do so after the chuppah.

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Blessing Children On Friday Night

(This should not be relied upon for practical halacha. When a question arises a Rabbi should be consulted.)

1. It is a custom for parents to bless their children on Friday night. [Parenthetically, it is also a custom for the chosson and kallah to be blessed by their parents before they walk down the aisle (see Shulchan Haezer 7:1) ]
2. The poskim discuss how to bless the children. The Maaver Yabok (cited by Shulchan Haezer 7:1) seems to indicate that one should bless the child by resting one hand on the head of the child. The reason is that there are fifteen limbs in one hand corresponding to the fifteen words found in the birchas kohanim.

3. An additional reason given to use only one hand when blessing others (as opposed to two hands) can be found in the Torah Temimah (Naso 131). The Gemara says that it is prohibited for a non-kohen to perform the birchas kohanim (priestly blessings). Therefore, the Torah Temimah explains, blessing with two hands may be too similar to the priestly blessings, which are performed using both hands. He adds that he heard from trustworthy sources that the Vilna Gaon would only use one hand when blessing others. When asked why, the Vilna Gaon explained that, “The only time we find a blessing given with both hands is by the kohanim.” (See however introduction to Sefer Emunas Hatichia which indicates that the Vilna Gaon would bless others with two hands.)

4. However, Harav Yaakov Emden zt”l (Siddur friday night) rules that one should lean two hands on the child’s head when giving the blessing. The Sefer Yosef Ometz (70) writes, “Although I do not like to focus on Kabbalistic concepts, nevertheless, I believe that it is preferable to bless the children (on Friday nights) using both hands. This way the blessing will be performed using all ten fingers which is beneficial, for kabbalistic reasons. In addition, blessing with only only one hand appears as if one is being ‘stingy’ with his blessing.”

Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l (Shalmei Simcha 153) would use both hands when blessing others. A similar ruling is expressed by the Rav of Debreczin (Beer Moshe 4:25).

ואין להקשות לפי שיטה זו, שנוהגים לברך בב’ ידים, דא”כ יש לאסור משום זר בברכת כהנים, דעיין בביאור הלכה ריש הלכות נשיאות כפים שהביא ב’ תירוצים לבאר מנהג העולם, ותירוץ השני שם דכיון דתקינו רבנן שלא לישא כפים בלא תפלה, שוב מי שאומר פסוקים אלו של ברכת כהנים בלא תפלה בין כהן בין ישראל הוי כמכוין בפירוש שלא לקיים בזה המצות דברכת כהנים ולכן שרי. [ועיין בבית ברוך כלל ל”ב ס”ק ח’ שטוב יותר לכוון בפירוש שלא לצאת ע”ש.] וע”ע בזה בשו”ת ציץ אליעזר חי”א סימן ח’.

5. The father rests either one hand or two and says, “May G-d make you like Efraim and Menasheh” (Genesis 48:20) [“ישימך אלקים כאפרים וכמנשה”]. This is the traditional blessing given to children. He then recites the priestly blessing: [“יברכך ה’ וישמרך וכו’]. (Siddur Yaavetz)

6. Some also add the verse, “May G-d’s spirit rest on him, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and might, a spirit of knowledge and the fear of G-d” (Isaiah 11:2) [“ונחה עליו רוח ה’ רוח חכמה ובינה רוח עצה וגבורה רוח דעת ויראת ה'”]. (see Maaver Yabok Sifsei Rinanos 53) Beyond this, the parent’s may add any blessing or prayer that they desire.

[Hashevaynu’s Sunday Night Madness at Dave and Buster’s will take place on December 7th, for all information please go to hashevaynu.org]

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Leaving The Wedding Before The Sheva Brachos

(This should not be relied upon for practical halacha. When a question arises a Rabbi should be consulted.)
1. After birchas hamazon is recited at a wedding, the sheva brachos are recited. Harav Yitzchak Weiss zt”l (Minchas Yitzchak 2:43) writes that one may leave a wedding before the sheva brachos. He explains that the obligation to recite sheva brachos only applies to those present at the end of the meal and is not an intrinsic obligation to all that participated in the meal. If one were not allowed to leave before the sheva brachos the Gemara would have said so, the same way that the Gemara states that one is not allowed to leave a meal early before taking part of the zimun.

2. Harav Eliezer Yehuda Waldenberg zt”l (Tzitz Eliezer 11:84) proves that this was originally advanced by Harav Shlomo Kluger zt”l. Harav Waldenberg zt”l then concurs with the view of Harav Weiss zt”l and rules that one is allowed to leave a wedding early after reciting birchas hamazon with the proper zimun.

Harav Nosson Gestetner zt”l (Lehoros Nason 11:111) likewise rules that one may leave a wedding early before the Sheva Brachos. He explains that while the obligation to recite the Sheva Brachos belongs to the entire wedding group, each individual does not need to be part of it. All one needs to do is make sure that there are ten men left at the end of the wedding to recite the blessings.

3. Harav Moshe Feinstein zt”l (Igros Moshe O.C. 1:56) disagrees with the aforementioned poskim. He feels that everyone who eats at the wedding meal is required to recite (or hear) the sheva brachos. He sources this in the words of the Shulchan Aruch (E.H. 62:11) who rules that if many wedding groups split up and eat in different rooms, each group, even the ones without the chosson, is required to recite sheva brachos. This seems to indicate that the obligation to recite sheva brachos belongs to everyone who ate bread at the meal (see also Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos 1:742 and Shaarei Halacha U’Minhag Lubavitch E.H. page 125).

Accordingly, one may not leave before the sheva brachos, even if he recites the birchas hamazon with the proper zimun. The Sefer Even Yisroel (8:82) proceeds to prove this point from the words of the rishonim. The Avudraham states that the obligation to recite the sheva brachos and the obligation to recite birchas hamazon are “one in the same and begins when one begins eating bread.” This leads the Even Yisroel to the same conclusion as Harav Moshe, that one may not leave the wedding before hearing the sheva brachos (see also shu”t Vayivarech David on Nisuin 89-90).

4. Harav Moshe understands that this is a very difficult obligation to fulfill, as many people cannot stay until the very end of the wedding. Harav Moshe offers a simple solution. At the beginning of the meal one should have specific intent that he does not want to be a part of the wedding meal. By having in mind that he does not want to be included in everyone else’s meal, but is rather eating alone, he will not be required to hear the sheva brachos or recite the zimun. Through this stipulation he has removed himself from the larger wedding meal and may leave whenever he wishes.

Harav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt”l would also endorse the solution of Harav Moshe Feinstein zt”l. Harav Chaim Kanievsky shlit”a likewise rules that if one must leave a wedding early he should stipulate before he eats that he does not intend to be included in the larger wedding meal (see Sefer Yismach Lev vol. 4 page 209-210).

5. It is reported that Harav Yaakov Kamanetzky zt”l also feels that the obligation belongs to everyone who ate bread at the wedding. Unlike Rav Moshe, however, he maintains that a stipulation would not help. Therefore, if one knows he cannot stay the whole time, he must make sure not to wash on bread or eat enough cake that would require him to recite birchas hamazon (Emes L’Yaakov on Shulchan Aruch E.H. 62).

6. Harav Pesach Feinhandler, in his Sefer Avnei Yashfei (3:20), notes that if one follows the approach of Harav Moshe and stipulates before the meal that he does not wish to be part of the wedding meal, he is not only exempt from the zimun, but may not be included in the zimun. However, it seems that the Rav of Debreczin (Beer Moshe 3:32) did not concur with this ruling.

7. The Sefer Hanisuin K’Hilchosom (page 521) cites the previous argument and adds that, “If the guest is not required to recite birchas hamazon, such as he only ate fruit and drinks, he may leave without hearing sheva brachos according to all authorities.”

[Hashevaynu’s Sunday Night Madness at Dave and Buster’s will take place on December 7th, for all information please go to hashevaynu.org]

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