Printing Pesukim In Wedding Invitations

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

1. Many people print pesukim that are related to marriage in the invitations. The poskim point out that one may not discard an invitation if it contains within it pesukim (Shu”t Radvaz 2:45, see also Ain Yitzchak Orach Chaim 5). Therefore, one should not print a posuk or a message from chazal in the invitation because an invitation is generally discarded (Halichos Shlomo chapter 20 note 72 and Sefer Yivakshu Mipihu Shaar 4 Chapter4 ).

2. Harav Moshe Feinstein zt”l (Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah 2:135) opposes printing pesukim in invitations and flyers, as he writes, “For my children’s wedding I refrained from printing any verses in the invitation, not even the phrase Kol Sasson V’Kol Simcha. It would be advisable for others to follow this approach.”
3. Some change the format of the posuk and write it on two different lines. They believe that because it is not read as one verse, its’ status as a verse is removed. Based on this, some poskim, including Harav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt”l (Yivakshu Mipihu ibid.) and ybc”l Harav Yisroel Belsky shlit”a (Hallachically Speaking Vol. 3 Issue 12), say that one should write the phrases of Kol Sasson – V’Kol Simcha – Kol Chosson – V’Kol Kallah on different lines. Many poskim maintain that one should not print any pesukim in the invitation even in the aforementioned manner (Hanisuin K’Hilchosom vol. 2 page 485 and Shu”t Ateres Paz Yoreh Deah 3:5).

4. Harav Binyamin Zilber zt”l (Az Nidberu 7:65:2) discusses the permissibility of discarding an invitation that contains the words Od Yeshama B’Arei Yehuda. Harav Zilber rules that we treat it as a verse of the Torah, even though it is taken from two different parts of one posuk (Yirmiyahu 33:10), and one is not allowed to discard it in the trash, unless it is wrapped in a covering beforehand. A similar prohibitive view is expressed by Harav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt”l.

5. However, Harav Noach Isaac Oelbaum shlit”a, in a letter addressed to the author, writes that many rule leniently and print invitations that contain the words Od Yeshama etc. and Kol Sasson etc. Since these are not complete verses they are not as sacred and one need not be concerned with throwing them away. He adds that while it is beneficial to be stringent, nevertheless, those who rule leniently are permitted to do so.

6. Harav David Harfenes (Vayivarech David 1:114) maintains that the phrase Naaleh Es Yerushalayim Al Rosh Smchaseinu is not a verse because the verse is actually Aaleh Es etc. and may therefore be printed in any invitation.

7. Rav Moshe Heineman shlit”a, in an article published on the Star – K website, writes that the verse of Od Yeshoma is most often used as a melitza (common expression or figure of speech) and is not written on the invitation as a posuk. For this reason he argues that one may print invitations with the entire posuk. He continues on to say that one who receives such an invitation may throw it away.

8. Harav Betzalel Rudinsky shlit”a writes (Mishkan Betzalel on Nisuin) that for his daughter’s wedding invitation he placed a dot in between each word of the verse (for example, Kol Chosson), which is obviously not the normal way of writing pesukim. This way it is clear that the pesukim are merely being used as a melitza.

9. Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt”l feels that printing pesukim in an invitation is not allowed even if it is printed in the shape of a rainbow or circle. A similar view is expressed by Harav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt”l.

10. One is permitted to throw away an invitation that contains the acronym bs”d (short for besiyata deshmaya- meaning “with the help of Heaven”). However one may not discard an invitation that contains the acronym b”h (short for baruch Hashem- meaning blessed be G-d, or b’chasdei Hashem- meaning with the grace of G-d). (Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah 2:138)

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