Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Attending Mom's Wedding

By: Rabbi Ari Enkin

There is a somewhat widespread custom for children not to attend the wedding of a parent, especially a mother's remarriage following a divorce from their father.

As Rabbi Chaim David Halevi writes:

"Although I have not been able to find a clear source for this custom, it appears to me that the reason is because as long as their mother has not remarried there is still the hope and possibility that she will remarry their father, her former husband. However, once she has married another man she becomes permanently forbidden to her former husband. Therefore, it is not appropriate for children to take part in an event which permanently prohibits their parents from possible reconciliation.

Click here to read moreAnother reason for children not to attend their mother's remarriage is because once she remarries, the children become obligated to show honor to her new husband (Y.D. 240:21). As such, it is not appropriate for children to attend an event which requires them to now share their obligation of honoring "parents", extending it from their father to now having to include their new stepfather."

As can be seen, ultimately, the reason that children should not attend the remarriage of their mother is in deference to their father, namely, in order to ensure that they not slight the honor that is due their father. Most children do not attend the remarriage of their widow mother, either. It seems, however, that this is more for emotional reasons than halachic ones.


[1] Aseh Lecha Rav 4:57

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