Have we strayed on Sheva Brachos?

The following was from Rav Aviner. These days, it seems to have become de jure, and it’s almost as if you feel “sorry” for someone who doesn’t have them each day. Would we be better off giving Tzedaka? It’s a difficult question as it can’t be generalised, of course.

Q: Is there an obligation to have Sheva Berachot all 7 days?

A: No. Whatever is most comfortable for the groom and bride. After all, it is to bring them joy and not to burden them (Re’im Ahuvim pp. 165-169. And Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein related that when he got married they only had Sheva Berachot on Shabbat, and not on all 7 days as is customary today. Reshumei Aharon Volume 1, p. 18. And Ha-Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach once lamented this practice and quoted what the Chatam Sofer wrote in his responsa Even Ha-Ezer #122: “That someone once had Sheva Berachot on Shabbat and the entire community mocked him”, and that the Aruch Ha-Shulchan wrote in Hilchot Sukkah #640 that we do not have the custom to have Sheva Berachot every day. Meged Givot Olam Volume 2, p. 72).

Author: pitputim

I'm a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia. I skylark as the band leader/singer for the Schnapps band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel.

6 thoughts on “Have we strayed on Sheva Brachos?”

  1. Many years ago while I was walking in the street late at night, I was stopped by a person known to me, who told me that he needs a Tzenter, I thought that somebody is about to die, so I agreed to be the Tzenter, but when I entered his home I realized that he needed a Tzenter for the Sheva Brachot, of a Chosson and Kalo that didn’t know me, and I didn’t know them, and I was thinking to myself what should I do, in the end I decided to stay, as I will be Mesameiach the Chssson and Kallo by freeing them from the burden of spending another night with people they don’t know.

    Having Sheva Brachot every night may be a problem, as the purpose of the Seudot is that the Chosson’s and Kalo’s parents, are able to invite the people that they didn’t invite to the wedding, and aren’t made for the Chosson and Kalo.

    See link:

    http://db.tt/tA0NEyUj

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    1. quoted what the Chatam Sofer wrote in his responsa Even Ha-Ezer #122: “That someone once had Sheva Berachot on Shabbat and the entire community mocked him

      Oy vey. Have you checked the Chasam Sofer inside? He’s not talking about making seudos every days, he’s talking about how long one says the 7 brachos. He mentions that the minhag in Germany was not to say the brachos after the first day, and that once a rov told someone to day them on shabbos and everyone talked about it, and he gives a limud zechus for this minhag, but he does not approve of it, and he writes clearly that “in these areas” (i.e. Pressburg) we say the sheva brachos all week, as is the plain din. The actual teshuvah is about whether you can say them after the week, and he finds a heter for that too.

      Now consider what you’re saying when you cite this against making sheva brochos every day. You’re not saying just that it’s not necessary to have a party every day, you’re saying that the brochos should not be said, contrary to the shulchon oruch. Once you agree that the brochos should be said all week, then it follows that each meal at which they are said is a seudas mitzvah.

      Indeed, if you look at the teshuvah you’ll notice that there’s mention of special meals during the week, even when the brochos were not being said. So not saying the brochos (because for one reason or another that was the local minhag) didn’t get you out of the social obligation of the seudos!

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      1. No I haven’t (yet) looked at the Chasam Sofer, however, the following is interesting.

        שבע ברכות
        ש: האם יש חובה לחגוג ז’ ברכות כל יום?
        ת: לא. כפי שנוח לחתן ולכלה. הרי זה כדי לשמח אותם, ולא כדי להטריחם (ריעים אהובים 169-165. וסיפר הגר”מ פיינשטיין כשהתחתן עשו שבע ברכות רק ביום שבת בלבד ולא כל שבעה כנהוג בימינו. רשומי אהרן א יח. ופעם בתוך דבריו של הגרש”ז אוירבך, הוא נאנח על מה ולמה כלל ישראל בזמננו נוהג לעשות שבע ברכות בכל יום ויום, והוא ציטט את לשונו של החת”ס בתשובה אה”ע קכב: “שפעם אחת עשה א’ סעודת שבע ברכות בשבת, ולעזה עליו כל המדינה”, וכ”מ בערה”ש בהל’ סוכה סי’ תרמ שאין אנו נוהגים לעשות סעודת שבע ברכות בכל יום. מגד גבעות עולם ב עב – מ”צ).

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        1. Yes, the Chasam Sofer writes that loshon, but not approvingly! He writes that this was the minhag in Frankfurt, and when a rov told someone to say sheva brochos on Shabbos it was the talk of the town, and he finds a limud zechus on this minhag, but he does not approve of it, and he says explicitly that “here” (i.e. in Pressburg) we do not have that minhag.

          But he is not talking about how often to have parties, he is talking about saying the brochos at all. Not saying the brochos didn’t get you out of the socially obligatory parties. So it’s irrelevant and misleading to quote him in the context of the question being discussed.

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