Karlin Rebbe Presents Israeli Simcha Initiative: Low-Cost Minimalistic Weddings, One Singer


JERUSALEM (VINnews) — During the coronavirus outbreak numerous simcha initiatives have sprouted up in an attempt to cut the spiraling costs of simchas even after wedding halls will once again be permitted for public use.

The Karlin Chasidus published a list of new directives which are designed to reduce wedding costs as well as limiting the number of participants and accessories.

The new directives call for smaller weddings with a reduced number of participants even from extended families. The Rebbe also requested that the musical accompaniment be gentle and not involve many instruments or singers.

The directives also refer to other simchas and require them when possible to take place in a private house. When the apartment or house is too small, neighbors should be asked to entertain in their house with the women in one house and the men in another.

The directives even detail what can be served at a Kiddusha Rabba and emphasize that these should be prepared by the shul’s gabbaim and not by the Baalei Simcha, who must just foot the bill for the Simcha.

Bar Mitzvah will not be celebrated in a hall but rather in shul with a kiddush in accordance with the above directives. No family from out of town besides grandparents should attend these affairs. Alternatively the Bar Mitzvah boy can have a kiddush on the day of his Bar Mitzvah for extended family with the same directives referring to the kiddush applying.

As for weddings, the directives place a cap on shadchanus money which should not be more than 4000 NIS (1200$) per side.

The vort should take place in the private home of a family member and only immediate family and very close friends will be invited. No catering will be allowed for this event.

The Rebbe recommends not printing invitations but rather placing announcements in shuls on mail lists or telephone announcements.

For Shabbos Choson and Shabbos Sheva Brochos the meals should be in the house of the chasan’s/kallah’s parents. If this is technically unfeasible they should “rent a small cheap hall.” The Kallah’s parents can be invited to the Shabbos Choson without married children.

Weddings should take place in a hall which is not rented for more than 3000 NIS (900$) and which does not have a minimum number of portions to pay for. The Seudas Mitzvah should include immediate family members and their offspring as well as brothers of the parents but without their married offspring and a small number of close friends. The band should be an organist alone and when necessary one other singer or instrument.

Regarding the Mitzvah Tantz the Rebbe ruled that it should be done quickly and much earlier than is the custom. There shouldn’t be gramen and announcements of who will dance should retain simplicity. Only Mechutanim, grandparents and the Chasan should dance unless a prominent rabbi is present who can also be honored.

The rebbe added that those who are marrying members of other chasidic groups should also try and maintain the directives as much as possible.

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  1. I am all for this, these Chasunas are out of control and not even for the choson and kallah. It’s really the entire wedding industry. People taking out loans for this crap.

  2. OK let’s see how many people want to ignore their wider, but still close, family and close friends when they make a Simcha.

    I am one of 13 siblings all of whom are married and all of whom have at least five married children. That is there are 24 uncles and aunts and 60 cousins. We are a close family and all make every effort to join in each others simchos. Aside of our nephews and nieces, we are also fond of many of their children, a few of who are themselves married. Why should we not enjoy having a Simcha with our family? What possible reason is there for this? Just because there was a plague, do we all have to remain hermits forever, ignoring those nearest and dearest to us. Those also include the 20 members of my Daf Yomi and their wives as well as the 15 members of my wife’s regular weekly shiur group. That is before we get round to those she and I both work with, some of whom we have B”H succeeded in bringing much close to Torah and Mitzvos than they were before they met us. B”H I am not a member of this Chassidus!

    • The Norah biyehuda also passed such laws. If u have a big family, you ca recalibrate. The guidelines and principles are what’s important. You dont need 2 foot centerpieces

    • c’mon – you know that there are exceptions to every rule. if you have such a large family, first of all shkoiach to you,and of course, let them all attend – it’s the small and medium-size families we are dealing with.
      and by the way, the noise of those musical bands nowadays are horrible and disgusting – like it says in the article: “The Rebbe also requested that the musical accompaniment be gentle and not involve many instruments or singers.” kol hakavod to this rebbe – let’s hope others follow in his footstep !

  3. I once went to a kiddish in Stolin in Boro Park. I was amazed. no fancy cakes only sponge and marble cake. I was told that the shul has a minhag to serve something hot so they make a pareve in house cholent. I was most amazed that when I wanted to give lechayim I was looking for the shnapps there was only wine. I was told a few years ago balai simcha were buying expensive shnapps, so the rebbe made a takana no shnapps.

  4. How about abolishing the shtreimel, the expensive fur hat traditionally made from a חיה טמאה, worn by many Hasidic sects?

    This Rebbe can lead in this matter.

  5. No smorg, sponge cake and water, then you can invite 200, they leave at the meal served for immediate family only, cut out the expensive jewelry gifts, cut out sheva brachos except for 1 Shabbos meal.
    It can be done .

  6. I understand that for dancing all friends and extended family can and should be invited to participate in the Simcha, I totally agree with these new rules.

    How many 1000’s go in the garbage from over estimating portions, fancy halls and bands… The list goes on.

    I read this is for Israel and would hope he takes the initiative to America where I’d assume there’ll be adjustments as we aren’t the same.

  7. Everything the Stolin Rebbe suggest is so correct! except in my humble opinion PLEASE DON’T UNDERPAY THE SHADCHUNIM they work so hard & sometimes months & months till a Shiddech finally happens.
    Aderabeh if Chasenah expenses go down then maybe give more to the Shadchen/te.
    Hatzluche & of Simches!

    • I don’t want to downplay anything the shadchen does. And I will talk only from my personal experience. I have children that did it the chasidishe way and in a week we b”h had a lechayim. A few of my children did the yeshivisha way and went out for a few dates. It is true that often the shadchen plays an important go between between the two sides. However, there were often times all the shadchen did was basically give each side a name to look into. In the chasidishe circles where the families know each other already, this can happen, and by many litvisha after they get a name it is often the boy and girl who do the leg work. In this case why does the shadchen deserve $2000 from each side?

    • OK and what about the caterers, photographers, musicians, hall owners, dress manufacturers, sheitel and shtreimel manufacturers, etc. etc etc. who are all going to be done out of parnossa? This sort of takona sounds like communism in action. We all have to have the same and it is produced by the State, for which read “prepared by the shul’s gabbaim and not by the Baalei Simcha, who must just foot the bill for the Simcha”. This is not the way Yiddishkeit works. And one thing you can be 100% sure of, it will not work that way for the Rebbes themselves or anyone else who has dedicated the Yeshiva Gedola or the Rebbe’s Tisch Room, etc. etc. They will all be special, of course this doesn’t apply to them. Get over it. The Eibishte gives people the money they have. We have free choice so let us spend it how we wish. If the same way as we cannot eat treif meat because it is specifically mentioned in the 613 mitzvot, so if we could only spend so much on chassenses or Bar Mitzvahs, that would also have been mentioned. Rosh Yeshivas and Rebbes seek to control. The Eibishte has set out the rules we need to keep not a bunch of other things to let other’s control our lives.

      • You’re very wrong. your premise that all those you mention won’t have paranosa is wrong. They may have to change their business format but most businesses can adjust. In the last 5780 years anytime a new invention came out or even seforim people were worried. When the Rambam was published there were gedolim who were concerned people won’t learn gemara. When the sewing machine was invented the tailors in France almost revolted. Only 20 years ago a 6 piece band was the norm. Because I can send email do I have to be concerned about the printers.

  8. I wish that there were more rabbis and rebbes like the Karliner. What he says is precious.
    We over over over do it for all simchas. People are constantly coming to the door for tzadaka to make weddings or buy apartments. I get invites and feel that I HAVE to go to wish mazel tov.
    Better to have a small but heart felt simcha that have to borrow and go into debt to have a face saving event that isn’t a real simcha but just worries on how to pay for it, and that next, I too have to do something like it.

  9. @lazy-boy No one is condoning going into debt or banging on other people’s doors late at night demanding cash to make a simcha. Some people live in big houses, some people have a vacation home as well. Some people have daily help, some people can’t afford it. Some people learn daily from a leather-bound Shas, some use a paperbound edition. Some people make lavish simchas other don’t. Stop trying to control, i.e. forbid what the Eibishet hasn’t forbidden. And please don’t tell me Roshei Yeshivas or Rebbes have a direct line to heaven to know what the Eibishte wants. That message came down at Sinai and is unchangeable to make us conform to “the current situation”. If “the current situation”: can change the way we make simchas, the next step is that it can change the way we do other things, that are forbidden by the Torah, unlike lavish simchas which are not.

      • I think what this person may be alluding to is that the Karlin Stolin Rebbe made these guidelines for HIS chassidim. This is not indicative of what the rest of the world could or should be doing.

        Hence, he will often request that published pieces remain within the chassidus as they work here but not necessarily there.

        Kinda like Chanoch L’naar Al Pi Darko– the Rebbe is not trying to be Mechanech the world

  10. Long overdue.

    My son told me he wants to marry. Asked him “can you provide for a wife and family”?

    His answer…”That’s what you are there for”.

    Told him to have a nice day.

    End of the story.

  11. @ stubby Please, don’t make a fool of this Rebbe and yourself. I heard that his Chassidim have to pay to enable them to go to his family chassenes which are very large lavish affairs, as befits a Rebbe, or someone with enough ready cash to make a large chassene without going begging.

    And @ for stolin only, “Its for his people only. It was not meant to go on the media” there is no such thing today. Once something is out it is out. If it was meant for internal reading only at least one of the Chassidim has been a naughty boy!

    • As someone who has been to most of the Rebbe’s simchos, this is comical. They take place in large hangar like halls to accommodate all who want to come. Food….well there are rolls and salatim. The year that the Mosdos hadn’t paid up Rebbeim, the Rebbe forbade the serving of anything else to anyone other than the immediate family for seudas mitzvah. At the other weddings they serve platters of schnitzel and rice. No dessert other than sliced sponge cakes buffet style. The gowns are simple. The flowers are simple and small.

      Nobody making a “small” wedding would make it on this low a scale.

      So yea it is large as everyone wants to come (I for one would be upset if that number was barred) but it is not grand by any means.

      I’m not sure if this was a straight translation but my friend in Israel who is Karlin said the Rebbe is only limiting the number of guests for meals. Obviously anyone and everyone can come to say Mazal Tov.


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