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Mar 19, 2020

Interesting Psak: Weddings during Omer

The critical situation around the world and in Israel has generated a number of interesting piskei halacha, some of which have already been posted here. Here is another one.

Chief Rabbi Dovid Lau has paskened that anybody who has had to postpone a scheduled wedding, due to the COVID-19 crisis, will be able to have the wedding during sefiras haomer, when it is normally customary to not have weddings. Rav Lau explained that he is allowing this as a one time allowance, not for future years. Also, it will only be allowed during parts of the Omer in which some communities allow weddings (as far as I know, that would allow the entire Omer, as each part of the Omer has some people allowing weddings).

Rav Lau explains that pushing off weddings is a very difficult and damaging thing. Rav Lau says he told people not to push off the chuppa but to hold a very small event with a small number of attendees and get married, and if necessary have a party later with the friends when the crisis blows over. He is still encouraging engaged couples to get married before the holiday. However, some cannot or will not, and the crunch time because of the Omer will cause too long a delay and therefore he has paskened to allow weddings during the Omer for affected couples.
sources: Kikar, Actualic

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  1. There is a time in the Omer when nobody gets married - from Rosh Chodesh Iyar until Lag b'Omer.

    Rav Lau's psak is not that much of a Chidush, as one is allowed to change the portion of the Omer in which he observes Aveilus at will, without needing Hataras Nedarim. I asked my Rosh Yeshiva about this when I was getting married, as I had always held the first part of the Omer - but for various reasons, right after Pesach was the best time to make the wedding. My Rosh Yeshiva said I should just observe the Aveilus of Sefira from Rosh Chodesh Iyar to the Shloshes Yemei Hagbala instead - and said that no Hataras Nedarim was needed, as it's only needed if one stops a Hanhaga Tova - and observing one part of Sefira is no more "Tov" than the other.

    1. you are right. that's the slot that is problematic for everybody.
      the chidush of Rav Lau's psak is that this year you can have a wedding without changing your custom of which part of the omer to keep


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