Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

8 Adar II 5760 - March 15, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Home and Family
Venahapoch Hu
I.C.U. Grin

(A sigh of relief was heard in the Torah community with the public appeal of Gedolei Yisorel and Roshei Yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel for families marrying off children to evenly divide between themselves the expenses of the wedding and purchase of an apartment. In the season's spirit of "Venahapoch hu", we here present a switch in the sort of negotiations which precede the "Mazel Tov" of a completed shidduch.)


Chosson's father: Well, you are certainly aware that you have the z'chus of considering as a chosson the best bochur in the world's greatest yeshiva. His rabbeim say he is sure to become one of the gedolim of the next generation. How much are you ready to pay for him?

Kalla's father: We certainly heard wonderful things about your son but I have married off three other children in the last two years so that I cannot afford more than fifty thousand dollars.

Chosson's Father: Fifty thousand dollars! Why, that will barely cover the cost of a new Borsalino and the imported ceramic tiles for the Pesach kitchen in their Bnei Brak apartment.

Kalla's Father: Bnei Brak apartment? Did you expect me to come up with a quarter of a million dollars?

Chosson's Father: What did YOU think? That I was going to bury such an outstanding boy in some remote place like Kiryat Sefer, Beitar or Elad? Listen, if you insist, I have no objection to your buying them an apartment in one of those places in addition to the four room one in Bnei Brak for the couple can rent out and have a little extra income in addition to what you will give them every month.

Kalla's Father: Support every month? Two apartments, a wedding in the fanciest hall in Ramat Gan and the fanciest furniture and appliances? That comes close to half a million dollars! What do think I am - a millionaire?

Chosson's Father: My son deserves a "siddur super molei" - that is, the works, which includes a recent model car, which you studiously forgot to mention. You don't expect him to travel by PUBLIC transportation! If you are looking for a bargain, I suggest you look elsewhere.


Chosson's Father: My son is, indeed, the best bochur in the top yeshiva. But I know that you have married off three children in two years and that your means are limited. So, in accordance with what the rabbonim have ruled, I am ready to go fifty-fifty with you on everything - a small apartment in one of the `projects', a modest wedding and the simplest of furnishings.

Kalla's Father: That's just what I can afford and I'm sure your son will still have the opportunity to develop his great potential. But if we're going fifty-fifty on the wedding and housing expenses, perhaps we can persuade the chosson and kalla to go fifty-fifty with the wedding arrangements.

Chosson's Father: What, exactly, does that mean? Aren't WE paying for the wedding?

Kalla's Father: I don't mean money; I mean time. If they write on the invitation that the chupa will take place at six o'clock, how about going fifty-fifty and only starting it three quarters of an hour later instead of an hour and a half?

Chosson's Father: I get the idea. Let's add to that a suggestion that they keep the guests waiting before they emerge from the yichud room and the photographers only half an hour instead of an hour. Fifty-fifty. And while we're at it, how about adding another fifty-fifty by cutting down the volume of the chareidi rock music by half so that we won't have to wear ear plugs and we can actually hear the good wishes of all our guests?

Kalla's Father: This fifty-fifty plan is a real lifesaver. But come to think of it, wasn't there always some sort of fifty-fifty arrangement at weddings? Didn't the chosson's side and the kalla's side split the `honors' at the chupa and the sheva brochos following the meal?

Chosson's Father: The biggest fifty-fifty of all was that each side provided one half of the couple which would build a Bayis Ne'emon B'Yisroel!



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