(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
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
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
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
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!
Both: MAZEL TOV!