Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov, author of Bnei Yisaschar (1783-1841)

Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov once posed the question: Why is our custom regarding the location of a wedding the opposite of the custom at the time of the Gemara? In the Gemara’s times, the kallah was brought from her father’s house to the chosson’s house, and the wedding took place there (Rashi on Kesubos 15b). But our custom is that the kallah’s parents make the wedding in their place, and the chosson comes to the kallah. He answers by quoting the Zohar (Vayikra 6a) where Rabbi Acha asked Rabbi Shimon the meaning of the verse, “The virgin of Israel has fallen and will never get up.” (Amos 5:2) Rabbi Shimon replied that it means that in the final redemption, Israel will not get up on her own as she did in previous redemptions, such as in Babylonia where the Jews went back with permission from the king. She is not allowed to do so, for Hashem adjured us not to arouse or awaken the love before its time (Kesubos 111a). Rather she will wait in her place in exile until Hashem Himself comes and helps her up. This is why the later generations established the custom of having the wedding in the place of the kallah, and the chosson comes to her to rejoice with her – the chosson symbolizes Hashem, who will come back to the Jewish people in exile. Indeed, all Israel’s customs are prophecy, for they are the children of prophets! (Bracha Meshuleshes on Chullin Chapter 5, Mishnah 3)


Rabbinic Quotations