Tuesday, November 29, 2011

ain m'arvin simcha b'simcha and sheva brachos

The Yerushalmi derives from Lavan's instruction to Ya'akov Avinu, "Malei shavua zos," to wait until sheva brachos with Leah are over before he marries Rachel, that one cannot mix two simchos together -- ain m'arvin simcha b'simcha.  Even though the Yerushalmi holds that one cannot learn halachos from events pre-mattan Torah, the pasuk establishes that one cannot emotionally dance at two weddings, i.e. it gives us an insight into the facts on the ground from which the halacha then follows (for more on this issue, see this post at Havolim). 

Based on this din, the Rambam paskens that one cannot get married on Yom Tov since ain m'arvin simcha b'simcha.  Yet, the Rambam also paskens that one is permitted to marry multiple wives at one time, so long as the sheva bracha of each is celebrated independently.  In other words, after one big wedding ceremony the chosson will in week 1 celebrate sheva brachos with wife#1, in week 2 he will celebrate sheva brachos with wife#2, and so on.  Why then can one not get married on Yom Tov and simply celebrate sheva brachos a week later after Yom Tov?  Just like one can get marry two wives simultaneously and celebrate the sheva brachos of wife #2 a week after the fact, why can't a person get married on Y"T and celebrate sheva brachos a week later? 

The Brisker Rav answers that there are two dinim in sheva brachos: 1) The person getting married has a special status as chosson; 2) A din in the simcha being celebrated not being interrupted.   

A person who marries multiple wives has a chalos shem chosson multiple times over.  The only concern is that the simcha of each wedding not interfere with any other wedding.  That can be accomplished by breaking up the sheva brachos into multiple weeks. 

However, if a person gets married on Yom Tov, the celebration of Yom Tov prevents the shem chosson from being chal.  It's not enough to put the sheva brachos after Yom Tov, because at the critical moment of chassuna the shem chosson will not fully take effect. 

I seem to recall once hearing (and I haven't seen it inside) this logic to explain why if a sheva brachos meal on the last day spills over into nightfall, sheva brachos should no longer be recited.  Even though when it comes to additions into bentching, e.g. ya'aleh v'yavo, al hanissim, we usually look at when the mean started, sheva brachos is an exception.  Since it is not the meal which obligates the recitation of sheva brachos, but rather it is the presence of the chosson and kallah, once the seventh day ends and the chosson no longer has that special status and chalos shem, the brachos cannot be said.


  1. Anonymous12:12 AM

    >>> answers

    but Rambam gives ain m'arvin simcha b'simcha(Brisker Rav 2), not the weakened shem(B.R. 1), as the reason for his Y"T psak

    (if for two newly married couples,
    4 people, at one sheva brachos, just a single set of blessings would be recited, then why not just
    a single set for two couples, 3?)

  2. It is the Ein me'arvin that prevents the shem chasan from being chal.

    By the way, in case your interested in the source for the din that if you finish the meal after shkiah that ends the seventh day that you do not go after the beginning of the seuda as one does by Shabbos and yomtov, it's here,
    http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=1640&st=&pgnum=38 which is the last paragraph of teshuva 28 in the Ginas Vradim, and he is pretty humdrum about it.

  3. Anonymous12:17 PM

    (never mind that the Rambam is saying one thing here & the Brisker Rav another,) would the failure to celebrate for 7 days invalidate the chassuna? of course
    not! the shem chosson applies
    independently of, & anterior to,
    sheva brachos; the person is not
    "getting" married, he already was!

    Rambam couples the 7 days of wedding celebration with the 7 days
    of mourning, in his very first law
    of avel; in the case of death on
    Y"T, the latter are suspended until after Y"T-- shall one then
    ask, but how can that be? the shem avel was never chal, as that would detract from the singular joy...

  4. Anonymous10:16 PM

    upon rereading, it's plain to see
    that comment 3 part 1 utterly fails
    to convey the following points--
    there's an implicit indication here
    that All 7 days of sheva brachos
    be celebrated "a week later" than
    marriage on Y"T-- the day of the
    chassuna would need to go uncounted, else the hava amina never starts (there would by definition be some degree of matrimonial joy competing with the
    joy of Y"T); & of course, if uncounted, if the wedding itself be other than deliberate joy proper, then the shem chosson Should be chal... meanwhile, if the shem can"[N]ot fully take effect" "at the critical moment of
    chassuna" because of rival joy, then Rambam's multiple wives operation falls apart, since it would mean multiple joys At The
    Time of marriage

  5. Anonymous5:32 PM

    thus ain m'arvin simcha b'simcha
    must mean, that we don't interrupt
    UNqualified joy-- yom tov & the last 6 days of sheva brachos are
    unqualifiedly joyous, so neither
    may be disturbed (by other, even lesser, joys); the day of marriage (the first day of the 7), is a Qualified joy-- the man undertakes responsibility then, to provide 3-ways for his wife, & the kesubah (while the woman, for her part, on that day loses either her father's house, or a certain degree of autonomy)--thus the immediate(day 1) joys of marriage to each of multiple wives--each a qualified joy--CAN mix with
    each other, can be interrupted

    {sidenote: while we musn't mix two 6-day periods of (unqualified) joy, we may mix [G-d forbid], & thus lessen, 2 shiva periods of unqualified grief: Harachaman Hu!}

  6. Anonymous, did you see the Brisker Rov inside? Where he distinguishes the Chasan's obligation of personal simcha, which is one day and cannot be chal on yomtov, and his obligation to be m'samei'ach his kallah, which is unaffected by yomtov?

  7. Anonymous2:24 PM

    >>> did you see the Brisker Rov inside?

    inside? inside?? who sees inside? gaze waitfully into space,
    okay, or expectantly out the window, maybe, but see inside?

    >>> ...which is one day

    how would "one day" make for
    "[T]wo dinim in sheva brachos"(Rav Chaim), rather than one such din + a marriage day din? isn't his personal simcha at time other than "the critical moment of chassuna"? why doesn't his chiyuv to m'samei'ach the kallah itself pose a threat to Y"T joy (maybe he'll be successful with her joy, but not his own)? on whom is what chiyuv during the remaining 6 days of celebration?
    ...how can the Rambam's chosson's
    multiple chiyuvs of personal simcha (1 per wife) mix with each other on day 1?