Beis HaMedrash L’Shluchim offers course on officiating Jewish weddings, endorsed by Israeli Rabbanut.
Every Jewish wedding is replete with significance, and each detail of the marriage ceremony is filled with nuance. What should be done if there are fewer than 10 men present at a chuppah? May the rabbi serve as a witness? What to do if they forgot to bring the ring? What should be done if the kesuba misstates the name of the city? For any rabbi involved in officiating at weddings, a comprehensive knowledge of the halachos of siddur kiddushin — performing a Jewish marriage — is essential to ensure that he can make the right decisions on the spot, decisions with enormous implications for the halachic validity of the wedding.
Beis HaMedrash L’Shluchim, a division of Merkos Suite 302, just completed the second annual comprehensive course for shluchim on all the requisite marriage halachos. The shiurim throughout this four-month course were given by Rabbi Yitzchok Kravitsky, head of Machon Havineini, and Rabbi Mordechai Farkash, shliach and rav in Bellevue, Washington. Over 80 shluchim from around the world participated in the shiurim, which featured an in-depth curriculum exploring the rulings of the Shulchan Aruch, laterhalachic authorities, and contemporary poskim. Subjects covered included the halachos of kosher witnesses, the chuppa, the kesuba, the ring, the terms used to effect the marriage, Sheva Brachos and the process of the t’noim and chasuna, among other topics. Following the course participants were tested on their knowledge.
In addition to the in-depth course, 30 shluchim participated in a full day of training on the more intricate details and scenarios that can arise during a Jewish wedding. The course was led by Rabbi Yochanan Gurary, Cholon Chief Rabbi and a member of Beis Din Rabbonei Chabad in Eretz Yisroel as well as Rabbi Pinchas Althaus, member of the Cholon Rabbinate and head of its marriage department. The participants will be recognized by the Israeli Rabbinate and receive a certificate — signed by the Ashkenazi and Sephardi chief rabbis — accrediting them to perform marriages in Israel, and recognizing the marriages they perform abroad as well.
“I highly recommend this course,” said Rabbi Yossi Shanowitz of Chabad of Westmount, Quebec, Canada. “It is well presented, thorough, with real-life practical applications and scenarios. This is definitely a must for any Shliach who is involved in officiating a marriage. Rabbis Gurary, Farkash, Althaus, and Kravitsky each bring their expertise to this fantastic and vital initiative. Yasher Koach!”
One Lubavitch Rov shared with Anash.org on the importance of such a course.
“The Alter Rebbe writes in Hilchos Talmud Torah that there is a form of learning that is important so that one knows when to ask a shailah. So although it is of course not feasible to become thoroughly familiar with the intricate laws of kidushin (tiv gittin v’kidushin) through a course of several weeks, nonetheless, such a course is crucial for shluchim who are required to arrange weddings so that they are familiar with the issues and they can recognize a shailah when they encounter one.”
The marriage halachos course is the latest in the series of courses and shiurim provided by Beis HaMedrash L’Shluchim and intended to enrich and refresh the shluchim’s proficiency in halacha. Over the summer, Beis HaMedrash L’Shluchim will be hosting a refresher course on the halachos of basar b’cholov, a practical and vital set of dinim. For more information, visit: