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Showing Questions in 'Marriage Law/Philosophy'

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Question No. 1549
Category Marriage Law/Philosophy
Date Posted 18 Nov 2008
The Question Why did Avraham Ovenu send Eliezer to find a shidduch for Yitzchak Ovenu? Don't we have a rule that it is better to do the mitzvah yourself rather than through a shaliach? Also, it seems that the custom then was you had to pay a lot to get a good kallah. Today it is the chasan (or his father) that demand the apartment etc. I heard that one prominent rabbinical family asks for 2 apartments from the kallah's family - one to live in and the other to bring in income. Where is "honouring parents" if the children press them to take on debts they cannot bear to buy them apartments? What is the "kosher" Jewish approach? —Shimon Frais, Beit Shemesh
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1545
Category Marriage Law/Philosophy
Date Posted 16 Nov 2008
The Question Dear Rav Leff, Is it ok to pay a shadchan with a gift rather than with actual money? Thank you. —Anonymous, NY
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1529
Category Marriage Law/Philosophy
Date Posted 30 Oct 2008
The Question Should affection such as hugging and kissing be avoided in front of the parents' own children? What if avoiding these causes unhappiness to the wife? —Anonymous, United States
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1528
Category Marriage Law/Philosophy
Date Posted 9 Sep 2008
The Question As a baal tshuvah for 20 plus yrs now, how do I cope with my wife's unwillingness to make a total commitment to Torah Judaism? She agrees to "modern orthodoxy" (prviously 0% commitment), ex: having TVs, not covering her hair except for Shabbos etc, modern orthodox education for children. As a 50+ year old, it is painful to know precious time for our children especially (17, 12 & 3) are slipping away. The pain is although I know the right direction I am unable to traverse that direction for the family out of fear of the "unthinkable" thus I compromise? Thus the family (including myself) are dragged down by "compromising" our Judaism & "total" commitment towards hashem. —Anonymous, Brooklyn, NY
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1512
Category Marriage Law/Philosophy
Date Posted 23 Aug 2008
The Question Likvod Harav: May a Cohen marry the daughter of a convert? Does it make a difference whether it's the girl's mother or father that converted? Thank you. —Anonymous, Baltimore, MD
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1492
Category Marriage Law/Philosophy
Date Posted 23 Jun 2008
The Question My two first children, daughters, were born BEFORE my then husband (we are since divorced) converted Orthodox. Since their father was not Jewish when they were born, are they forbidden from marrying Cohanim? Their father converted when they were 6 and 3 years old. —Anonymous, Israel
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1474
Category Marriage Law/Philosophy
Date Posted 11 May 2008
The Question We are a young Orthodox Jewish couple in America (frum from birth) who had two years of unexplained infertility. We follow Lubavitch customs. My wife was extremely depressed (panic attacks, constant crying) because we had no children, so we called our Lubavitch rav who allowed us to do IUIs. We did two IUIs and they did not work, so our doctor suggested we do IVF which did work. However, we never asked the rav about IVF specifically. We were the only ones at our doctor doing IVF that week, so we are sure it's our child, that is not our worry. Our child is now two years old and we would like to ask our rav if we can do IVF again, but my wife is afraid he will be angry that we didn't ask him the first time or that he will not allow us to do IVF this time and we will have no more children (C"V). What do you suggest we do? I believe she will become extremely depressed if the rav does not allow her to do IVF. We would like to have many children and are excellent parents and have the funds. We have also heard that non-Lubavitch rabbanim are less strict. Please advise. —Anonymous, USA
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1468
Category Marriage Law/Philosophy
Date Posted 8 May 2008
The Question Should children of divorced parents attend a parent's second wedding? Any advice how to best prepare and help teenage children with this change in their lives? Thank you. —Anonymous, USA
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1464
Category Marriage Law/Philosophy
Date Posted 30 Apr 2008
The Question I have some technical questions concerning the halakha on rape. I had enquired of a Rabbi Ullman, but he said that he hadn't the time to answer. He also indicated that these were difficult questions and he recommended I contact you. Deuteronomy 22:29 mandates that a rapist must marry his victim, and moreover that he can never unilaterally dissolve the marriage. b. Ketubot 39b mandates that in the case of child rape, the victim has the right to refuse the marriage. Rambam, in sefer hilchot na'arah betulah, says that a rape victim or her father have the prerogative to refuse the marriage, but, in contrast to case of a seducer, if the marriage is desired, then the rapist must marry the girl. Rambam goes on to specify that in this case, the girl is not granted a ketubah, because the man cannot divorce her. Here are my questions: (1) Suppose that the rape victim and her father did desire the marriage. How would this marriage be ritually conducted? Is there any ceremony or documentation associated with it (since there is apparently no ketubah)? (2) If the rape victim and her father desire the marriage and the marriage is enacted, it is clear that the husband can never initiate divorce proceedings. But what if the wife, at some time in the future, desires a divorce? Is this possible? Normally in Jewish law a wife cannot initiate a divorce, but clearly this case is exceptional as there is no ketubah. Is there any mechanism by which she could unilaterally dissolve the marriage? (3) Suppose the rape victim is a qetanah, and the girl and her father desire the marriage (since otherwise she might have poor prospects in the future). How is this marriage effected? Doesn't the girl continue to live under her father's roof until she is a na'arah or a bogeret? If you could provide citations for the halakha in each case, that would be greatly appreciated. —Sam Meyerson, Chicago, IL USA
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1437
Category Marriage Law/Philosophy
Date Posted 18 Dec 2007
The Question Much honour to the Rav. Please could the Rav be so kind as to explain the origins for the rabbinic decree that unmarried yet monogamous heterosexual couples, may not be sexually active, even if the woman has been to mikveh properly and is not a niddah? It would seem from some of the cases in the gamara where Rav is known to ask people of towns he intends to visit to arrange a pilegesh for him that there is, or could easily be made, allowances for the specific case outlined. This seems like it is one rule for the sages and another for everyone else. I have heard varying explanations to this involving one-day marriages, that relations did not occur, etc, but the pshat reading of the text must be that it is a mere circumvention. It is also unclear how he diverges from the Rambam which states pilegesh are only available to melechim. As of today's times, where the pilegesh concept would fit the description above of unmarried monogamous couples, why do our rabbis have such a problem preventing single women from going to mikveh when they and their partner could get kareis if she doesn't? The Yaavetz would be ashamed, would he not? In our generation we are clearly not holding on the level of Rav anyway, and it would make perfect sense to remove the disdain that the rabbonim hold for such "unholy" relationships. —Jordan, Essex, UK
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1427
Category Marriage Law/Philosophy
Date Posted 8 Dec 2007
The Question I am B"H getting married in two months. I come from a modern orthodox family, but I moved in a yeshivish direction and am marrying into a yeshivish family. My parents are insisting that I have an entourage of bridesmaids like in a "normal" wedding. I have my reservations about it on two grounds: it seems that the custom of having bridesmaids is not a Jewish minhag, and therefore may be chukas hagoyim; it is also probably not so proper from a tznius perspective. Am I right? Are bridesmaids inappropriate for a Jewish wedding? What should I tell my parents so they don't think I'm making up issurim out of thin air? Thank you in advance. —Anonymous, USA
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1396
Category Marriage Law/Philosophy
Date Posted 19 Aug 2007
The Question I had a yeshivish wedding about 4 years ago. At the wedding for whatever reason I did not wash or eat bread. I did have mezonos - cake. Is there anything wrong with this or do I need to do something about it?? —Anonymous, Israel
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1345
Category Marriage Law/Philosophy
Date Posted 1 Jun 2007
The Question I am getting married, my fiance and I are Ashkenazi Jews and not religious. Which ketubah is the best for us, since there are so many different types, we have a hard time choosing. Our rabbi told us to look for an Ashkenazi ketubah, which we can't find, is there another name? —Anonymous, brooklyn NY
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1317
Category Marriage Law/Philosophy
Date Posted 25 Feb 2007
The Question My wife and I are divorced. My wife remarried. At our daughter's wedding she wants her new husband to stand with her under the chupah. I don't think this is right. What are your thoughts? —Anonymous, Tampa Florida
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1314
Category Marriage Law/Philosophy
Date Posted 24 Feb 2007
The Question K'vod HaRav Sh'lita, I thank the Rav for taking from his time to answer my questions. 1) I am the product of parents who were each married for the first time but whose marriage was officiated by conservative rabbis and cantors. IN addition my mother did not go to the Mikva before her wedding or any other timne for that matter. Are there any halachic matters which I should be concerned about? 2. My brother is getting married in America in a few months. The wedding will be officiated by conservative rabbis and I am concerned whether I should go or not. In addition as is usual at such weddings, there will probably be much pritzut such as inappropriate dress and mixed dancing. I am very concerned about going or taking my young children to see such things. On the other hand my not going will cause great anger in the family. What do I do? —Anonymous, Eretz Yisroel
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1296
Category Marriage Law/Philosophy
Date Posted 6 Feb 2007
The Question I am familiar with the gemara that "one's seed is good for the fetus", but other than that, is there a problem with using a condom when having relations with one's pregnant wife? It's not like one's seed has any potential in this case for conception in any event, so why should it matter? —Anonymous, New Jersey
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1270
Category Marriage Law/Philosophy
Date Posted 20 Jul 2006
The Question Dear Rav Leff, Does a marriage last beyond death? Can the Rav please provide some relevant sources? Thank you. —Anonymous, Jerusalem, Israel
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1202
Category Marriage Law/Philosophy
Date Posted 19 Feb 2006
The Question What halachic ramifications is there on a jewish girl having sexual relations with a goy? If someone is dating a girl who is now frum and finds out that years ago she had these relations is that cause alone to stop going out with her? —Anonymous, USA
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1200
Category Marriage Law/Philosophy
Date Posted 16 Feb 2006
The Question I am a little peeved regarding family purity laws since I have begun to follow them. They say it is supposed to bring a couple closer in non-physical ways. Here’s my story: month 1 I am not well so nothing happens. Month 2. My wife is out with the flu so nothing happens except towards the end she takes antibiotics and since she is on birth control pills (after asking a Rabbi) which are ineffective after antibiotics cannot do anything for the entire next month so month 3 goes by. Month 4 had our kids down with the flu and I start to not feel 100% but Boruch Hashem am okay enough that it doesn’t interfere with our lives. I think under normal circumstances family purity laws maybe okay, but they are driving me to distraction. In any case, if the reason is to bring a couple closer then if it doesn’t apply in my case since it is driving me crazy and I presume that it is not enough to nullify the rules, then why give these reasons to begin with or is it all just an outreach thing to convince people to start keeping the laws (I will be keeping them anyway even if it drives me insane in the process)? I thank the Rav for allowing me to express myself here and eagerly await his reply. —Steven, NY
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1181
Category Marriage Law/Philosophy
Date Posted 6 Jan 2006
The Question Thank you Rabbi Leff for your continued guidance.I am currently in shidduchim and I have asked a rebitzen and an older married friend but they have both said I should speak to someone bigger than themselves.I am aware I shy away from emotional intimacy and have worked on it so that B'H its less of a problem now however I fear I am scared of physical intimacy as well. Currently Im in a great shidduch that really looks promising but Im neutral regarding physical attraction and Im really worried to commit without that. I dont think I will ever be able to tell and I know he wont wait forever. What should I do? No one will advise me, I would be grateful for your comment. Thank you —Anonymous, London
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


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