Thursday, 22 Shevat, 5784
  |  February 1, 2024

The Disturbing Shifts in Simchas and Marriages

Op-Ed by Rabbi Gershon Avtzon: "We are coming from Yud-Daled Kislev, so it is a fitting time to have an open and honest discussion on the recent trends in Simchas in general and weddings in particular." Full Story

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A little too far
December 1, 2023 12:12 am

The good Rabbi Avtzon had been on quite a streak recently, with several quality pieces that appealed to a very broad audience.

This one was way over the top. Stay in your lane.

Stay in your lane
Reply to  A little too far
December 1, 2023 1:06 am

Shame on you

Reply to  A little too far
December 1, 2023 1:14 am

This was not over the top. All of the things he said were from the Rebbe and if that is too much for you then maybe you are in the wrong lane

Not at all.
Reply to  A little too far
December 1, 2023 3:09 am

I’m 31 and nearing our tenth anniversary. Im a girl who hopes to live an elevated life influenced by the teachings of Torah and Chassidus but also enjoyes fashion, restaurants, beauty and enjoying life.

Everything he said resounded. These are the standards we lived with and that protected us and helped our life and marriage flourish till now.

Now that I have younger relatives getting married, I’m sad to see how much the norm has changed in the last ten years.

Thanks for sharing the truth!

Do you think
Reply to  A little too far
December 1, 2023 8:36 am

…that the purpose of an article is “to appeal to a broad audience”? It’s to tell the emes, whether the “broad audience” likes it or not.

speaking of weddings
Reply to  A little too far
December 1, 2023 9:26 am

let’s talk about a bigger problem
what is everyone going to do to solve the shidduch crisis, and also the intermarriage crisis among tinok shinoshbas

Oh come on.
December 1, 2023 12:18 am

Can you just stop ranting over and over again about the same rehashed topics and just thank Hashem that our kids are marrying Frum Lubavitchers?? Sheesh, boomers are never gonna change.

Stop hating haters
Reply to  Oh come on.
December 1, 2023 1:16 am

אויב גוט איז גוט איז בעסער ניט בעסער? Stop with the soft bigotry of low expectations. We don’t have to refuse to talk about how things should be just because they’re not freing out. There’s no reason we shouldn’t expect the standard to be where it should be. Yes of course there will be people who are higher and lower than the standard and that’s the be expected, but it is a problem when the standard itself moves. That is something that cannot be ignored and it is good that it is being addressed. We cannot lose sight of what… Read more »

Not at all again.
Reply to  Stop hating haters
December 1, 2023 3:11 am

So glad no one gave up on me and was just glad I married a Frum Lubavitcher. So glad our sacred values were passed on to me so that I could BENEFIT.

He's no
Reply to  Stop hating haters
December 1, 2023 12:16 pm

Boomer 🤣

Reply to  Oh come on.
December 1, 2023 11:33 am

I think Rabbi Avtzon is probably Gen X, not Boomer.

He's actually an oldest group of millenials
Reply to  Boomers?
December 4, 2023 5:54 pm

Around 1980 – so boom to the boomer comment. And thank you Rabbi Avtzon for putting out a piece that saves marriages, those who can’t splurge from embarrasment, those who can splurge from being forced to do so and attacks the insane lack of standards that ruins lives.

Reply to  Oh come on.
December 1, 2023 1:38 pm

We strive for higher standards

December 1, 2023 12:22 am

I think you see many things with a strong lack of positivity.

Reply to  Negative
December 1, 2023 1:17 am

That’s not a real claim.

To vacuous
Reply to  Vacuous
December 1, 2023 8:25 am

Why the defensiveness. Since when do claims need to be made for someone to be negative

Proper balance
December 1, 2023 12:38 am

It’s always important to strike a healthy balance. My husband was very into being a kollel guy and not doing a honeymoon so he refused to go anywhere with me during shanah rishona and that wasn’t very healthy either. Similarly, we never spent any time with other couples where he may have picked some healthy ideas of what husbands do. True it’s not healthy to often spend time with other couples as it leads to comparing etc. But we were told to never do it and that wasn’t healthy either as he didn’t have any marriage models except his parents.… Read more »

About l'chaims
December 1, 2023 12:49 am

I remember going to l’chaims in houses when first becoming frum…so much more inspiring- the event felt more focused on the couple, the joy. Now there is so much more unnecessary glitz- and unnecessary money being spent.

I could not agree more.
Reply to  About l'chaims
December 1, 2023 1:19 am

Get some lechaim a bunch of cheap for farbaison and everyone will be happy. No need to pay for everyone’s fourth dinner that night.

Way out of place
Reply to  About l'chaims
December 1, 2023 12:09 pm

As a person coming into the frum world you should know there is no right to judge or say what is unnecessary… let people live there life how they want just like you do

both ffb and tinok shinoshbas who found Torah
Reply to  Way out of place
December 3, 2023 12:09 am

are both equally bound by all lashon hara rules
tinoks who found Torah do not have less “rights” to judge or say things. Obviously no one should judge except for when Torah tells us to.

You've mentioned the fundamental lacking point
December 1, 2023 12:52 am

A bracha by the Rebbe before to get engaged. Ummm…. many of Anash and Shluchim alike are going to the ohel to receive a Bracha but are disobeying the Rebbes instructions through Igros Kodesh. You cant disobey the Rebbe and not expect consequences that follow. You can build a home based on your definition of being jewish but definitely not the Rebbes beliefs of what Chabad stands for. If you have the foundation wrong expect everything to follow suite to be wrong.

To love your fellow Jew 🎶
Reply to  You've mentioned the fundamental lacking point
December 1, 2023 2:48 am

I’m sure the Rebbe loves your comment

Yup he does because I dont lie
Reply to  To love your fellow Jew 🎶
December 1, 2023 9:32 am

I’m sure the Rebbe is displeased by a lot what’s going on. Stop lieing to yourself.

Not so clear
Reply to  You've mentioned the fundamental lacking point
December 1, 2023 8:12 am

I’m not sure what exactly your referencing to. Please be more specific

CH Family
December 1, 2023 1:00 am

Yashar koach! Points very well taken.

Good points
December 1, 2023 1:45 am

He makes some good points- I dont agree with everything, but yes- parents spend too much money on weddings and end up going in debt! That money could be going to the new couple.. Weddings should go back to how it used to be- based on dowry, like this is how much i can contribute to the wedding- take it or leave it. I have a sibling who when he got married ( my parents dont have money and have many kids bh) they pressured them into paying for stuff at the wedding- more then their means! Why is this… Read more »

Thank you for sharing
December 1, 2023 2:07 am

When I started reading I was a bit sceptical , as in “what does he have to say now”. After reading however, I must admit that every single point very much resonates with me!

I am sure that you will get plenty of backlash, but please realise that plenty of people need to hear this and are actually happy to hear this!

I was actually wondering if I am crazy myself for having these sort of views!
It is good to hear that I am not alone .

Thank you !

Music at weddings
December 1, 2023 2:19 am

Agree wholeheartedly with everything said here!
As far as music at weddings go, a wise person once pointed something out to me. If the music is the type where people feel they need to dance on their own, then it’s not Kosher. Where you see people dancing in a big circle, the music is on the right track!
Music should be unifying. Especially at a wedding.

Honeymoon ruins Sholom Bayis?
December 1, 2023 2:23 am

Honeymoon vacation ruins Sholom Bayis? Please explain.

Immediately after the wedding
Reply to  Honeymoon ruins Sholom Bayis?
December 1, 2023 9:51 am

He’s probably referring to going on a honeymoon immediately after the wedding.
A few months after the wedding is more acceptable.

Kollel costs
December 1, 2023 4:52 am

This has been mentioned numerous times before, the problem of kollel not being viable in todays expensive real estate and inflated market. No, we won’t get subsidized kollel housing, no, we won’t get more lucrative stipends. How about a new solution. Let’s open up kollelim in numerous Lubavitch cities in America. La, Miami, Chicago, Detroit, Montreal etc. there are lower living costs over there, and also the newlyweds can actually be close to their families instead of being in ch where they don’t necessarily feel comfortable. Also if it is successful it will lower the over the top demand for… Read more »

Reply to  Kollel costs
December 1, 2023 10:20 am

It’s a higher cost of living.

The inside track
December 1, 2023 5:12 am

Despite the obvious dissent let’s take a look at WHY. In other words, take a look at why there has been this shift from small at home like L’Chaim’s to more lavish extravaganza. Did the older generation not have the money perhaps? We are more affluent right? Did the older generation not feel the need as they were more uptight and conservative? After all, that was the generation which dressed not as nice and chic and even the women looked more drab! Perhaps we have expanded our horizons ? Or Perhaps as the good rabbi writes, we generally have drifted… Read more »

Standards of lchaim
December 1, 2023 7:44 am

Agree wholeheartedly! It wld be very difficult to find trendsetters to break the pastern of expectations for the lchaim!! As our educational institutions are painfully lacking in funds, not to mention other areas of need, it is a poor statement what we do with our money or lack of thereof. Losing sight of priorities.
Thank you Rabbi Avtzon!

Thank you
December 1, 2023 7:46 am

Thank you for having the courage to speak up! Let’s not forget to mention what’s going on with pictures – firstly, of chassan and kalla taken before the wedding, even in the ohel. The Rebbe was very against chassan kalla taking pictures together before the chassuna. This used to be public knowledge but it seems that people have forgotten and the younger generation does not even know.
Secondly, with regards to poses of chassan kalla taken after the chuppa. Let’s not lose our sensitivity. We are a holy nation. Let’s hold onto our kedusha. May there be simchos by everyone!

A little bit of light dispels a lot of darkness
December 1, 2023 8:21 am

BS”D Rabbi Avtzon, Re: “… many weddings have turned into discos and rave parties.” For a [R]abbi to place a Jewish wedding alongside a rave is disturbing. Rave’s may include mass lewd interactions. Is this an accusation against the Yidden? Did you not understand the profundity of the coarse word you chose? The lowness of this word. It is the job of the samach mem to accuse the Yidden, not you, and certainly not a [R]abbi. As a [R]abbi, a spiritual leader and guide of Am Yisroel, you do not need to step into the shoes of darkness and use a word that may have not… Read more »

Great article. Great wake up call
December 1, 2023 8:27 am

Keep these great Chasidishe articles coming

December 1, 2023 8:30 am

One must celebrate the marriages and the joy.
The Rebbe spoke about these things with his heart and soul deep in them. After and together with much love, care and attention.
That’s why this article rubs wrong. Just trashing hundreds of people you don’t know in an article of what they’re doing wrong. No love and nothing if what is beautiful about their simchas that in today’s day and age, could very well look even worse than a lechaim.

Spot on
December 1, 2023 8:38 am

Thank you for reminding us all of what’s truly important.

December 1, 2023 8:42 am

This is what you are complaining about??? Do you not see the pain of hundreds if our older singles not married???? Instead of talking about this , use your talent to break the horrible ‘crisis’ that’s a lot more dangerous than the lavish celebrations.

speaking of weddings
Reply to  Ayeka!!!
December 1, 2023 9:27 am

let’s post here what steps and actions people can take to solve the shidduch crisis

This is what ur complaining about?!
Reply to  Ayeka!!!
December 1, 2023 4:18 pm

Did you not see the pain of hundreds 9f people, orphans, widows etc. 8n Israel now?
And your busy with shidduchim?

He's so right!!
December 1, 2023 8:46 am

IYH when our kids get married (2-3 years iyh) we will follow these guidelines mentioned here. It’s gotta a grassroots effort. The more people stand up and don’t cave in to “well everyone else is doing the same” nonsense it will slowly change things

R' Blumenkrantz
December 1, 2023 8:56 am

in the R’ Blumenkrantz peasach book, he writes there that many catering venues (hotels etc.) rely on certain leniencies in kashrus that most people would not allow in their homes. People tend to frequent these places as they trust the person making the event and may not realize that that person is hiring a caterer/baal machshir that is forced to work with the venue the way it is and may need to find ways to make it work l’halacha. it’s a good article covering many of the issues and a worthwhile read.

Totally agree!!!!
December 1, 2023 9:00 am

Yes! Hope it resonates! Thank you for the emes!

so what is everyone going to do
December 1, 2023 9:31 am

to solve the shidduch crisis

December 1, 2023 10:29 am

I, my parents, my kallahs parents, and my kallah, went into debt from all the expenses in getting married. It should be socially acceptable to forgo the lavish lchaims, weddings etc…

December 1, 2023 11:03 am

I was just at a chasuna last week! A very shpitz
and chashov Chabad mishpacha.

As far as the music – OKAY! – let’s
put Jewish lyrics to this one!:


Btw, when this was first premiered in Paris (1913), they
were not ready for something so bizarre in classical
music. This spawned a near riot. Rumor has it that they
threw tomatoes at him.

Gedaih is missing
December 1, 2023 11:08 am

There are several problems today with all simchas which arise from people thinking certain things are neccesary. It seems that the purpose of the simcha is outweighed by the celebration “requirements.” “Community standards” do not accomodate different levels of what a family is able or even willing to pay for. Particularly with weddings, people seem to be unable to distinguish between trends which are in line with halacha and minhagim and those which are products of the “wedding industry” or current non-frum sources. Some current trends which seem silly to this Bubby are the extreems of color co-ordination required of… Read more »

make up?????
Reply to  Gedaih is missing
December 2, 2023 8:40 pm

no jew should be putting makeup on their children especially under 18! that’s so GOY

This is what your writing about!!??
December 1, 2023 12:14 pm

You have no right to decide what people should spend on there weddings. People can have very lavish if they want and if you can’t afford it to bad but don’t tell people how to spend there money. Chabad should take an example from other chassidim they live nice lives and dress like chasidim and keep way stronger to fundamentals of yiddishkeit and are able to also live lavish comfortable lives like a yid should. Unfortunately people have ruined the whole picture and that’s why 770 looks the way it does and you have people walking and dressing like goyim… Read more »

Rich & mighty need to create new standards
December 1, 2023 12:29 pm

When first Wealthy & Mighty couple will create something new in a community everyone will follow. Otherwise we are in bubble that all can afford the wedding when in reality we can’t afford and better to support a young family then paying debts for l’haim /weddings Corona was an example that wealthy can do something else and save $, so not wealthy can breath freely and marry kids young age and not kids that are working and saving and a result marring at 27-30… Painful truth. Regarding doing l’chaim at home – not everyone has home in CH but live… Read more »

Reply to  Rich & mighty need to create new standards
December 3, 2023 12:20 am

I do not agree with the your first sentence. People should not pay more than they afford and should not go into debt. We won’t judge. This is judaism and Torah, we only care about the inside, middot, Torah values. We don’t want people to go into debt. I do not think this problem is only for the “rich and mighty” to solve. Many things he listed in this article have nothing to do with money either. please do not ever wait to marry until 27-30 just so they can have a fancier wedding.. just have a cheaper wedding at… Read more »

Well said
December 1, 2023 12:45 pm

When did Lubavitch get so jappy?

On the Rebbe’s side
Reply to  Well said
December 3, 2023 4:14 am

Long ago. You haven’t been paying attention?

Flatbush yid
December 1, 2023 1:14 pm

It’s very interesting to watch weddings taking place during Covid on the street. I saw one wedding that was very moving on the street as people on the porches on both sides sang along and clapped. It was super spiritual. A old grandmother sat on the side with her mask and the kallah looked very spiritual. It was beautiful and they must of save about fifty thousand dollars which can help put a down pymnt on a home. About 22 years ago I made a wedding for a Baal tsuvah couple for 100 people. I am ashamed to tell you… Read more »

I agree!
December 1, 2023 1:22 pm

Thanks for writing about this. These simchas have become really over the top. I can’t imagine how much food goes to waste and it’s unfair that the community has set such high standards for these events.

Another real issue is that the music is so loud at every simcha I attend, it’s honestly not enjoyable and you can’t even have an interaction with a friend or ask them how they are because you simply can’t hear the person talking who is right next to you.

Reply to  I agree!
December 2, 2023 8:41 pm

all y’all please turn the music down

Need to address
December 1, 2023 1:25 pm

The best way to address this issue is to discuss how to handle the pre-wedding negotiations between the two sets of parents. Engagement is such a sensitive time, we’re walking on eggshells, nobody wants to make a bad impression or start off on the wrong foot. And so parents feel pressured to agree to more than they can afford… Either due to embarrassment, or not wanting the chassan kallah to feel less special or worthy than their peers by not getting whatever is considered standard. When my son got engaged I was told by a few respected mashpios that the… Read more »

I'm sorry!
Reply to  Need to address
December 2, 2023 8:42 pm

no one should ever have to be in that situation

to everyone else in that situation
Reply to  Need to address
December 2, 2023 8:44 pm

please don’t ever go into debt from something like this. The kallah should be ok with cheaper things if she’s really his bashert.

On the Rebbe’s side
Reply to  Need to address
December 3, 2023 4:55 am

Is “Keeping Up With The Jones’s” a Torah way of life? Seems like it’s the “Look At Me” generation. There always was, there is and there always will be the wealthy, the middle class and the not so financially fortunate. It used to be that people understood this and accepted it. The happiness of the couple was not contingent on how much they could get out of each other but how much they could give each other. If you stay within your means you will be more b’simcha at the end. If the Kallah is not satisfied with what her… Read more »

Love every point mentioned here
December 1, 2023 1:43 pm

Agree and wish we can move things back to the right place bezH!!!!

Those of u who trash every good article with ‘hey, y dont u focus on another problem’, cheap shot. You can write all about the issues you feel are more pressing. Kudos to anyone that writes about any issue at all.

nothing wrong with the comments about other topics
Reply to  Love every point mentioned here
December 2, 2023 8:45 pm

I think it’s completely fine

Rabbi Avtzon
December 1, 2023 2:08 pm

With all due respect, it’s 2023. You are asking of things to be done the way they were done back in the day. That will not happen.
Are you saying you won’t make a lchaim for your child in Lubavitcher Yeshiva? I think you will.
Maybe we can focus on the real issue at hand and that is the amount of singles in Chabad. Why is it that when I text multiple shadchanim I get no response?
More people need to step out of their comfort zone and start making suggestions. They will only be appreciated by your single friend.

Missing the main point!
December 1, 2023 6:50 pm

Every single issue you (correctly) point out is nothing but a SYMPTOM of a much, much larger problem.

If we knew what are PURPOSE in life is, everything else will automatically fall into place.


Reply to  Missing the main point!
December 2, 2023 8:46 pm

the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing

So true
December 2, 2023 11:34 am

Thank you for saying what needs to be said! I especially found the change in wedding music unbelievable. The music is way too loud and not the type i would expect especially at a chabad wedding
Its so much nicer having a small group in a home for l’ chaim.
Before the wedding there should not be a mini wedding.
Some couples do break up before the wedding so better not to make anything so public and expensive. Similar to not taking pics together before marriage

Reply to  So true
December 2, 2023 8:46 pm

I personally don’t like music that has a lot of beats and sounds really techy or low vibe or electronic

Things I'd like to see
December 2, 2023 5:33 pm

You make a lot of good points, but I’m surprised at the simplicity of the article. Things that would be beneficial: 1) offer solutions to said concerns. It’s very easy to be an “armchair” Rabbi, so give people tangible ways to improve. For example, maybe show your students a way that they could “propose” to a young woman they’re dating that isn’t an over-the-top “will you marry me” type situation. That way you won’t be frustrated with them for showing you a secular-style proposal like you described above. 2) Tone, tone, tone. You will catch more bees with honey than… Read more »

Reply to  Things I'd like to see
December 2, 2023 8:48 pm

I don’t actually understand what’s the problem with having a very romantic, cute, artsy, artistic, creative, sweet, unique, or beautiful proposal. Is there a halachic problem if so what. If the person can afford it of course. What even is the frum way to propose?

Reply to  proposals
December 3, 2023 9:34 pm


to anyone in a situation where they feel pressured
December 2, 2023 8:50 pm

please don’t go into a debt for any of this if you don’t have the money. We will not judge you.

please show halachic sources.
December 2, 2023 8:52 pm

you said In the ideal situation, the yungerman learns in Kollel while his wife is involved in some type of part-time occupation.

I disagree with this. Every situation is unique and different. There is no 1 ideal situation.

On the Rebbe’s side
Reply to  please show halachic sources.
December 3, 2023 5:00 am

And if people judge you then they are people you don’t want to associate with lest you become like them.

December 2, 2023 10:09 pm

and what about also all the money wasted on alcohol
just stop buying it and drinking it

December 2, 2023 10:22 pm

People getting divorced because of date nights? What in the world? Did he mean that people are getting divorced because they are not going on enough dates and spending time together?

They spend no time together at home
Reply to  Huh?
December 4, 2023 6:05 pm

Bonding, learning, discussing the spiritual. Everything is fun in the sun and there’s no commitment or morals, so the moment things aren’t grand, people foolishly have split.

interesting standards?
December 2, 2023 11:23 pm

it’s ok for shluchim to make a mini wedding for the l’chaim?

some points right on target
December 3, 2023 5:52 am

Some of the points made in this article are, as I see it, quite valid; some less so. I agree, that l’chayims are getting more and more out of hand every year. You need a lavish, never-ending hot smorgasboard to announce an engagenment? and a full sushi bar as well? and mashkeh without end too? and flowers that almost reach the ceiling/ C’mon, gimme a break. This is plain ol’ keeping up with the Joneses, who got it from some other keep up with the Joneses folks, who saw it when they were invited to a simcha in a neighborhood… Read more »

Rabonim and Sluchim
December 3, 2023 7:06 pm

When they stop glorfying the wealthy you’ll have changes for now as long as leaders speak about how much so and so is worth and of course mention the tzedaka they give but in essence show that whats important is money and wealth (or the illusion of it) everything will stay the same and the sheeple will continue to keep up with the jones.

Grateful we left
December 3, 2023 7:12 pm

I really appreciated your editorial. These scenarios that you describe have bothered my for a while. Several of my granddaughters have fallen into this trap. The public and inappropriate proposals are all over social media. I jokingly said at the l’chaims, why not just get a rabbi and get married now. Although I love lively music and dancing at one out of town wedding, many of our family walked out. It was a disco hidden as a wedding. My husband and I are ba’alei tshuvim and got married very young. As some of our parents disapproved, we were married in… Read more »

From an article on Reb Chaim Serebryanski Z"L
December 4, 2023 6:55 am

From an article about Reb Chaim Serebryanski and Kallah before their wedding:

“When they had Yechidus before the wedding, the Rebbe spoke to them about the wedding meal and said it was not necessary to waste money on a hall. They had the wedding meal in the home of Reb Mendel Shemtov, Reb Chaim’s uncle. The wedding was on a Friday and it was a low key affair with no wasting of money. The Rebbe was very pleased to hear this and said if only others did as they did”.

what even is a jewish frum proposal
December 4, 2023 4:07 pm

I genuinely don’t know so can someone please tell me

Well said
December 4, 2023 11:51 pm

Right idea!!

December 5, 2023 2:51 pm

U know ch is not the whole lubavitch there are people everywhere.Just because something is the norm there and who live there doesn’t mean for all places.