Thursday, April 4, 2013

Confessions of a מצוה טאנץ attendee.... Maybe it's time to retire that practice?
















Dear Hirshel; 

 I have read your blog since day 1 and comment on almost every post that I have something to add. I have to confess I recently attended a mitzva tantz, and a saw the real dilution of a concept that once was holy and pure, and how it's become a show, no better than bringing in the kallah to the men and all the bochurim singing eishes chayil to her... Yet the people who practice these tentzlech would never, ever, ever bring the kallah in to the men during dancing... so I thought: where better than this choshu've blog to write about it?


The father of the bride, a pseudo talented shnook, decided that it is his night, and he will suck up all the oxygen of the night, plus he has a young father that is nebech stricken with a terrible disease R"L, and a shver that nebech suffers from another debilitating disease R"L - the shver too is very young. The people are anoshim p'shutim with lots of Emunas Tzadikim and Emunos T'feilos... strange combination of Shtreimlech, thick Gartlech, but super baalbatish at the same time. For obvious reasons I cannot be more graphic than that. Now to the point; the father called up his daughter the bride to his mitzva tantz with a prepared booklet of grammen that he prepared on his own, and begins his performance. He spoke of many things, from the crying for his father's refua, which these fools believe that Mitzva Tantz is the holiest time of the year and can "po'el alles gits" at that time... Forget about all the days of Tishrei or Seder nacht.... and then he went on and on how much he loves his daughter and how much he loves his wife and how great she is, on and on... I haven't the pen nor the vocabulary to describe the deep romanticism that was displayed there - and besides, this is a frum, family blog.... - all in front of a big family from both sides.... Then the dancing started with the daughter in a nice beat, with crying and hugging, then danced around her and hugging again .... the crowd was mesmerized by this spectacle...obviously the cheap jokes started flowing and still are till today.... The women almost ran out of tissues and the badchen had a nice, long cigarette break... so Reb Hirshel, this is the future of these events for the upcoming shnooks of the baalbatish new generation? not by New Square or Vizhnitz-Monsey families... but It will be the norm in a certain segment, which is already not small and gets bigger daily, לדאבונינו. So does the Rav of Shopron the Baal "Toras Alef" guarantee that no Hirhur happened that night?

53 comments:

Twistelton-Twistelton said...

This reminds me of a true story. My brother has a friend whose 18 year old niece grew up in Ertez Yisroel. She came to USA for a visit, including a family Chasuna. Her principal had a long talk with her prior to her leaving how she shouldn’t be influenced by the Pritzus of America. Right after she arrive in the USA, she attended the family wedding, where there was a Mitzva Tanz, as the America side of the family was Chassidish inclined. That night (2 AM in the morning), she wrote a blistering letter home about how she sees the truth about the Pritzus in America, and if such a thing were to happen in Ertez Yisroel there would be signs up in the streets etc! Made quite an impression, and was widely circulated by the Litvish side of the family.

moshe moshel said...

I too have been to some "mitzav tantzn" that have not been to my liking.

That said, since when do we throw out the baby with the bathwater? Because some abuse a minhag koidesh is no reason to abandon it. I suspect the dor hashvii may have had some issue with it, but his shver didn't.

Those who don't have the minhag shouldn't odopt it, its not as simple as putting some silver on your atara for your neighbor in shul to look at. But those of us who do have the minhag must know that its a minhag kadosh from tzadikei elyion and must be maintained with proper kedushah.

mike said...

"So does the Rav of Shopron the Baal "Toras Alef" guarantee that no Hirhur happened that night?"
Who are you referring to?

rebcharles said...

kvod hamekhaber,

Ilu huyisoh b'zman HaBesht, lo huyisoh nigal. What kind of elitist kreiz are you from anyway?

What exactly is bothering you? That it was emotional? That you had to stay there late?

Ba'Pam HaBo, go home at a decent hour and dont wake up cranky,and don't Chep'e Yidden b'shum ponem v'oifen. Herst?

moshe moshel said...

His issue was the father hugging his daughter a bit much and the romantic love expressed to his wife...

Usually people who do too much of both in public are displaying all they get, vda"l.

Fact checker said...

Moshe Moshel
". I suspect the dor hashvii may have had some issue with it, but his shver didn't. "
is there a hint of the FR on Mitzva tantz?

Yitzchok M'Woodridge said...

Moshe Moshel
"That said, since when do we throw out the baby with the bathwater?"
The Yismach Moshe stopped the Minhag Kodesh of Chosen Moil that turned into a Bachelor Party.The Sakmer Ruv had a quarrel with the old Skverer on such a event.
Why cant we stop this Meshugazz too??

מענדל said...

הירשעלע
די ליטווישע ווילן ניט קיין מצוה טאנץ בריינגען זיי אריין די כלה אין מיטן טאנצן.
מענדל

tzvika said...

I saw a letter of a shaila to r' chaim kenievsky about mitzva tantz and he called it "a meeyeser zach".

Anonymous said...

The funniest and most ridiculous part of a Mitzva Tanz is the crying and emotions exhibited during the words of the Badchan. It is the Badchunim who "invented" the phrases that
1.]The Neshomos of the departed are present at a Mitzva Tanz..
2.] It is a time to Daven for anything or everything
3.]That many persons jointly dancing with the Kallah is a great "inyan" as if that makes the Kallah joyous and therby causes joy in "Shomayim"

moshe moshel said...

Anon, your wrong on all three counts.

yener said...

http://moshemoshel72.blogspot.com/2013/04/more-titles-than-he-ever-dreamed-of.html?m=1

dovy in j said...

why on earth do you think it used to be "holy and pure"? Any objective person (who also has seen the maharshal and early poskim that mention it)can see this is a custom that was adopted from the gentiles for reasons of holilus and fun. as is their wont, the chasidim later attached the "holy" label to it. but it has always been solely aboit pritzus.

Yehuda said...

Anon your an am haaretz that neshamos come down is a zohar (balak 219a) the holiness of the mitzvah tanz is well atessted to in chassideshe seforim see for example. אגרא דבי הילולה and אור אלימלך

moshe moshel said...

Dovy, maare mikomos please and we will judge.

Tziki kedera said...

Yehda... The נשמות come to the חופה ות alone ותו לא

Anonymous said...

thank u to the writer for explaining the Lubavitcher minhag not to do mitzva tantz. the talmidei haBesht and the Maggid were able to see the deeper meaning of chosson/kallah - HKBH & klal yisroel when they danced before a kallah. unfortunately with yeridas hadoirois, we can get caught up in the physicality of it, and even worse ch"v have machshovos zoros. For this reason in Chabad mitzva tantz was not performed, although it definitely has a mokor in chassidus.
check this link on why a chuppa is an ais rotzon.

http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=15924&st=&pgnum=76

litvish mitzva tance said...

http://moshemoshel72.blogspot.com/2013/04/jb.html?m=1

Heilge tantz said...

That girl is right. The most natural reaction to Mitzvah Tanz is to come out with a big Issur against the Pritzus involved in this.
If anyone thinks it is important not to change maase uvos, then you can do the whole dance in 5 minutes, and yotze the mitzvah. Why waste everyone's time for 3 hours? The answer: the badchen needs a paycheck!

Radishkovitzer said...

I'm a Litvak who married into a Heimishe family. To my Shver's eternal consternation, I refused to have a mitzvah tantz. Having seen them in the past, they disgusted-and continue to disgust-me. Aside from the pritzus of all the descendants of Baalai Agoleh sitting together and occasionally dancing together-in public mind you, and perhaps even more destructive and insidious, is the fact that the Badchen goes on and on about how great the families are. This is an amazing idea! One can hire a Badchen to sing his praises in public!! It seems like these Chasidim have forgotten the most basic ideas promulgated by the Talmidai B"SHT....namely to be an onov.
Now I know that Yisroel Kedoiyshim Haim, but some of the stuff I hear is downright ludicrous-as anyone that has been to a MT can attest to. So much so, that it occasionally makes my stomach turn.
In my humble Litvisheh opinion (which includes of course a Chabad connection going back to Dvinsk and its surroundings), this is a tremendous breach in Tznius. Of course the Chasidsheh Rabbunim that service these types go along with it all. I know they mean well, but they should actually try to teach these Amaratzim something instead of just being a cultural crutch for them. This is one more example of the Heimishe version of Yiddishkeit. Take a Toful Sh'Btoful and make it an ikkur. Unfortunate.....

koretzer ainekel said...

As per R Pinchus of Koretz - the neshomas are there the entire Seuda too!

Fact Checker said...

the Chernobler Rebbes made this custom in to the holiest of the holiest inyan...Also the Shinever Ruv ( who visited some Chernobler Rebbes) but I dont think it was a big to do, in Belz or for sure not Ger....

itchiemayer said...

A wedding should end at a decent hour so the couple can get on with "the mitzva".

VohlinerChusid said...

Thats what happens when hungirians claim to be chasidim.

Anonymous said...

Give any Chassidihe family the choice of having at a Mitzva Tanz a.) - dancing with the Kallah, without having a Badchan, or
b.) - having a Badchan without the dancing, They will all choose the latter, - Badchan without the dancing.
This will show you the stupidity of this whole concept known today as the Mitzva TANZ.

I sometimes wonder how people who are smart can fall for such a ridiculous custom.

Fact Checker said...

koretzer ainekel said...

As per R Pinchus of Koretz - the neshomas are there the entire Seuda too!
the main avoda of Reb Pinches Koritzer was Emes. All the Badchen is saying is Lies Lies on the Living and on the Dead...The Neshomas of Oilem Hoemes(if they are bichlal there) are running away when the spigot of lies starts pouring.
Chazal gave a heter to lie about the Kallah in the Chosans eyes, but this lies are totally serving some ungefressene mid age shtinkers

Reb Hirsh said...

Not sure how this 'Moshe Moshel' became a dayeh zoger concerning what the dor hashvi'i and dor hashishi's policies might be.

Would be best he learn something first, before pretending to know.

The Tzemech Tzedek said concerning the mitzvah tantz that it was a 'chshash gilui arayos'.

overnite yurshalmi triangle kugel said...

Starting to sound like a bunch of jealous imfarginers. Those who don't like hespeidim by weddings do it Yurshalmi style, sing Akavya and have someone call up by name and realtion the zeides fathers and chosson. Its cheaper and your done in 25 minutes tops!

pitputim said...

I don't get it. Isn't the time just before the Chuppa, and during the Chuppa considered an Eis Ratzon. They have the Din of a Melech and Malka. What is wrong with them privately davening for refuos, yeshuos etc THEN.

I thought this Mitzvah Tance was meant to be a time for those who think they weren't Mesameach Chosson V'Kallo can do so in some "frumer" mode where you don't look at the Kallah and run up and down in parallel with a Gartel.

The Badchan (but need it be a Badchan) presumably also includes some words at the end of the night, before conclusion where they say nice things about the Neshomos that are present. I'm not sure why such things can't be weaved into a proper Dvar Torah during a decent speech. Yes, we have speeches in Melbourne. They offer people the Mitzvah of Hakoras HaTov, which really should be expressed to the Eishes Chayil, B'farhesyo in my opinion.

Maybe the Badchan arose to ensure the couple were in a jolly mood at the end of the night?

Is this minhag mentioned in Rishonim or early Acharonim, or does it have some dubious past, like a Shlissel Challah?

I did once blog about the Mezinke, see here

http://pitputim.wordpress.com/2011/02/27/mezinke-oysgegayben/

and here

http://pitputim.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/mezinke-oysgegayben-part-2/

Twistelton-Twistelton said...

"As per R Pinchus of Koretz - the neshomas are there the entire Seuda too!"

Skeptical Litvak wants to know if you have to pay the caterer for a plate for them!!More seriously, the Gemra has a discussion if the dead know of what transpires in this world. Why they don’t bring a proof from the fact that they come to a weddings (as every Rebbe knows) is beyond me! Why didn’t the Gemara know what every two bit Rebbe knows!!!!

Fact Checker said...


Pitputim
"Is this minhag mentioned in Rishonim or early Acharonim"
plz don't get carried away,
Dancing before the Kallah is a chazal, and praising the Kallah is a chazal too, there ae differences in how you perform, but the source is a chazal that every child knows

Fact checker said...

Twistleton
" the Gemra has a discussion if the dead know of what transpires in this world."
"
in Chabad there is a Mesora that the Baal Hatanye,(the Chasidic Litvak) have said that he will not be available after his histalkus, based on that chazal that you mention,
It was discussed By Rabbi Greenwald in Hiechel Habesht and then by Rabbi Mundshine in his Masseh Achron

airrrmont said...

In my humble opinion. Those who mock minhogei kodesh for whatever reason, really mock even more than they reveal.

rebcharles said...

Radishkovitzer,

You claim to be a Litvak who married into a Heimishe family.

I have a few issues with that.

Did you ask your RY reshus? Why was your Kallah the one who was NeKhois Darga? Lastly, shouldn't this be considered miscegenation?

According to Wikipedia, "Although an "Anti-Miscegenation Amendment" to the United States Constitution was proposed in 1871, in 1912–1913, and in 1928,[12][13] no nation-wide law against racially mixed marriages was ever enacted."

yakov kupfer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cmk said...

To all you Litvaks preening that you consider the MT pritzus: Did the kallah come into the men's section during dancing? Did the choson sing eishes chayil to her ? BARF!
A new minhag that is really bad is having the choson and kallah come in 'for the very first time' through the women's section. Then the choson has to walk through a gaggle of excited girls to get to his friends and family in the men's section. either alone, or bochurm come to get him. VERY TZINIUS- NOT!

Twistelton-Twistelton said...

"To all you Litvaks preening that you consider the MT pritzus: Did the kallah come into the men's section during dancing? "

Yes! As it says in the Gemara "Ketzad Merakdim LIFNE Hakalla"

"Did the choson sing eishes chayil to her ?"

No. This is a new on to me.

Twistelton-Twistelton said...

" Did the kallah come into the men's section during dancing?"

I think it is obvious that there is a difference between the Kallah WATCHING a show (everyone dancing) and putting on a show (Mitzva Tanz). But my primary point was that it the shoe was on the other foot (ie, Litvish had a Mitzva Tanz) the flack we would be getting from the Chassidim about the Pirtzus etc would be unbelievable.
Anyone who denies this is a liar to himself!

chabakuk elisha said...

I don't get it... but first, can we back up a little?
Before even discussing the MT, I find the format of our weddings to be the single most miserable way to spend an evening. Listening to Eicha is far more enjoyable to me. How anyone can enjoy a chasseneh is so beyond me that I've given up trying to understand it.
The vast majority of chassaneh events I've attended seem to reflect an atmosphere that is so grossly lacking in meaning, in joy, in substance, in relevance, in aesthetics, in sensibility, in comfort, in Yiddishkeit -- they make me physically ill. Yet, I still have to put up with them, so I do.
Thankfully, I have generally been spared Mitzvah Tantzen, and they are culturally foreign to me, but the couple MT's that I felt compelled to sit through didn't seem to be any worse or better than myriads of other traditional/cultural minhagim. It's one big "meh" as far as I'm concerned, but I don't understand why this one minhag should get singled out as unusually offensive. What am I missing?

chabakuk elisha said...

BTW, Twistelton -- What do you mean by the "[the kallah] putting on a show"? Doesn't she pretty-much just stand there and do her best Totem Pole impression?

LkwdGuy said...

I went through my first 36 years on this earth with out ever experiencing the kedusha of the mitzvah tantz. Now in my 37th year, I was zoche to be present when a nephew married into a family with this minhag. I never realized before that all that was missing from my yiddishkeit was watching a newlywed young couple slow dancing around a ballroom, gazing into each others eyes. (I must admit, I have no idea if the activity that I witnessed is the norm because as I mentioned, this was my first time.)

ce said...

I gotta say, this clip of a Mitzvah Tantz seems more meaningful than the entirety of most chassenehs that I've attended, but I realize that's just anecdotal:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_1coZx7weo

Twistelton-Twistelton said...

"BTW, Twistelton -- What do you mean by the "[the kallah] putting on a show"? Doesn't she pretty-much just stand there and do her best Totem Pole impression?"

Yes. But she is the focus of attention. Her and her partner. Every on else is just standing around watching the show (ie the Kallah and whom ever is dancing with her). Where as when the Kallah takes a seat by the Litvish, everyone is dancing. And those who arent are blocked by those who are.

Fact Checker said...

CMK
"A new minhag that is really bad is having the choson and kallah come in 'for the very first time' through the women's section. Then the choson has to walk through a gaggle of excited girls to get to his friends and family in the men's section. either alone, or bochurm come to get him."
this is not a new Minhag its old Ashkenazic minhogim, please start reading Maharil, Reb Yozfe Shamash and Meshivas Nefesh, sorry to inform you , these are old Minhogim probably close to a 1000 years...

moshe moshel said...

Fact checker, I'm sure you made a "morning after" seuda ligomra she'll mitva haircutting party. . . As is discussed in the "minhogim"...

Agav hirshel, tomorrow is wednesday, lommer lernen a blatt/amud gemora

Fact checker said...

Moshe Moshel
"Fact checker, I'm sure you made a "morning after" seuda ligomra she'll mitva haircutting party. . . As is discussed in the "minhogim"..."
I am talking Minhogai Frankfurt, you are bringing me Minhogai Krechnif and Skver.
I just saw that the Ri Even Shoaiv(Talmid Rashba) writes that Sara came from Olam Elyon to Rivka's tent in the days of her simcha(Wedding). So to all litvaks that the Zohar does not talk to them(eventough the Old Litvaks as the Gra, Yesoid Veshoresh Avoda and Chofetz Chaim were big into zohar)you have source in a Talmid Harashba

moshe moshel said...

ע' בבה"ט בשם הרוקח דאחר בעילת מצוה נוהגים לעשות סעודה ונוהגים לאכול דגים...

ליקוטי מהרי"ח

Fact checker, stop mocking minhogei yisroel.

LkwdGuy said...

Fact Checker,

Help me out with the logic please.
How does "Sara came from Olam Elyon to Rivka's tent in the days of her simcha" equals "Every Zaydah Tom, Zaydah Dick and Zaydah Harry comes to the mitzvah tantz"?

חסיד said...

באה"ק לצערינו המצב לא יותר טוב
ראיתי תמונות חתונה של אחיין שלי
והאבא מחבק בתו
I have been to many MT in new york and never seen that

Fact Checker said...

LkwdGuy
"How does "Sara came from Olam Elyon to Rivka's tent in the days of her simcha" equals "Every Zaydah Tom, Zaydah Dick and Zaydah Harry comes to the mitzvah tantz"?"
most minhogim have no logic, big chunk of minhogim are based on weaker sources. Eating Cheese cake on shavouth is not based on stronger pillars

Fact checker said...

Moshe Moshel
"' בבה"ט בשם הרוקח דאחר בעילת מצוה נוהגים לעשות סעודה ונוהגים לאכול דגים"
obviously it meant the other morning...

moshe moshel said...

On youtube I came across some hair raising mitzva tantz videos.

I will reaffirm that if a mihag kadosh is not practiced as it was intended to be, the results are quite terrible. I cannot bring myself to post a link to women dancing.

moshe moshel said...

Can you quote a source for that allegation from the Tzemach Tedek?