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Why are men and women separated at Chassidic weddings?

Why are men and women separated at Chassidic weddings?

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Question:

Recently I attended a Chassidic wedding in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. My question is, why are men and women separated by a partition?

Answer:

It must have been quite an experience for you to attend a Chassidic wedding!

The reason for the partition between men and women is the issue of modesty. You must have seen the energetic, happy dancing on both sides of the partition. Dancing together and even watching the dancing of someone of the opposite gender is not considered modest. This might sound somewhat strange in today's time when there doesn't seem to be any barriers between men and women, but the partition at the wedding, at the synagogue and at other occasions helps to preserve and safeguard a limited and therefore special connection between the genders. If we preserve the space and boundary between men and women we can cherish our times of closeness all the more, in the relationships where the closeness is permitted. In other words, a man who is not permitted to see another woman dance, sing or with arms or legs uncovered, will not become desensitized to a woman's sensuality and appreciate and be attracted to his wife all the more without any kind of distractions.

Click here for an excellent article to read about the topic of the partition in the synagogue which would apply somewhat to a wedding as well.

I hope this is of help to you.

Chana Weisberg for Chabad.org

Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.
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Discussion (3)
October 15, 2013
Interesting
I know that Muslims have the same tradition where men and women are separated in religious events and ceremonies. Today, I learned that Jews have the same guidelines, and per the article above, I think the reasoning is the same for Muslims as well..
sam
USA
December 6, 2007
Difference
Separation between men and women is only necessary where a minyan is being held. At the wedding ceremony itself, a minyan is necessary and therefore there should be a separation of some sort, either by elevation or partition. Here it is necessary for reasons of distraction where prayers requiring a minyan are being said. However at a wedding reception there is no need to have a separation. This is a custom that varies from community to community. While it is a good idea, ideally to separate them for reasons of modesty and so that the men should not gaze upon the women dancing, this is really the responsibility of each individual to act appropriately with or without a partition. I would like to know, why a separation of the sexes is not strictly enforced at the chuppah, but it is at the reception.
Kalev Zalman
Hollywood, FL
April 23, 2007
Men and Women Separated at Chassidic Weddings?
It's for the same reason men and women are separated in Orthodox Synagogues - to avoid all forms of distractions - especially "X-Rated" distractions.
Lisa
Providence, RI
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