Sivan 5761 – Shaimos on Wedding Invitations

1 Sivan 5761

L’chvod HaRav:

What constitutes shaimos? I am asking specifically with regard to wedding invitations – what if there is a passuk on the invitation but it isn’t on a straight line or it’s split up so there are only two words appearing on the same line next to each other?

Thank you,

Name & Seminary withheld upon request

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Dear Name Withheld,

Thank you for your question. If there is a Possuk on an invitation, the question really is what role that Possuk is playing there. If it is there as a Melitzah- i.e. a cute play on words (e.g. if the Kallah’s name is Dodi, and the Possuk there says “Ani L’Dodi V’Dodi Li”), it has no Kedusha and may be thrown in the garbage. If it is there for the actual meaning of the Possuk, e.g. it says “Kol Sasson V’Kol Simchah etc.” and it is there as a Tefillah or to publicize the prophecy of Yirmiyahu HaNavi, it may not be thrown out, and should not be printed on the invitation. The fact that it is split up does not help, if it is read together, and if it imparts a message it is a problem even if it is only two words. Splitting it up or writing on a curve might take care of the problem of “Sirtut”- i.e. the prohibition of writing three words from a Possuk in block Hebrew letters on one line without making a line above it, but it does not help regarding the Shaimos problem.

Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatza”l in Iggros Moshe (Yoreh De’ah Vol. 2 Siman 135) writes the following (translation is mine): “I have always been careful that also on the wedding invitations to my son’s and daughter’s weddings not to write any Possuk, not even “Kol Sasson”, and this is he proper way for all people to conduct themselves.”

Take care,
Rabbi Aaron Tendler