Sunday, March 15, 2009

Engagement and Marriage

The importance of marriage cannot be overstated. The Shem Mishmuel, zt”l, once said, “Torah is compared to a wife since Torah learning also brings one to completion.”
It is customary to make a party celebrating one’s engagement. Once, when someone invited Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt”l, to such a celebration, he called it an eirusin.
Rav Aurebach gently corrected him. “Although many refer to this celebration by that name, people should not do so. Eirusin refers to the first stage of marriage.”
When he gave a gift to Hebrew speakers celebrating such an affair, Rav Auerbach would refer to it as “kishrei shiduchin.” Of course, many refer to it by the Yiddish word “vort,” which means “word.”
Once, at an engagement party, someone commented that presumably the reason why many call an engagement party a “vort,” is because the groom gives a d’var Torah which is often interrupted.
But another guest brought a different rationale in the name of Rav Simcha Bunim Leiberman, shlit”a. “He explains that the name signifies that a person has finally come to completion, since a vort or dibur must be complete. We can extrapolate this from the gemara which brings the verse, "על פי שלשה עדים יקום דבר"—“through the testimony of [two or] three witnesses will the matter [davar] be established...” It then explains that witnesses must testify regarding a ‘davar,’ a full matter, but not a ‘half davar.’ In this sense, calling it the Yiddish word for davar can allude to completion. It is well known that the Zohar teaches that until a man is married he is likened to half a body. It is his task to search for his basheret, as we find in Kedushin 2: ‘This is comparable to one who loses an object. Just as he must work to find it, so must a man must seek out his match.
He concluded, “Now that the chasan is finally becoming a davar, a complete person, it is fitting to call this celebration a vort!”


Emunatidbits said...

I thought that it’s called a ‘vort’ because the two sides give their ‘word’ to get married.

Micha Golshevsky said...

Good point! I have actually never heard that, although it is a great explanation. Ya'asher koach!
Some poskim rule that the choson should darshen(Igrah D'vey Hilulei and Shulchan Ha'Ezer) The Chavas Ya'ar actually rules that the choson's d'var Torah is what makes this seudah into a seudas mitzvah.

Dovid Lieberman said...

Nice to see this vort (unintended pun!) from my Zida zt"l. Unfortunately he was niftar this Sunday.

Micha Golshevsky said...

Boruch Dayan Haemes.
Hashem should comfort your entire family with all the avelei Tzion and Yerushalayim.