Wednesday, December 7, 2016


        As with everything a competent Halachic authority should always be consulted .                                                              

Shulchan Aruch Even Haezer 21- 5
It is forbidden to be served by a woman at all, whether she is an adult or a minor, whether a slave or free, lest he come to have forbidden thoughts. What service were they speaking of? Washing his face, hands, and feet,--
Rema. Some say that all this is forbidden only when they are alone, but in a place like a bathhouse where many people are found, one may be washed by an idolatrous slave woman, and this is the custom. And some say that anything not done in an affectionate manner where his intent is only for Heaven's sake, is permitted. Thus the custom is to be lenient in these things.
Bach Quotes the Maharshal “ For this reason(not done in an affectionate manner and in a public place)   the Minhag is to dance with the Kallah  (hand in hand*) so that her husband will love her or for the Kovod of her father, however, Talmidei Chachamim, should refrain” (dancing with the Kallah)
The Bach adds that in his country (Galicia) “the Minhag was, even for Gedolim to dance with the Kallah. Where the Minhag is to dance you  may  keep the Minhag, where there is no such Minhag then there is an Issur (to dance with the Kallah).”
Poskim  who  opposed this Minhag, (hand in hand dancing) called  this a Mitzvah Haboh Ba'aveiroh.(=Aveiroh dance)
Eventually the Rabonim managed to abolish this Minhag of dancing hand in hand with the Kallah and instituted instead to dance with the Kallah by holding on to a napkin that was held on the other end by the Kallah.
Hence this new Minhag became a Mitzvah Tanz** instead of an Aveiroh Tanz.
(Chasidim replaced the napkin for a Gartel a) had no napkins- b) longer and further away from Kallah)

For the father and grandfathers of the Kallah there never was a problem holding hands so  the original Minhag remained and they dance holding hands.


  1. The so called "mitzva tantz" you talk about is much disputed and very controversial, and opposed by many gedolei olam, despite being done by some Chassidim.

    Even among Chasidim, Lubavitch doesn't do it, and even some others who did it, did not do it while holding anything together with the kallah (see much detailed information at

    Rav Ovadia Yosef came out against it.

    The Aruch Hashulchan (Even Haezer 21:5) writes "ושומר נפשו ירחק מזה דרחוק שלא לבא לידי הרהור והיא מצוה הבאה בעבירה". Those are pretty strong words.

  2. For some reason the footnotes i wrote with this article are missing.
    I did mention that the Pischei Teshuva quotes from the Toras Chaim that dancing with the Kallah is prohibted regardless if they are holding hands or using a napkin.
    My point is that the original opposition was for dancing while holding hands and replaced the minhag to dance holding a napkin.
    In those places where they didn't dance holding hands there was
    no need to replace it with a mitzvatanz hence no mitzvatanz in Chabad Lita etc.


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