The Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 62, teaches that a new guest (panim chadashot) must be present at each Sheva Brachot meal in order to be able to recite the seven brachot after bentching during the post-wedding week. We will examine whether a woman who was not at the wedding and attends one of the festive meals can count as panim chadashot to allow the saying of the sheva brachot, or whether it must be an adult man.
Why do we need a new face at each of the festive meals during the week-long celebrations for the newly married couple? The Rambam understands that the obligation of saying the sheva brachot is on the participants and if they all heard them at the chuppah, or at a previous sheva brachot meal, then everybody has already fulfilled their obligation, and the blessings cannot be repeated. But if there is a "new face", that new person has not yet fulfilled their obligation, and we must repeat the sheva brachot for them.
On the other hand, the Rosh believes that the obligation to say the sheva brachot is for the couple themselves, and not the community who is celebrating. Whenever the couple's happiness is renewed and enlarged at a new meal, we say the blessings again for them – and so if the new face at the meal brings new happiness, the blessings need to be said again.
Based on this argument, we could answer our question. If we hold like the Rambam, then a woman would not be considered as panim chadashot, as women are not obligated in the sheva brachot said at a wedding, and so could not bring about a new obligation to say the brachot (this opinion is held by the Ritvah, and many later rabbis). On the other hand, if we hold like the Rosh, and the woman's presence adds joy to the newly married couple's meal, we would say the sheva brachot (this opinion is held by the Chatam Sofer, and also quoted in other works). [Although Rav Henkin shlita explains the Rambam's opinion somewhat differently than we have here – see Responsa on Contemporary Jewish Women's Issues, 11 – we have followed the Kehilat Ya'akov's explanation which is commonly cited in this issue].
Most rabbis today rule that a woman does not count as panim chadashot (see Nissuin KeHilchata, 14:58, and Yalkut Yosef, Sovah Smachot, 17:25). On the other hand, some rabbis rule that a woman can be panim chadashot, and this may be relied upon – at least in times of need (BeMareh HaBazak, 6:16).שיעורים נוספים ניתן למצוא בקטגוריות הבאות: הלכה
|תאריך העלאה:||כ״ג בשבט ה׳תשע״ו|