The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Monday, June 28, 2004

More on Chupah and Badekin

The Hasidic Musician takes issue with my recent post on the behavior of chassanim and kallahs walking to and under the chupah (at least the part of it relating to the Badekin). A couple of commentators also had issues.

Shaina points out that the Taame Haminhagim says that one should be somber and, in fact, sobbing until after the Chupah. COOP is thankful that many have moved away from universally adopting that minhag. One of the points I tried to make in my original post is that those (like COOP) who are uncomfortable with the minhag of crying or shuckling under the chupah should not be so critical because, as Shaina notes, such a mehalech has a very strong basis in our mesorah.

Hasidic Musician takes issue with my statement that a slower niggun at the badekin is more appropriate. On this narrow point I agree that it may have been more appropriate to write "may be more appropriate".

However, he seems to support my proposition that the badekin is a time of hissorurus by noting that according to the Bach "the badekin constitutes chupa. By this logic, the badekin and chupa should have the same tone." I agree. My point is that the tone of the badekin and chupah, until immediately after the chupah, should more properly be somber and introspective, not leibidig.

He goes on to say:

I'm not convinced that the music needs to be slow. Different communities have their own customs with regard to the music sung/played at a badekin. Lubavitcher Chassidim sing the “Alter Rebbe’s Nigun”. Many other Chassidim use the spirited “Vayehi Vishurun Melech” which is also frequently played when the kalla enters the kabbolas panim. The Sheor Yashuv crowd sings “Adam Harishon’s Nigun” on the way in to the badekin and “Keili Ato” on the way out. And, of course, as MO Chassid notes, many people use “Od Yishoma.”

I’ve also seen a variation wherein the walk into the badekin is to a slow melody while the chassan’s exit is accompanied by a fast, upbeat tune. Sometimes, instead of following a set minhag, some people choose a favorite tune. I played one badekin where the crowd sang Carlebach’s “Hashem Oz.”

People are different and find inspiration in different ways. Some people may be feeling more introspective and want the music to amplify that aspect of the badekin while other may be bursting with simcha and wish the music to emphasize that part of it. I can’t agree with MO Chassid’s assertion that a slower nigun is neccesarily more appropriate. People can either follow the minhag of their own community, or else choose the approach that best works for them.

I've actually found that, in many cases, the families and/or guests (and sometimes the kallah too) find the Sheor Yashuv approach underwhelming, to say the least. The guys may be into it... but they should bear in mind that it takes two to marry and that Kibud Av v'Em is a D'Oraysa.
I agree with Dm that it is more important to make the Kallah and the parents happy and that if they are not mekabel the point one should revert to a fast niggun rather than make everyone miserable with a slow one (or adopt the compromise of a slow niggun in and a fast niggun out). Interestingly, like Dm I also find the Shor Yoshuv approach incredibly depressing (but not the use of the Alter Rebbe's Niggun). I agree with him that one need not be limited to just those niggunim (For example, I have heard Chaim Dovid's "Kalev Niggun" used to great effect). I'm not saying it's a capital offense if you march into the badekin with Od Yishamah. I'm just saying that, based on my understanding of the seforim, I continue to believe that, lichatchila, one should try to pick a niggun of hissorurus.


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