I did a bad thing... Well, maybe I did a good thing, but I know that I will have upset the chosson and callah (bride and groom, in reversed order) the Shabbos before their wedding day which is a bad thing.
My best friend is getting married, and he made the executive decision to get a rent-a-rabbi from Monsey who is not doing his job in trying to get them to do the things they need to do before the wedding. These are the kinds of rabbis who show up at the weddings with their beards and black coats looking all holy and just sign off on everything and accept money for weddings saying that everything was done properly, not caring whether the people getting married are following halacha (Jewish law) or not.
My friend's wedding was what prompted me to start writing this blog in February. I have my first few articles with them getting engaged as the initial subject of my blog.
However, since then my friend has excluded me from all the halachic decisions, and has decided unilaterally to do whatever he wanted to do.
Specifically, he decided that he didn't need his callah (wife-to-be) to go to the mikveh (a purifying process that the woman immerses in certain waters before her wedding) before their wedding. He is also not separating himself from her before the wedding, and he has dispensed with the need for shomerim (people who stay with the chosson (groom) before the wedding). This makes sense to him because he feels they are not necessary since he has already slept with her and already lives with her.
My opinion is that just because they were living in sin and were forbidden to eachother before the marriage doesn't mean that they should live in sin and be forbidden to eachother after the marriage. I feel that they should at least be permitted to eachother after the marriage, regardless of what they have already done beforehand. What also concerns me is that he wants me to be a witness in the yichud room (the room Jewish people go into after the wedding to be alone). However, the problem is that the husband and wife are forbidden to be alone together ("in yichud") until she has gone to the mikveh . Despite my objections, he just doesn't seem to care about it; in fact, he's driving to the hotel on Saturday afternoon -- SHABBOS!! -- so that he'll be on time for his wedding.
I think that a marriage ceremony is a joke if it is not done properly. What is worse is that they are expecting me to verbally sign off on everything that it is kosher and I didn't and they are going forward with it anyway.
As a last resort, I sent this e-mail below to the bride and the groom, hoping that this will nudge them one last time to do what they need to do before the wedding.
Dear [Yehuda and Chava],
It is Friday morning and everything here seems to be in order.
Even though it is likely too late to do this, perhaps Chava can find a way to do this TODAY before Shabbos or on SATURDAY NIGHT or SUNDAY the morning of the wedding to go to the mikveh. This won't be a crazy thing because most mikvahs are used to people going at weird hours and at the last minute. Going to the mikveh is an imporant thing becuase it is part of the purification process that should happen before a man and woman get married. It is also important because if she didn't go, you two would be forbidden to be alone together in the yichud room, and relations after the marriage would also be forbidden. Nobody will stop you from going into the room or doing what you want to do, except that it just seems silly to have that whammy on your wedding day, especially after all the time and money and effort that you guys have spent to make the wedding what I'm guessing will be a beautiful ceremony. Also, both witnesses in the yichud room need to be Shomer Shabbos.
Anyway, I'm sure you guys will do what you feel is best, and I trust your judgment. I am looking forward to seeing you guys married.