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    Omer weddings – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. On what dates in the Omer do we not have weddings?

    A. The customs vary between communities. Some folklorists argue that the whole issue only arose when European culture frowned on weddings during the month of May and say that the Jews followed suit.

    The traditional Jewish idea is that because Rabbi Akiva’s students perished during the Omer period, gravely affecting both the Jewish struggle against the Romans and the survival of Jewish learning and practice, we avoid weddings and other celebrations (though engagements are permitted) as a mark of mourning.

    The dates during which we refrain from celebrations are differently calculated. The two main customs are:
    1. From the 2nd day of Pesach until the 33rd day of the Omer (Lag Ba’Omer).
    2. From Iyyar 2 until Erev Shavu’ot (except for Lag Ba’Omer).

    The Anglo-Jewish custom (Minhag Anglia) was to avoid music and celebrations throughout Iyyar except for Lag Ba’Omer. Some rabbis (including me) allow weddings on Yom Atzma’ut.

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