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Weddings and Funerals, What is Permitted to Do?

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

Divine Code for September 20, 2022

Today: Page 186

Topic 10:1 -- 10:3

I will focus in this blog on topic 10.2.b. (topic 10.2 a you can read over here)

If an idolater celebrates a personal occurrence, such as the marriage of a child, and in doing so makes a gathering in a house of idol worship, or elsewhere to hold a religious ritual service or to praise his idol, it is forbidden.

It is permitted when one fears that his family will be angry or when one fears reprisals if one does not participate. For then one only flatters the idol-worshipper and does not attend out of acceptance or recognition of the idol. But everyone is forbidden to participate in any form of celebration or prayer in which the idol is mentioned.

During a wedding in a secular place, there may be people who practice idolatrous activities.

Rabbi Moshe Weiner wrote the following with regard to holidays - such as ch'ristmas: " It is permissible for a Noachid if the minority of the assembly is involved in an idolatrous service, but the majority is not, IF it would lead to discord if the Noachid refused to attend. The majority or minority mentioned has to do with the activities being held. For example, a short prayer to an idol just before the celebration begins would be a minor factor. But continuous or frequent acts throughout the celebration, which are connected with serving or praising the idol, are forbidden, even though they may cause strife."

In practical terms, this means not participating in activities that are idol-related such as prayer or thanksgiving.

Similarly, with regard to a funeral, one may go if one fears that it will lead to anger, hatred or reprisals. One does not actively participate during the service.

Bear in mind that if an idolatrous family holds a funeral in an idolatrous house, it will be for the obvious purpose of worshipping the idol.

A funeral is a very emotional moment in any family. When people are confronted with death, it makes them extra aware of their own lives. This leads to reflection on one's own life and hopefully to points for improvement.

All this makes the inner conflict for a Noahide especially difficult at these moments. You have the emotional attachment to the deceased and/or family members that makes you feel morally obliged to attend the ceremony, while on the other hand you do not want to attend any idolatrous services.

It is important to discuss these feelings and situation with a rabbi for guidance and advice.

Reading schedule the Divine Code

Yesterday: Topic 9:17 - 9:19

Tomorrow: Topic 10:4 - 10:10

Brought By Angelique Sijbolts


Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners and intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.



The Divine Code by rabbi Moshe Weiner


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