Soc.Culture.Jewish Newsgroups
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

URL: www.scjfaq.org/faq/09-02.html
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Question 9.2:
Do you need a rabbi for a wedding?

Answer:

Technically, you don't need one; however, it's very important to have a rabbi in order to make sure that the complicated marriage ceremony is done properly. Valid witnesses are needed to make the marriage official. The criteria constituting a valid witness differ among the movements.

The purpose of a rabbi is like that of using a judge or a lawyer in civil matters to ensure that the law is complied with. This differs from the non-Jewish concept of a minister having some necessary mystical connection with G-d that is required to make the ceremony valid.

In Israel, the Rav is also needed for the secular legality of the wedding.


The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to questions@scjfaq.org. The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at maintainer@scjfaq.org.

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© (c) 1993-2002 Daniel P. Faigin <maintainer@scjfaq.org>