Expend Efforts on Spiritual Preparations

.. Just take a moment and think: If you expend so much toil and effort on the wedding preparations and all the other secondary matters surrounding the wedding — most of which are only done for an event that lasts but a day and are chiefly performed out of a desire to curry favor in other people’s eyes — how much more so should you be occupied in the spiritual preparations to the wedding.

[Unlike the physical preparations,] these preparations are of vital import to the young couple for the duration of their lives. Surely it is absolutely unnecessary for me to elaborate on this matter.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. VII, p. 315)

Expend Physical, Spiritual and Financial Efforts
In Marrying Off Children

.. You write that the parents of the chassan do not demand any nadan (dowry), and [furthermore] desire to take upon themselves all the costs related to a dwelling, furniture and other costs, etc.

On the one hand, it pleased me to read this, as it is indicative of all the fine qualities that your daughter tichyeh possesses.

On the other hand, Jewish men and women, especially parents, should desire that their children cause them to exert effort physically, as well as spiritually and even financially.

There is the well-known statement of the holy Zohar (II, p. 128a) that with regard to matters of holiness one should not desire to obtain them “for free.” Surely this applies to the wedding of one’s daughter. Not only should it involve expenses, one should not be tight-fisted in expending them.

Surely these [wedding expenses] come under the heading of those matters that are Divinely determined between the ten days of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur — and when one’s attitude is munificent and openhanded, G‑d responds in kind.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. IX, pp. 106-107)

G‑d Surely Provides the Necessary Means
To Marry Off One’s Children

.. You write that your son took upon himself the wedding expenses of his daughter, though it is beyond his capacity....

.. Since our Torah, the Torah of Life, directed and obligated a father to marry off his daughter and also informed us that “G‑d does not make unreasonable demands of His creatures,”1 it follows that a person is capable of covering those Torah-legitimate expenses for a wedding.

This is indeed so, although it is entirely possible that for the time being, the person is unable to comprehend how he is able to meet these expenses.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XVII, p. 290)

Parents’ Preparations to Their Children’s Marriage
Should Primarily Concentrate on the Spiritual

It is crucial, vital and of primary import for the wedding to take place in a good and auspicious hour and that it be an everlasting edifice.

This cannot be accomplished through taking pictures and the like. This can only be accomplished by studying Torah, performing mitzvos in an exemplary manner, occupying oneself in the service of prayer, and repenting — truly repenting ... in a manner in which not only does the penitent forgive himself, but that G‑d truly forgives him.

When one does all the above, then and only then can he rest assured that the wedding will take place in a good and auspicious hour and that it will be an everlasting edifice.

There is falsity in thinking that since his marriage must be like everyone else’s, he must therefore be occupied with regard to external matters as well.

This falsehood is amply demonstrated by the first marriage in history, the wedding of Adam and Chavah. At that time no photographs were taken, etc., and nevertheless the marriage was crowned with success.

One must abandon all worldly, purposeless, and meaningless activities (havlei olam). When one does so, then the wedding will take place in a good and auspicious hour and it will be an everlasting edifice, fully in keeping with G‑d’s desire.

.. All this relates as well to the parents of chassan and kallah.

It is of course impossible to demand of them that they utilize the entire time [prior to the wedding] in learning Derech Chayim [of the Mitteler Rebbe], or Tze’enah U’Re’enah, for they must prepare those things necessary for the wedding.

However, it is demanded of them that their main preparations consist of those matters that distinguish the Jewish people as a holy and spiritual nation, while with regard to other matters, they may be done in a simple and in a non-passionate manner. Doing so is ultimately better both for oneself as well as for one’s guests.

(Likkut Yud-Daled Kislev, p. 125)2

Seeing to the Spiritual Needs of One’s Children

.. It surely is not necessary to remind you that the happiness and good fortune of each and every person is entirely dependent on G‑d, the Creator of the universe and its Conductor, He who oversees each and every one of us Jews with individual Divine Providence.

We also understand from the above how very important it is to conduct ourselves according to the directives of the Creator as He has inscribed them in the sacred Torah. We then can rightly expect to receive G‑d’s blessings.

If this is so in general, surely this is even more vital with regard to receiving G‑d’s blessings as one embarks on married life, at which time one begins a new period in one’s life.

Surely, then, you and your wife will use your fullest influence on your daughter tichyeh so as to assure that she firmly resolve — and more importantly, that she act in consonance with her resolution — to fulfill all those Jewish duties that are her responsibility in married life.

[You should endeavor to see to it] that her home truly be in accordance with the Jewish path of life, especially with regard to observing matters of family purity, which will bring happiness and good fortune to the household. (The preparations for Taharas HaMishpachah need to begin prior to the chuppah, in preparation to her married life)....

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XIV, p. 430)

Seeing to the Spiritual Needs of One’s Grandchildren

.. You also write that [your grandchild,] your daughter’s son, will soon be getting married.

It is imperative that someone speak with your grandson’s kallah, exhorting her to conduct herself as a Jewish daughter is to comport herself, particularly with regard to Taharas HaMishpachah, Kashrus, and Shabbos observance.

She should be given to understand that the happiness and good fortune of her chassan and her future children depend on her conduct.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. IV, p. 60)

Preoccupation With Material Concerns
May Make One Forget About Spiritual Preparations

.. Reading between the lines of your letter, it seems that you have yet to begin [seeing to the spiritual needs of your future son-in-law] because you are so occupied with the material preparations surrounding the wedding.

Possibly one explains the other: the spiritual suppression and concealment caused by your preoccupation with the material preparations preclude your perceiving the spiritual dimension of the preparations necessary for the wedding — to the extent that you have entirely forgotten about the need for these preparations.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XVII, p. 315)

Lack of Time for Preparations

You write about preparing for the wedding and the short period of time available to make the proper preparations:

It is true that our Sages, of blessed memory, speak at length about the importance of “dowering the bride” and making proper preparations for the wedding.

Nevertheless, I am of the opinion that during present times the main emphasis and stress must be placed on the spiritual preparations, with the difference in money saved [by concentrating on spiritual preparations rather than material ones] to be given to tzedakah for matters of Torah and mitzvos in the joint merit of chassan and kallah.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XVIII, p. 16)

Looking Up to One’s Father-in-law

Generally, the proper manner is for the son-in-law to look up to his father-in-law. If the chassan has a regular study session in Tanya, then his father-in-law should have regular study sessions not only in Tanya but also in Likkutei Torah and in maamarim, etc.

May G‑d grant that I receive from you glad tidings with regard to this matter as well.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. IX, p. 107)