PHOTO: Over 100 Gather To Witness Mitzvah Of ‘Chalitzah’

PHOTO: Over one hundred Kollel and Yeshivah Leit gathered at Park Terrace this morning to observe the uncommon event and Mitzvah, of ‘Chalitzah’.

Chalitzah is performed when a widow and her husband’s brother avoid the duty to marry after the husband’s death, in the unfortunate situation in which the husband dies childless.

The ceremony involves the taking off of the brother-in-law’s special Chalitzah shoe by the widow of the brother, through which ceremony he is released from the obligation of marrying her, and she becomes free to marry whomever she desires.

The event was held in the presence of the Beis Din of Rabbi Shmuel Meir Katz and affiliated Dayonim.

(Please note: Other photos and video were not published, as per the advice of a Dayan involved).

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  1. I have a friend who nebach lost her husband when he was 28. They also did not have children. She was very embarassed when nearly 300 people crammed into the shul during her chalitza ceremony. I hope this widow was less so. A video and further picture documentation would not have been appropriate.

  2. My son went. There were only supposed to be 8 people there besides the dayanim, but who could pass up the opportunity to witness an (almost) once in a lifetime mitzvah!
    Mi K’amcha Yisroel!

  3. I agree with #3. It’s not a mitzvah if someone is embarrassed. Better mitzvah to visit a sick person in the hospital or a lonely elderly person in a nursing home.

  4. Ah baand of am horatzim the Torah says it should b done publicly regardless of embarrassment – would u do mila w/o a minyan because of embarrassment – there is NOTHING 2 b embarrassed of a/w !!!

  5. You’re comparing a grown woman to a newborn ? There are certain things one does regardless of embarrassment. for example if someone is talking during davening one is allowed to quiet him even if it causes embarrassment however with everything if one doesn’t think it will help that person be quiet then one isn’t allowed to do it. There are rules and regulations with everything. Think before you do.

  6. You don’t need hundreds to validate this ceremony.

    “The widow and the deceased’s brother both appear in front of the local Beth Din (rabbinical court). During this initial visit, they are briefed about the Chalitzah process. The members of the Beth Din agree to a time and place for the Chalitzah ceremony. Customarily, it is the following morning.

    At that time, the following people are assembled: the court itself, which must consist of at least three judges but traditionally consists of five; two witnesses, as typically required during rabbinic proceedings; and the widow and brother of the deceased.”
    I still contend going to visit someone at a hospital or nursing home would be a better way to spend one’s time.

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