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Why do we invite a "new face" to every Sheva Brachot?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Life Cycle » Marriage » Sheva Brachot | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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Joy which isn’t shared with a “new face” (“panim chadashot”) lacks a certain excitement. It is therefore necessary to “freshen” the joy and happiness of the newlyweds during each of the sheva Brachot celebrations by inviting someone who has not attended the wedding or any of the previous sheva brachot. In the absence of a panim chadashot, the sheva brachot blessings are not recited. The one notable exception to this rule is Shabbat and major Jewish holidays, when the special day itself – and the joy it provides – serves as the panim chadashot.

It is necessary to “freshen” the joy and happiness of the newlyweds during each of the sheva brachot celebrations by inviting someone who has not attended the wedding or any of the previous sheva brachot
Sephardic custom is to invite at lease two panim chadashot to every sheva brachot.

Considering that presumably all the close friends of the bride and groom attended the wedding, more often than not, the panim chadashot are friends of the hosts of the sheva brachot. It is unnecessary for them to be present for the entire sheva brachot meal; it is fine to invite them for dessert and Grace After Meals

Only one who can be counted as part of the (sheva brachot) Minyan can qualify as a panim chadashot.


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Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Grace After Meals
Biblically mandated prayer, consisting of four blessings, recited after eating more than an ounce of bread.
Brachot
(Plural form of "bracha.") Blessings. A Jew is required to recite a bracha before gaining any sort of benefit or pleasure such as eating or drinking (and usually afterwards as well); or before fulfilling a Mitzvah (commandment).
Sephardic
(adj.) A Jew whose ancestors stem from Southern Italy, Spain, Portugal, North Africa or the Arabian countries.
Minyan
A quorum consisting of ten adult male Jews. A minyan is necessary to recite the kaddish or to publicly read from the Torah scroll.
sheva brachot
1. The seven benedictions recited in honor of a bride and groom beneath the wedding canopy and at subsequent celebrations. 2. The celebratory week following a wedding (during which time the aforementioned blessings are recited.)