The Mitzvah Of Hachnosas Kallah
We follow the example of The Almighty, who after He built Chava (Eve) from the rib of Adam, adorned her, prepared the chupah (canopy) and brought her to Adam. The Gemorah in Tractate Shabbos tells us that hachnosas kallah is one of the mitzvos that a person reaps the benefit or “interest” in this world, while the principle remains intact, to be repayed in the World To Come.
The scope of the mitzvah of hachnosas kallah includes: bringing the bride to her chupah, as in actually escorting her, making the occasion happy for her, and assuring that she has all that she needs to begin married life. This is all to be done according to the honor due her, and there are some opinions that there is no specified limit to this mitzvah.
Hachnosas kallah, in the sense of seeing that all her material needs are met, is something that a person should spend his money freely on. There is no greater tzedakah (charity) than “marrying off” a poor bride, or an orphaned one.
A Gabbai Tzedakah (Treasurer of a Charity Fund) can use tzedakah funds to marry off a poor bride or to marry off an orphan. Even objects that have been set aside as donated to a shul (synagogue) or even a sefer Torah (Torah scroll) can be converted into money to bring her to the chupah. We are permitted to cancel or postpone the learning of Torah for the performance of the mitzvah of hachnosas kallah. This mitzvah even takes precedence over the study for one whose profession is Torah, one who is the Gadol Hador (Torah giant of our generation) or a large group of students learning together.
The mitzvah of hachnosas kallah also takes precedence over escorting a burial, because the honor of the living takes precedence over the honor of the deceased.
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