Single young men from the Vizhnitz hasidic sect may no longer participate in community weddings, their rebbe (hasidic leader) said, according to Kikar Hashabbat.
According to Kikar Hashabbat, the instruction follows a speech by the Vizhnitzer Rebbe on Shabbat (Saturday), in which he said that, "Everyone is familiar with the history of Vizhnitz over the past seventy years, when during the time that the Vizhnitz neighborhood was built in Bnei Brak, a situation was created in which everyone knew everyone else, and therefore everyone participated in the weddings as one family."
He also said that when his father, the "Yeshuot Moshe," Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Hager, became rebbe, he instructed that single young men not participate in weddings, since there are enough people who come to make the couple happy.
The situation remained this way "until about three years ago, when I decided that at each wedding, 13 single young men would be permitted to participate, due to testimonies I received regarding weddings which were empty of participants," the Vizhnitz Rebbe said.
The Vizhnitz Rebbe added that recently, and for various reasons, he has "decided to end this custom, and from today and forward single young men should not go to weddings at all, as my father, of blessed memory, instructed. And this boundary should not be breached."
Following the Rebbe's words, the hasidim gathered in Bnei Brak Sunday night to discuss the recreation of a special group who would be responsible for enlivening weddings, as per their leader's request.