21 Iyar 5779 / Sunday, May 26, 2019 | Torah Reading: Bamidbar
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Oysters and Mixed Dancing    

Oysters and Mixed Dancing

A young man from an observant family asks Rabbi Avigdor Miller if he is allowed to attend the wedding of a nonobservant relative where there will be mixed dancing…



Should I attend the wedding of a close relative if there is going to be mixed dancing at the party?



Now, we can rephrase this question. Should you attend the wedding of a close relative where they will be serving oysters? Mixed dancing is worse than oysters. If somebody points a gun at your head and says, "Eat this oyster," so you can eat the oyster to save your life. But if he points a gun at your head and says, "Dance with that girl over there," tell him to shoot. Or, take away the gun from him and shoot him! But whatever you do, don't dance with that girl. It's what the Gemara rules that one must die rather than transgress. In other words, it's one of the three sins that you have to forfeit your life for – idolatry, bloodshed and Arayos – immorality - a man is required to give his life rather than commit immoral acts, which include anything between him and her outside the context of marriage.


The question is, what to do if you are invited, and you don't want to lose that relative. So here's what you do: First of all, you have to try to be away. Even if you have to go to the Land of Israel at the same time as the wedding, just to a avoid it, it pays. What does it cost already, nine hundred dollars? If you can afford it, do it. If not, then go to Chicago. You had to be in Chicago for some reason, business or whatever you can think of. You're in Chicago and you can't make it. That's a good excuse.


And in case you can't go anywhere, then you can come to the wedding. Come early and stay in the lobby. Be conspicuous, so that when a relative comes into the lobby, he should see you loafing there all the time. And then, when the dancing begins, you quietly slip out the door and go home. If they say, "Why don't you come in and join us in the hall?" say, "I was there!"  When they ask, "Why don't you sit down to eat something?" say "I have stomach trouble; I have to go home." 


Transcribed from Tape # E-549



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Rabbi Avigdor Miller of saintly and blessed memory was one of the great spiritual leaders of Torah Jewry in America during the previous generation. With a courageous commitment to truth, he feared no one but Hashem. As a young man, he left the comforts of America to learn in the Slavodka Yeshiva in Lithuania from 1932-1938. We are honored at Breslev Israel to feature his writings, which we have received from the TorasAvigdor organization in Brooklyn, New York.

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