One of the bizarre things about Orthodox weddings is that from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave somebody is trying to shnor you into a minyan. They want you to pray. “Have you davened Mincha yet?” “There’s a Mincha starting.” “Did I miss Mincha?” “When’s the next Mincha?” At one point last night I told a guy, don’t worry, there’s one leaving every 20 minutes.
No sooner did I arrive at this wedding last night (after 2 hours of driving, no less), and try to find a piece of pound cake to absorb the shot of whisky this Rabbi had poured for me, than somebody yanked me out into the hallway to pray. I missed the bedekin while they were doing Kedusha.
And when they’re done with Mincha, then they start up with the Maarivs. “There’s a Maariv minyan in the hall.” “Did you daven Maariv yet?” “Stop the band! They’re davening Maariv!” “What again?” “I already davened Maariv! Twice!”
Last night the first dance set (and therefore, more importantly, my dinner) was delayed because the newly-married couple couldn’t get into the hall as they were being blocked by about 50 men in black hats trying to get in another Maariv minyan. Or maybe it was a late Mincha. I can’t tell anymore.
So what’s the deal with that? Is there some reason they can’t just work it into the service? Set aside 15 minutes so everyone can daven one time together? Instead of constantly clogging up the halls with large groups of men, who keep trying to push the waitresses out of the way and who are keeping the old ladies from getting to the bathrooms?
Is there some fear that if the men were allowed to spend time together not praying they might, Gd forbid, talk to one another??
Note: Mincha is the second prayer service of the day. Maariv is the third.