Why is getting married different than any other mitzvah, in that it exempts one from saying shema? I understand that when one is involved in a mitzvah, he is exempt from doing any other. However, a choson is exempt from saying the shema even PRIOR to doing the mitzvah. Why isn't someone for example exempt from saying shema if he is preparing for the seder, or preparing to blow shofar etc.?
Jordan Fox, Chicago, USA
In fact, anyone who has is busy with a Mitzvah, including the preparations, *is* Patur from performing another Mitzvah (as we learned in B'rachos 19b, regarding someone who is on his way to bring his Korban Pesach or to circumcise his son, when he hears that a close relative has died). A Chasan is different in that he is Patur even when he is not doing anything, because, as the Gemara explains, he is justifiably worried about the Mitzvah he is about to perform.
be'Virkas Kol Tuv