Section: Halacha   Category: Tshuvos
Rav Moshe Shternbuch - Squeezing The "Shver" Before The Chasuna
The Issur of Lo Sachmod is when you want an item that someone else owns and you use all kinds of methods of persuasion and pressure to convince the owner to sell it to you.  The Chofetz Chaim says (Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzer 38) that a Choson who pressures his future father in law before the wedding to give more than was promised at the time of his engagement, is oveir on Lo Sachmod.

Rav Moshe Shternbuch (2:617) questions this psak since what the father in law will give is a gift and not a sale.  Only Rabbeinu Yonah who is a Da'as Yochid holds that you can be oveir Lo Sachmod if you receive a gift.  The Imrei Emes of Gur paskens that you are only oveir on a sale and not a gift.

Rav Shternbuch says that in the case of a choson, although technically it is a gift, nevertheless halachicly it is more like a sale.  The reason why you are not oveir by a gift is because since the giver gave it for free, out of good will, it is proof that he was not pressured.  In the case of a choson, the choson is taking the girl and asking the father to pay more money than he originally intended.  Therefore the Chofetz Chaim's psak agrees even with those who hold there is no Lo Sachmod for a gift.

In defense of the minhag of chasanim who ask for more after the engagement, Rav Shternbuch is melamed z'chus and says that since the gift will benefit his father in law's daughter, it is also in his own interest to give it and Lo Sachmod is only when it is for your interest and against the interest of the person you are pressuring.

Important Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.