Jewish Marriages

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Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.’ So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man, there was not found a helper as his partner. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23Then the man said, This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.’ Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.(Genesis 2:18-24)

They say that “I am” is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language, could it be that “I do” is the longest sentence? Some say that the day you get married is the day you commit suicide, But whatever the truth and the answer to that questions is, man and woman are destined to be together since the beginning of time. It’s just a matter of finding that perfect person to spend the rest of your life with. Getting married and the thought of growing old with someone you love can be a very rewarding feeling.

Historically, in some cultures and traditions, like the Jews, marriage is apportioned into two parts, the erusin or kiddushin derived from kadosh, meaning to sanctify and render holy, which is the betrothal ceremony, The betrothal becomes official when the groom gives the bride an object of at least inconsiderable value (In modern practice these have been referred to as the symbolic engagement ring and the value is no longer nominal), in the presence of two witnesses; or the signing of a contract (ketubah), also in the presence of two witnesses, and nissuin also called huppa, the actual marriage ceremony. The two part ceremony will alight about a year apart, which means the soon to be bride still lives with her parents until the actual marriage ceremony took place.

The bridal canopy

Jewish wedding ceremony is preferably held outside and takes place under a wedding canopy or Chuppah, symbolizing the new home being built by the couple which they will share when they become husband and wife. It is open on all sides which represents hospitality and amiability.

Covering of the bride

The veiling ritual is known as Badeken. Traditionally the bride wears a pure white robe and a veil. The covering is removed after the formal ceremony.

Presentation of the rings

The couple exchanges rings. The groom bestows his wife with a ring and recites Behold; you are consecrated to me with this ring according to the laws of Moses and Israel. The bride presents his groom with a ring and recites a quote often from the Song of Songs: “Ani l’dodi, l’dodi li” which means (I am my beloveds and my beloved is mine), at this point the two are officially married.

The Sheva Brachot or seven blessings

Seven blessings are usually recited by reading or chanting by the selected members of the bridal party who are called up individually. The groom holds up a glass of wine and drinks from it after every blessing is recited or after all seven blessing is finished.

Breaking of the glass

At the end of the ceremony, the groom will then shatter a wine glass with his foot reminding them despite the joy of the occasion, the Jews still mourn the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.

Yichud

The bride and the groom are secluded in a private room for twenty minutes. This is a custom being practiced after the wedding ceremony to give the newlywed couple some time alone.

The couple will then celebrate their wedding reception with lots of music and dancing where guests and family will toast for their happiness all of which have deep significance for their future life together, symbolizing the beauty of the relationship between husband and wife.

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Posted by on Thursday, October 28th, 2010. Filed under Jewish How To. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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