|Barked: Sun Apr 26, '09 3:15pm PST |
|In case some of you are unfamiliar with a Jewish wedding I have put some information in here about them. This is a general guide and not all weddings are the same.
So here's the basics on Jewish wedding traditions:
The procession. Here's one big difference between Christian and Jewish weddings: both the bride and the groom walk down the aisle accompanied by both parents. Traditionally, the rabbi walks out first, followed by the groom and his parents, the grandparents, the groomsmen, the bridesmaids, the flower girl and ring bearer, and the bride and her parents. This order is not always followed. In more traditional weddings, the bride and her parents circle the chupah seven times, a tradition with several different religious implications.
The chupah. The wedding ceremony takes place under the chupah, which is a canopy on four poles that is sometimes decorated. The chupah symbolizes that the bride and groom are creating a home together and that it will always be open to guests. This tradition originates from the Biblical wedding of Abraham and Sarah.
The wedding ceremony under the chupah. Traditional Jewish wedding ceremonies have two parts. During the first part, the bride and groom become betrothed and a blessing is recited over a cup of wine that the bride and groom drink. Traditionally, the groom puts a ring on the bride at this point, although this has become mutual at many modern weddings. Later, the Sheva Brachot, or seven blessings, are recited over another glass of wine. Relatives and close friends are sometimes asked to recite this blessing to honor them.
The ketubah. The ketubah is a Jewish wedding contract. The rabbi reads it under the chupah after the ring ceremony. Many couples frame their ketubah and display it in their home. Traditionally, the ketubah was written in Aramaic, but today many Jews use Hebrew instead.
The breaking of the glass. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the groom (and in some modern ceremonies, the bride as well) smashes a glass with his foot. (In Israeli weddings, the glass is broken after the ketubah reading) The meaning of this act is disputed. One interpretation is that the marriage will last as long as the glass is broken-- forever. Another interpretation is that people need to remember those who are suffering even in their greatest moments of joy, and to remember the destruction of the second temple. After the breaking of the glass, the guests yell, "Mazel Tov!" which means good luck.
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