2019 flip book website - Page 35

The Jewish Wedding
elcome to the most important day of
one’s life. Our sages tell us that prior to
marrying, neither man nor woman is considered
a complete entity. At birth, each body contains
only a half of a soul and the
marriage is the joining of
these two halves.
(Marriage Contract)
At the reception, the first
thing usually done is the signing and witnessing of the
Ketubah (the marriage contract). The Ketubah lists the
responsibilities the husband
will be obligated to on behalf
of his wife throughout their
marriage and in certain other
situations. The Ketubah is essentially for the women’s protection and her concerns. The
groom agrees to these obligations by making a legal acquisition of the Ketubah’s responsibilities. Without this
Ketubah, a man is forbidden to live with his wife.
The Ketubah is often written as an illuminated
manuscript and becomes “a work of art” and many
couples frame and display it in their home.
BEDEKIN (Veiling Ceremony)
The Bedekin takes place next. The groom is accompanied by his father, the bride’s father, relatives
and other guests to greet his bride where he sees
her for the first time in seven days and lowers the
veil over her face.
CHUPAH (Wedding Ceremony)
The next stage is known as the chupah, a decorated piece of cloth held aloft as a symbolic home
for the new couple. The groom is escorted by his
parents to the chupah first and the bride, accompanied by her parents, is brought to him, just as
Eve was brought to Adam. When the bride arrives
at the chupah, she circles the groom seven times
with her mother and future mother-in-law, while
the groom continues to pray. This symbolizes the
idea of the woman being a protective, surrounding light of the household that illuminates it with
understanding and love from within. The number seven parallels the seven days of creation and
symbolizes that the bride and groom are about to
create their own ”new world” together.
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During the Kiddushin, the Rabbi makes two
blessings. The first blessing is over the wine,
the traditional symbol of joy, signifying the
sanctification of the marriage and the second blessing is thanking G-d for the
sanctity of marriage and
giving us the opportunity
to perform this Mitzvah.
The groom then takes a
plain gold ring and places
it on the finger of the bride
and recites,“Behold you are
sanctified to me with this
ring, according to the Law
of Moses and Israel”.
(Seven Blessings)
After this, the sheva brachos are recited, either by
one Rabbi, or at many weddings a different blessing is
given to various people the families wish to
honor. The blessings express the hope that
the new couple will rejoice together forever
as though they are the original couple. The
blessings also include a prayer for the time
when Moshiach will come to redeem us from
exile so that peace and tranquility will reign
over the world.
At the conclusion of the blessings, the groom
breaks a glass with his right foot symbolizing
that even at the height of our personal joy, we
must still remember the destruction of the
Temple in Jerusalem.
YICHUD (Privacy)
After the ceremony, the bride and groom adjourn to a private room, guarded by two witnesses. The few minutes the couple share
together allude to their new intimate relationship and emphasizes that their absolute privacy be respected.
BIRCHAS HAMAZON (Grace After Meals)
The ceremony is followed by a feast to honor
the occasion. The meal ends with the Birchas
Hamazon and the seven blessings recited under
the Chupah are once again repeated.
1/7/19 11:24 AM

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