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You're probably familiar with the Jewish wedding tradition " breaking of the glass" where the groom breaks a glass, everyone shouts "mazel tov," and the wedding's cocktail hour begins. Here are seven other Jewish wedding traditions worthy of consideration for you, whether you're planning a Jewish or an interfaith ceremony.
Kabbalat Panim (Greeting Faces)
Every bride wants to feel like a queen on her wedding day. Did you know that the concept is a Jewish one? In ancient ceremonies, the bride sat upon a throne-like chair, and friends and family of the bride would come up and greet her. A modern update is to add a little pre-wedding celebration and beautification for the bride and her gals, like a mani-pedi session. Toast the bride with a little bubbly to make it special.
Circling the Groom
Hakafot is a little like “Ring Around the Rosy.” This tradition symbolizes the creation of a new sacred family circuit. The bride circles her groom seven times as she enters the chuppah. In modern weddings, we've seen the bride and groom circle one another, creating a sacred space around each another under the symbolism of their new home, the chuppah.
Chuppah, which means covering in Hebrew, is the most recognizable symbol of a Jewish wedding. Designing a chuppah with your fiancé is a special way for you both to create something symbolic and beautiful together. Unlike many other Jewish ritual objects, like a tallit or mezuzah, there are no legal requirements for the chuppah. In other words, it can be symbolic or fun, adorned or simple. Most importantly, it can represent who you are (or aspire to be) as a couple. You can make your chuppah just wide enough to hold the two of you and your officiant, or you can make it roomy and invite your entire wedding party to join you underneath the canopy. You can have a freestanding chuppah, or you can invite honored family and friends to hold it over you.
One beautiful tradition says that a Jewish wedding band should be simple and unbroken gold. A smooth ring portends an untroubled life, and the continuity of the Jewish wedding rings represents the hope for an everlasting marriage. But diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and contemporary Jewish rings may include a little bling.
In a wedding ring ceremony, the groom places the Jewish wedding ring on the right index finger rather than the left ring finger - according to Jewish tradition, this finger has the closest bloodline to the heart. Once the ceremony ends, though, most Jewish brides move the wedding ring over to the more well-known ring finger.
Create a Mezuzah
A mezuzah is a Jewish symbol that is placed on the doorframe in a Jewish home. Make your mezuzah extra special by including the broken glass from your wedding ceremony. After the ceremony ends, have your wedding planner or coordinator collect the glass shards, which you'll then insert inside the mezuzah. There are a number of beautiful, modern mezuzahs that will complement your style or décor.
Finally, an important part of the wedding ceremony is the recitation of the Sheva Brachot (the seven blessings). In very traditional families, the wedding reception ends with the same recitation of the seven blessings before the departure of the bride and groom. Rather than chant the traditional seven blessings for a second time, have guests give their own verbal blessings to the wedding couple. The blessing I remember the most from this tradition at my wedding: “May you always be happier than you are right now!”
Yihud means seclusion. Traditionally, it was inappropriate for unmarried men and women to be alone together, so as soon as the bride and groom exited the chuppah, they would go immediately into a room of seclusion, symbolizing their new status as a married couple. No photographers, videographers, or mothers allowed! Look into one another’s eyes, take a deep breath and pause, reveling in the moment. Also consider enjoying some of the food and drinks that you won’t have time to enjoy once you join your reception, which will already be in full swing when you walk through the doors
By Rabbi Yerachmiel GarfieldIt’s easy to get stuck on our phones — just finishing one call, one text, or checking email quickly as our children walk in the door or as we sit down to a family meal. Who hasn’t experienced the pull to our phones right after Shabbos or a minyan?We live in a [...]
Top 10 Reasons to shop for your ketubah with us: We are a "brick and mortar" store not just a website Individualized attention for ketubah shopping customers (no appointment necessary) Sample ketubahs and texts on site We work with your rabbi so all information for the ketubah is correct Our staff is proficient in Hebrew We handle all ketubah proofing details We have [...]
Tallits (Jewish prayer shawls) are often received at a milestone moment in one’s adult Jewish life. At bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs, many families choose to give their child a tallit, which they will wear for the first time as they lead a congregation in prayer and learning. This process of choosing a tallit can be [...]
Yussel's Place, a premier retailer of Judaica gifts and Arts for bar and bat mitzvahs (including tallit sets), Jewish weddings (including break glass kits), all holidays (including Purim, Passover, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah and Chanukah), and other special events has updated its already extensive online catalog of beautiful Judaica.For ketubahs, Yussel's provides individualized attention to [...]
If you’ve decided to include a ketubah as part of your wedding, you have several options. Here is a brief guide of things to consider as you select the one that’s right for you and your partner.Ketubah Text The most important part of any ketubah is what it says. After all, you and your partner will be [...]
If you're not Jewish but you've been invited to attend a Jewish Wedding, have no fear! You might feel a bit out of place during the ceremony but we've got information and etiquette tips to make you feel comfortable. First, what type of wedding is it? If the bride and groom are Conservative or Orthodox a [...]
When the wedding is over, the glass is broken, the flowers are given away, the cake eaten and the dress cannot be cut down to wear again. What remains are the memories, pictures, and above all else, your beautiful ketubah. The most important thing when beginning to shop for a ketubah is to stop…take a deep [...]
While wedding ceremonies vary, common features of a Jewish wedding include a ketubah (marriage contract) which is signed by two witnesses, a wedding canopy (chuppah or huppah), a ring owned by the groom that is given to the bride under the canopy, and the breaking of a glass. Here are some of the other rituals [...]
Passover is celebrated in the early spring commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. And, by following the rituals of Passover, we have the ability to relive and experience the true freedom that our ancestors gained.A Brief History of Passover After many decades of slavery to the Egyptian pharaohs, during which [...]