Since there are over 14.7 million Jewish people in the world, it makes sense that this religion is full of rich cultural rites, traditions, and beliefs. These practices impact every part of many Jewish people’s lives, including mealtimes, holiday observations, and, of course, wedding ceremonies.
But what are some of the most interesting Jewish wedding traditions, exactly? That’s what we’re going to discuss here today. Read on to learn some cool facts about Jewish wedding ceremonies that you likely didn’ know.
1. The Attire
One of the biggest attire differences between Jewish and Christian weddings is the head coverings worn by both guests and wedding party members. The couple provides the head coverings at the ceremony, so guests don’t need to bring their own. All men must wear a kippah to show respect, and married women also usually cover their heads with a lace covering.
Beyond that, the attire is fairly standard. Grooms wear formal suits. The bride wears a beautiful dress, though it doesn’t need to be white. Usually, in fact, she will wear a gown that has been hand-embroidered with love by family members.
2. The Aufruf
The Jewish Shabbat, or holy day, takes place every Friday and Saturday. Weddings cannot take place on it. However, on the Shabbat before the wedding, the couple may be called up to recite a special blessing from the Torah while at the temple. The rabbi will then say a blessing for the union to wish the couple good luck.
After the blessing, temples may hold a small reception. Others at the temple may also toss candy to the couple as an expression of well-wishes.
3. The Ketubah
The Ketubah is the text version of a Jewish couple’s vows to one another. This marriage contract outlines the rights and responsibilities that the groom has in relation to the bride. It was originally established to ensure that the bride received the land and love promised to her, but today it serves more of a ceremonial purpose.
An Orthodox Ketubah text contains two sections, one in English and one in traditional Aramaic. However, there are many Ketubah designs that you can choose from in either or both of these languages. Whether you’re an observing Orthodox couple, a nontraditional couple that simply has Jewish ancestry, a same-sex couple, a pair who loves to travel, or someone who is going to use their Ketubah as home decoration, it’s easy to find the right text for you.
4. The Chuppah
The Chuppah is one of the most important Jewish wedding traditions that is absorbed. This is a canopy made from a cloth supported by four poles, and it can be a solid color or something that is decorated extravagantly depending on what the couple prefers. This piece of cloth is held by wedding party members, and the couple and their best man/maid of honor stand under it with the parents of the couple and the officiant while vows are exchanged.
The Chuppah represents a Jewish home and the hospitality found within its walls. Above all, it is a symbol of welcome to all of the guests and goodwill for each and every attendee.
5. The Procession
The procession down the aisle toward the Chuppah is also a bit different than you would see at a Christian wedding ceremony. The groom is escorted down the aisle during this processional in addition to the bride (or, in a same-sex wedding, both parties are escorted rather than just one).
They are followed by their wedding parties, much like in a Christian wedding, but the parties for each side come down the aisle separately rather than escorting one another.
6. The Blessings
During a Jewish wedding, the officiating rabbi will recite the sheva brachot (seven blessings). These blessings are recited toward the end of the ceremony over a cup of wine.
Traditionally, blessings would have been completely said in Hebrew. However, because many modern-day Jewish people don’t speak the language, they are often translated into English as well for the couple and their guests to understand them more easily.
After these blessings are said, the groom (or one of the grooms) breaks a glass with his right foot before kissing his partner. This is commonly thought of as a reference to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.
7. The Honeymoon
In most cultures, the newlyweds tend to embark on their honeymoon immediately after the wedding. However, for traditional Jewish couples, this happens a bit differently– instead of setting off right away, the couple will wait a week before they go anywhere. Don’t worry, though. This week is a ton of fun and is something to look forward to in its own right!
It’s called the Shiv’at Y’mei Mishteh, or Seven Days of Feasting. You can’t really go wrong with a name like that. During this timeframe, the couple gets to chill out alone at home, eat a lot of delicious food, and hang out with friends and family. They’ll take this time off work and have a good time.
Beyond Jewish Wedding Traditions
While there are many awesome wedding rituals in every culture, Jewish weddings are some of the best out there.
Now that you know some of the most interesting Jewish wedding traditions, it’s time to learn more cool and unique things. Check out the ‘interesting facts’ section of our home page to learn more practices and rituals that different world religions and cultures follow!
The post 7 Weird Traditions and Rituals in a Jewish Wedding You Need to Know first appeared on Weirdomatic.
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