Jewish Weddings

Breaking the glass

Hi, I'm Heather! I've been looking at this board for a while but I don't think I've ever posted here. My FI is Jewish and so is my stepmother. So we are having an interfaith ceremony. My FI is not all that familiar with the "when" or "why" of the breaking of the glass as he has not been to many weddings and I have not been to a Jewish wedding in years.

My questions then are 1- Do you break the glass traditionally before or after you kiss?
2- We would like to share the meaning of the glass breaking with our guests and I want to be sure to share the correct information. Could anyone help me out with this? I have looked online but always find different interpretations. FI says it is remembering the destruction of the temple and that it can have several other meanings. What would be the best way to explain this to our guests?

Thanks so much,

Re: Breaking the glass

  • Musicheals71Musicheals71 member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Hello, Heather, welcome to the Jewish Weddings Board!

    In answer to your questions:

    1.  You break the glass before you kiss.
    2.  This is the interpretation we used in our program for the Breaking of The Glass:

    The final event under the chuppah is the breaking of the glass.  This event has several meanings.  Even in our greatest moment of joy, we remember those who are suffering.  We also commemorate the destruction of the Temple with the destruction of the glass.  Most of all, we know that the marriage will last as long as the glass is broken - forever.  At the same time, the shattering of the glass is a cue to all of us here to shout out, "Mazel Tov!", and shower the newly married couple with love and joy!
  • fallbride1109fallbride1109 member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    We also had an interfaith wedding so we used a slightly different interpretation.  This is what we put in the program (and is pretty much what was said by the rabbi):
    This Jewish tradition reminds us that love, like glass, is fragile and must be protected. For the bride and the groom, the shattering of this glass also symbolizes the breaking down of barriers between people of different cultures and faiths.  The glass is broken to protect the marriage with an implied prayer:  "May your marriage last as long as it would take to repair this glass."
  • edited December 2011

    This is the final act of the wedding. There are many interpretations for why the groom breaks the glass. Some say it is to remember, even on the happiest day of our lives, the sadness of the destruction of the second Jewish temple.  Modern scholars have also interpreted this act to mean that, like glass, a marriage is fragile and must be well tended or it will shatter.


    Sorry about the strange font but here is what we have so far.


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  • edited December 2011
    Thanks so much ladies. I really appreciate the information you have shared.
    I am glad to know the meaning of the glass and when to do this in the ceremony. I must say I am so sorry I have not gotten involved in with this board sooner. I've really enjoyed reading your posts though!
    Thanks for welcoming me :-)
  • edited December 2011
    1. Right before you kiss.
    2. Every happy moment is still tinged with some sadness at the brokenness of the world.. but every mitzvah, such as marrying, brings us closer to repairing the world, tikkun olam. Breaking the glass is a reminder of this.
    It's also the last time the groom will ever put his foot down :)
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