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Jewish Weddings

Wedding Ceremony Program

Hello - did/will any of you have a program for the ceremony? I have a number of people coming to the ceremony who aren't Jewish and I thought a program would be helpful to them. If you do, can you please share your wording/programs? thanks!

Re: Wedding Ceremony Program

  • LBRM_NJLBRM_NJ member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
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  • edited December 2011
    Whenever a person not familiar with Judaism hears that they will be attending a Jewish oriented wedding, most freak out.  My suggestion would be to create a little informational brochure/program that will explain not only what they will see but the significance of them. 

    For example (and I'm not assuming you will be doing any specific ceremonial activities, but am picking at random what comes to mind first) the bedechan veil.  The veiling is one of the most emotional aspects of a traditional Jewish wedding in which the women create a path to where the kallah is sitting and the chosen (groom) is walked down with the kallah's father and his father to place a thick white veil over her face.  We've been continuing this tradition since the wedding between Yaakov Avienu (Jacob) and Leah Imienu (Leah) when Lavan (Laban) had switched Leah in lieu of Rachel for Yaakov's bride.  Why do we cover the kallah's face?  It is an act of trust and virtue.  Rachel had taught her sister handsignals so Yaakov would believe she was Rachel.  Why?  So that Leah would not be embarassed by being revelled as not being Rachel.  This ceremonial act is an act of womanhood.  The self-sacrificing nature of the Jewish women and women in general.  In Judaism, women are given honor as having direct links to our Creator.  On a more sentimental note, it is the most difficult thing in the world to keep from crying when watching as an observer this act.  The chosen places the veil over his kallah's face with such pride and anticipation.  Whenever I attend a wedding, I watch the women.  Very few are left without tears streaming down their faces.

    Another example is the chuppah.  What exactly is it?  This is symbolic of the home the chosen and kallah will be creating.  It is personal and special.  It is all their hopes and dreams.  The brachos (blessings) given under the chuppah are focused on every aspect of their future life. 

    The ketubah.  A contract a chosen gives to his kallah that outlines his duties to her.  Although this is oftentimes the most confusing aspect of the wedding, it is beautiful.  Its a promise that the chosen will provide for his kallah; he is taking a wife not for ownership but because she will help make him a better man!  What is more beautiful than the acknowledgement of the chosen that he is not complete without his kallah?

    The breaking of the glass.  It is often said that the last time a man puts his foot down is on the glass under the chupah and you'd be surprised how many men are nervous that the glass will not break!  Humor aside, this is our reminder that we as Jews are not at the height of our glory.  That we do not have the spirital connection to our Creator that we are meant to have.  We are to remember at this point the destruction of our people and the losses we've survived for thousands of years. 

    By giving an explaination to those that feel the activities of the Jewish wedding are foreign, you will be giving them the gift of appreciation for what is being done.  They will feel more connected and more pride during your special day than otherwise.

    www.chabad.org has explainations and outlines what each part of the Jewish wedding means. 

    Mazal tov on your wedding!

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  • edited December 2011
    Thanks Miri! I've been looking for simple, meaningful explanations for all these traditions. Appreciate the thoughtful descriptions.
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