Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Jewish-ish Wedding Traditions- Blessings

This post is going to cover many different Jewish wedding traditions from the list. The following traditions are on today's agenda: The Betrothal, The Kiddush, The Seven Blessings, The Ring Ceremony, and The Breaking of the Glass.

The Betrothal/The Ring Ceremony- I have recently discovered that these two traditions are one and the same! The Betrothal is known as the "presentation of the ring." There are two blessings that are recited and wine is tasted. This portion of the ring ceremony we will not be participating in. #1 because we're having a secular (non religious) service and #2 because J doesn't drink alcohol. Ever. 

Additional traditions around the ring are that the wedding bands cannot be broken by diamonds or other gems. The unbroken circle of gold represents the circle of everlasting love and marriage. This tradition goes so far as if the wedding bands the couple wants to wear have stones in them, they must borrow solid gold rings to use during the actual ceremony. Another facet of this tradition is that the bride's ring must be the property of the groom at the time of the wedding. So if a family is going to lend solid gold rings to the couple, they must sell them to the groom and then buy them back after the wedding. During the ring ceremony, the groom places the brides ring onto her right index finger instead of her left ring finger. 

As far as these traditions go, we will be following the solid gold tradition but only by happy accident rather than choice. I have decided to go with a skinny, solid rose gold wedding band and I'm sure J's ring will be solid as well. I don't really see him as a diamond sporting kind of dude! 

The Kiddush is the blessing over the wine which happens before the exchange of rings. As I mentioned above, we will not be performing that tradition. 

The Seven Blessings- the seven blessings can be given by the rabbi or by chosen friends and family. Again, we're doing a secular ceremony so no blessings will be given. 

The Breaking of the Glass- this tradition is probably the most popular and well known Jewish wedding tradition. In fact, many non Jewish couples are incorporating it into their day. It is, after all, quite the big finish! For those of you who are unfamiliar, the breaking of the glass is at the end of the wedding where the groom steps on (and breaks) a glass wrapped in cloth. Once the glass breaks everyone yells "Mazel Tov" (which means congratulations) and claps! These days, a light bulb is used in place of an actual glass because they're easier to break and make a better popping noise! Nothing is funnier (but more uncomfortable for the groom) than a glass that won't break! So men, give it a good stomp! 

I cringe to tell you the meaning of the breaking of the glass because I don't agree with it but here it is. It is supposed to symbolize the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and remind everyone that even in joy we must mourn. I won't get into my feelings on this sentiment but I will say that we are including the tradition despite it's downer meaning. It just really isn't a Jewish wedding without the breaking of the glass! 


See? So much fun! 

To tally up the Jewish wedding traditions as we always do...
1. Ketubah signing- IN
2. Chuppah- IN
3. Separation- OUT
4. The Covering of the Bride- Half IN Half OUT
5. The Procession/Unterfieres- IN
6. Encircling of the Groom- IN
7. The Betrothal/Ring Ceremony- IN
8. The Kiddush- OUT
9. The Seven Blessings- OUT
10. The Breaking of the Glass- IN

Only two more traditions to go!


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