There are different rites according to our beliefs to celebrate marriage. Some are more familiar to us than others but all have their customs and charm. On this occasion we will tell you how weddings are celebrated according to the Jewish rite.
For many, the Jewish rite is still an unknown, so we will tell you some of the most important details.
- Contrary to what happens in catholic weddings, in the case of the Jews, both most belong to the religion, therefore if one is not, then he must convert.
- The ceremony can be given either in the couples own language or in Hebrew.
- It is performed by a rabbi, under a chuppah, which is a mantle or piece of square cloth supported by for poles to symbolise the house that the couple will form and the ceremony takes place beneath it. The first to arrive at the chuppah are the rabbi, groom, the male members of the family and they are finally joined by the bride.
- The rabbi blesses a glass of wine and gives a sermon. The bride and groom both drink from this glass before exchanging rings. This is the act that converts the bride and groom into a married couple. The rings, which are usually plain, simple and of yellow gold, (to represent the simple beauty of a stable marriage), symbolise the ties of eternal love that unites the couple and the protection that the wife will receive from her husband. Also, so that it is legitimate, the ring must be the legal property of the groom.
- After exchanging rings, the rabbi reads the ketubah (marriage contract) in which the rights and duties of the couple are explained, and especially the obligations of the husband to his wife. The wife will keep the document previously signed by him and two witnesses who must not be blood relations of either of the couple.
- Finally, the rabbi recites over a second glass the seven blessings that will protect the marriage. The couple drink from the glass and then the groom places the glass on the floor and breaks it by stamping on it. This act represents the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, thousands of years ago.
- Once the ceremony is over, the couple have the opportunity to be alone during a ritual known as yichud (union) in which they drink a typical consommé in a private room. When they think that they are ready, the reception begins in which a loaf of bread (challah) is blessed to symbolise the union of the families.
Jewish weddings must not be celebrated on the Sabbath, from dusk on the Friday until dusk on the Saturday, nor on religious holidays, nor during Passover, nor in the three weeks before summer.
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