Judaism Marriage

Set Form
Symbol System
Role Relations
Jewish marriages
can take place in a
synagogue or
outdoors in full view of
God (traditional).
All marriages are
performed under a
Most marriages take
place on Sunday
afternoons. Marriage is
not permitted on the
Sabbath or festivals.
Marriage is not permissible ;
- day of God. Jews devote themselves to prayer
Holidays (or intermediate days)
The 49 day period between Passover &
Shavous – remembers a plague that killed thousands of people.
(except ‘Lag O’mer’ – the 33rd day. A very popular wedding date!)
The Three Weeks –anniversaries of the destruction of the 1st &
2nd Temples
Australian law permits marriage from 18 years.
Old Testament laws allowed marriage for girls
from 12 years.
Jewish marriage is a ‘public
ceremony’ attended by family and
friends. A minyan must be present
for the blessings.
The role of the
Rabbi is to ensure
that the ceremony
is performed
correctly and that
the couple are
allowed to marry.
is to avoid being married
while menstruating, so that
consumation can take place.
is to take a ‘mikvah’ ritual
bath days prior to her
wedding day.
On Shabbat she is
showered with blessings by
to fast on the day in
preparation for marriage.
On Shabbat before the
wedding, the groom is called
to the reading of the Torah.
People throw nuts, raisins
or sweets on him as a
symbol of a sweet life. This
ceremony is called Arfruf.
He fasts as marriage is a
solemn as well as joyful
Wears a kippah (yarmaluke) &
Kittel – The Wedding Garment
The kiddushin is composed of two distinct
ceremonies: the (erusin) and nisuin (nuptials).
‘Kiddushin the Hebrew term for marriage
means ‘sanctification’ related to the word
‘kadosh’ (holy)
Marriage is the ideal human state
God’s design that there are male and female
One woman is set apart for one man in
faithfulness, loyalty and mutual respect – reflects
the covenant of God and his people.
Emotional and spiritual fulfilment and sexual
Reunification of a ‘sundered’ soul
Ties and obligations of marriage sanctify God
To marry and have children is the first
command of the Torah
The Chassan & Kallah are separated (for up to
a week)
People visit them to wish them a Mazel Tov and
blessings on building a true Jewish home.
Reading of the T’naim or marriage conditions
to the Chassan, his parents and the Kallah’s
parents. The document on which the T,naim are
written is called a Ketubah. This is an ancient
Jewish practice.
The mother’s break a plate to signify the
strength required of a marriage.
The Betrothal ceremony has been combined in
modern times with the second service
Nisuin. Traditionally the two parts of the
ceremony were separated by as long as a year. It
is during the Erusin ceremony that the Kallah
(bride) and Chatan (groom) are formally and
publicly betrothed to one another.
The pre-ceremony
ritual is the veiling
of the Kallah
The Chatan
(Groom) lowers the
veil over the
Kallah's face.
It also recalls the
biblical story of
Rachel and Jacob.
Rachels father
Laben substituted
his elder daughter
Leah, for Rachel.
The Chatan lowers
the veil over the
Kallah to be sure
not to make the
same mistake
Jacob did.
By "dressing" his
Kallah with a veil,
the Chatan is
assured that she is
the one he has
chosen, and thereby
sets her apart from
all others.
The Shofar is blown to
commence the ceremony.
The groom is escorted to the
Chupah by his parents. The
Maid of Honour follows next
in the procession
.. The bride, is escorted by
her parents (or both mothers
or by her father), and joins
the bridegroom who is
already under the Chupah.
The escorts carry
candles, since
Jewish custom
associates light with
joy. They stand
facing the rabbi /
official conducting
the ceremony.
Forming a square, the fathers of the couple
stand on the groom’s left and the mothers on
the bride’s right.
The Bride circles
her beloved seven
times, taken from
Jeremiah 31:22b, "a
woman shall
compass (revolve
around, surround) a
Seven times is
significant because
of its scriptural
reference of
perfection and
The reference in Hosea
2:19-21 of God’s sevenfold betrothal to His
people, Israel;
the reference in
Revelation 4:5 to the
seven Spirits of God;
and as a reflection of the
Bride’s desire to be as
the seven prophetesses
of Israel: Sarah, Miriam,
Deborah, Hannah,
Abigail, Hilda, & Esther.
The position of the
bride on the right
side of the groom is
based on an
interpretation of
Psalm 45:10 "the
queen stands on
your right hand in
fine gold of ophir".
In Jewish tradition
the bride is a
queen, and the
groom a king.
Using poles
A Jewish
under a
Simple prayer shawl
The bridal canopy is a
multifaceted symbol: it is a
home, a garment, a bed
covering, and a reminder of the
tent of our Patriarchs. It is open
on all sides to recall the tent of
Abraham, who had doors on all
sides of his dwelling to welcome
This is symbolic of the marriage
coming under the Holy covering
of God. The covering represents
protection, mercy, and grace.
A blessing over a cup of
wine is said, followed by
a second blessing that
holiness of sexuality as
well as the integrity of
the bonds of marriage.
Both the kallah and
chatan drink from the
same cup of wine,
accepting life's joys, as
well as responsibilities.
He who is supremely mighty,
He who is supremely blessed
He who is supremely sublime
May He bless the Groom and the Bride.
Groom lifts the
veil to take a
peek. This is to
verify that she is
his wife and not
another, avoiding
the mistake that
Jacob made with
The sermon or
charge should be a
personal message
to the bride and
groom by the Rabbi
with challenges
and commitments
to the Holy One.
(Groom / Bride)______________, will you have
(Bride / Groom)__________ to be your wife /
Will you love her, honour her / him, comfort
and keep her / him, and forsaking all others
remain true to her / him as long as you both
shall live?
"I will."
I, ___________ (name)
take thee ___________,
(partner’s name)
To be my wedded wife / husband,
And I do promise and covenant,
Before God and these witnesses,
To be thy loving and faithful husband / wife,
In plenty and in want,
In joy and in sorrow,
In sickness and in health,
As long as you both shall live.
Groom / Bride repeat the vows after the celebrant.
This is the crucial moment as the groom, in
Orthodox Judaism, says the words,
“Behold, thou art consecrated unto me by
this ring, according to the Law of Moses and
of Israel.”
In Orthodox Judaism the groom does not
receive a ring.
Conservative congregations follow the
Orthodox form, but it is usual for the bride to
give the groom a ring.
In Reform Judaism both the bride and groom
recite the English words, “With this ring I thee
The words in both formulas constitute the
vows of Jewish marriage.
The betrothal section
closes with blessings
recited over a second cup
of wine.
In Orthodox weddings the
wine glass is then
wrapped in a cloth, and
crushed under foot to
symbolise the hardship of
the Jewish people and
the hardships that will
inevitably befall the
Blessed are You O Lord
our God, King of the
Universe who creates the
fruit of the vine, the
symbol of joy. Blessed
are thou, O Lord, who has
hallowed thy people
Israel by the blessing of
the marriage canopy, the
Chuppah and the sacred
covenant of marriage
In Orthodox Judaism,
the Ketubah is the
marriage contract. It is
read in Aramaic and an
English summary is
often provided.
The ketubah states the
practical commitment
of the husband to
provide for his wife
and assuring her of
financial protection in
the event of divorce or
his death.
The Ketubah is prepared
and signed by witnesses.
In the presence of 2
witnesses, the groom
accepts the Ketubah by
taking hold of a
handkerchief given to
him by the rabbi.
In some Orthodox
communities, the groom
reads and agrees to the
ketubah before the
ceremony begins.
In Conservative
Judaism, both bride
and groom often
sign a simple
marriage certificate,
a practice that is
followed in all
The groom makes the
following declarations to
the bride;
"Be my wife according to
the law of Moses and Israel
and the Messiah Yeshua. I
will, love, honor, and
cherish you as Messiah
loved the holy
congregation. I will provide
for you as is proper for a
husband to do according
to the teachings of the
word of God."
The Bride has
accepted his words
and dedicated
herself to him,
"I will respect,
honor, and cherish
you in the same
manner as the holy
congregation is to
love the Messiah."
The 2nd and
‘Nuptial’ stage
of the Jewish
marriage rite.
Nisuin begins with the recitation of the
seven blessings, praising God for the
creation of all things, of Man, and of man
and woman in His image. Not only the
story of creation, but also the history of
Israel and its future hopes are echoed.
Traditionally they are also recited at the
end of a celebratory meal held in a
different home for each of the seven
nights following the wedding.
1. Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, the
sovereign of the world, who created
everything for his glory.
2. Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, the
sovereign of the world, the creator of man.
3. Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, the
sovereign of the world, who created man in
His image, in the pattern of His own likeness,
and provided for the perpetuation of his
kind. Blessed are You, Lord, the creator of
4. Let the barren city be jubilantly happy and
joyful at her joyous reunion with her
children. Blessed are You, Lord, who makes
Zion rejoice with her children.
5. Let the loving couple be very happy, just as
You made Your creation happy in the garden
of Eden, so long ago. Blessed are You, Lord,
who makes the bridegroom and the bride
6. Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, the sovereign
of the world, who created joy and celebration,
bridegroom and bride, rejoicing, jubilation,
pleasure and delight, love and brotherhood,
peace and friendship. May there soon be heard,
Lord our G-d, in the cities of Judea and in the
streets of Jerusalem, the sound of joy and the
sound of celebration, the voice of a bridegroom
and the voice of a bride, the happy shouting of
bridegrooms from their weddings and of young
men from their feasts of song. Blessed are You,
Lord, who makes the bridegroom and the bride
rejoice together.
7. Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, the
sovereign of the world, creator of the fruit of
the vine.
Blessed are You O Lord our
God, King of the Universe
who creates the fruit of the
vine, the symbol of joy.
Blessed are thou, O Lord,
who has hallowed thy people
Israel by the blessing of the
marriage canopy, the
Chuppah and the sacred
covenant of marriage.
After a man proposed
marriage to a woman,
in ancient Jewish
culture, he poured a
cup of wine and drank
from it. If she took it
and drank also that
signified her
acceptance and she
became his betrothed.
The Lord bless you,
and keep you; The
Lord make His face
shine on you, And be
gracious to you;
The Lord lift us His
countenance on you,
And give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26
Ladies and Gentlemen,
as witness to the
covenant of marriage
according to the Law of
Moses and the Law of
the Messiah of Israel, I
would like to pronounce
to you Mr. and Mrs.
_______ , husband and
wife. You may kiss the
A Traditional end to a
Jewish wedding serves as a
reminder of the fragility of
life, even during the most
joyous of celebrations. Life
is fragile. We break this
glass as a symbol of our
past. In the theater that say
go break a leg. In a Jewish
wedding we break a glass.
Forgiveness is an end to a
shattered past.
As the Groom
smashes the glass
everyone will shout
Mazel Tov! Which
means Good Fortune,
may your lives here on
out not be shattered,
but full of fortune and
Bride and Groom
Best Man and Maid of
Groomsmen and
Groomsmen escorts the
Bride's Mother (Father
follows behind)
Groomsmen escorts the
Groom's Mother (Father
follows behind)
Groomsmen escorts the
A brief period of
seclusion for the bride
and groom to absorb
the events of the
ceremony where they
spend their first
moments alone
together as husband Attendants ‘guarding’ the private room.
and wife.
Traditionally, Yichud was
the time when the
marriage was
consumated, but in
modern Judaism it is a
period of bonding, a
time of privacy and
peace before the public
celebration begins. They
will also break their fast
before returning to the
community to celebrate.
One of the most
distinctive and
enjoyable aspects
of the traditional
Jewish wedding is
the dancing and
(commandment) to
make the kallah and
chatan happy.
The meal begins with reciting the
blessing over the wedding Challah, the
braided loaf of egg rich bread.
Blessed are You Adonai, our God, ruler of the
universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.
The voice of joy
the voice of gladness
the voice of the bridegroom,
the voice of the bride,
and the voice that praises God.
At the end of the Seudat
Mitzvah (festive meal),
"Birkat HaMazon" (Grace
After Meals) is recited,
and the Sheva Berachot
(seven blessings) recited
under the Chupah are
once again repeated.
It is a Jewish ‘mitzvot’ to ensure the happiness of
the Kallah and Chassan on their wedding night.
Traditional bridal dance
The Chair Dance is
a favourite at
Jewish weddings.
At traditional
Orthodox celebrations
men and women
dance separated by a
"Mechitzah" (divider)
for reasons of
"Tzniut" (modesty).
This is one of the
strong virtues binding
a husband and wife,
enhancing each
other's uniqueness.
All Male dance at an
Orthodox marriage.
Speeches to
honour the
Kallah, Chassan
and their
families and to
support the
Jewish custom dictates that the couple
begin their new life together in their
community. For seven consecutive evenings
following the wedding, it is customary that
friends or relatives host festive meals in
their honor. The act of feasting recalls the
"seven-day celebration" after the marriage
of Jacob to Leah, while spending their days
in prayer, learning Torah and performing
mitzvos in order to give the "new house in
Israel" a solid foundation in G-d's ways of
Study the Torah
Kosher laws
Raise children
Jewish traditions
Provide & protect his
•Start a family
•Bring up children In the faith
•Ensure their lifestyle is within Jewish law and
Arfruf – Jeremiah 33 :10 – 11. It has a theme
of interwoven joy and sorrow as it calls to
mind the restoration, redemption, and return
of the Israelite people after the exile.
The Torah provides very little guidance
with regard to the procedures of a marriage.
The rituals and symbols used in the marriage
rite are founded on the Hebrew Scriptures.
Veil covering face - Genesis 24:64-65
Genesis 24
64 Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel
65 and asked the servant, "Who is that man in the field coming to meet
"He is my master," the servant answered. So she took her veil and
covered herself.
Lifting the veil - Genesis 29:21-25
Genesis 29
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife. My time is completed,
and I want to lie with her."
22 So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast.
23 But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and gave her to
Jacob, and Jacob lay with her. 24 And Laban gave his servant girl Zilpah
to his daughter as her maidservant.
25 When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, "What
is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn't I? Why have
you deceived me?"
Escorts carrying candles - Esther 8:16
For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor.
Kallah bought to the Chassan in the
Chuppah - Genesis 2:22
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God
caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping,
he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22
Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out
of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,
"This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called 'woman, '
for she was taken out of man."
24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be
united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
Berakhot - Seven Blessings
Mishnah Kiddushin 1:1 specified that a woman is
acquired in three ways: through money, a
contract, and sexual intercourse
As part of the wedding ceremony the husband
gives the wife a ketubah, because of the
contractual requirement explained in the Mishnah.
A section of the Mishnah is devoted to the subject
of divorce. It develops the basic procedure laid
down in Deuteronomy 24. This rests on a man
handing his wife a bill of divorce, known as a get.
Sacred texts are
significant is
providing a basis for
the ethical teachings
about marriage, but,
whilst the Talmud
explains the form of
the marriage rite, the
Torah gives little
guidance regarding
the procedures for
The Hebrew Scriptures are significant in
regard to the ritual practices and symbols
that comprise a Jewish wedding. These
provide a ‘history’ (Jacob and Leah) of the
people and marriage amongst the Jews
dating back to Adam and Eve. The
scriptures have little to say about the
ethical beliefs associated with marriage as
in Judaism, marriage is seen as a
contractual covenant between the woman
and the man.
Symbols play a significant part in making
present key beliefs of Judaism in the marriage
rite. The chuppah and blessings over wine fulfil
a mitzvah (marriage ideal state). Jews believe
that they communicate with God and grow in
their relationship with Him by carrying out the
mitzvot. The ketubah reinforces the belief that
marriage is a holy covenant. The seven
blessing praise God for the creation of all
things. The smashing of the wine glass further
links the couple to the history of Israel.
Structure to adult life
Specified roles for woman and man
Part of the history and tradition of Judaism.
Judaism itself is founded on marriage.
Married people share in a covenant that
mirrors the one between God and his people.
A way of holiness – leading to eternal life.
Marriage ensures the continuation of the
Jewish people and their faith.
Marriage reunifies the sundered soul. That is
masculinity and femininity are complimentary
halves of the whole human soul.
Marriage emphasises the great joys (marriage)
and great suffering (divorce) that is an integral
part of all life.
Marriage elevates the mundane to the
Married love embodies God’s creation,
revelation, and redemption in the here and now.
No Grounds needed’.
The Ketubah is designed to protect the
interests of the woman (and children)
‘Bet Din’ – jewish council of judges that decide
a ‘get’
Divorce is an undesirable, but common reality
of human relationships.
No vow ‘to death us do part’ in Jewish
marriage rites
Jewish divorce rites come from the Book of
Marriage is a sacred union not just a contract.
The quality of marriage should be considered.
Every attempt to save a marriage should be
Orthodox – only a man can obtain a get.
Conservative – The Bet Din can grant either
person a ‘get’.
Reform – divorce is a civil, not religious
The husband (Orth) or either partner (Cons) can
apply to a Bet Din for a divorce.
Attend the Bet Din on a specified date
Get is written by scribe
Husband hands to wife
Wife walks with ‘get’.
Signed by scribe and witnesses
Bet Din cut the document.
Both issued with a release from their marriage.
Women must wait 90 days to remarry. Men can
do so immediately

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