Friday, September 29, 2006

Jewish Wedding Traditions

Overlooking our beautiful Ketubah

Dancing the Hora

Under the chuppah breaking the glass

Members of the wedding party building the chuppah

The Chuppah:

In Jewish weddings, the couple gets married under the chuppah, or the wedding canopy, symbolizing the new home the couple will build together. Just as a chuppah is open on all four sides, so was the tent of Abraham open for hospitality. Thus, the chuppah represents hospitality to one's guests. This "home" is also initially devoid of furniture as a reminder that the basis of a Jewish home is the people within it, not the possessions. Our chuppah was made of green bamboo and a white cloth. It was designed and put together by our good friends, Carrie and Ladd, with the help of the member of the wedding party.

The Ketubah:

The ketubah, a traditional Jewish marriage contract, literally means "that which is written". Before our ceremony, we signed our ketubah, which symbolizes the commitment we made to each other as we bagan our life together.

Seven Jewish Blessings:

In both Persian and Jewish cultures, seven is a mystical number. In Jewish weddings, seven blessings are wish upon the bride and groom, recognizing passion and friendship in marriage. We intermingled this tradition with a ancient Persian tradition of hand-fastening.

Blessing of the Wine:

Wine is the symbol of joy and abundance in the Jewish tradition and celebrates the union of the bride and groom. Persians believe that sharing honey will ensure a life filled with sweetness. We took these traditions and merged them to symbolize our commitment to undertake the sharing of all that life may bring.

Breaking of the Glass:

Perhaps the best known of all Jewish wedding rituals. It serves as reminder of the transforming nature of marriage, it also implies a wish: "let this marriage last as long as it would take to put this glass back together." For us, the breaking of the glass signified the breaking down of walls and barriers between people of different faiths, cultures and traditions. We also adapted our own tradition of having BOTH of us break the glass, instead of the traditional custom of having the groom do it alone. Equality is a wonderful thing!

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