Glossary of Jewish Wedding Terms

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Aufruf

A ceremony to honor the groom, held on the Sabbath before his wedding day.

Ashkenazi

Jews from Central and Eastern Europe

Bedeken

Ritual where the groom puts the veil over the bride's face before a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony.

Breaking the glass

Breaking the glass symbolizes the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Chatan

Hebrew for groom

Chuppah

Wedding chuppah - canopy

Hava Nagila

Traditional song played at Jewish weddings

Hora

Wedding guests join hands and dance in a circle as the bride and groom are lifted up in chairs.

Kallah

Hebrew for bride

Kashrut

Jewish dietary laws

Ketubah Ketubah text - marriage contract

Kiddush Blessing said over the wine

Kosher

Foods that meet Jewish dietary laws

Mikveh

Ritual bath for brides

Mitzvah Doing a good deed

Sephardic Jews of Spanish, Portuguese and North African descent

Tenamin

Formal engagement contract

Yichud

Seclusion of bride and groom immediately following wedding ceremony

Jewish Wedding Planner, 2007