Jewish Wedding Ceremony

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Traditional Jewish Wedding Ceremony

Aufruf - A Jewish wedding custom to honor the groom. Aufruf literally means, "The calling up." On the Sabbath before the wedding, the groom is called to say a blessing over the Torah. When he is finished congregants toss candies, dried fruits and nuts while singing, "Mazel tov, siman tov." The candies, fruits and nuts represent the hope for a sweet and fruitful union.

Fasting - Though not required by Jewish law, many couples choose to fast on their wedding day. The wedding day is considered a personal Yom Kippur, a time when past mistakes may be forgiven.

Badeken - The veiling ceremony. This Jewish wedding custom recalls when Rebecca saw her bridegroom Issac approaching and in a gesture of modesty covered her face with a veil. During the badeken, the groom, accompanied by his family, goes to his bride and covers her face with a veil.

Processional - Ushers, bridesmaids, rabbi, best man, groom (who walks with parents) maid of honor, bride (who walks with parents).

Chuppah - The ceremony takes place beneath the wedding chuppah or canopy which symbolizes the heavens under which all life transpires.

Traditional Jewish Wedding Ceremony - A Jewish wedding ceremony is comprised of two parts. The first is the kiddushin and the second is the nesuin. Kiddushin means sanctification and dedication. Sanctification, the marriage is not just a contractual agreement but a spiritual bonding. Dedication, the newly married couple is exclusively dedicated to one another. The kiddushin includes the betrothal blessing, reading of the marriage formula and the giving of Jewish wedding rings. The two parts of the ceremony are separated by the reading of the ketubah. The second part, the nesuin includes the seven blessings, the breaking of the glass (a glass goblet is wrapped in cloth and placed at the groom's feet. He steps on it, shattering the glass which represents the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem) and finally the yichud.

Recessional - Bride and groom, both sets of parents, rabbi, then the ushers who escort the bridesmaids.

Yichud - The newly married couple spends a few private moments together as husband and wife. Sipping champagne in seclusion allows the couple time to catch their breath and have a moment to share their joy together.

Celebration - The Reception -The bride and groom join their guests for singing, dancing, food and celebration. It is a mitzvah that the guests help bring happiness and joy to the bride and groom.

Jewish Wedding Planner, 2007