Topic 4B - Marriage & Marriage Ceremonies (“A man without a wife is…
Topic 4B - Marriage & Marriage Ceremonies
“A man without a wife is incomplete”
Unless people become part of a couple, their personalities will not develop fully.
unmarried woman is an incomplete vessel.”
According to the Mishnah, a Jewish marriage is a legal contract and may be contracted in any of three ways:
(1) with money (as when a man hands a woman an object of value for the purpose of contracted marriage, and in the presence of two witnesses, and she accepts);
(2) through a written contract.
(3) or by sexual intercourse, a method strongly discouraged by the Sages.
Prior to the Wedding
Te'naim (conditions for the marriage) are drawn up and signed at a ceremony prior to the wedding.
The rabbi will instruct and counsel the couple as they prepare for their wedding day.
Jewish marriages do not take place on Shabbat or Festivals because "one does not mix one occasion of rejoicing with another."
Aufruf - Shabbat prior to the wedding,
It is traditional for the bride to visit the Mikveh (ritual immersion bath) prior to the wedding. The mikveh, which is associated with the laws of family purity in traditional communities.
Choosing a partner
Marriage is considered a natural and desirable state of adult life because it provides companionship and security. This depends, of course, upon a good match.
Shadchan - matchmaker.
Kiddushin - betrothal and Nisu'in - marriage.
The Jewish wedding ceremony takes place under a chupah (wedding canopy) which symbolizes the home the couple will make together.
A ketubah is a legal hold on the husband's property which he gives his wife-to-be in the case of his death or their divorce, to ensure her maintenance and well-being.
The wording of the ketubah is written in Aramaic.
The ketubah must be signed by two Jewish witnesses, neither of whom is related to either the husband or wife.
Ceremony prior to the chupah when the husband-to-be lifts the veil of his bride-to-be to "check" to be sure it is the woman he intends to marry, and then replaces her veil, reciting the blessing "Our sister, may you be the mother of thousands of ten thousands" (Genesis 24:60),
The Formal Ceremony
The groom arrives at the chupah first and there greets his bride. The bride is escorted to the chupah by escorts.
When the bride reaches the chupah, there is a tradition (not required by halakhah) that she circles around the groom either seven times.
The marriage ceremony includes the blessing over wine and Birchat Erusin (the marriage bracha).
The ceremony ends with the groom breaking a glas.
It is traditional for the couple to have some alone time called Yichud.
The first meal enjoyed by the couple together is called Se'dat Mitzvah.