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In Remembrance

Photo courtesy of Danielle Real Photography

International Holocaust Remembrance Day exists to remember the approximately 6 million Jews who lost their lives as a result of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime in the early 20th century. It is a sobering day as we contemplate how easily life can be written off as inconsequential and deemed disposable.

In recognition of this remembrance, we wanted to highlight a few Jewish wedding traditions, many of which we have seen at Rosemont throughout the years.

1. Signing the Ketubah

The Ketubah is a symbolic marriage document in Jewish tradition that outlines the bride’s rights and the groom’s responsibilities to her. It is signed before the wedding ceremony by the groom (sometimes the bride as well) and a rabbi in front of two witnesses.

2. The Bedeken

The bedeken is the part of a Jewish wedding where the groom gazes upon his bride and then covers her face with a veil. The veiling represents that his love for her is based in her inward beauty. Additionally, the tradition recognizes the biblical account of Jacob, who married the wrong woman due to his to-be father-in-law concealing her identity likely behind a veil. No Jewish groom will be deceived like his forefather Jacob!

3. The Chuppah

In Jewish tradition, the bride and groom stand under a chuppah (also spelled huppah) during the ceremony. The chuppah is a canopy, which is sometimes held up by friends or family to symbolize support for the couple in their new life together. Interestingly, the groom will walk down with his parents first to the chuppah and then the bride will follow with her parents.

4. Encircling the Groom

The bride typically circles the groom three to seven times during the ceremony. The symbolism of the circling varies. Some view it as guarding the groom against evil spirits or the lust of the eyes, while others see it as representing the seven days of creation, or creating a visible picture of the groom’s central place in the bride’s world.

5. Breaking the Glass

The groom shatters a glass under his foot, signaling the end of the ceremony. While there are various interpretations of why the groom shatters the glass, some see it as a symbol of the pain a couple will inevitably face in this life but their commitment to see it through together. Others say the destruction of the glass represents the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.

6. The Hora

The hora describes a dance where the guests lift the bride and groom on chairs and dance around them celebrating their new union. The bride and groom will sometimes hold a handkerchief or some sort of cloth between them as they are buoyed in the air.

Check out the below video of a Jewish wedding at Rosemont!

Courtesy of Bowen Films

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