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Jewish Weddings

Jewish marriages are founded on a covenant made with God, along with signing a marriage contract that binds you together as husband and wife.    

The marriage contract (Ketubah) sets out the legal responsibilities a husband has to his wife to provide food, shelter and emotional care for her. But a Jewish marriage is based on more than a physical and emotional union. While being a moral and legal commitment, it is also a covenant made with God.    

Marriage is one of God’s commandments (mitzvah) and once fulfilled you are both be bound together as one and with God.

So, in preparation for marriage, you should focus not only on the material and earthly aspects of married life but also on religious and spiritual readiness for your future together.

Judaism

Being Jewish is more of a nationality than a religion. It can incorporate beliefs, social practices and traditions. Someone can still be Jewish without the religious views involved.

Food, language, some holidays and cultural values on things such as education come to mind in the Jewish way of life.

Rabbi

There will be either a Rabbi from Samui or Bangkok available to service your Jewish wedding.

Ceremony Inclusions

Pre Wedding Assistance

Pre Wedding Meeting

Jewish Ceremony

Marriage Certificate (Ketubah)

Extras

Chupah

Kosher Wine & Cups (Kiddush)

Glass to be Broken & Napkin for Wrapping

Plate to be Broken

Candles for escorting bride and groom on their walk down the aisle.

Divider (Mechitzah) for separating the dancing of men and women

Prayer Book

Grace after Meal Program

2 Kosher Witnesses

Skull Caps for all Male guests

 

Pre Wedding Traditions

The bride (kallah) & groom (chatan) should not see each other for one whole week before getting married and should both fast from the morning of the wedding.

Pre Wedding Receptions (Kabbalat Panim).

Just before the ceremony, receptions for the bride and groom are held in separate rooms. The bride is seated on a decorated chair as her guests greet her and wish her luck (mazal tov) before toasting her (l’chaim).

The groom, who would usually be dressed in a white robe, will have his guests sing to and toast him. He might also give a reading (ma'amar ) to invite his guests to view his bride, about the spiritual side of marriage and then an invitation for the holy powers that be to witness and bless the marriage.

Canapes are served at each reception.

Veiling (Badeken)

There will be a procession led by the groom to his future wife, where he will place her veil over her head.

The symbol of the veil covering her a brides head is that, regardless of what she looks like, it is her soul that is important.

When it is placed on the bride by the groom at a Jewish wedding it is also indicative of his new role in providing clothing and protection to his wife. Once she has been veiled, both sets of parents will give her their blessings.

Ceremony Format

Betrothal (Kiddushin)
Hebrew welcome hymns are sung & blessings are asked for of God to sanctify the couples new home and elevate their relationship with his union in it.

A prayer shawl is blessed and held by 4 young men above the heads of the couple.  Blessings for the marriage are asked for and wine is shared between the couple in thanks for the union they will now have with God.

The marriage is consecrated by giving of an object of value to the bride. This is usually a simple gold wedding band and once it is placed on the hand of the bride, the union is complete.

It is not necessary to for the bride to give the groom a ring, but if she does it will take place outside of the Chuppah as it is not required in marriage.The brides acceptance of the ring indicates her agreement to the terms of marriage and is the final act of betrothal.

Reading of the Marriage Contract - Ketubah
The marriage contract states, in Aramaic, the legal and moral obligations a groom has in the care of his wife.  It is an important symbol of Jewish marriage given by the groom to the bride.     

Finalizing the Marriage (Nisu’in)

The 7 Blessings (Sheva Brachot)
Marriage blessings are bestowed by either the Rabbi, friends and family. These blessings are spoken over more wine. Once husband and wife have drank from this wine they are united as one.

Breaking the Glass
The wine glass is wrapped in a napkin and stepped on by the groom. It represents dedication to Jerusalem above all else.

Guests can now celebrate the union and do so by greeting husband and wife with cries of “mazel toy” – their wish of good luck for the new couple.Guests can now give there wish of good luck and congratulations by greeting husband and wife with declarations of “Mazel Yoy”.  

Bride and Groom go to their room to be in privacy (Yichud).

The seclusion they can now share together in their first moments alone as husband and wife is a time to be cherished by them.

Traditionally, it is during this time the bride can give her private blessings to her groom that they be together in love forever.

Since they have been fasting until now, it is also a good time to share a meal together.

This time allows them to recognize that, even with all the people in their lives waiting for them outside, there union is of more importance.

Wedding Reception

Jewish wedding receptions are joyous occasions usually filed with much music, dancing & shows.

The ‘festive meal’ represents a mitzvah the guests can partake in by sharing their joy and happiness for the couple. After the bride and grooms return, female & male guests will often greet the bride & groom separately with circles of singing and dancing.

Grace & the 7 Blessings

After the ‘festive meal’ and the first dance, the bride and groom will be seated alongside their family and the rabbi for grace to be given. (Birkat Hamazon).

Then the same 7 blessings given under the chuppah are recited again by 6 guests over wine - one for the couple is prepared and there is also one for those giving their blessings to hold.   Both glasses are mixed together and the bride and groom take their drinks from the separate glasses. Wine has a special meaning as part of Jewish marriages. Although it has been made from grapes that have been crushed, it still gives happiness. And so, despite any obstacles they may have to overcome, they can still find joy together. 

Extras

Receptions and meals are usually held in the week following the ceremony by family and friends to honor the bride and groom. (Sheva Brachot).

Blessings are given at the end of each of these meals.