The Jewish Wedding Guide – American Jewish History

Posted By on July 13, 2015

Jewish law enjoins the entire community to bring joy and happiness to both the Kallah (bride) and Choson (groom).

Most of the laws and customs relating to the wedding ceremony, its preparations and Seudas Mitzvah (festive reception meal) date back to our Patriarchs and the giving of the Torah at Sinai.

There may be those who are somewhat unfamiliar with the procedures, laws and customs of what takes place at a traditional wedding. The following is a brief guide to some of the laws and customs of marriage. It is our fervent hope that this will enhance your knowledge and add to your appreciation of the traditional Chassidic wedding.

The Talmud teaches that, originally man and woman were created as a single being. According to tradition, Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day of creation as Siamese twins. G-d then separated the two forming Eve from Adam's side. Thus, man and woman i.e. husband and wife began as a single entity. Togetherness is their natural state. Their love stems from this natural tendency to be one. Our sages tell us that prior to the marriage neither man nor woman is considered a complete entity. The marriage is the joining of the two halves - man and woman - into one complete wholesome being.

To take it a step further, we are taught in Chassidic philosophy that upon birth each body contains a portion of one soul, and at the marriage the two parts unite as one once again. Thus, it is at the time of the wedding that the creation of bride and groom is completed and is therefore, such a meritorious occasion.

The wedding day has, for both the bride and groom, all the sanctity and solemnity of Yom Kippur. Both have fasted until after the chuppah ceremony through which time they seek G-d's forgiveness for any past wrongdoings.

The groom, who dons a kittel (white robe) under the chuppah, and the bride in her gown, are attired in white symbolizing angelic purity and freedom from sin. They pray that the Al-mighty "open a new gate for us as the old gate is closed" so that their new life together evolves from a pure and fresh beginning. During each day of their marriage the bride and groom will strive to grow and adjust to each other in order to establish the foundation for a Bayis Ne'eman B'Yisrael - a faithful Jewish home.

It is with profound gratitude that we acknowledge the infinite bountiful blessings of G-d Almighty who has granted us life, sustained us (in good health), and enabled us to reach the day when our children, ______ and ______, enter a new phase of life under the chuppah (canopy of marriage) following their entrance (at Bar/Bat Mitzvah) into the portals of Torah and good deeds.

We are overjoyed that you could be present to share this simchah with us.

It is our fondest wish that you enjoy the festivities and become involved in every facet of the celebration in order to share with us the joy, merriment, happiness and simchah that we feel on this day.

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The Jewish Wedding Guide - American Jewish History

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