In Bet Shalom we see every wedding not only as a festive and exciting event but also as an act full of significance. Marriage, in Hebrew Kidushin, is carry out by means of a ceremony that symbolizes the joy of the couple, the responsibilities that they take on with one another and their commitment in creating a Jewish home.
Every couple, every marriage that takes place under the chupah is different. In Bet Shalom we can help you to organize a Jewish wedding that suits all your needs: participative, warm and full of significance, fun… an unforgettable wedding indeed!. We will be at your side to guide you in every detail, before, during and after the ceremony. So you can start planning this important occasion.
Here you will find some explanation about the ritual and some customs involving the Jewish ceremony: CHUPAH
A Jewish wedding can be celebrated in any place chosen by the couple. The only requirement is that the ceremony would be celebrated under a chupah (wedding canopy), a four-sided open structure made up by four posts and a roof. The chupah represents the new Jewish home created by the couple, an open home that brings to mind the tent of Abraham and Sara, and that stands out as a symbol of hospitality and protection.
THE WEDDING CEREMONY
The wedding starts with the blessing and greeting from the person that conducts the ceremony addressed to the guests and the couple.
The Jewish ceremony has two parts —erusin, the legal agreement by virtue of which bride and groom consecrate to one another, and nissuin, the proper wedding and the beginning of marriage life for the couple.
The first part of the wedding starts with the kidush, the wine blessing, and then the “birkat erusin”, the engagement blessings, after which the couple must drink a cup of wine, the last one that they will share as single, and finally they consecrate each other with the wedding rings.
Wine, a symbol of joy for Jewish tradition, is associated with the kidush, the blessing read aloud during the sanctification of the Shabbat and the festivals. Marriage or kidush consecrates the bride to the groom and the groom to the bride.
In accordance to Jewish law, a marriage is officially settled when the groom gives something valuable, a ring, to the bride. Traditionally, it was only received by the bride, but in the reform movement the couple exchange the rings as a symbol of equality and faithfulness. The ring must be of gold, plain and beautiful, as the marriage should be.
In this moment of the ceremony the ketubah is read aloud and signed. As a marriage contract, the ketubah is a legally binding agreement whose text is displayed in a beautiful work of art that is often framed to decorate the home. In progressive Judaism, the ketubah is egalitarian, that is to say, the couple accept the same commitments with each other.
The second part of the ceremony begins reading aloud the Sheva Brajot, the seven blessings. In our tradition, number seven represents integrity; the seven blessings express our gratitude to God for the life miracle and the joy of marriage.
After the Sheva Brajot, the couple cover themselves with the tallit and drink the second cup of wine, their first one as a married couple. The officiant pronounces the blessing over the new union and declares the couple married in accordance to the Jewish tradition.
THE BREAKING OF THE GLASS
This is one of the most popular customs of Jewish weddings. Once the ceremony is over, a glass is placed on the floor (usually wrapped in a piece of cloth) that the groom shatters with his foot. This sets the ending of the ceremony. The breaking of the glass brings to our minds the fragility of human relations and the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem, so even in the days of joy we bear in mind the moments of sadness, the past ones and the ones to come. The shattering of the glass has also another meaning: it inaugurates the celebration that follows the wedding and celebrates the exaltation of life.
It is a tradition that the guests shout MAZEL TOV!, when the couple leave the chupah to share their happiness with them.
WEDDINGS AT BET SHALOM
At Bet Shalom we will guide you in all the details concerning your wedding, and we will offer you the services you need to organize your ceremony: ketubah, chupah, chazanit…
Contact us here we will help you to organize your wedding in Barcelona.