Bruriah - Catholic Education Office, Sydney

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Transcript Bruriah - Catholic Education Office, Sydney

Sandy Hollis
From every human being there rises a light that
reaches straight to heaven. And when two souls are
destined to find each other, their two streams of light
flow together and a single brighter light goes forth from
their united being.
Ba’al Shem Tov
A Jewish Marriage is a legal ceremony
where a ketubah (legal marriage contract)
is given to the wife by the husband.
• Marriage is meant to bring a holy spirit
within the house.
• In the Talmud “The Holy spirit can rest
only upon a married man for an unmarried
man is only half a man and the Holy spirit
does not rest on what is imperfect.”
• In the Torah “It is not good for man to be
alone because two are better then one.”
Marriage Ceremony
Symbols of the Wedding Ceremony
•Chuppah - traced back 2,500 years, first home, symbolizes God’s
presence. Cypress tree planted at the birth of a boy and a cedar
tree planted at the birth of a girl.
• Circling the groom - seven times
denoting Protection and Seven days of
creation (not necessarily done at
Progressive weddings).
• Wine and Kiddush cup - “Wine gladdens
the heart”.
Ketubah - wedding document/contract
which confirms the covenant obligations
and specifies the amount due in case of
divorce. It dates back as far as 536 BCE.
Breaking the glass - reminder of
the sadness of the destruction of the
Temple. Marriage must weather both
happy and sad times.
• Religious Aspects of the Marriage Ceremony
• Aufruf - Sabbath before the wedding, the groom
called to read the Torah in the synagogue.
Guests throw candy at him. In Progressive
synagogues, both called to the Torah.
• Mikveh - ritual bath taken by bride to be.
• Fasting – the couple fast for purity, forgiveness.
• Sheva Brachot (7 prayers) - recited at the
ceremony and for seven days following the
ceremony: 1 - wine; 2,3 - praise of God who
created nature and mankind; 4,5,6 - for the
bridal couple; and 7- for community and Israel.
• Yichud - breaking the fast.
• Communal Aspects of the Marriage
• Matchmaker (Shadchan) - God was the first
matchmaker for Adam and Eve.
• The whole community shares in the joy of the
couple - Shiva Brachot.
• There may be differences in the Marriage
Ceremony between different streams of Judaism
and from community to community.
Circling the Groom
Ring - Words
Ring - Words
Sheva Brachot
Sheva Brachot
Drinking of Wine
Drinking of Wine
Breaking of Glass
Breaking of Glass
Mazal Tov
Mazal Tov
Repetition of Sheva Brachot
Shalom Bayit
The significance of Marriage
For Judaism, marriage serves three
interrelated purposes.
1. The propagation of the human species, as
commanded in Genesis 1:28, "Be fruitful and
multiply". According to talmudic law, this
obligation is deemed to have been fulfilled
when a man has begotten at least one son
and one daughter, just as God created male
and female in the Garden of Eden.
2. Marriage affords loving companionship.
Again in the words of the Book of Genesis,
"It is not good that man should be alone....
Therefore shall a man leave his father and
his mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and
they become one flesh" (Genesis 2:18 and
3. Marriage establishes the family as the
basic social unit, and the home as the "little
sanctuary" (Ezekiel 11:16) in which the father
corresponds to a priest, the mother to a
priestess, and the table to an altar. It is
where children can grow up under the loving
protection and guidance of their parents, and
where the Jewish religion can be practised
and transmitted from generation to
The significance of marriage for both the individual
and the community:
• Marriage is seen as a personal, contractual
• Marriage is seen as the fulfillment of the Mitzvah. All
Jewish men and women are expected to marry. This is the
first commandment – located in Genesis.
• Marriage is a holy covenant.
• Marriage is a religious obligation.
• Marriage structures the lives of the couple and assigns
clear roles to each partner.
• Marriage fulfils a mitzvah as it is a positive religious
• Marriage signifies the beginning of a new family.
• Marriage focuses on the centrality of the
home and family and thus the
continuation of the Jewish nation.
• Marriage is a way of holiness for the
couple. It is through their relationship and
the following of the mitzvah that the couple
builds their relationship with God.
the marriage ceremony, the seven
blessings praise God for the creation of all
things, linking the couple to the story of
creation and the history of the Jewish people.
Elevates the ordinary/mundane to the
supernatural. It is a means of contact with
God, who is present at the ceremony. For
example, the recitation of the seven blessings,
is designed to sanctify the ordinary, to
transform this particular couple as their love
embodies God’s creation, revelation, and
redemption in the here and now.
• A means of identification with Judaism and with the
Jewish community. It helps the couple to understand
more clearly the central beliefs of Judaism. The marriage
ceremony also strengthens the community of believers
by putting the couple on equal footing with other married
couples within the community and making them
responsible for ensuring their life style is in keeping with
Jewish teaching and tradition.