Torah Thinkers Forum

37. Chapter 8v: Jewish Geography: A Jewish Wedding

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          The Wedding Meal (Seudah)

          The wedding meal, celebrating the mitzvah of marriage, is served and the guests begin eating while waiting for the newly married couple’s grand entrance to the ballroom.


          The Dancing

          The highlight of the wedding commences upon the couples return. They are greeted with enthusiastic singing and very spirited dancing in separate circles of men and women.  Keep your eyes on the middle of the circle where guests, intent on making the bride and groom happy, will be performing all kinds of amusing “schtick.”

          Most often, the dancing guests form two or three concentric circles around the bride and groom. Anyone standing on the perimeter of those circles will periodically be asked to join in the dancing and sometimes even physically pulled in. Join in the merriment; you’ll love it.


          Grace After Meals (Bircas Hamazon) and another Seven Blessings (Sheva Brochos)

          The celebration concludes with a communal grace-after-meals and seven additional blessings in honor of the bride and groom.

          For seven days after the wedding the bride and groom continue to celebrate their marriage with festive meals for family and friends, at which the seven blessings in their honor are recited.


          Jewish Weddings: A Torah Perspective

          A Torah Observant wedding is one of the religious events that captivates the interest and fascinates the secular person, whether Jew or gentile.

          The infectious joy and beauty of a traditional wedding is apparent even to a first time participant.  Jewish attitudes and values which help to create this ambiance are a bit more subtle, but worth noting.   As previously mentioned, the main intent of the guests is to fulfill the mitzvah (religious obligation) of making the bride and groom happy.  The wedding celebration then becomes infused with a religious fervor, excitement and sense of purpose.  Unlike secular weddings, the great majority of guests, with the exception of the infirm and a few real ogres, are actively involved in the proceedings. 

          In such an environment the usual focus on food, regardless of how delicious or plentiful, is lessened. In fact, it is not unusual for a few of the more exuberant dancers to miss eating all together.

          One who is inexperienced at Jewish weddings may also be impressed by the large attendance, which helps make a more festive atmosphere.  Every guest is not necessarily a close friend or relative of the bride and groom; they may just be friends of someone in the family.  They are invited and attend because a Jewish wedding is truly a community celebration for which all the Jewish people have cause to rejoice. Therefore, the guest lists tend to include extensive numbers of the couple’s community. 

          Another, somewhat unique aspect of a religious Jewish wedding is the level of modesty maintained. Despite the easy accessibility of alcohol, no one seems to get really drunk. Judaism utilizes alcohol as a means of enhancing one’s happiness only.  Wine is mandated for use in almost every Jewish celebration, but never is one permitted to lose his better judgment and behave crudely. 

          These are some of the features of a traditional Jewish wedding that make it so enjoyable and distinct from other types of weddings.

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COM_EASYBLOG_GUEST Saturday, 24 August 2019
Last updated on: 08/24/2019
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