Cultural Influences {Jewish Weddings}

Recently we attended a workshop held by the Association of Bridal Consultants educating us on the traditional and non-traditional wedding elements among several cultures. One of which was the Jewish faith. We are going to take some time now to talk a bit about Jewish weddings and what traditions are commonly practiced in Jewish ceremonies. Below is an excerpt we received from Beth Slavin Productions on traditional Jewish weddings.

A traditional Jewish wedding is full of meaningful rituals, symbolizing the beauty of hte relationship of husband and wife, as well as their obligations to each other and to the Jewish people.

There are three major branches or movements of Judaism; Orthodox, Conservative and Reform. Each movement accepts and honors the traditions and customs of the Jewish wedding with commitment to Jewish Law (the written word of the Torah) and honoring God's commandments.

In traditional Jewish literature, marriage is actually called kiddushin, which translates as "sanctification" or "dedication." "Sanctification," indicates that what is happening is not just a social arrangement or contractual agreement, but a spiritual bonding and the fulfillment of a mitzvah, a divine precept. "Dedication," indicates that the couple now have an exclusive relationship, that involves total dedication of the bride and groom to each other, to the extent of them becoming, as the Kabbalists state, "one soul in two bodies."

It is customary for Jewish couples to be counseled by their Rabbi throughout the engagement process so there is a clear understanding of the sacredness of the rituals that will be performed during the ceremony. These rituals will mark the beginning of how the Jewish couple will live together and honor their commitment to Judaism and to God.

Over the next few weeks we will go more into detail about what takes place during a Jewish ceremony. We will talk about what is included in the processional, the ceremony and the recessional. If you have any questions about Jewish weddings or traditions please do not hesitate to ask. Beth Slavin Productions has kindly offered to answer any questions you may have.

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