Mazel tov on your upcoming wedding!

To schedule a conversation with one of our clergy to discuss ritual opportunities for you and your partner, please contact Audrey Okaneko in the Temple office, 805-964-7869.

A Jewish wedding, kiddushin (holy union) is an ancient tradition where two people join together as partners in life, love, and the creation of a family.  A married couple also signs on to collaborate with Gd in bringing repair, tikkun, to the world.

Prior to a Jewish wedding a couple will have a series of conversations with a rabbi or cantor to prepare for the wedding.  These conversations often include some spiritual and marital consultation, discussion of the historic aspects of a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, and planning of the details of the couple’s particular ceremony.

A Jewish wedding draws on blessings that date back thousands of years.  The ceremony is based on two major blessings and therefore has two major parts.

The first part of the Jewish wedding is called Erusin (betrothal).  This is the first blessing said under the huppah (wedding canopy) over a cup of wine that declares that these two people are physically and intimately to be solely for one another.  The second major component of the a Jewish wedding ceremony is Nisuin (nuptials) and includes the saying of the Sheva Brachot, Seven Blessings, offered over a cup of wine describing the couple as the metaphoric first couple, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden and the cosmic significance of two people joining together as one, created in Gd’s image.

Other Jewish wedding components often include: the veiling ceremony called the bedeken, the circling of the couple, each person around each other, the exchange of rings and ancient words of betrothal, the signing and reading of a ketubah, a contract of marriage, and of course the breaking of the glass.

There are many other traditions and customs that can further offer opportunities for the Jewish wedding to be a source of spiritual reflection and growth including:

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-going to the mikvah, ritual bath, to prepare for the big day,

-studying Torah together,

-choosing to not see one another for a period of time before the wedding,

-tisch, meaning table, ceremonies for each person prior to wedding, to  toast and roast and bless the person about to marry

-wearing a kittel, a white simple robe worn by grooms,

-dawning kippot, head coverings, fasting on the day of one’s wedding,

-and the very sweet and practical custom of immediately following the ceremony the couple retreating into yichud, a private room away from guests to be together, alone as a married family.

The couple will discuss these and the other components of a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony with the clergy.