Jewish symbolism


Coexistence insha'Allah
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Salam guys

Was scanning (reading not scanning in a printer) something the other day and my brain picked up on something about Jews breaking glasses at weddings (I've seen Fiddler on the Roof and never understood why they did that or the part about the canopy ... is that symbolic of the Temple?) and not wearing all their jewelry .. I meant to go back and read it but I lost the link .. can you tell me pleasewhat is the significance of these symbolic practices.

Thank you :)
the canopy is symbolic of any number of things:

1. the roof of the couple's new home, which (as it is held up by four poles) is open on all sides to visitors (like the tent of abraham)
2. the new relationship which includes them both (and their parents, who usually stand underneath as well)
3. Divine Protection, or, if you want to get mystical about it, the "Infinite Light" which envelops them (there's a lovely kabbalistic custom that we also wrap the couple up together in a tallit / prayer shawl) which shows this more explicitly
4. shared bedsheets, coo-ur gosh

similarly, the symbolism of breaking the glass could mean:

1. we mourn the destruction of the Temple even at this happiest of times (so shouting "mazal tov!" afterwards could be considered inappropriate)
2. there's no putting the glass back together once you break it (in other words, make sure your relationship is robust)
3. a personal interpretation, that this is a piece of sympathetic magic/mysticism/legal fidgie-widgieness whereby a "hymen-like object" is publicly broken, thus removing the need for the bride's "tokens of virginity" to be examined as the law provides in the case of a dispute, or, if you prefer, providing a symbolic hymen for a woman who is re-marrying for whatever reason. given the copious amounts of psychosexual/mystical drama in the symbolism of the jewish wedding, i think it's significant.

that's just for our wedding, we provided a sheet with explanations of the various things that were happening, although not the racy ones.


Thanks BB, it's good to know these things.

Gosh hymens and bedsheets, is that classed as adult content? :eek:

So what about the issue of not wearing all your jewellery .. or did I imagine that?
oh, it gets more explicit than that, once you start considering the symbolism of walking up the aisle and then circling the groom seven times. i imagine that making the groom walk up and down the aisle seven times would have been far too in-out-in-out. as for the no jewellery rule, that is legal fine print, although symbolically you go into it only with yourself, the only cash consideration that should be active during the contractual exchange is the ring for the bride, otherwise jewellery can be construed as bribery or other financial inducement to the groom, which has no place in the contract, the bride is supposed to be inducement enough. the bride isn't allowed to give the groom a ring for that reason, the two have to be kept separate.


I believe that the "no jewelery" thing has basically the same reason as the plain pine casket and pretty much nothing else when a Jewish person dies (it is to keep everybody equal, whether the couple is on the dole or if they are wealthier than Bill Gates.)

I mean, since one really can't take it with him/her. . . .

Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine
that too, although it feels more like the line of thinking which has both bride and groom fasting on the big day and the groom wearing a kittel (burial shroud), both of which i think are manifestly stupid customs which are sadly prevalent amongst the herring-munching fraternity. a wedding is supposed to be an occasion for rejoicing, you numpties.


i am actually not too clear on why that finger in particular is used. i have seen interpretations that waffle on about how that finger is directly connected by an artery to the heart, but seeing as that is i think anatomically somewhat implausible (and that you don't actually need a ring, a coin will do) it is probably something to do with the witnesses seeing her take it.

do you know any other interpretations, 17th?


oh so Jewish men don't wear wedding rings at all?

So does a bride not wear any jewelry? I read it as wearing one earring rather than both ... didn't think it was about weddings though (please note I may simply be losing the plot!!).

arrgghh wish I could find the link again, was very interesting.
you can wear a wedding ring if you want to, but only after the ceremony. my mrs put it on me in the "yihud room" that you go to immediately after the ceremony so you can officially be alone together (without which it might not count). back in the day this would have been rather longer, allowing for, erm, intimacy. waste no time and that.... these days about all couples can normally manage is sandwiches.


it feels more like the line of thinking which has both bride and groom fasting on the big day and the groom wearing a kittel (burial shroud)
"Mommy, mommy, why is the bride all dressed in white?"
"Because this is the happiest day of her life!"
"Mommy, mommy, why is the groom all dressed in black?"