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The Hidden Meaning of the Jewish Wedding Dance

The Hidden Meaning of the Jewish Wedding Dance



At Jewish weddings, I’ve seen this dance where people stand facing each other in two lines, and then run toward each other and meet in the middle, then run backward to their original places, only to do it all over again. Is there any meaning to this dance?


The wedding dance symbolizes the rhythm of a healthy relationship. In any loving relationship, a couple experiences moments of closeness and love, as well as moments of distance and tension. It is not possible for two human beings to share intimate space and not go through some rough patches. If a relationship is to be real, it probably won’t be smooth.

But this tension is exactly what makes love so powerful. Every moment of tension in a loving relationship is an opportunity to get to know each other better: “Why are you upset? What did I do to hurt you? Where did we misunderstand each other? What can we learn from this episode?”

The only reason couples retreat from each other is in order to come close again. They take a step back in order to then rush forward. The divide that was created by their little falling out provides the fuel for the two to come back together, closer and stronger than ever.

As we dance around the newlyweds, we give them a powerful message: In your lives together, it will invariably happen that each of you will make mistakes. There will be times of misunderstanding and distance, when you feel you have drifted apart and the love is strained. The secret is to never turn your back. Even when you are retreating, always face each other. If you do, the tension itself will propel you back toward each other.

Never fear those moments of tension in your marriage. Rather, see them as doorways that lead you to a deeper connection. In the dance of love, the good times bring you close, but the tough times bring you even closer.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to
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Tom Ohio, USA April 30, 2015

Question Is there a name for the dance and possibly an online video showing the dance? Reply

Casper Netherlands April 30, 2015

Delightfull Insight. Thanx for telling me! Reply

Anonymous April 29, 2015

Nice... Reply

Yitzchak Chaim 80232 April 28, 2015

I believe that the rush inward is a symbol of our souls drive to come together in G-d's oneness. We rush inward because we are eager for our marriage with Hashem to truly begin when mashiach rises.
I believe the return to the outer circle in the dance is a prayer to open our eyes. Soon, G-d will begin to share His eyes with us. Hashem is awaiting His wedding so that He can gaze on us in the realist and most intimate way. Our eyes will see wonders from our husband that will strengthen our faith and love. Reply

yochanan April 27, 2015

a bit similar to when we retreat and are not so close to G-d its an opportunity to learn about G-d more if we choose to do so. This usually happens when we don't understand why we suffer.

Shalom Aleichem

yochanan Reply

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