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Badeken -- Veiling

Badeken -- Veiling

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Jump to: How | Why | Kabbalistic Meaning

How:

After the short pre-chupah receptions hosted by the bride and groom, the badeken ceremony commences. A procession headed by the groom goes to the bridal reception room, where the groom covers the bride's face with a veil.1

The groom is escorted to the badeken by his father and father-in-law (or whomever will be escorting him to the chupah). By Chabad weddings, the band plays the hauntingly solemn and holy melody composed by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi until the conclusion of the ceremony.

After the groom veils the bride, the fathers and grandfathers of the bride and groom approach the bride and bless her. The groom's entourage then retreats from the room. The bride and groom proceed with their chupah preparations and everyone else continues to the site of the chupah.

The bride's face remains veiled for the duration of the chupah ceremony, affording her a bit of privacy at this holy time.2

Why:

The fathers and grandfathers of the bride and groom approach the bride and bless herThe custom of covering the bride's face with a veil originated with our Matriarch Rebecca, who covered her face with a handkerchief when meeting her groom, Isaac.

Technically speaking, there are several possible definitions for the legal term of "chupah,"3 According to certain opinions, "chupah" is accomplished through the groom "spreading his cloth" over the bride -- which is accomplished by the badeken ceremony.

Kabbalistic Meaning:

The veil emphasizes that the groom is not solely interested in the bride's external beauty, which fades with time; but rather in her inner beauty which she will never lose.

When the groom veils his bride, he is saying, "I will love, cherish and respect not only the 'you' which is revealed to me, but also those elements of your personality that are hidden from me. As I am bonding with you in marriage, I am committed to creating a space within me for the totality of your being -- for all of you, all of the time."

The veiling also symbolizes the bride's commitment from this moment on to reserve her beauty for her husband's eyes.

FOOTNOTES
1.

Chassidic custom is for the veil to be dense enough to completely obscure the bride's face. It also should not contain any silver or gold threads, as the bride and groom do not wear any jewelry to the chupah (see The Chupah).

2.

There is also a technical reason for the bride remaining veiled throughout the chupah ceremony. Ideally, the bride should not see the ring with which she is being married, lest she mistakenly under or overestimate its value, causing the "transaction" to be based on an erroneous assumption.

3.

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Artwork by David Brook. David lives in Sydney, Australia, and has been selling his art since he was in high school. He is currently painting and doing web illustrations. To view or purchase David’s art, please visit davidasherbrook.com.
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Discussion (4)
November 7, 2012
blessing said by father of the groom to bride
What blessing exactly does the father of the groom say to the bride when there is no father of the bride and the groom's father is the only father there?
Is it the Friday night priestly blessing? or some other special blessing? Or a personal blessing of whatever you like?
Anonymous
Bangor, maine
July 14, 2011
Re: order
You make an excellent point. There are, in fact, two opinions as to whether the chupah may precede the erusin (betrothal) or not. In order to satisfy both opinions, the bride's face is covered and remains so until after the chupah and the giving of the ring. The custom nowadays is to fulfill all the various opinions regarding what the chuppah is, so that we have the covering of the bride's face, the canopy, and the private room where bride and groom are later secluded. Likewise, there are opinions that the witnesses should make sure to watch the "bedekin" as it is the chupah. For those who don't, it would seem they rely on the fact that the primary chuppah is what takes place after the erusin, when the witnesses see the covered bride as well.
Rabbi Shmary Brownstein
chabad.org
July 11, 2011
order
According to the opinon that the bedeken is the fulfillment of the requirement of chuppah, than, since chuppah is the effective act in the nesuin ceremony, shouldn't a. the bedekin happen after the erusin and b. there be designated eidim for the bedeken
gavi
April 1, 2008
Beautiful, thank you!
Chaya Rivka

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