Contact Us

A Man's Deepest Secret

A Man's Deepest Secret

Why does the bride walk around the groom beneath the Chupah?

 Email

Question:

What is the reason for the bride walking around the groom seven times under the Chuppah (wedding canopy)? Is it an indication of a husband's power over his wife?

Answer:

Quite the opposite. The bride, by circling the groom, expresses her awesome power over him.

The seven circuits are reminiscent of the biblical story of Joshua leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. They came to Jericho, a city known as the key to the land - if they could conquer it, the land would be theirs. But Jericho was protected by a big wall. There seemed to be no way in.

G‑d commanded the Israelites to walk around the walls seven times. As soon as they did, a miracle happened - the walls came tumbling down and they were able to conquer the city.

Similarly, every man has a wall built around his heart. Men are taught to hide their feelings, to create an impression of impenetrability, to make it seem that they have it all figured out. Men create elaborate defenses to hide any sign of weakness or vulnerability, and fiercely guard their deepest secret - that inside they are sensitive and meek, simple and soft.

But a wise woman can pierce this defensive wall. If she surrounds her husband with the protective aura of her love, if she envelops him with affection, and if she makes him feel that he is the anchor, the center, the focal point of her life, then he can feel safe and comfortable. When that happens, the walls protecting his heart come tumbling down. Then she has conquered him - all of him.

Once you find a good man, encircle him with your love, and he'll be all yours.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to Chabad.org.
Image: Detail from a painting by Sarah Kranz. Ms. Kranz has been illustrating magazines, webzines and books (including five children’s books) since graduating from the Istituto Europeo di Design, Milan, in 1996. Her clients have included The New York Times and Money Marketing Magazine of London.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
9 Comments
1000 characters remaining
Anonymous January 21, 2017

That is so incredibly beautiful. Thank you. I will treasure this knowledge forever. Reply

Yehuda Shurpin for Chabad.org October 20, 2014

Re: source? The above explanation is discussed in the Sefer Bmaglei Chaim p. 81. For the Chassidic explanation see Toras Chaim (from second Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Dovber) Parshas Vayeishev, Vehinei anachnu Melamim, 16 Reply

Anonymous NYC October 19, 2014

What is the source of this explanation? What chassidic discourses speak about the bride walking 7 times around the groom? Reply

Elizabeth via chabadofbakersfield.com March 16, 2009

Chanie Do you mean you are a girl who has qualities as a man and he is more or less exhibits feministic characteristics? Some males have less testosterone and also they may have had a quiet father and a dominant mother. Perhaps, you have more testosterone and less female hormones. Or you may have learned to be guy like, because of your brothers or the surrounding influence. Either way, men being soft and tender as Doris has suggested above, should be appreciated than made fun of. Your guy might have other great qualities that you should be proud of. I would rather prefer a gentle, sensitive, shy, can't make up his mind, keeps you waiting kind of person than the arrogant, bossy type. LOL Reply

chanie March 14, 2009

ha! I am a girl, and according to this, I'm a guy, and he's a girl..hm..... Reply

Doris Santa Cruz, CA via chabadbythesea.com October 31, 2007

male & female G-D created male & female with some importantly different characteristics. Men are not "weak" & soft and they can be tender; they are strong in their own way, as are women soft and nurturing, and strong in their own way.
Hopefully, they can be anchors for each other and learn, appreciate, and respect each other's differences and commonalities, and grow toward a balance, a mutual giving and receiving. Reply

dont want to disclose October 29, 2007

spiritual That it amazing how you put it in such nice words!
I heared it also at that moment that in heaven the bride and grooms souls unite together while she is going around 7 times which is also why there is sheva brachos (seven blessings) that is why it is forbidden for a married man to be with over married women as his soul is united only with his wifes soul when she went around 7 times. Reply

Tarek via chabadaz.com October 28, 2007

Amazing This ritual is so amazing, I am a guy, and growing up men are taught never to cry, to be tough, to be stoic.

I have come to the realization that I am soft on the inside, I am weak, I know that and will not hide that I am not weak, and that gives me strength.

Most men need this barrier broken though Reply

Elizabeth via chabadofbakersfield.com October 28, 2007

QUITE A RELIEF! Your article about the bride having sole power after circling seven times is very touching.! I hope the bride does not faint while circling out of love for her would-be- husband since she waited for this sensitive, caring, and her hero for long. Just adding a touch of sense of humor: In the animal world, the Peacocks spread their gorgeous tail fans and circle after the female Peacocks. (LOL). In many other cultures, the man follows after the female by using a mediator or vice versa.

The gist of the article: It is a symbol of submission, conquer, and as well as obedience to G-d’s call of union. In my view, the power must come from within to pierce the walls; it is not the outer beauty that must attract, but the light and good virtues from within. Most men and women manipulate the encounter without the guidance of G-d and therefore, many marriages have been failed. If we could just redirect our position by our awesome aura from G-d, it is worth deserving of a strong partnership and love. Reply

Related Topics
This page in other languages