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Essays and Insights

Essays and insights on the engagement period and the Jewish wedding experience.

What to Expect at a Chassidic Wedding
You’ve been invited to a chassidic wedding. Not sure what to expect? Let’s walk through the experience together.
You've been invited to a Shabbat Kallah? Find out what to expect!
What to Expect at an Aufruf
Your friend is getting married and you’ve been invited to an aufruf. Not sure what it is or what’s expected of you? You’ve come to the right place!
What to Expect at a Sheva Brachot
Someone you know is getting married, and you are invited to one of the Sheva Brachot celebrations in the days following the wedding. What do you need to know?
The Story of an Urban Chabad Wedding in Pictures
How does an urban couple in America’s “Second City” marry Jewish tradition with modern life?
The Meaning of the Ring of Marriage
Why the obsession with rings?
Will I Be the Next Runaway Bride?
I'm getting married in a couple of months, but I'm riddled with doubts: Have I made the right decision? How can I know for sure? Some nights I just lie awake wondering...
The Wedding Jitters
You are engaged. You are definitely glowing, though you're not sure if it is from joy or sweat. Where is the fairytale that you pictured for so many years? What is wrong with you?
Jewish Bachelor Party?
My fiancée is uncomfortable with it, and I'm not so excited about it myself. But everyone does it so I feel silly refusing. Is there a Jewish approach to bachelor parties?
Ring, Round and Roof
The three mysteries of marriage
Eliezer gave Rebecca a ring, betrothing her to Isaac; ever since, rings, circles and enveloping structures have facilitated the union of man and woman. The Kabbalistic masters delve into the mystery of the circle to understand the unifying force that violates all the laws of ego and identity.
The Merging of Two Souls
A Bride Describes the Experience of an Orthodox Jewish Wedding
I am having my hair done, my nails, my makeup. But within, I am in a completely different world. My focus is on the new life I am about to embark upon. I keep his picture in my mind, his words in my heart, and his being engraved in my soul. It is my wedding day.
Why Does a Jewish Bride Wear a Veil on Her Face?
The Mishnah (completed in the second century) records the custom of some Jewish brides to wear a veil.
Did You Marry for Beauty or Money?
There's an old stereotype when it comes to marriage. Men marry women for their looks. Women marry men for their money. There are of course many exceptions to this rule. But there is some truth to it too.
A Man's Deepest Secret
Why does the bride walk around the groom beneath the Chupah?
G‑d commanded the Israelites to walk around the walls of Jericho seven times; the walls came tumbling down and they were able to conquer the city. Try this at home with your husband
Tzimtzum
The text of the traditional engagement contract alludes to the cosmic energies which are unleashed by a Jewish marriage, a throwback to the supernal mechanisms which led to the creation of the worlds.
Inner Meaning of the Sheva Brachot
Every one of the seven blessings of the Sheva Brachot has a deep meaning, an important message for the bride and groom.
Marriage and Family Life
A treasury of thoughts and aphorism gleaned from the wisdom of the Torah and the Jewish sages which will enrich your wedding and marriage.
The Power of Acceptance
One of the reasons for the ancient Jewish custom to cover a bride's face during the marriage ceremony is to symbolize the complete acceptance that is integral to any enduring relationship
Why Is Jewish Marriage So One-Sided?
I understand that the traditional Jewish ketubah (marriage contract) is all about the husband’s obligations to his wife, but there’s nothing in there about the wife’s obligations. Is that fair?
Public Displays of Affection?
I was just at a friend’s wedding who I haven’t seen since college and who has become Orthodox. At the wedding, they never held hands and didn’t even kiss at the end of the ceremony. Is this how a couple that is supposedly in love acts?
Why Break a Glass at a Wedding?
This destruction of the Temple was a significant event in Jewish history, but it doesn’t seem to have any personal relevance to me. What does a destroyed building have to do with my wedding?
A Marriage Blessed In Heaven
Gila grew up in an observant home, Ben's family was less observant. Gila didn't know why Yosef thought to put them together...
1+1=1
Marriage in Jewish thought is not two people working together towards the same cause; it is the merging of two beings into one.
Dairy at a Wedding?
Can a traditional festive meal be dairy?
We are working on the menu for the festive meal at our daughter’s wedding. We all agree that dairy tastes much better than meat. Is it okay for the meal to be a dairy one?
Can Anyone Officiate at a Jewish Wedding?
Is it true that any Jewish person, not necessarily a rabbi, can perform the wedding ceremony?
The Hidden Meaning of the Jewish Wedding Dance
People stand facing each other, and then run toward each other and meet in the middle, only to do it all over again. Is there any meaning to this dance?
Why Must the Wedding Reception Be Kosher?
Can’t the rabbis just stick to the ceremony and leave the catering to the caterers?
Why Candles at the Chupah?
Let’s shed some light on the reasons for these candles, as well as why the bride and groom are each escorted with two candles.
Aufruf: Why Is the Groom Called to the Torah Before His Wedding?
Traditionally, the chatan (groom) is honored with an aliyah at the Torah on the Shabbat before his wedding. This is known as an aufruf, Yiddish for “calling up.”
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