Escorting the Bride and Groom, Part 1

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Escorting the Bride and Groom, Part 1

When G-d and the Jewish People were "married" at Mount Sinai, there were two "marriage ushers": Moses and Aaron. In commemoration of this, at a Jewish wedding two ushers escort bride and groom to one another. But there is a surprising regulation that demands explanation: a pregnant woman may not serve as marriage usher.
Lubavitcher Rebbe, Chupah, Wedding
Escorting the Bride and Groom, Part 1
Disc 42, Program 166

Event Date: 15 Shevat 5741 - January 20, 1981

When G-d and the Jewish People were "married" at Mount Sinai, there were two "marriage ushers": Moses and Aaron. In commemoration of this, at a Jewish wedding two ushers escort bride and groom to one another. But there is a surprising regulation that demands explanation: a pregnant woman may not serve as marriage usher.

On Erev Yom Kippur, when Jews perform the custom of Kapparos, a man takes a rooster and a woman takes a hen. But a pregnant woman takes three birds: a hen for herself, plus a rooster and a second hen for the baby inside her; we do not know what gender the baby will be, so we cover all grounds. Thus we see that Jewish custom views a pregnant woman not as a single individual, but as two - or possibly more.

This is why a pregnant woman may not serve as marriage usher. At Mount Sinai there were specifically two ushers, so for the Jewish wedding to reflect that Divine marriage it must also have specifically two ushers - no more, no less.

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