Marriage within the Jewish community is packed with familial, social and religious considerations. Jewish weddings are often a joining not only of two individuals and their families, but also of different parts of the community. Above all, a wedding is a simcha, a commandment in which the bride and groom rejoice. The main elements of a wedding are kiddushin and erusin (sanctification of betrothal), the betrothal blessing, presentation of the ring, reading of the ketubah (marriage contract) and its presentation to the bride, recitation of the seven marriage blessings, drinking of wine to sanctify the marriage, and breaking of the glass (to remember the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem even on joyous occasions). Additional traditions are the bedeken, in which the groom places the veil over his bride’s face, and the encircling of the groom by the bride. Although a Jewish wedding need not take place in a synagogue, most Jews planning to marry turn to a rabbi or synagogue for some aspect of the wedding. Marriage preparation classes are offered in many branches of Jewish Family & Children’s Services, listed in Chapter 6, Social Services.

Marriage Officiating

Also see Chapter 4, Religious Life & Congregations.
San Francisco
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