Wedding Traditions: Wedding Customs in Israel
Weddings are times people look forward to, as it gives the opportunity to celebrate with their friends and families as they move unto another stage of their lives. This is also a time where you get to see people you hardly see and/or have long seen – probably for years. Every society comes with its unique traditions and customs as it regards this special event. One traditional that stands out among the numerous traditions is that of Israel as a country.
Israel is one country where its marriage traditions are quite vigorous on couples. Its preparations are initiated as much as several months before the wedding. To help you on how approach an Israeli wedding invitation, here are some facts about their tradition.
One of the notable traditions of an Israeli wedding is that the couple do not get to see each other for a few days beforehand so as to ensure their purity. During this period, the rabbi coaches the bride and the groom before their big day. The rabbi is also known to be actively involved in their preparations and this involvement is marked by very specific steps taken.
Among the numerous steps taken in preparation is that known as the mikveh. This is where the bride and groom bath to as a symbol that they have achieved purification. This is not to mean that they go through this activity together, but separately. This ritual is carried out individually and on their own but surrounded by their families and loved ones.
Every marriage in Israel involves signing a contract, known as a Ketubah. This is usually done in the presence of two witnesses before the day of the wedding ceremony. Talking about the ceremony itself; this takes place under a large canopy known as a chuppah. Under and central of this canopy you have the bride and groom, their parents and also witnesses. The brides enters this chuppah with her face covered with a veil by her husband. This, in a Jewish marriage is of utmost importance, as it what symbolizes their union, showing that she is now his wife.
Another very relevant feature of an Israeli wedding is the giving of ring to the bride by the groom under the chuppah. After they are done with the chuppah, the bride and groom retires to finalize the union in what is referred to as the religious marriage, together with their guests, before that main festivities begin. The rabbi is usually at the forefront of this. At the end of the day, the rabbi blesses this union and also the guests.
Another strange traditional of this wedding is breaking of the glass used by the couple in drinking. This according to them is a very important gesture. Although not so about what it symbolizes; one thing I know is that it has to do with the wedding construction of the temple in Jerusalem.
Finally, as an invited guest you must know that a typical Israeli wedding appreciates you coming along with money rather than gifts. Reason is that, these weddings are frightfully expensive and so they need all the support they can get.
Photo Credit: Limelight Photography