Jewish Wedding Ceremony

The Seven Circles

When they arrive at the chuppah, the bride and family circle the groom seven times. One of the many explanations for these seven circuits is that they represent a seven-fold bond which marriage will establish between the bride and groom and their families.

Mee Adir - Welcome

Following the seven circuits of the Kallah, as the bride and groom stand beside each other under the chuppah, a cantor (in behalf of all gathered) officially welcomes the bride and groom with a blessing.

He chants:

"Welcome!
He who is the Al-mighty and Omnipotent, over all;
He who is Blessed over all;
He who is the Greatest of all;
He who is Distinguished of all;
Shall Bless the Choson and Kallah."

Marriage is a holy institution in Judaism. It is a sacred bond, a reciprocal fulfillment, an inherent good, a divine command. The Creator desires that His work, in Creation endure. Since marriage was given to man and woman for this purpose, the Torah wishes to impress the sanctity of marriage upon them. Its very name in Hebrew, "kiddushin," means "sanctification."

Previously, each had been but half a person.

Now, with the hour of marriage, they resume their original wholeness, a new and pure soul is again to be theirs.

Standing under the chuppah their life destiny is set, all past reckoning erased.

Silent Blessing

We bring to mind all the loved ones who couldn’t be with us today. We also welcome those who have passed, our ancestors to join us in spirit and help us bless this union. Several generations of departed ancestors of the newly wedded couple descend from the "world of truth" to attend the wedding of their progeny.

Body of the ceremony
Sheva Berachot - The Seven Blessings

The concluding portion of the marriage ceremony is the seven blessings. Several different people are called upon to recite these blessings in the presence of a quorum of at least ten men, because of the communal emphasis of the blessings.

Do you both come to this union on your own free will & with the intention to be faithful to each other in marriage?

    1. Baruch Ata Adonai Elohainu Melech HaOlam, SheHakol Barah Lichvodo
      You are blessed, Lord our G-d, the sovereign of the world, who created everything for his glory.
    2. Baruch Ata Adonai Elohainu Melech HaOlam, Yotzer Ha'Adam
      You are blessed, Lord our G-d, the sovereign of the world, the creator of man.
    3. Baruch Ata Adonai Elohainu Melech HaOlam, Asher Yatzar Et Ha'Adam Betzalmo, b'Tzelem Dmut Tavnito, VeHitkon Lo Mimenu Binyan Adei Ad. Baruch Ata Adonai Yotzer Ha'Adam
      You are blessed, Lord our G-d, the sovereign of the world, who created man in His image, in the pattern of His own likeness, and provided for the perpetuation of his kind. You are blessed, Lord, the creator of man.
    4. Sos Tasis VeTagel HaAkarah, BeKibbutz Bane'ha Letocha BeSimchaa. Baruch Ata Adonai, Mesame'ach Tzion BeVaneha
      Let the barren city be jubilantly happy and joyful at her joyous reunion with her children. You are blessed, Lord, who makes Zion rejoice with her children.
    5. Sameach TeSamach Re'im Ahuvim, KeSamechacha Yetzircha BeGan Eden MiKedem. Baruch Ata Adonai, MeSame'ach Chatan VeKalah
      Let the loving couple be very happy, just as You made Your creation happy in the garden of Eden, so long ago. You are blessed, Lord, who makes the bridegroom and the bride happy.
    6. Baruch Ata Adonai Elohainu Melech HaOlam, Asher Barah Sasson VeSimcha, Chatan VeKalah, Gila Rina, Ditza VeChedva, Ahava VeAchava, VeShalom VeRe'ut. MeHera HaShem Elokeinu Yishama BeArei Yehudah U'Vchutzot Yerushalayim, Kol Sasson V'eKol Simcha, Kol Chatan V'eKol Kalah, Kol Mitzhalot Chatanim MeChupatam, U'Nearim Mimishte Neginatam. Baruch Ata Adonai MeSame'ach Chatan Im Hakalah.
      You are blessed, Lord our G-d, the sovereign of the world, who created joy and celebration, bridegroom and bride, rejoicing, jubilation, pleasure and delight, love and brotherhood, peace and friendship. May there soon be heard, Lord our G-d, in the cities of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem, the sound of joy and the sound of celebration, the voice of a bridegroom and the voice of a bride, the happy shouting of bridegrooms from their weddings and of young men from their feasts of song. You are blessed, Lord, who makes the bridegroom and the bride rejoice together.
    7. Baruch Ata Adonai Elohainu Melech HaOlam, Boreh Pri HaGafen.
      You are blessed, Lord our God, the sovereign of the world, creator of the fruit of the vine.

Breaking the Wedding Glass

At the conclusion of the blessings, after the couple drinks from the second cup, the groom breaks the glass with his right foot, as an additional remembrance of the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.