Posted August 23, 2013 by Sylvia Fox in Marriage

Jewish Wedding Ancient Traditions and Formalities

A Jewish wedding back in ancient bible times was far more than two people falling madly in love, there was a complete process of betrothal, before the engagement, which involved the families, including barter, some contracts, and wine. Yes, you heard right, wine.

Frequently the daddy of the groom would go find an acceptable woman for his son; however the child would still be required to ask the father of the intended bride for her betrothal. If he was pleased to ponder this idea, they would then initiate into debate of the proposal of the dowry to the bride’s father. As daughters in biblical days were not consequently considered to be able to bring in as much revenue as men, and didn’t usually work as a employed hand such a man would, therefore a dowry was regarded as a good financial retribution for what they couldn’t have gained from birthing a daughter instead of a man. Once the price is decided upon, they then proceed to the next step.

A chalice of wine is then placed on the table… Will the potential bride accept the offer of the potential groom? Will she pounce on it right away? Or make him wait (sweat it out) while she thinks upon it, and passes by a time or 2 or 3? Once she drinks of the wine, she is officially betrothed. In all senses she is off the market making an official agreement she is set apart forsaking all others (her only because men do not need to do this as back in ancient times they may have more than one wife) and is considered by every intent and purpose married other than the co-habitation aspect until the marriage ceremony.

Back in that ancient wedding custom, now that she’s pledged the groom proceeds to build a house. Once the house is complete, he may now marry his bride… however the house must be fashioned to the satisfaction of his father. Until the father’s approval of the home and he decrees it is finished, the couple can’t be wed. The bride-to-be awaits at each and every moment, for when her betrothed will come to her, she even keeps her oil lamp lit in the middle of the night forecasting the word of the Daddy delivered by the return of her beloved.

Once the house is ready and authorised, they could resume their wedding plans, and make preparations for the marriage with the special submersion bath for the bride, the official ceremony and all of the other practices you’ve come to expect with a Jewish Wedding.

More Information: Broken wedding glass mezuzahs lucite keepsakes or otherJewish wedding Judaica

Sylvia Fox