Here's a huge collection of wedding card messages, wishes and quotes. Some funny, some serious. Are you looking for just the right wedding card messages for friends or family? Congratulating a . HEBREW, mazal tov. HINDI, subhkamna.
Ever hear someone use a Jewish greeting and aren’t sure what it means or how to respond? Happy and sad lifecycle moments, Jewish holidays and other occasions all have Jewish greetings attached. Here are some traditional Hebrew or Yiddish responses and their meanings—and a virtual pat on the back. You’re doing fine!
The most common Jewish greeting is Shalom, a Hebrew word which means hello, goodbye and peace.
This means good luck!
[Pronounced be-sha-ah toe-vah]
Don’t say mazel tov when someone says they are pregnant. They don’t have the baby yet. Instead say “b’sha’ah tovah,” or “in a good hour”—meaning something like, I hope this works out perfectly. If you feel uncomfortable pronouncing that, say, “I’m so happy for you.”
[Pronounced mah-zel tohv]
Though this expression means literally good luck (or “a good sign”), it’s always used to mean congratulations. It’s something to say to couples getting married, parents of children becoming bar or bat mitzvah and new parents (but not to be said to expecting parents). It’s also a nice thing to say to someone who has a birthday, or gets a new job or a new car.
One thing that makes Jewish subculture a little different from the dominant culture is that it’s typical to congratulate the parents, siblings and friends of people getting married, having a baby or watching their relative become bar or bat mitzvah. If someone says “Congratulations!” to you when you say you are going to a friend’s wedding, say, “Thanks,” not, “It’s not my wedding, you goofball.”
You might also hear some wise guy yell “Mazel tov” in a Jewish delicatessen when someone drops dishes. That’s because at Jewish weddings, it’s traditional to break a glass and sometimes also a plate.
Tithadesh or tithadshi
[Pronounced Teet-ha-desh or Teet-had-she]
When your friend gets new clothes, a new house or a new car, there is a special way to congratulate them—“Tithadesh,” may it renew you. (The feminine form of this word is “tithadshi.”) There isn’t a really a good English equivalent, because there’s no specific way of congratulating people on getting new things—but you can always say, “Congratulations, enjoy it!”
[Pronounced Ya-shair Ko-akh]
When someone has an aliyah (is called up to the Torah during a service) or reads from the Torah, or does some public ritual in the synagogue, one traditional thing to say is “Yasher koach,” may your strength increase. If you feel uncomfortable pronouncing that, you can say, “Good job” and shake their hand. If someone says that to you, reply, “Baruch tihiyeh”—or just, “Thanks!”
Next time, at a simchah
When you see someone you love at a sad occasion like a funeral, what do you say? There is a Yiddish expression, “Oyf simches” which means, “Let’s only meet at happy occasions.” A good substitute is, “Glad you could make it,” or “Hope the next time we meet is at a happier occasion.”
Ha-Makom yinachem etchem…
[Pronounced Ha-ma-comb yin-ahem et-hem]
There is a traditional Hebrew phrase to say at funerals and houses of mourning, “Ha-Makom hu yinachem et chem b’toch avlei tsiyon v’yerushalayim.” It means, “May the Merciful One comfort you among the mourners for Zion and Jerusalem.” It seems unlikely you will need to say this, but it’s good to be in the know. You don’t really have to say anything, just be there and listen. Or say, “I’m sorry.”
May their memory be a blessing
When expressing condolences, a common Jewish saying is “May his/her memory be a blessing.” This can go along with “Sorry for your loss.”
For more about what to say when you vist a house of mourning, see “How to Pay a Shiva Call,” and our booket, Mourning the loss of a Jewish loved one.
[Pronounced bo-ker Tohv]
Literally, “good morning.” Nice replies are “boker tov” right back, or “boker or,” meaning “morning light.”
[Pronounced air-ev Tohv]
Literally, “good evening.” You can reply “erev tov” right back.
[Pronounced Lie-Lah Tohv]
Literally, “good night.” An appopriate response is to say “lilah tov” back.
For more on holidays, see our Jewish Holidays Cheat Sheet.
[Pronounced CHAHG sah-MAY-ach]
(Happy holiday) with a heavy gutteral h at the beginning of the first word and the end of the second. Or if you are really sophisticated, Moadim l’simcha, which means “festivals for joy.” You may also hear “gut yuntuv,” which is Yiddish for happy holiday. This is typically said on Sukkot and Simchat Torah, Purim and Shavuot. It can really be said for any holiday, however.
[Pronounced sha-baht sha-loam]
The most traditional greetingon Shabbat is the easiest: “Shabbat Shalom,” good Sabbath! You might also hear Gut Shabbes, which is Yiddish for good Sabbath. Saying Good Sabbath or Good Shabbes is a great way of greeting someone on Shabbat without speaking Hebrew. We say this to welcome one another or say goodbye on Shabbat.
[Pronounced Sha-voo-ah Tohv]
Shabbat officially ends when there are three stars in the sky on Saturday night. Some close Shabbat with the short ceremony of Havdalah, meaning “separation,” to mark the separation of Shabbat from the rest of the week. Starting on Saturday night, people often wish each other “shavua tov,” meaning “a good week,” as a wish for the coming week. You might even hear people saying this through Sunday. You can repeat, “shavua tov!” to them right back.
[Prounounced Shaa-nah Toh-vah]
Traditional greetings on Rosh Hashanah include, “L’Shana Tovah tikatevu,” which means, May you be inscribed for a good year, or just “Shana Tovah,” which means “a good year.” Some say “Happy New Year!” or “a happy and healthy New Year.” You might also hear people greet in Yiddish, “Gut yomtev,” which means happy holiday.
Gamar hatimah tova
[Pronounced ga-mar ha-ti-mah toh-vah]
A traditional greeting for Yom Kippur is “Gamar hatimah tovah:” a good completion to your inscription (in the book of life). Some say “Gamar tov,” a good completion. Some say “Shanah tovah” or Happy New Year, and some say “Tzom kal” or have an easy fast.
The big challenge here for many English-speakers is that initial heavy H sound, like the J in Jose or the ch in Loch Ness. (That’s why the holiday is sometimes spelled Chanukah.) Say Happy Hanukkah, do your best with the initial guttural h, smile and don’t worry.
The best greeting is Happy Purim! Some say Chag Sameach, which means Happy Holiday or Purim Sameach which means Happy Purim! This is a very fun, festive holiday and it’s all about the happy.
Happy Pesach or Passover
On Passover, some people say “Hag Sameah v’ kasher”—have a happy and kosher holiday. Or try Happy Pesach (Hebrew for Passover) or Happy Passover.
Greeting Cards for a Jewish Wedding. The Shtetl Wedding - Box of 10 Cards ( 601-box). $ 18.50. Add to Cart. "May today be the first in a lifetime of.
By Jill Suzanne Jacobs
Even outside Israel, Hebrew is an important part of Jewish life. Throughout history, the Jewish people have continued to hold onto the language of their native land. Today, although the majority of the world’s Hebrew speakers live in Israel, about a million Hebrew speakers live outside of the state of Israel, most of them in North America. Even if they don’t speak Hebrew fluently, most Jews know a Hebrew phrase or two. Here are ten Hebrew phrases you’re likely to hear in Jewish communities both inside and outside of Israel.
(mah-zahl tohv;Literally: A good sign.)
This phrase is used to mean congratulations. Guests shout it at Jewish weddings when the groom stomps on a glass, breaking it in memory of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and as a reminder that the world is still broken today. You can also say Mazal Tov to someone on other happy occasions — a birthday, a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, a new job, or an engagement. Here’s something funny: In Israel, whenever someone accidentally breaks a glass or a dish in a restaurant, the entire restaurant shouts out Mazal Tov in unison.
(buh-kah-rohv ehtz-lehch; Literally: Soon so shall it be by you.) (F)
This expression is a good way to respond when someone wishes you a hearty Mazal Tov. Its most common use is by brides in response to their single women friends congratulating them on their wedding, but you can use it in any circumstance. If you want to say B’Karov Etzlech to a guy, you should say B’Karov Etzlecha (buh-kah-rohv ehtz-leh-chah).
(teet-chah-dehsh;Literally: You shall be renewed.) (M)
This is a nice thing to say to males when they make a new purchase, whether they’ve bought clothing, a new car, or a new house. If you’re speaking to a girl or woman you should say Titchadshi (teet-chahd-shee). To a group of people, say Titchadshu (teet-chahd-shoo).
(buh-tay-ah-vohn;Literally: With appetite.)
B’Teavon is the Hebrew equivalent of bon appetit! A host may say this when presenting a dish, and a waiter or waitress may say it to customers in a restaurant. When you dine with someone, you can say this phrase to each other before digging in.
(beh-ehz-raht hah-shehm;Literally: With help of the Name.)
In religiously observant circles, Jews often refer to the Holy One (God that is) as HaShem, which literally means the Name. Because God’s name is so precious, you never even recite it in prayer, let alone in conversation. But sometimes, you do want to talk about God in the course of conversation, so religiously observant folks mention God by referring to HaShem. People often use this phrase when they speak about the future and want God’s help.
(yih-shahr koh-ach; Literally: Straight power.)
You can use this expression when you want to say, good for you,way to go, or more power to you when someone has accomplished something. People often use this phrase in the synagogue after someone has received an honor such as leading a portion of the prayer service or reading Torah. The proper response to this phrase is Baruch Teheyeh (bah-rooch teeh-hee-yeh) to a guy and Brucha Teeheyi (bh-roo-chah tee-hee-yee) to a girl or a woman. Both phrases mean you shall be blessed.
Dash is an acronym for Drishat Shalom (duh-ree-shaht shah-lohm), which literally means wishings or demands of peace.Dash is used to mean regards. You ask someone to send Dash just like you’d ask to someone to send your regards. For the full Hebrew phrase, use either of the following:
You can also send warm regards with Dash Cham (dahsh chahm).
This phrase has no literal translation into English. After a friend has gone out on a hot date the night before, when your mother has an important interview, or when your child has a big test at school, you’ll probably want to inquire about how everything went. So you say Nu? expectantly and wait for a reply.
(kohl hah-kah-vohd;Literally: All of the respect.)
You can use this little phrase when you want to say all right,way to go, or a job well done. You’re picking up all kinds of new information with this focus on phrases, Kol HaKavod!
(lecha’im; Literally: To life.)
L’Chaim reveals a lot about the Jewish approach to life. The phrase is not to a good life,to a healthy life, or even to a long life. It is simply to life, recognizing that life is indeed good and precious and should always be celebrated and savored. L’Chaim!
Most of the laws and customs relating to the wedding ceremony, its preparations and Seudas Mitzvah (festive reception meal) date back to our Patriarchs and the giving of the Torah at Sinai.
The Talmud teaches that, originally man and woman were created as a single being. According to tradition, Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day of creation as Siamese twins. G-d then separated the two forming Eve from Adam's side. Thus, man and woman i.e. husband and wife began as a single entity. Togetherness is their natural state. Their love stems from this natural tendency to be one. Our sages tell us that prior to the marriage neither man nor woman is considered a complete entity. The marriage is the joining of the two halves - man and woman - into one complete wholesome being. The following is a brief guide to some of the laws and customs of marriage at a traditional Chassidic wedding.
To take it a step further, we are taught in Chassidic philosophy that upon birth each body contains a portion of one soul, and at the marriage the two parts unite as one once again. Thus, it is at the time of the wedding that the creation of bride and groom is completed and is therefore, such a meritorious occasion.
The wedding day has, for both the bride and groom, all the sanctity and solemnity of Yom Kippur. Both have fasted until after the chuppah ceremony through which time they seek G-d's forgiveness for any past wrongdoings.
The groom, who dons a kittel (white robe) under the chuppah, and the bride in her gown, are attired in white symbolizing angelic purity and freedom from sin. They pray that the Al-mighty "open a new gate for us as the old gate is closed" so that their new life together evolves from a pure and fresh beginning. During each day of their marriage the bride and groom will strive to grow and adjust to each other in order to establish the foundation for a Bayis Ne'eman B'Yisrael - a faithful Jewish home.
It is with profound gratitude that we acknowledge the infinite bountiful blessings of G-d Almighty who has granted us life, sustained us (in good health), and enabled us to reach the day when our children, ______ and ______, enter a new phase of life under the chuppah (canopy of marriage) following their entrance (at Bar/Bat Mitzvah) into the portals of Torah and good deeds.
We are overjoyed that you could be present to share this simchah with us.
It is our fondest wish that you enjoy the festivities and become involved in every facet of the celebration in order to share with us the joy, merriment, happiness and simchah that we feel on this day.
In the merit of bringing joy and happiness to the bride and groom, may we see the reaffirmation of the bond between G-d Al-mighty (the groom) and the Jewish people (the bride) with the coming of the righteous Moshiach imminently in our days.
With thanks, fondness, and best wishes to all participants, we hope to share simchas with each other all the days of our lives.
|Parents of the Bride||Parents of the Groom|
|Honored Grandparents||Honored Grandparents|
There are many reasons for varied customs in the rich pageantry of Jewish practice.
Following are a few pertaining to the wedding ceremony (chasunah) to help make it a more meaningful experience for everyone attending.
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." This ideal is reflected in the details of the wedding ceremony and in the entire wedding day proceedings prior to the consecration of the "chuppah" or canopy.
Since an unmarried person is considered half a person, the wedding day is seen to be the beginning of a new life as a complete soul for both the bride (Kallah) and groom (Choson).
So, despite the tumult of preparations the weeks before the wedding, the couple prepare to lay the foundation of their new life together by trying to increase the quality and quantity of both their Torah learning and mitzvah observance and deepen their relationship to G-d.
During the week before the wedding, the Choson and Kallah do not see each other.
On the Sabbath of that week the Choson is called to the Torah (ufruf), to impress upon the couple the duty to look to the Torah as their guide in married life.
The bride and groom maintain the world by raising children who will busy themselves in Torah study; therefore, the groom is called upon to read the letters of the Torah, which contain the ten utterances of creation.
After his Aliyah, the congregation showers him with raisins and nuts, symbolic of their wishes for a sweet and fruitful marriage blessed with many children.
Meanwhile, on the same Sabbath, the Kallah's family and friends arrange a party (forshpiel) for her, expressing their same wishes for her.
From a few days prior, until a week after the wedding, the couple are considered royalty and are, therefore, not to be seen in public without a personal escort.
The holiest day of the year is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
It is a fast day on which each person reviews in depth all of his past actions.
Since on the day of one's wedding G-d forgives the bride and groom of all their previous transgressions, it is seen as a private Yom Kippur for the couple.
They fast until the ceremony; add Yom Kippur confessions to their afternoon prayers; recite the Book of Psalms, asking for forgiveness for the wrongdoings of their youth, committed knowingly or unknowingly, before starting their new life together.
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.
At the wedding, pre-ceremony festivities begin at two separate locations (in the same building).
The receptions are held separately since the Choson and Kallah do not see each other during the week prior to the wedding.
At this time, relatives and friends greet the bride and groom and bless them, individually offering them their heartfelt wishes.
The following takes place during the Kabbalas Ponim.
Jewish tradition specifies that prior to the marriage ceremony, standard "Tena'im" (conditions) be stipulated in a written document by the groom and bride and their respective parents.
This most often occurs just prior to the marriage ceremony, representing a commitment of the Choson to fulfill the promise to marry his Kallah.
With the signing and finalization of this obligation, through reviewing the text aloud, a plate is broken, signifying that just as the breaking of the plate is irreversible, so too should the engagement be irreversible.
It is customary that the groom recite the Maamar Lecha Dodi - a Chassidic discourse on the significance of marriage, according to Jewish mysticism.
The discourse elaborates the elevation which the groom and bride attain through their bond in marriage.
This Chassidic discourse was originally delivered by the 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneersohn, of blessed memory, in the year 5689 (1929) at the wedding of his daughter, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, of blessed memory, to the Rebbe - Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson.
Others recite a Maamar first delivered by the Rebbe, on the 57th anniversary of the Previous Rebbe's marriage 5714 (1953). It is based upon the Maamar, Lecha Dodi, discussed above.
Before the chuppah ceremony, the groom, escorted by his father and (about to become) father-in-law, and accompanied by relatives and friends, goes forward to veil the bride.
During this procession a Chassidic melody composed by the founder of Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812), known as "The Alter Rebbe's Niggun of Four Stanzas" is sung.
The groom brings down the veil over the bride's face, reminiscent of Rebeccah's covering her face with her veil upon seeing Isaac before marriage. The veiling impresses upon the Kallah her duty to live up to Jewish ideals of modesty and reminds others that in her status as a married woman she will be absolutely unapproachable by other men. The covering of the face symbolizes the modesty, dignity and chastity which characterizes the virtue of Jewish womanhood.
The Jewish woman, being the strength and pillar of the home, is also reflected in these signs of modesty and dignity which will be the pillars and the foundation of their new home. With the above, she will fill her home (the sanctuary of the individual's holy Temple) with security and warmth. At the conclusion of the Bedeken it is customary for the parents and grandparents to bless the bride.
Before the chuppah all the knots on the groom's garments are untied.
This symbolizes that at the moment of marriage all other bonds are eliminated, except this intimate one made between the bride and groom.
The groom dons the traditional white robe, known as the "Kittel", traditionally worn on Yom Kippur. This serves to remind the groom of the solemnity of the occasion.
The wedding ceremony takes place under the open sky, recalling the blessing of G-d to Abraham that his seed be as numerous as the stars. The chuppah is reminiscent of Ruth's saying to Boaz "spread your robe over your handmaid." It also represents the desire that their home be under the protection and guidance of G-d Al-mighty. Chassidic philosophy teaches that several generations of departed ancestors of the newly wedded couple descend from the "world of truth" to attend the wedding of their progeny.
The Choson escorted by his father and father-in-law, and others, proceed to the chuppah, followed by the bride who is escorted by her mother and mother-in-law and other women. This procession signifies theKallah's transition from her parents' home to her husband's. The groom awaiting the arrival of the bride symbolizes his welcoming her into his new "home." The Unterfirers, the couples escorting the Choson andKallah to the chuppah, each carry a lit candle.
One explanation for this custom is that candles are reminiscent of the flickering light and fire which occurred at the marriage of G-d (the Choson) and Israel (the Kallah) under the "chuppah" of Mt. Sinai at the giving of the Torah. Here too, while escorting the bride and groom to the chuppah, the "Alter Rebbe's Niggun of Four Stanzas" is solemnly sung.
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. This act also recalls the seven times that the Tefillin straps are wrapped around a man's arm. Just as a man binds himself in love to G-d, so is his bond in love to his bride. The number seven represents the completion of the seven day process in which earth was created. During these seven days, the earth revolved on its axis seven times. Since marriage reenacts the creative process, the Kallah's encirclement symbolizes the repetition of these seven earthly rotations.
Also, on the day of his wedding, the groom is compared to a king. Just as the king is encircled by his legion, the groom is to be encircled by his bridal entourage. When the bride has finished encircling the groom, she stands at his right, as the Psalmist states, "at the right hand does the queen stand."
"Poschim bidvar malchus," when commencing an assemblage one should open the gathering with a statement of "royalty." Our sages teach us "mon malkah rabbanan" - scholarly sages and great Jewish Torah leaders are considered royalty. It is, therefore, customary that on the onset of assemblages (such as circumcisions, bar mitzvahs, as well as weddings), greetings and blessings of the renowned leader of world Jewry, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and mentor of the Chabad movement, conveyed by letter, are read aloud as the opening statement for the chuppah ceremony.
The Torah advises us that it has given every Jew the power to bless his fellow man. In particular, the power and sacredness of blessing has been given to the Kohen. The Kohanim bless the entire congregation on all major Jewish holidays during services from the bimah (podium). In Israel, especially in Jerusalem, and most particularly at the Western Wall, Kohanim offer the priestly blessing daily during the morning service.
In the Diaspora, although priestly blessings are recited during the major Jewish festivals, there are special events where it is customary in many communities that priestly blessings are offered.
One such occasion is for the bride and groom in the most solemn moments of their life under the chuppah. It is, therefore, customary in many communities that prior to the opening of the betrothal blessings, a Kohen is called upon to bless the new couple.
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 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."
Every legal procedure in Jewish life is confirmed by at least two "kosher" witnesses. These witnesses can under no circumstances be of the immediate family or even distant relatives to the participating parties. All Jewish documents must bear the signatures of two kosher witnesses.
The consecration of a woman to man, the Torah advises us, is through "the giving of a valuable - money or ring - (to the woman), the presentation of a document, or through intimate living together." Nowadays, our sages tell us, we perform all three acts as a means of consecrating a woman.
For this reason, the Chuppah ceremony entails all three aspects:
The giving of a ring by the Choson to the Kallah (the exchange of value);
The handing over of the Ketubah (marriage contract) to the bride;
And after the Chuppah, the bride and groom adjourn to a private room (symbolic of intimacy) where they break their fast.
It takes two witnesses (to the exclusion of others) to attest that all three aspects of marriage have taken place in accordance with the laws of "Moses and Israel." Two witnesses are called upon to stand under theChuppah and witness these procedures.
The Jewish marriage ceremony has two basic parts: "Kiddushin" and "Nisuin." Both parts are introduced with the benediction over wine, the traditional symbol of joy and abundance. The first blessing over the wine signifies that just as we pronounce the holiness of the Sabbath and festivals over the wine, we sanctify the personal relationship of marriage over wine. The bride and groom each take a sip of the wine.
The second is recited over the ceremony itself, thanking G-d for giving us the opportunity to perform this Mitzvah, after which the Choson and Kallah once again take a sip of the wine, after the seven blessings. The marriage blessing speaks of the commandment concerning illicit marriages, and of permitting us to those married to us, by the rite of Chuppah and Kiddushin.
The blessing ends: "Blessed are You L-rd, Who sanctifies His people Israel through Chuppah and Kiddushin.
The essence of the ceremony which follows is the act of Kiddushin, performed by the groom. The act of marriage is an agreement entered into by two people, with the acknowledgment that G-d is also a partner. In the presence of two witnesses, the groom places a simple ring on the bride's right forefinger. Only a simple gold band (without engravings or adornment) is used to impress upon all present the singularity of the moment in time, as opposed to the value and bearing of an ornate object in space. The perfect roundness of the ring symbolizes an unspoken prayer; just as a ring must be made of plain gold without blemishes or obstructions, so it is hoped that the marriage will be one of simple beauty, free from strife or conflict which might, G-d forbid, destroy its perfect "roundness." The ring is gold to indicate that the Kallah should be as precious as gold to the Choson. As the groom places the ring on her finger he says: "Harei At Mekudeshes Li B'taba'as Zo Kedas Moshe V'Yisrael - Behold, you are consecrated to me with this ring according to the laws of Moses and Israel."
This is to say, that as the laws of Moses and Israel is of Divine origin and bear the seal of truth, so shall our marriage be consecrated. And, as the laws of Moses and Israel forever consecrate all those who enter into its covenant, so shall we be consecrated forever.
To separate the betrothal blessings from the marriage blessings (Sheva Berachos), the "Kesubah" (marriage contract) is read aloud in Aramaic. The "Kesubah" is a binding document of confidence and trust which details the husband's obligations to his wife. Therein, the Choson pledges to "work for you, honor, provide for and support you, in accordance with the practices of Jewish husbands who work for their wives' honor, provide and support them in truth." Its basic aim is to strengthen and affirm the wife's dignified status, as well as to confer a number of special privileges on her. The contract also contains stipulations of financial settlement in case of, G-d forbid, divorce. Special stipulations are also provided in case of a husband's demise.
The signing of the Kesubah shows that the bride and groom do not see marriage as only a physical and emotional union, but also as a legal and moral commitment which delineates the human and financial obligations of the husband to his wife according to Jewish law and customs. The Kesubah also protects the special rights and dignified status entitled to the wife in the marriage.
Symbolically, this document is also reminiscent of the wedding between G-d and Israel where "Moses took the Book of the Covenant" and read it to the people after the Jews stood under the "Chuppah" at Mt. Sinai. Following the reading of this contract, the Kesubah is handed over to the Kallah. Should this document be lost, the couple may not live together until a new contract is drawn up.
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.
They acknowledge G-d as the Creator of mankind, joy, bride and groom.
They also praise G-d for having created man in His image, and for giving him the ability to reproduce that image.
The first blessing is recited over the second cup of wine as a sign of rejoicing.
The second thanks G-d for creating the world and at the same time it honors those assembled at the wedding.
The third and fourth acknowledge G-d's physical and spiritual creation of mankind.
These blessings are recited at weddings, since it is only then that the couple begins life as complete human beings.
In the fifth, we pray for the restoration of Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, the edifice which so expressed G-d's special relationship to the Jewish people that the memory of its destruction rises above even our highest joys.
The sixth expresses the hope that the bride and groom grow in their love for each other, focusing their love as exclusively as Adam and Eve, when there was no one else in the world.
In the seventh blessing, we pray for the time when Moshiach will come to redeem us from exile so that peace and tranquility will reign over the world.
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. Traditionally, this custom was also incorporated into the ceremony to remind everyone that even at the height of one's personal joy, we must, nevertheless, remember the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.
The breaking of the glass symbolizes the breaking of our hearts in remembrance.
After the ceremony the bride and groom adjourn to a private room for a symbolic "consummation" of the marriage. This procedure is witnessed by the same two exclusive witnesses who were designated at the time when the ring was placed on the Kallah's finger under the chuppah. The few minutes the couple share together allude to their new intimate relationship and emphasizes that their absolute privacy be respected. Refreshments are served, and the Choson and Kallah break their fast. Before entering the "Yichud" (private) room, a silver spoon is placed at the threshold. Both the groom and bride step over the spoon with their right foot first upon entering the room.
Most Jewish celebrations (marriage, circumcision, bar mitzvah, etc.) are followed by a dinner to honor the occasion. At this meal all guests participate in the Mitzvah of "L'Sameach Choson v'Kallah," to celebrate in joy with the groom and bride. Although the wedding feast in itself is a mitzvah, the emphasis is on entertaining the newlyweds. By dancing around the Choson and Kallah, the community expresses its support for the couple. As a part of the Jewish people, they never need fear facing life alone. As a mitzvah, it is to be taken seriously.
The Talmud relates many instances where the greatest of our sages have set aside their diligent non-interrupted study of Torah for the sake of merry-making at a wedding. In accordance with Jewish law, men and women dance separately, in different rooms or in the same area separated by a "Mechitzah" (divider) for reasons of "Tznius" (modesty). This is one of the strong virtues binding a husband and wife, enhancing each other's uniqueness.
At the end of the Seudas Mitzvah (festive meal), "Grace After Meals" is recited, and the ShevaBerachos(seven blessings) recited under the chuppah are once again repeated.
It is a custom in some Hasidic communities, although not in Chabad, for the bride to dance with her groom, her father, and other male wedding guests. During the mitzvah tanz the bride may hold the groom's hand and her father's hand, but dances with the other guests by holding on to one end of a scarf or a gartel (belt), while the guest holds the other. Mitzvah Dance at a Satmar wedding.
The Mazhinka dance is performed at the wedding of the last (not necessarily the youngest) child in the family to be married. At this dance, the mother of the "mazhinka" dances with a broom, symbolically "sweeping out" the now-empty nest.
In contrast to a non-Jewish custom, in which the bride and groom take off to some exotic honeymoon location, Jewish custom dictates that the couple begin their new life together in their community.
For seven consecutive evenings following the wedding, it is customary that friends or relatives host festive meals in their honor. The act of feasting recalls the "seven-day celebration" after the marriage of Jacob to Leah, while spending their days in prayer, learning Torah and performing mitzvos in order to give the "new house in Israel" a solid foundation in G-d's ways of holiness.
Mazal Tov! Mazal Tov!
1) During the week before the wedding, it is customary for the groom and bride not to see each other, even during the day.
2) On the Sabbath before the wedding, the groom is called up to the Torah.
The groom and bride maintain the world by raising children who will busy themselves in Torah study. Therefore, he is called upon to read the letters of the Torah, which maintain the ten utterances of creation.
3) It is well-known that the ancestors of the newlywed couple descend from the world of truth and attend the marriage celebration.
The souls of ancestors from three generations back attend all Jewish weddings; and there are some weddings at which those of even further removed generations are present.
4) The Previous Rebbe commanded that the bride should recite certain chapters of Tehillim (Psalms) on her wedding day.
Since the specific chapters are not known, the bride should recite the entire book of Tehillim, if possible.
5) It is a custom of the house of the Rebbeim, for a groom to arrange his schedule of studies in order to receive Semichah (Rabbinic ordination) before marriage.
6) The Previous Rebbe fasted on the day of his daughter's wedding.
7) If the wedding takes place before sunset, the groom and bride do not have to complete their fast.
8) It is customary that the groom (and when it is impossible, one of the Mechutonim) should recite theMa'amar Lecha Dodi 5689 at the 'Kabbalas Ponim' (greeting the groom).
9) It is customary that the "unterfeurers" (the couples who accompany the groom and bride to the chuppah) from both sides should be married couples.
If the father or mother are presently married to another partner, it is customary that in addition to the married couple that accompany the groom or bride to the chuppah, the father with his wife (or the mother with her husband) should also circle the groom under the chuppah together with the bride.
10) It is customary that both fathers accompany the groom, and both mothers the bride.
11) While accompanying the groom to the veiling of the bride -- and afterwards when the groom and bride are led to the chuppah -- we sing the Alter Rebbe's Niggun of "Four Stanzas."
12) It is customary that the "unterfeurers" -- both the men and the women -- should circle the groom (7 times) together with the bride.
13) It is our custom that the groom wears a 'kittel' (white garment) under the chuppah. Therefore, he does not wear a kittel on the Yom Kippur following his marriage. On the following Yom Kippur he begins wearing akittel.
14) Under the chuppah, and likewise in the preceding Minchah prayer during which he recited the 'Al Chet,' (the confessional prayer), and from the chuppah onwards -- the groom prays with a 'gartel.' (wears a sash)
15) We untie all the knots on the groom's garments (e.g. tie, shoelaces, etc.).
16) The groom should not have money, silver articles, gold, precious stones, etc. in his pockets at the time of marriage.
(Likewise, he should not have any of these things in his clothes e.g. a silver pin, etc. Even more so, he should not have them in his hand.)
17) The wedding ring should be gold and smooth, with no engraving on it; (even on the inside).
18) In the blessing "Samach T'Samach," (one of the Sheva Berachos,) the word "Samach" is recited with (the vowel) patach under each letter.
19) After the groom and bride drink from the cup of wine over which the Sheva Berachos is recited under thechuppah, it is given to someone to finish. Then the groom breaks it with his right foot.
20) After the chuppah, before the groom and bride enter the 'Yichud' (private room); a silver spoon is placed at the doorstep. The groom steps over it, with the bride entering after him.
21) During the week of rejoicing following the wedding, the groom or bride should try not to go alone, even in each other's company.
They should always be escorted by another person.
22) Two sisters may have their weddings in the same week, but not on the same day.
23) Even in the month of Tishrei our custom is to hold weddings only in the first half of the month.
24) Weddings are not performed during Sefirah, the period of Counting of the Omer between Passover and Shavuot, nor during the "Three Weeks" from the Fast of 17 Tamuz until Tisha B'Av.
25) The 15th of Av (Tu B'Av) is considered an fortunate day to hold a wedding, as is the 3rd day of the week (Tuesday).
Instead of making weddings during the month of Cheshvan, which is called Marcheshvan ("bitter" Cheshvan) weddings are held during the entire month of Kislev, (even during the second half). We also make weddings during the whole month of Adar and Elul.
Whether you grew up immersed in the Jewish religion and culture or barely attended temple, you may wish to incorporate Jewish wedding.
Although Jews have adopted the languages of the countries in which they live, they have always tended to retain traditional forms of greetings and congratulations either in Hebrew or Yiddish and occasionally in Aramaic, and some of these forms of greetings are adaptations of biblical verses while others are taken from the liturgy. Many are merely the expression of an emotion in Hebrew or Yiddish without any literary source. In the list below the most common forms of greetings are given; the list does not include the many variations which sometimes exist nor does it include simple translations such as boker tov (= good morning).
Hebrew Literal meaning Occasions when said Origin and/or reference GREETINGS AND CONGRATULATIONS – GENERAL FORMS OF 1. Shalom or Shalom lekha שָׁלוֹם
Peace to you.
As a common greeting equivalent to "hello" or "goodbye"
Gen. 29:6; 43:27;
I Sam. 16:4
2. Shalom aleikhem שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם Peace to you. Same as above 3. Aleikhem shalom עֲלֵיכֶם שָׁלוֹם To you, peace. Response to greeting No. 2 4. Barukh ha-ba בָּרוּךְ הַבָּא Blessed be the one who comes. A common greeting, equivalent to "welcome." A child brought to the circumcision ceremony and a bride and groom approaching the wedding canopy are also greeted thus. The response to the greeting is No. 5 or 6. 5. Barukh ha-nimẓa אָצמִּנַה ךור ָּב Blessed be the one (already) present. Response to greeting No. 4 Ps. 118:26 6. Barukh ha-yoshev בָּרוּךְ הַיּוֹשֵב Blessed be the one who is sitting. Response to greeting No. 4. Used by a guest to the host sitting at the head of the table. 7. Shalom berakhah ve-tovah שָׁלוֹם בְּרָכָה וְטוֹבָה Peace, blessing and (all) good (to you). General blessing used by Sephardi Jews. 8. Ḥazak u-varukh חֲזק וּבָרוּךְ Be stong and blessed. Same as above Also used in Sephardi synagogues to a person who returns to his seat after having performed liturgical functions. 9. Yishar koḥakha or Yasher ko'akh יִישַׁר כֹּחֲךָ May your strength (increase) go straight. Congratulations for success and achievement. In traditional synagogues also extended to a person who has been called up to the Torah reading. 10. Ḥazak ve-emaẓ חֲזַק וֶאֱמָץ Be strong and of good courage. Congratulations for success and achievement. Also extended to a bar mitzvah boy after he has finished reading the haftarah. e.g., Deut 31:23 11. Biz hundert un tsvantsik (Yiddish) (May you live) until the age of 120. A wish for long life. 12. Tsu gezunt (Yiddish) Good health. To a person who has sneezed; also to someone convalescing. 13. a. Li-veri'ut לִבְרִיאוּת Good health. Same as above b. Asuta אָסוּתָא (Aramaic) Good health. Same as above 14. Refu'ah shelemah רְפוּאָה שְׁלֵמָה (May you have) a complete recovery. Wish to a sick person. SABBATH AND HOLIDAY GREETINGS 15. a. Shabbat shalom Gut shabes שַׁבַּת שָׁלוֹם (Yiddish) Good Sabbath. The Sabbath greeting b. Shabbat hi milizok u-refu'ah kerovah lavo שַׁבָּת הִיא מִלִּזְעֹק וּרְפוּאָה קְרוֹבָה לָבוֹא It is Sabbath and forbidden to make supplications but may you soon get well. When visiting the sick on the Sabbath Shab. 12a 16. a. Shavu'a tov A gute vokh שָׁבוּעַ טוֹב (Yiddish) A good week. Saturday night at the end of the Sabbath 17. Gut khoydesh (Yiddish) A good new month. On new moons 18. Gut Yontev (Yiddish) corrupted from the Hebrew Yom Tov A good holiday (to you). On holidays and festivals 19. a. Mo'adim lesimḥah מוֹעֲדִים לְשִׂמְחָה Joyous holidays. On festivals. The response to which is No. 20. b. Ḥag same'ah חַג שָׂמֵחַ Joyous holiday. 20. Ḥaggim uzemannim lesason חַגִּים וּזְמַנִּים לְשָׂשֹׂוֹן Holidays and festivals for joy and gladness. Response to No. 19a and 19b This wording is from the prayer for the three festivals. 21. Ve-hayita akh same'aḥ וְהָיִיתָ אַךְ שָׂמֵחַ You shall have nothing but joy. On Sukkot, when visiting a person in his sukkah Deut. 16:15 NEW YEAR AND DAY OF ATONEMENT 22. a. Shanah tovah שָׁנָה טוֹבָה A good year (to you), or its more ample version: During the Days of Penitence b. Le-shanah tovah tikkatevu (vetehatemu) (לְשָׁנָה טוֹבָה תִּכָּתֵבוּ (וְתֵחָתֵמוּ May you be inscribed and sealed) for a good year (i.e. in the Book of Life), or its shorter form: The wording is from the prayers *Amidah and *Avinu Malkenu c. Ketivah tovah כְּתִיבָה טוֹבָה A good inscription (in the Book of Life). 23. Gam le-mar גַם לְמַר To you too. Greetings in Nos. 22a, b, and c, as well as 24a and b On the Day of Atonement, the day of "Sealing the book." Wording from the prayer book. 24. a. Hatimah tovah חֲתִימָה טוֹבָה A sealing for good (to you), or its more ample version: b. Gemar hatimah tovah גְּמַר חֲתִימָה טוֹבָה A propitious final sealing (to you) (in the Book of Life). As above. This form can be used until Hoshana Rabba. ON JOYOUS OCCASIONS AND FAMILY EVENTS 25. a. Mazzal tov מַזָּל טוֹב Good luck (i.e., may you enjoy a favorable zodiac constellation). For joyous occasions, especially childbirth, betrothal, wedding, bar-mitzvah, etc.… Ashkenazi custom. b. Be-siman tov בְּסִימָן טוֹב Same as above Same as above Sephardi custom. 26. Barukh tihyeh בָּרוּךְ תִּהְיֶה Be you blessed (too), i.e., the same to you). Response to Mazzal tov wish 27. Le-ḥayyim or לְחַיִּים To life. On taking a drink, usually alcoholic. Shab. 67b. 28. Le-ḥayyim tovim u-le-shalom לְחַיִּים טוֹבִים וּלְשָׁלוֹם Good life and peace (to you). More ample form of No. 27. DURING MOURNING 29. Ha-Makom yenahem etkhem be-tokh avelei Ẓiyyon vi-Yrushalayim הַמָּקוֹם יְנַחֵם אֶתְכֶם בְּתוֹךְ אֲבֵלֵי צִיּוֹן וִירוּשָׁלַיִם May the Lord comfort you among all mourners for Zion and Jerusalem. To a mourner during the week of mourning. See: *Mourning ON YAHRZEIT 30. Ad bi'at ha-go'el עַד בִּיאַת הַגּוֹאֵל (May you live) until the coming of the Messiah. On the yearly anniversary of the death of a relative. Among German Jews. IN WRITTEN FORM ONLY 31. Ad me'ah shanah (עַד מֵאָה שָׁנָה (עמ"ש Until a hundred years. In the heading of a private letter, after the addressee's name 32. Zekhuto yagen aleinu (זְכוּתוֹ יָגֵן עָלֵינוּ (זי"ע May his merit protect us. After name of distinguished deceased; usually ḥasidic. 33. Zikhrono li-verakhah or Zekher ẓaddik liverakhah (זִכְרוֹנוֹ לִבְרָכָה (ז"ל) זֵכֶר צַדִּיק לִבְרָכָה (זצ"ל May his memory be for a blessing.
May the memory of the pious be for a blessing.
After name of deceased; also in speech. 34. Alav ha-shalom (עָלָיו הַשָלוֹם (ע"ה Peace be on him. As above. 35. Natreih Raḥamana u-varkhei (נַטְרֵיה רַחֲמָנָא וּבַרְכֵיה (נר"ו (Aramaic) May God guard and bless him (you). Written form of address. 36. She-yihyeh le-orekh yamim tovim amen (שׁיּחיֶה לְאֹרֶך יָמִים טוֹבִים אָמֵן (שליט"א May he (you) live for many good days, Amen. As above.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.
This greeting card reads 'Amazing Couple' in the center of the cover in Hebrew and is framed by hearts. The card also features a blessing on the interior.