06 Sep Weddings around the world: Breaking Glass
To those of our readers who are celebrating throughout this week, we’d like to wish you a happy new year! This week’s edition of Weddings Around the World is a tip of the hat to you.
Generally, when something shatters at a wedding, it might elicit a shriek from your wedding planner and a flurry of action to prevent guests from injury (or embarrassment!). At a Jewish wedding, however, it is not only customary but also highly symbolic! In Jewish culture, a wedding is considered a personal Yom Kippur for the couple–a day of atonement in which all of their past mistakes are forgiven as they unite into a new, and complete, soul. At the end of the ceremony, the best man places a wrapped piece of glass on the floor underneath the chupah (where the ceremony is performed), and the groom (called the chatan) steps on it and breaks it. The shattering of the glass is meant to commemorate the destruction of the ancient Temple of Jerusalem, and thereby aligns the couple with the spiritual and national destiny of the Jewish people. The shattered glass (often a plate or a wine glass) denotes the conclusion of the wedding ceremony, and is followed by the reception.