Seven Blessings

The ritual known as the Seven Blessings, or Sheva Brachot in Hebrew, is an important component of a Jewish wedding ceremony. In Halakah, the Seven blessings are known as the wedding blessings (Birkot Nisuim). The Jewish wedding ceremony, Kisushin in Hebrew, presents the bride and groom to their community as a married couple. A Jewish wedding is a special ceremony with an extensive tradition behind it. The ceremony incorporates many symbolic objects and acts that demonstrate the material and spiritual union of the couple. The Seven Blessings recited at the peak of the ceremony draw a connection between the love of the new couple and their love to the Creator of the world. As part of the ceremony the couple signs the Ketuba; this is a reflection of how Judaism perceives the matrimony - as a sacred contract between a man and a woman.

The Jewish wedding is set under a large canopy known as Chuppah. The Chuppah is a metaphor for the new home that the new married couple is going to build together. Under the Chuppah, the excited bride and groom stand with parents of both sides and the rabbi who performs the sacred ceremony of matrimony. The Rabbi recites a blessing over a first glass of wine , and the bride and groom drink from the glass. Then, the most important part takes place: the groom takes the wedding ring in his hand and in front of witnesses says to his bride: "You are betrothed unto me with this ring, according to the law of Moses and Israel."

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