Wedding in the Holy Land

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Will You Marry Me?

Whenever we see, hear or think about weddings, we instantly think about love. Love that is so strong and consuming between two individuals, they decide to join their life in one holy matrimony.

A typical wedding process is as simple as proposing, saying yes and planning the ceremony. However in Israel, there are additional factors to consider. Because religion is prominently woven into Israeli society, wedding institutions have a lot of religious influence. Israeli law commands that only certified Jews can marry in the state of Israel. I know what you are thinking – what is a certified Jew?

Israel’s requirements for being Jewish are as follows. A person is Jewish if he or she has a maternal Jewish grandmother. If this is not the case, then the person needs to perform an orthodox conversion in order to be married in Israel.

Marrying in Israel is the perfect way to celebrate an extraordinary Jewish marriage. Not only does Israel have a religious essence, it also has stunning landscapes to set as the background of a wedding.

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Religious Customs and Rites

Religious rituals and customs are often major considerations for people getting married because in Israel, religion and faith have always taken a vital role in country’s history. The majority of people in Israel practice Judaism. However, Christianity and Islam are recognized and practiced as well. Nevertheless, Jewish weddings in Israel hold spiritual and matrimonial significance to anyone attending, from Evangelists to Muslims.
In light of the strict guidelines Israel places on marriage, many Israelis seek to elope in other countries around the world. Then the newlyweds hold a wedding celebration in Israel, solidifying the union in an informal way without meeting all requirements for religious Israeli weddings. Yet still, many Israelis get married in Israel. The ones that do, are exposed to meaningful rituals that symbolize the beauty of a relationship between a husband and wife and their commitment to the Jewish religion.


Religious Jewish wedding tradition prohibit couples from seeing each other for a week leading up to the wedding. This is believed to increase excitement and anticipation of the event. Another well-known Jewish marriage tradition is the Badeken. This is the veiling of the bride, which exemplifies modesty and shows that regardless how attractive one’s physical appearance is, character and soul are paramount.

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Breaking glass is one of the most symbolic and well known rituals in a Jewish wedding. A piece of glass that has been wrapped with cloth is placed on the floor and the ‘Chatan’ (groom) smashes the glass with his foot. The act is an expression of sadness as well as represents the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. It identifies couples with the national and spiritual destiny of the Jewish people. Of all symbolic acts, breaking the glass is the most well-loved and well-known. Upon giving a series of blessings, the intensity of the wedding ceremony is lifted when the groom stomps onto the glass. Someone will then shout that the wedding ceremony is over and the party begins!

A Jewish wedding indicates a wedding ceremony that follows Jewish traditions and laws. Although the ceremonies differ, there are some consistent rituals always practiced. The first is a Ketubah or marriage contract that is signed by the bride, groom and two wedding witnesses. The marriage contract is reminiscent of the groom offering the father of the bride treasures in exchange for her hand. Second, most men and women who have a Jewish wedding do so under a Chuppah. A Chuppa is a canopy and can be decorated in any way the couple would like. It represents the groom’s home and the brides’ new domain.  Last, the groom gives the bride a ring which symbolizes dedication to one another in their marriage. Finally, if a Jewish wedding is in your cards, dress casual and prepare for a meaningful ceremony with a crazy party – Israelis know how to celebrate.

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