Why Do They Break Glass at Jewish Weddings?

While it may seem like a silly tradition to break glass at the end of a wedding, breaking it actually holds great significance in the Jewish faith. You may be familiar with the Jewish tradition of breaking the glass under the groom’s cup at the end of the wedding. There are many reasons why Jewish spouses break glass at the end of the ceremony to seal their marriage to the bride.

People break glass at Jewish weddings in order to signify the destruction of the Jewish temples. However, this original purpose is unknown to many Jews, and novel reasons are attributed to the practice. Most reasons are airy rationalizations meant to feel good when heard but that are invented as needed.

If you’ve ever been to a Jewish wedding, you probably know that the wedding ends when the groom breaks a piece of glass with his foot. A progressive or traditional Jewish wedding, religious or secular, almost always involves breaking the glass at the end of the ceremony. Regardless of the interpretation, breaking glasses is one of the most important traditions at any Jewish wedding, marking the beginning of a new life for the couple.

Superstitious Origins of Broken Glass

It is implied here that the loud noise caused by the shattering glass terrifies or confuses the demons into thinking that the Jewish wedding was a mourning rather than a celebration, leaving the bride and groom to rejoice peacefully. Or, as in many other Jewish traditions, shattering the glass may mean that you are aware of the unavoidable bitterness or difficulty of any life (you are already aware of the sweetness and happiness of life at the wedding itself).

In Jewish tradition, breaking glass at a wedding is a symbolic prayer that your love for each other will last until the shards of glass come together again, in other words, your love will last forever. .

One explanation is that as long as the glass shatters, the marriage will last forever. Another view is that broken glass cannot be repaired, which reflects the durability of marriages. Broken glass cannot be repaired, and marriages cannot be reversed.

The Figurative Cracks Are Made Literal

Another great interpretation of breaking is that by breaking the glass, all potential cracks in the relationship go into the glass, and the relationship must always remain perfect and beautiful. The broken glass symbolizes the couple’s break with their past lives so they can start a new family together.

Since the ceremony is a mixed wedding that brings spouses together, with this symbol we are especially aware of the barriers that people put up among themselves and we hope that with the breaking of glass we will witness the breaking down of barriers between people. and help create a world based on love, unity, peace and understanding.

Breaking glass is a wonderful tradition that could mean something new for many couples. Such is the synonym between Jewish weddings and glass breaking that we hear that the coolest Jewish wedding blog gets its name from this tradition. Among the many interpretations of these two customs, one is that the loud ringing of both church bells and the clinking of glass frighten away evil spirits who wish to harm the couple.

Alternative Interpretations of Broken Glass

Some people say that breaking the glass symbolizes an irreversible change in the lives of the newlyweds; others say that “breaking the glass” stems from a superstition that people break the glass to scare away evil spirits on the lucky ones such as the newlyweds . Many rabbis explained that breaking glass reminds us of sad moments in Jewish history, or relationships that are fragile and need to be taken care of so they don’t break. Others say it’s to remind us that marriage is as fragile as glass.

Broken glass symbolizes the fragility of our relationship and reminds us to be extra careful with our relationships. As a symbol of the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, even in the happiest of times, glass reminds us of sorrow.

The tradition of breaking glass was also included in the ceremony to remind everyone that even in the midst of personal joy, we must remember the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem. Glass breaking is reminiscent of Jewish cultures’ notion that sweetness can only exist with bitterness: breaking glass reminds us that although the ceremony brought joy, the world is still in turmoil and needs our care and love.

Variation Exists Across Jewish sects

In Reformed Judaism, there is a new custom in which the bride and groom break glasses together. After the blessing, the couple’s wine glasses are poured into the third glass, symbolizing their marriage. Traditionally, the groom stomped; today, a couple often shares the honor/pleasure by breaking a napkin-wrapped glass or two.

Like any other wedding, the ceremony involves the bride and groom exchanging vows under a chuppah or altar. Although wedding ceremonies vary, common features of Jewish weddings include a ketubah (marriage contract) signed by two witnesses, a chupu or chupu (wedding canopy), a ring belonging to the groom and presented to the bride under the canopy, and shattered glass. Something special can also allow an engaged couple to keep one of the most important items of their wedding.

Glass is also a popular wedding gift for engaged couples at an engagement or bachelorette party. Any glass can be used for Jewish wedding glass, although most couples choose special glass that can be broken and preserved. After the wedding, many couples choose to use glass shards to make beautiful glass gifts such as mezuzah or candlesticks.

Gene Botkin

Gene is the director of the Theosis Christian Project. He studied physics and military science before founding the Project. Gene is currently pursuing his doctorate in systems engineering at an engineering college in the Ozarks. The Theosis Christian Project is his attempt to expand Holy Orthodoxy in America.

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