The traditional wedding ceremony has two parts: kiddushin (betrothal) and nisu’in (the finalization of the marriage). Within the kiddushin part of the ceremony, the groom hands the bride a ring and indicates explicitly that he is doing so with the intent to betroth her and, by doing so, performs an act of acquisition, of kinyan.
Karen Miller Jackson
The chupah, or marriage canopy, is often likened to the home that the bride and groom are building together. However, not all traditional sources support this view. Halakhic sources depict the chupah as a home that belongs to the groom, and its role in the ceremony is to mark the transfer of the woman from her father’s house to her husband’s house. One must look to the aggadic sources for a view on the symbolism of the kallah’s entry into the chupah that is more in line with our modern sensibilities.
Food has taken me to Bologna, Italy, a place where food is more a way of life than a simple source of nutrition; through the hot, sweaty kitchen of one of New York’s best-known restaurants; and most recently, to a small farm in rural Vermont… If food could motivate such travels, surely it could bring me to contemplate [the] laws [of kashrut] so integral to my religion. I wanted to understand these laws and see if, kashrut cynic that I am, even I could discern in their midst some life lessons.
Marriage and Metaphor: Constructions of Gender in Rabbinic Literature by Gail Labovitz, Rowman and Littlefield, 2009, 289 pp, $50.00. Levirate Marriage and the Family in Ancient Judaism by Dvora E. Weisberg, Brandeis University Press, 2009, 246 pp, $70.00. Reviewed by Leonard Gordon Kristina Grish’s confident assertion in Boy Vey! The Shiksa’s Guide to Dating Jewish
Some time into my older children’s adolescence, I noticed a pain I could no longer conceal. Someone had entered my workshop and was busily chipping away at much of what I loved and cared for, and had spent so much time and energy building. It was my own children!
1. Why do Jewish couples continue to perpetuate a wedding ritual of acquisition that is out of alignment with their Jewish and philosophical thinking?
2. What features of a Jewish wedding ceremony might be adapted to more closely reflect contemporary liberal practices?
3. If the Orthodox rabbinate in Israel were to relinquish control over personal status issues, what would be the implications for marriage and divorce?