Breaking glass at a wedding is a centuries-old tradition that has become an integral part of Jewish wedding ceremonies. It symbolizes the fragility and preciousness of life, and the importance of remembering the past even as we move forward into the future. Despite its somber origins, breaking the glass has become a joyful moment at weddings, often accompanied by cheers and applause from the guests.
Why Do We Break Glass at Weddings?
The origins of breaking the glass are unclear, but it is thought to have originated in ancient Rome or Persia. In Jewish tradition, the breaking of the glass represents the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and serves as a reminder of the tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people throughout history. It is also a reminder to cherish and protect the sacredness of marriage.
How It’s Done
Breaking the glass is typically done at the end of the wedding ceremony, after the couple has exchanged vows and rings. The groom stomps on a glass, usually wrapped in a cloth or in a special bag, until it breaks. Sometimes the bride will also participate in the ceremony by holding the glass while the groom breaks it.
What Happens Next?
After the glass is broken, guests will often shout “Mazel tov!” which means “good luck” in Hebrew. The breaking of the glass is followed by the first kiss as a married couple, and then the wedding festivities begin!
Is It Safe?
Breaking the glass is a safe tradition as long as the glass is wrapped in a cloth or bag. It’s important to make sure that the area where the glass will be broken is clear of any debris or hazards.
What Kind of Glass Should I Use?
Traditionally, a wine glass is used for breaking at a Jewish wedding. However, any glass can be used as long as it is wrapped in a cloth or bag to prevent injury.
Breaking the glass is a beautiful and meaningful tradition that adds an extra layer of joy and significance to a wedding ceremony. It is a reminder of the fragility and preciousness of life, and of the importance of cherishing and protecting the sacred bond of marriage.
Q: Do I have to break the glass?
A: No, breaking the glass is not mandatory. If you don’t feel comfortable with this tradition, you can always choose to skip it.
Q: Can the bride break the glass?
A: Yes, the bride can participate in the breaking of the glass by holding the glass while the groom breaks it.
Q: Is it okay to use a plastic glass?
A: While it is possible to use a plastic glass, it is not recommended as it does not have the same symbolic significance as a glass.
Q: What happens to the broken glass?
A: The broken glass is often collected and kept as a memento of the wedding day.
Q: Can we break more than one glass?
A: Yes, some couples choose to break more than one glass to symbolize different things, such as the joining of two families or the start of a new life together.