Kabbalah, Chassidism and Jewish Mysticism, The Structure of the Jewish Marriage Covenant. The parents gave us a few minutes alone, then it was time for pictures. I really like your blog! By lunchtime, we had to get ready. This is the least favorite part of the day as we were basically strangers to each other. Money (kessef). And happy anniversary! Brides and grooms have great power on this day and utilize it by praying for those in need. After the man has addressed the marriage formula to the woman before two witnesses, the couple retires to a private place with the intent of effecting the betrothal through intercourse. After our engagement was announced, the town was abuzz. Many people came over to congratulate us even though it was quite late at night. I’ve been to an orthodox wedding and this explains a lot of what was happening. Indeed, we have seen that the betrothal blessing in Talmudic days is worded precisely to prevent that eventuality.

So Ribner's book enters uncharted territory. Thank you for taking the time to write. We got it over with and were free to enjoy the next 7 days of festivities. It sounds lime a beautiful day for you both. It might take us a bit longer to get comfortable but once we do, it’s no different than the rest of the world. I loved reading this. In the very first chapter of the Talmudic tractate of Ketubbot we read: "If in Judea a man boarded with his father-in-law but had no witnesses, he can not institute virginity proceedings against her, because he had already been alone with her.". The wedding was planned for September which was four months away. Intercourse (bi'ah). I remember being comfortable around him. When the Torah was given, the Jews were instructed that in order to marry a woman, the man should "acquire her" in the presence of witnesses and then she would become his wife. It’s a solemn affair. Maimonides tells us that a Jewish marriage consists of two stages. This taking is a positive commandment and is performed in one of three ways—with money, by contract, or by cohabitiation... and it is everywhere called kiddushin or erusin. The Sages considered this to be gross, virtually an act of prostitution, and in the third century Rav decreed flogging for those who chose this manner of betrothal.

I am a reform jew and and not accustomed to orthodox life.

It wasn’t enjoyable but whose first time is? Nonetheless, if the marriage was performed in this way it was legally valid.

About 2 months later we did have to meet in order for us to get married civilly. While their commitment to abstinence is admirable, it’s a problem when your wedding night is the first time you physically see the difference between men and women. The two mothers accompany me to the canopy where we circle the groom 7 times. Then came the most emotional part of the wedding. Always love the inside look we get from you. The only ones staying were the family and close friends. Rashi, the classic commentator, offers the simple explanation that the costs were too burdensome. It sounds like your wedding was beautiful, full of meaning and family! In Israel's Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox community, there are manuals written for brides and grooms to be, to help guide them on the subject of intimacy in married life, but they employ allegorical, vague terminology and no explicit how-to instructions on matters of sexual intercourse. Flip through it though, and you see no illustrations. The first is betrothal, kiddushin. In this social suspension that marks the difficult transition from the single life to the married state, the couple is together yet apart. My brother in law was the badchan and he outdid himself. Ribner opens it up to show me what's inside. I sat on a comfortable chair and accepted the well wishes of friends and family.

Thank you for sharing your story. This problem was not confined to the romantic era. 3. It will be 19 happy years of marriage soon. The bride, by her acceptance, indicates her willingness to be married to the groom.

I couldn’t believe I was engaged, I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I don’t really remember what we talked about but I recall having a very pleasant experience. The dinner was called for 8 but the couple doesn’t usually walk in until after the second course which is usually at 9.30pm. Ah I didn’t know that! And as soon as she is "acquired" and becomes betrothed, even though she has not cohabited and did not even enter the groom's home, she is a married woman. The moment that officially makes us husband and wife is when my fiancé puts a ring on my right-hand finger and declares:  “Behold, you are betrothed unto me with this ring, according to the law of Moses and Israel.”, Now the ketubah is being read out loud and signed by two witnesses.

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