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chemist   Rachel & Tal, March 8, 2009    mathematician

We will be having an Auf ruf on March 7th as part of our wedding celebration.

Services will be held at Dorshei Tzedek (60 Highland Street, Newton, MA, 02465) and will begin at 9:45 AM.
We hope you will join us! There will be a light meal to follow.

The day of the wedding, for guests arriving at the hotel by car, self-park will be free (ticket will be validated by the bartender during the cocktail hour and reception)


We will greet all of our guests at the Bedeken ceremony.  The word bedeken comes from the Yiddish word meaning .to cover. and refers to the veiling of the bride by the groom.  The tradition recalls the way our matriarch Rebecca modestly veiled herself when she first saw her groom, Issac.  There is also an association with the patriarch Jacob who mistakenly married Leah instead of Rachel.


The ceremony will take place under the huppah, or wedding canopy.  Open on four sides, the huppah welcomes our family, friends and community to participate as witnesses to our wedding.  Literally, .that which covers from above,. our huppah reminds us of the divine act of establishing our own home and family together. 


The wedding ceremony is divided into two parts: erusin (betrothal) and nissuin (marriage).  Erusin consists of two blessings.  The first is the traditional blessing over wine, and the second proclaims the sanctity of marriage.  After the blessings are recited, we both drink from the cup, signifying the life experiences we will share.  At this point, Tal will place a ring on Rachel.s right index finger, and Tal will recite, .behold you are betrothed to me with this ring, in accordance with the laws of Moses and the people of Israel..  Rachel will recite, .I am my beloved and my beloved is mine. from the Song of Songs.  We will then recite together, .Place me as a seal upon your heart, like the seal upon your hand,. from the Song of Songs.


After Erusin is completed, the ketubah, or marriage contract, will be read aloud.  The reading of the ketubah also separates Erusin from Nissuin, the final portion of the wedding ceremony.

The nissuin, or nuptials, continue as the seven marriage blessings are recited.  While a marriage only requires two witnesses to be considered valid, recitation of these seven blessings requires a minyan, a quorum of ten adults.  In contrast to the intimacy of the huppah, the blessings of nissuin remind us that marriage is a public commitment, both to each other and to our community:

Blessed are you, Adonai our God, sovereign of all worlds, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Blessed are you, Adonai our God, sovereign of all worlds, whose whole creation testifies to your glorious presence.

Blessed are you, Adonai our God, sovereign of all worlds, who fashions human beings.

Blessed are you, Adonai our God, sovereign of all worlds, who has fashioned human beings in your image, patterning them in your likeness, and preparing them to share in the chain of life.  Blessed are you, Adonai our God, who fashions human beings.

May Zion, the heart of our people, rejoice in the ingathering of all her children and all who join together in loving relationships.  Blessed are you, sovereign of all worlds, who makes Zion rejoice with her children.

Make joyful these loving companions, O God . even as you once in the Garden of Eden made joyful your first couple.  Blessed are you, Adonai our God, who makes joyful these loving companions.

Blessed are you, Adonai our God, sovereign of all worlds, who has created gladness and joy, loving partners, glee, song, mirth and exultation, harmony and love, and peace and companionship.  Soon, Adonai our God, may there be heard in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of joy, the voice of gladness, the voices of loving partners from the huppah, and from celebrations festive songs of young friends.  Blessed are you, Adonai our God, who brings loving companions together to rejoice in each other.

The themes of creation and renewal are central to the sheva b.rachot, and remind us that we were created in God.s image, and are obligated to uphold this ideal in our daily lives.



The tradition of breaking a glass at the conclusion of a Jewish wedding dates to Talmudic times.  It is told that Rabbi Rabina, upset at the excessive merriment at his son.s wedding, smashed a valuable goblet and chagrined his fellow rabbis.

Even the most joyful moment in our lives must be tempered by the realization that our world is not a perfect place.  The freedoms we enjoy . to marry as we wish, to celebrate our faith, to choose our own professional path, and to campaign for our political beliefs . are not shared by all.  Until the time when everyone shares these freedoms, no celebration, no matter how joyous, will be perfect.



Immediately following the ceremony, we will spend a short period of time alone together.  We will share a meal, reflect, and enjoy our first moments as husband and wife.



It is considered a mitzvah for guests to eat, dance and rejoice with the bride and groom following the ceremony.  We are so pleased to be sharing our wedding with you, and we invite you to join in the celebration.

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