If you have ever wondered about the Jewish Break Glass tradition at weddings, please read on.
As with other religions their wedding day is one of the most important days of a Jewish couple’s life. It is a day of great celebration amongst family and friends with many laws and traditions forming events during the day and in the weeks leading up to it.
Many of the rituals associated with a Jewish wedding are symbolic. As soon as a couple become engaged there is a ceremony called a tena'im during which a plate is broken to symbolise the destruction of the temples in Jerusalem, reminding those attending that even during such a joyous occasion they must still feel sadness for their loss.
This theme is carried forward to the end of the actual wedding ceremony itself when there is a ritual “breaking of the glass”. The glass is placed on the floor and broken by stamping on it.
This is a ritual that seems to have many explanations, some of which are – it is a symbol of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem; it also represents just how fragile human relationships can be and a reminder that marriage changes the future lives of the bride and groom. Some also say that it is the last time the groom is allowed to put his foot down.
The Jewish Break Glass part of the ceremony is over once the glass is broken and a cry of “Mazel Tov!” may be heard. This is a signal that the real partying can begin.