So the Yenta has done her work and the marriage has been arranged or maybe today the couple have done it all on their own. However it happened the planning will now be underway for a traditional Jewish wedding. As in most cultures and communities a wedding is a rite of passage, a celebration of great import and involves centuries old traditions and ceremonies. As kosher food is one of the central aspects of Jewish faith and culture, traditional Jewish wedding food will play and an important role in the celebration of the wedding. Even before the day of the wedding the rituals associated with the history of the faith will be held. One of these is held in the week before the actual ceremony and is known as an Ufruf. The groom is involved in announcing the wedding to the congregation of the synagogue and is playfully pelted with sweets. The service is then followed by a Kiddush when food and drinks are served. This is the beginning of the week when the bride and groom are apart not meeting again until they will be married. On the day of the wedding the couple may fast as a symbolic act of ritual cleansing before beginning their new life free from any sins of the past.
During the service which is usually performed by the Rabbi, the couple will drink from a cup of wine. This is significant because it is the first of seven cups that will form part of the service and ongoing celebrations. Seven is an important number in the Jewish religion recalling the seven days of creation in the book of Genesis. Following the presentation of the ring, speeches and the breaking of a glass by the groom, recalling the destruction of the Temples the newly married couple go to a room apart to spend some time alone together and to break their fast.
As in other cultures and faiths the wedding is followed by a party involved food drink and dancing. However what food is served may depend upon the historical roots of the families. Jews belong to two main ethnic origins and the historical background of these two cultures may be evidenced in the style of the wedding the food served. They are the Ashkenazi who is of European origin and traditionally their menu would be the roast potatoes, meats and vegetables familiar to most of us. The Sephardic Jews whose roots are in southern Europe and the Middle East may chose a menu based on the spicier flavor of eastern styled foods. It is usual for traditional Jewish wedding food to be kosher food. Food is Kosher if it conforms to Jewish dietary laws, the kashrut, meaning “fit” or “proper.” in Hebrew. This can be any food it follows the Halacha or Jewish law. So as far as traditional Jewish wedding food goes if it’s kosher its ok.
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