Breaking the Glass

Breaking the Glass ceremony wording

Braking the glass is a Jewish tradition dating back many, many centuries.

There are many ideas of why a couple breaks the glass during a celebration of marriage, but there are three thought to be most authentic.

  • Temple: Breaking of the Jewish wedding glass is a reminder of the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem.
  • Be Fruitful: A hope that your happiness will be as plentiful as the shards of glass…or that your children will be as plentiful as the shards of glass.
  • Marriage is Forever: A broken Jewish wedding glass is forever changed, likewise, the couple are forever changed by the marriage and take on a new form.

Today, Bride and Groom will jump the broom to seal their covenant as husband and wife!

Let us first remind ourselves what we say when they break the glass?

Some folks in the audience will say “Mazel Tov!”

Minister places the glass at the foot of the man, counts 1,2,3 and when the Groom stomps the glass, everyone says:

“Mazel Tov!”

Minister: Congratulations, you may kiss your Bride .

I present to you Mrs. Bride and Mr. Groom!

Jewish Breaking the Glass History

The breaking of the Jewish wedding glass is at the end of the Jewish wedding ceremony when the groom stomps on a glass to crush it and the guests shout, “Mazel Tov!” or “Siman Tov!”

There are various interpretations of why we do this and where the breaking glass Jewish wedding tradition came from. Here are a few of the most popular explanations:

  • Temple: Breaking of the Jewish wedding glass is a reminder of the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem.
  • Superstitious: A loud noise is thought to drive away evil spirits.
  • Sadness/Joy: A reminder that even in times of great joy that there is sadness. That life will bring sadness as well as joy.
  • Hymen: A breaking of the glass represents symbolically the breaking of the hymen, and the consummation of the marriage.
  • Fragile: The glass symbolizes the love and relationship of the couple and is fragile, so it must be cared for and not broken.
  • Broken World: A reminder that although the couple came together as a single union, the world as a whole is broken and needs mending.
  • Marriage is Forever: A broken Jewish wedding glass is forever changed, likewise, the couple are forever changed by the marriage and take on a new form.
  • Be Fruitful: A hope that your happiness will be as plentiful as the shards of glass…or that your children will be as plentiful as the shards of glass.

Choose the interpretation of the breaking glass Jewish wedding tradition that resonates with you and it will make that part of your ceremony more meaningful. Many couples like to include a brief explanation in their Jewish wedding program that describes what this act means to them.

Breaking the Glass Ideas

Any glass may be used for the Jewish wedding glass, although most couples choose a special glass to be broken and kept. It is commonly wrapped in a cloth napkin (to avoid dangerous glass shards) or enclosed in a pre-made cloth pouch.

A “do it yourself” option is to purchase a single colored glass goblet to be used in the breaking glass Jewish wedding tradition. Look for a unique glass at a vintage or used thrift store.

If you are planning on keeping the glass shards from the breaking glass consider colored glass instead of clear, especially if you plan to do a craft project with them later. Make certain the glass you choose is not too thick. It needs to be easily broken when stepped on! For this reason, stay away from heavy lead crystal goblets.

The Jewish wedding glass pouch can be a simple rectangle of fabric that you sew around the glass, much like a pillowcase. Close the third end with ribbon or sew it shut. Choose fabric that matches your wedding colors. Thicker fabrics such as velvet work well, but thinner fabrics can be doubled up. You don’t want them too thin or the glass shards will easily rip through it.

Good luck with your wedding planning….Mazel Tov!

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