Glossary of Jewish Wedding Terms
Aidim – (also spelled Eidim) – Witnesses. Plural of ‘Aid’ – Witness. Aidei Kesuba (Aidei Ketuba) – Witnesses on the Kesuba. Aidei Yichud – Witnesses that remain by the door of the seclusion room after the Chuppah. Aufruf – The Shabbos that immediately precedes the wedding during which the groom is called for an honorary ‘Alliyah’ to the Torah.
Badeken – Veling ceremony prior to Chuppah. Birkas Erusin (Birkat Erusin) – Prenuptual blessing recited by the officiating Rabbi over the first cup of wine.
Chosson (also Hatan) – Groom. Chuppah – (also Huppah) – wedding canopy
D’vai Haser – a poem attributed to Rabbi Dunash ben Labrat that is inserted into the Zimun right before Birkas Hamozon (Grace after Meals) after the wedding and during Sheva Berachos.
Eidim – (also spelled Aidim) – Witnesses. Plural of ‘Eid’ – Witness. Eidei Kesuba (Eidei Ketuba) – two witnesses that sign on the Kesuba. Eidei Yichud – two witnesses that remain outside the seclusion room following the chuppah. Erusin (also Kiddushin) – betrothal, the first part of the Jewish wedding ceremony.
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Hachnasas Kallah – 1. Accompanying the bride to the wedding ceremony. 2. The charitable act of helping to arrange for wedding needs of a needy couple. Huppah – (also Chuppah) – wedding canopy.
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Kabbolas Ponim (Kabalat Panim) – reception prior to the ceremony when the bride and groom receive their guests. Kallah – Bride. Kesuba (Ketuba) – Marriage Contract. Kiddushin (also Erusin) – betrothal, the first part of the wedding ceremony whereupon the groom places a ring on the brides finger. Kittel – a white robe worn by the groom during the wedding ceremony. Kinyan – a formal acceptance of an obligation of the Kesuba and the Tannaim usually done by taking an object such as a pen or a napkin and lifting it.
Mesader Kiddushin – lit. arranger of the betrothal, i.e, the Rabbi that performs the wedding ceremony in accordance with Jewish Law.
Nesuin (lit. lifting, taking) – marriage. The second stage in the Jewish wedding ceremony.
Ponim Chodoshos (Panim Chadashot) – (lit. new faces) Two ‘new’ guests at the Sheva Berachos party that were not present at the wedding ceremony.
Sheva Berochos (Sheva Berachot) – lit. Seven Blessings. These blessings are recited under the Chuppah and for seven days after the wedding after a festive meal in honor of the new couple if ten men are present. Thus the party meal also became to be called by the same name. Shoshbinin – close Family and Friends that accompany the bride and groom to the wedding canopy. Shtick – props and other objects used to bring joy to the bride and groom. Simcha – Happiness. Simchas Chosson Vekallah – loosely the dancing part of a wedding when the guests entertain the bride and groom.
Tabaas (Tabaat) – wedding ring. Tannaim – lit. conditions. Originally a separate ceremony that served as a formal announcement of the engagement when the wedding date would be set as well. Now, only a formality; a Tannaim contract is signed and usually read aloud prior to the Badeken. Tish – (lit. Table) – A place where the groom receives his guests; the signing of the Kesuba takes place here.
Vort – lit. ‘word’ (Yiddish). An engagement party to announce a couple’s engagement. Viduy – Confession prayer recited in many communities by the groom and the bride on the day of their wedding just as it is said on Yom Kippur.
Yichud – Seclusion. Several minutes immediately after the Chuppah when the new couple is left to be alone in the Yichud room.
Zimun – introduction to the Grace After Meals where a leader calls out for others to say Grace.