- 5 years ago
- Wedding: June 2013
I was raised Jewish (not a whole lot of involvement, but if you’re Jewish, you’re Jewish), and my fiance is Christian. We want to incorporate some elements of our faiths, but are looking into what they actually mean. We decided we do not want a ketubah, since the historical meaning is that of a pre-nuptial agreement and very one-sided.
Back to the glass: Is your Fiance stepping on the glass? Why or why not?
So, here’s what I’ve learned about the glass. I’ve seen a couple meanings. Historically, when the glass is stepped on, it is meant to temper joy and remember the destruction of the temple. A Jew, even at a time of joy, should not be carried away to the extreme, which might cause him to forget “himself” and come to sin. When a person becomes spiritually elevated, a certain negative force of judgment may be aroused against him. This judgment is deflected away from the couple and directed against the breaking glass. Emerging “unscathed” from this spiritually elevating experience, the couple is blessed “mazal tov!”
A more mystical explanation of the ceremony is that the glass represents the couple and that just as the glass, when it is broken, enters a state from which it will never emerge, it is the hope of the community that this couple will never emerge from their married state. Finally, one modern source suggests that beneath its articulated Jewish historical meaning (remembrance of the destruction of the Temple), this act has symbolic sexual-anthropological meaning. It is an obvious representation of the sexual consummation of the marriage by the breaking of the hymen. It also is an act of noisemaking employed to chase away demons that might attack the couple as they pass through that liminal period between unmarried and married status.