(Closed) Significance of breaking the glass at the end of the ceremony?

posted 9 years ago in Jewish
Post # 3
Member
117 posts
Blushing bee

I don’t know if there IS just one explanation for the breaking of the glass.  I’ve also heard about 5 different explanations for the significance, (probably the same ones you found after googling it).  I say, pick the one that you like best and stick with that.

Post # 4
Member
208 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

There are different explanations.  This is what the rabbi gave us to put in our programs:

Breaking the Glass

The most recognized Jewish wedding tradition is the breaking of the glass. At the end of our ceremony, XXX will crush a wrapped piece of glass with his foot. One interpretation of this act is that a broken glass cannot be mended, and likewise, marriage is irrevocable. It is a transforming experience that leaves individuals forever changed. Once the glass is broken, it is customary to shout “Mazel Tov!” which means “Congratulations!”

Post # 5
Member
11 posts
Newbee

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!!  When I have conducted Interfaith marriages that have the breaking of the glass custom, I have seen where both the bride and groom break a glass, sybolizing their equality in the marriage. I like that idea. Also, my couples have used a lightbulb iwrapped in material or a large cloth napkin, because it makes a larger crash!  At the beginning of an interfaith ceremony, I mention that this will be taking place and the significace of it, for those not of the Jewish faith.  Also, it could be placed in the program.  Hope this helps!

 

 

Post # 6
Member
29 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2009

There are several interpretations as to the significance.  The practice doesn’t have an exact beginning date which would help give it specific significance.  The nice part about that is you kind of get to choose what is significant to you and follow that interpretation.

Here are some of the most common reasons I have heard at my family and friends’ weddings:

1. An old superstition states that your happiness and success in the marriage should be as plentiful as the shards of broken glass.

2. Once a glass is broken into hundreds of pieces, its forever changed just like the new couple is by the act of marriage. 
3. Breaking the glass is an expression of sadness of the destruction of the ancient temple in Jerusalem and you have to remember the tragedies of the past even during times of joy.  Because you identify with this past you are now connected with the future of the Jewish people.

4. There is a common joke that says its the last time the groom gets to put his foot down.

5. A very old superstition says that a loud noise will scare evil spirits away.

6. The glass can symbolize how fragile love is and is a lesson that you should always be careful not to break it.

I like 1, 2, and 6 the best and I am sure when we make our programs, Mr. Kangaroo and I will probably put down a combination of several of them to explain it to all of our non-Jewish friends.

Post # 7
Member
37 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: December 2008

I am repeating what others have said above, but I found this explanation and really liked the flow of it –  for our interfaith wedding the minister read this and it was also printed in the programs:

 

We will conclude the wedding ceremony with the breaking of the glass.

Traditionally it marks the beginning of the wedding celebration.

For Rachel and Victor the shattering of the glass also symbolizes the transforming experience that marriage creates, leaving the bride and groom forever changed.

The glass is broken to protect the marriage with the implied prayer,

“As this glass shatters, so may your marriage never break.”

After Victor breaks the glass we invite everyone to cheer and shout the Hebrew words “Mazel Tov”, which means good luck and congratulations.

 

My Mom got me a really interesting, in depth book called "The Jewish Book of Why" written by a rabbi that explains the reasons behind Jewish traditions, for weddings, passover, all of the celebrations and customs of the faith.

 

Hope that Helps!  

 

Post # 8
Member
2907 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@Ms. Kangaroo:

 

I agree with all

 

1. An old superstition states that your happiness and success in the marriage should be as plentiful as the shards of broken glass.

2. Once a glass is broken into hundreds of pieces, its forever changed just like the new couple is by the act of marriage. 
3. Breaking the glass is an expression of sadness of the destruction of the ancient temple in Jerusalem and you have to remember the tragedies of the past even during times of joy.  Because you identify with this past you are now connected with the future of the Jewish people.

4. There is a common joke that says its the last time the groom gets to put his foot down.

5. A very old superstition says that a loud noise will scare evil spirits away.

6. The glass can symbolize how fragile love is and is a lesson that you should always be careful not to break it.

 

but think that this should be added

 

7. (May be an old wives tale): The tradition of breaking the glass comes from a very long time ago when a bride and groom were so perfect, and the ceremony so perfect and the reception so perfect that a guest just knew something bad would happen. So the guest broke a big expensive dish to prevent anything else bad from happening.

 

8. (kind of like #3)  It a symbolic way to temper your joy so you don’t forget that this is really happening. (Hooray, it’s real!)

 

9. It is really sweet way to conclude the wedding blessing over the wine, so that the two of you are the only ones who will ever drink from that glass.

Post # 9
Member
659 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

our program will read:

The breaking of the glass at the conclusion of the wedding is a well known Jewish custom that can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Tradition says that the breaking of the glass recalls the destruction of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. Another interpretation is that the breaking of the glass warns us that love, like glass, is fragile and must be protected. Another modern interpretation is that the glass reminds us that there are still parts of our world that remain broken, so as we commit to one another, we also commit to a more equitable and just world. Immediately after Michael breaks the glass (which is wrapped in a napkin!), shout “MAZEL TOV!”

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