Sheva Brachot

Sheva Brachot


Last week we hosted Sheva Brachot in our home for my husband’s nephew and his new bride. It was a wonderful and joyous occasion.

I very much want to share all my recipes from the event, but, I think that I need to spend a few minutes explaining what Sheva Brachot are.

Trying to explain this has become a bit of a challenge. I humbly submit that my area of expertise is in preparing kosher food, not on the finer points of Judaism. So, I am going to use my own words to explain Sheva Brachot and then include references at the end of this post for anyone who might be interested in learning more about the Jewish wedding ceremony and its traditions.

So, here is some background:

Eating is considered a holy act. Whenever we eat, we always say a blessing before and after.

Bread is particularly holy, and before eating bread, we wash our hands, say a special blessing and then say a blessing over the bread.

After eating a meal that includes bread, Grace After Meals (Birkat Hamazon) is recited.

After reciting the Grace After Meals, in the presence of 3 people, a cup of wine is used and an additional blessing is also said. This cup of wine is called a “Cup of Blessing” or “Kos Shel Bracha.”

A minyan is a prayer quorum of ten men over the age of 13 required for traditional Jewish public worship.

The week following a wedding is known as the week of the Sheva Brachot.

During this period, the seven blessings that were recited under the marriage canopy (chupah) are repeated after each meal attended by the newly married couple that is attended by a minyan (a prayer quorum of 10 men). The minyan also must consist of a person who was not at the wedding or present at the couple’s earlier meals.


Following the completion of the meal, a cup of wine is used to lead the Grace After Meals. The seven blessings that were recited under the marriage canopy are repeated.

People are honored with reciting each of the first six blessings.

Then, the person who led Grace After Meals recites the seventh blessing over the first cup of wine and a second cup of wine is filled.


The 2 cups of wine are then poured together into a third cup.


 One cup of wine is given to the bride, and another to the groom. The third cup is then shared by the community.

I have seen it done where the cups of wine are 2 different colors which are then mixed together to become unified.

The symbolism of this ritual is very beautiful. It symbolizes the bride and groom joining together and entering the larger community with a new identity as a married couple .

I will post some of the recipes following this post.

Thank you for reading!

References:
A-Guide-to-the-Jewish-Wedding

Celebrating a Jewish Wedding II

Grace After Meals Chabad

weddingguide

wedding

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