Sign up to TorahFax


Thursday, Mar-Cheshvan 23, 5783 (Hakhel Year) / November 17, 2022


This week’s Parsha, Chayei Sarah, relates in great detail how Abraham sends his servant Eliezer to find a wife for his son Yitzchak (Isaac). This is the first time the Torah mentions in great detail how a match came about.


Q.What is the origin of the custom to cover the bride’s face with a veil before going to the Chupah (canopy)?


A.The source for this custom is in this week’s Parsha. The Torah relates that when Eliezer brought Rivkah back with him as a wife for Yitzchak and she first saw her future husband, “She took her veil and covered herself.” This is why the bride’s face is covered before entering the marriage ceremony.


Q.   Why do many have the canopy (Chupah) outside, or indoors under an open skylight?


A.   This is to invoke on the couple G-d’s blessing to Abraham, “Your children shall be like the stars of heaven.”


Q.   Why is the bridegroom led to the Chupah before the bride?


A.   Many of the customs of the wedding ceremony are connected to the Giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.  The giving of the Torah is compared to a wedding ceremony. At the Giving of the Torah, G-d betrothed the Jewish people as his people through the Torah.  At Mount Sinai G-d came first and waited for the Jewish people to arrive.  Thus, at the wedding ceremony, the groom comes first under the canopy and waits for the bride to arrive. 


Q.   Why does the wedding ring have to be a plain gold band without precious stones in it?


A.  Because the precious stones may mislead the bride as to the actual value of the ring.  A ring accepted under a mistaken impression would invalidate the legal sanctification for which the ring was intended.  If the bribe is misled about the value of the ring, then the marriage is not valid.


Q.  Why is the ring placed on the forefinger of the bride’s right hand?


A.  One of the reasons it is placed on the index finger is because it points easily, thus she can readily display the ring for the two witnesses to see.


Q.  Why does the bridegroom break a glass at the end of the Chupah ceremony?


A.  To remember the destruction of the Holy Temple. To impress upon everyone that no ceremony can be complete as long as the Holy Temple is not rebuilt.