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Two questions pertaining to...

The Jewish culture and people..

1.) Why do they break glass at weddings?
2.) If you are Jewish or know someone who is the word Jew offensive in your community or household?

I was just curious.

Answer Question

Asked by gabrielle_x at 9:36 AM on Sep. 1, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 13 (957 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Very good questions. Hope you get the answers soon. I've always wondered about the glass breaking myself. Be interesting to hear the customs behind it.

    Answer by stvmen88 at 9:41 AM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • The breaking of the glass. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the groom (and in some modern ceremonies, the bride as well) smashes a glass with his foot. (In Israeli weddings, the glass is broken after the ketubah reading) The meaning of this act is disputed. One interpretation is that the marriage will last as long as the glass is broken-- forever. Another interpretation is that people need to remember those who are suffering even in their greatest moments of joy, and to remember the destruction of the second temple. After the breaking of the glass, the guests yell, "Mazel Tov!" which means good luck.


    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 10:27 AM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • •Temple: Breaking of the Jewish wedding glass is a reminder of the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem.

    •Superstitious: A loud noise is thought to drive away evil spirits.

    •Sadness/Joy: A reminder that even in times of great joy that there is sadness. That life will bring sadness as well as joy.

    •Hymen: A breaking of the glass represents symbolically the breaking of the hymen, and the consummation of the marriage.

    •Fragile: The glass symbolizes the love and relationship of the couple and is fragile, so it must be cared for and not broken.

    •Broken World: A reminder that although the couple came together as a single union, the world as a whole is broken and needs mending. Marriage is Forever: A broken Jewish wedding glass is forever changed, likewise, the couple are forever changed by the marriage and take on a new form.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 10:29 AM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • Be Fruitful: A hope that your happiness will be as plentiful as the shards of glass…or that your children will be as plentiful as the shards of glass. Choose the interpretation of the breaking glass Jewish wedding tradition that resonates with you and it will make that part of your ceremony more meaningful.

    And no my friend was not offended by the word Jew either in the house or in her community.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 10:31 AM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • well, I was going to answer but 2autisticsmom really did a great job... I don't have anything to add...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 10:52 AM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • 2.) If you are Jewish or know someone who is the word Jew offensive in your community or household?

    I think that one's always a matter of context. FWIW in my Religion class, the professor always uses the word Jew to describe people and he's the one with the PhD, so if it were always offensive he probably would've noticed by now.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 11:11 AM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • That's beautiful really does make you stop to think of the meaning behind the words or behind the "glass" in this

    I've always been a little confused on the Jewish resentment about the word "Jew" as well. I know not all Jewish people are offended, but why are some of them? To me, Jew is just shorter version of saying Jewish.
    Sorry if I offend's just fascinating to me how different religions interpret the same words to mean different things...
    I've also always been taught that the Jewish are God's chosen, is the term "Jew" said in a negative context?? Just wondering.... : )

    Answer by lighthousemom3 at 11:16 AM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • Ok. Thanks NotPanicking !!

    Answer by lighthousemom3 at 12:14 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • Here was an answer I posted in the past to the question about the word Jew being offensive:

    As far as I am aware, it's a matter of grammar, not a matter of offense. Ἰουδαῖός ("ioudaios") in Greek and יהודים ("Yehudim") in Hebrew, in the Bible are translated as simply "Jew" as an appropriate nominative, singular, noun. It's not a shortening of anything; it is a title the singular, nominative term for an individual who follows Judaism. "Jewish" (Yehudi, in Hebrew) is simply the adjective form of the word. It might sound awkward to some who are of religions or titles that serve both as an adjective AND a noun.

    I think today the word "Jew" has been given a negative connotation because people have used it negatively. However, the word itself does not have shameful origins. We see it used as early as the book of Esther as describing someone of the tribe of Juda which was an extremely Holy and honorable name

    Answer by NovemberLove at 1:14 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • awesome answers on the glass breaking! :)
    My brother's nickname is Jew. lol ummm really it started out as an insult, or joke, maybe not really being mean. some kids were saying "yooouuu" as "jjjeeewww" and when they said it to bro. he was like, "tell me something i don't know" was funny but they kept on and it never left my bro.
    actually he's in the marines now, and one day one of my friends said, "omg you just got stanleyed" and i was like, "what???" and she explained how her dh is in the marines and he's a jew, and now instead of "jewed" they say "stanleyed" and i was like, OMG that's my BRO!!
    it was great.
    but not offended at all. it's all good fun. *shrug*

    Answer by dayziesnrozes at 2:25 AM on Sep. 24, 2009

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