Tikvat Israel Congregation

A Conservative Synagogue in Rockville, MD

Weddings

Mitzvah Gedola lihiyot b’simcha tamid – it is a great Mitzvah to be filled with joy continually.”

Mazel Tov on your upcoming Simcha.  This is a most exciting time for you, your family, and indeed for the Jewish community.

Please call the office to setup a meeting with the rabbi to discuss the rabbi’s availability and the wedding date.

A traditional Jewish wedding is full of meaningful rituals, symbolizing the beauty of the relationship of husband and wife, as well as their obligations to each other and to the Jewish people.

Jewish tradition places some limitations on the choice of a wedding date.  Weddings are not held on the Sabbath, major Jewish holidays or Hol Ha-Moed (the intermediate days of a festival) so that we do not mix, and therefor dilute, each joyous occasion.  Days commemorating tragic events in Jewish history are not appropriate times for a marriage celebration  (e.g. from the end of Pesach until Rosh Hodesh Iyar, the three weeks prior to Tisha B’av from 17 Tammuz to 9 Av and on minor Fast Days).

The Conservative movement does permit weddings to be held during the S’fira period from Rosh Hodesh Iyar to Shavuot.  On Saturday nights, a wedding (including bedeken and ketubah signing) is to begin no earlier than one hour and twenty minutes after the conclusion of Shabbat.  Saturday night weddings during Daylight Savings Time are virtually impossible to arrange because of the lateness of sundown.

The Shabbat Before the Wedding: Aufruf

It is traditional for the couple to be called up to the Torah on the Shabbat prior to the wedding to offer a blessing and to be blessed.  This ritual can also take place for couples who marry in another synagogue or out of state. The rabbi will offer a special blessing to the couple.

Many couples or their parents sponsor a Kiddush that Shabbat for the congregation, family and friends as part of their celebration of their marriage.