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soc.culture.jewish FAQ: Observance, Marriage, Women in Judaism (4/12)
Section - Question 08-21 : Weddings: What are the "Seven Blessings"?

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                                  Answer:
   
   The seven blessings are as follows:
   
    1. You abound in Blessings, (G-d), who creates the fruit of the vine.
    2. You abound in Blessings, (G-d), you created all things for Your
       glory.
    3. You abound in Blessings, (G-d), you created humanity.
    4. You abound in Blessings, (G-d), You made humankind in Your image,
       after Your likeness, and You prepared from us a perpetual
       relationship. You abound in Blessings, (G-d), you created
       humanity.
    5. May she who was barren. rejoice when her children are united in
       her midst in joy. You abound in Blessings, (G-d), who makes Zion
       rejoice with her children.
    6. You make these beloved companions greatly rejoice even as You
       rejoiced in Your creation in the Garden of Eden as of old. You
       abound in Blessings, (G-d), Who makes the bridegroom and bride to
       rejoice.
    7. You abound in Blessings, (G-d), who created joy and gladness,
       bridegroom and bride, mirth and exultation, pleasure and delight,
       love, fellowship, peace and friendship. Soon may there be heard in
       the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of
       joy and gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the
       bride, the jubilant voice of bridegrooms from their canopies and
       of youths from their feasts of songs. You abound in Blessings,
       (G-d), You make the bridegroom rejoice with the bride.
       
   Why seven blessing? Because of the notion of a week of creation, seven
   is associated with forming something new. The end of creation is
   introduced with the words "Vayechulu hashamayim veha'aretz, vechol
   tzeva'am... And they were completed -- the heavens, the earth, and all
   that live in them..." The word "vayechulu" (they were completed)
   shares a root with "kallah", bride. The wedding is the completion of
   the creation of the individuals entering the marriage. Note that these
   blessings are said for a week, at the wedding and at each meal for the
   first week the couple is married at which there is a minyan (quorum of
   10) attending and new people present to celebrate the wedding.
   
   Saying seven blessings for a week brings up the 7x7 motif. This is a
   common motif in Judaism. Some examples: The seven blessings for seven
   days of sheva berachot. The seven weeks of counting omer between
   Passover (the physical redemption of Israel) and Shavout (the
   revelation at Sinai). The seven sabbatical cycles -- each seven years
   -- leading up to the jubilee.

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Top Document: soc.culture.jewish FAQ: Observance, Marriage, Women in Judaism (4/12)
Previous Document: Question 8.20: Weddings: What is a Ketubah?
Next Document: Question 8.23 : What does Judaism say about premarital sex?

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