Doesn’t that look like FUN? It’s a good thing I’m not Jewish though… I can’t dance worth a lick and I’m a wallflower. So, there ya go.
Oy Vey! I’ll be honest, what I know about Jewish traditions and customs could fill a very small thimble. The fact remains that I find these time-honored customs fascinating and wish we as Christians had more deeply rooted traditions (other than what flavor the groom’s cake will be).
The inspiration for this poem came from an article I read about the Jewish custom of the bride circling the groom seven times. The circling of the groom is an Ashkenazi practice and is not generally part of Sephardic tradition, however, it is rich with symbolism:
1. When Joshua led the Children of Israel in the battle for Jericho, he was instructed to circle the city seven times, resulting in the walls of the city crumbling. As two people enter into marriage, they face the challenge of breaking down the “walls” that may exist between them.
2. This has been interpreted to parallel the seven days of creation, and symbolizes the fact that the bride and groom are about to create their own “new world” together.
3. Seven circles correspond to the seven times in the Torah where it is written, “… and when a man takes a wife.”
As a Christian, the symbolism that pops into my mind has to do with the wedding rings. The gold is solid and sturdy and withstands any sort of punishment, like a good marriage does. The rings are of course circles which have no beginning and no end. It goes on forever. The Christian circle represents eternity. Marriage should not be entered into lightly, for if you go into it with the wrong one, eternity can be a very long time.
It’s outlined in the New Testament of God’s Holy Word, The Bible, that a husband is to lay down his life in sacrificial love and protection. As her loving husband is obedient, a wife naturally responds with honor and respect.
The promises made between husband and wife is a picture of the relationship between Jesus Christ and his bride, the church. Just as a husband and wife’s vow to love, honor and cherish each other will last for eternity, so will the Christian’s relationship with Christ endure for all eternity. ❤