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Why does the groom arrive at the chupah before the bride?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

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Many Jewish wedding laws and customs find their origins in the grandest wedding the world has ever witnessed--the marriage of G-d to His beloved bride Israel at Mount Sinai.1

The groom is the first to arrive at the Chupah, just as G-d preceded the Jews to Mound Sinai.2

The groom is the first to arrive at the chupah, just as G-d preceded the Jews to Mound Sinai
Some other examples: The giving of the Torah was accompanied by a spectacular thunder and lightening show.3   We subtly reenact this lights and sound show by escorting the bride and groom to the chupah with candles and music. The Ketubah given to the bride at the chupah is reminiscent of the Torah which was given to us--our ever-binding marriage contract.

Footnotes

  • 1. See Mishnah tractate Ta'anit 4:7 where the Sinai experience is called "The Wedding".
  • 2. Exodus 19:17.
  • 3. Ibid 19:16.

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Life Cycle » Marriage » The Wedding

Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Chupah
Wedding canopy. Under this canopy, the groom betroths the bride with the customary ring, and the traditional marriage benedictions are recited.
Ketubah
The wedding contract which features the husband’s various obligations to his wife. The focal point of the document is the financial compensation due to the wife in the event of the marriage’s dissolution through divorce or widowhood.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.