My Jewish husband- Part 3

For the last two parts in this mini-series, I have tried to describe how related wine is related to Jewish celebrations. I hope I have done that successfully. The first celebration I mentioned was Passover. On that day, Jewish people remember the night they became free from slavery and actual physical death by sacrificing a lamb. The wine on that night represents promises of deliverance God had given them, and also represents the blood of the sacrifice they offered.

The second celebration I talked about is a Jewish wedding. There are many parts to it, but particularly, two cups are really important. The firs cup of wine, from which the bride and the groom drank, represented the Betrothal Ceremony. After drinking from this cup, they were committed to each other and legally married. The Bride would make herself beautiful while waiting for her groom. And the groom would go away for a log period of time. When he came back, there was a big uproar on the streets. Once they gathered at the groom father’s house, they would drink from a second cup of wine. After this they would live together happily ever after.

Based on that, I would like to tell you that I am amazing, and that I know it all. I am not and I don’t. That I have read my Bible, and understand everything there is to understand about Christianity. I have, but I don’t. A friend told me a long time ago, that the reason she could never be a Christian was because Christianity could not answer all her questions. Christianity didn’t make sense…

I wish I could tell you that Christianity makes a lot of sense to me, and that it answers all my questions. But that has not been the case. A guy dying and coming back from the dead does NOT make any logical sense at all. They day I can figure God out and explain why He does or does not do things – THAT day- I won’t need God at all.

If God has to make sense at all for me to follow Him, then my approach might need a little direction. But I tell you what, My God is a faithful God. My God is a Mighty God. My God is a powerful God. You cannot put My God in a box. My God is inviting me to have a relationship with Him because He loves me – in spite of me!

And He loves you. He loves everybody. I am telling you, when you want to pursue God and really want to find Him… He shows up. Tonight, I guess, I had one of those nights. 

Then [Jesus] took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them [the disciples], saying, Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom

Matthew 26:27-29

All these years I never EVER saw this. I knew the Last Supper of Jesus had happened during the celebration of Passover, or at least that’s what the writers of the synoptic gospels tell us. Now a days, however, historians are concluding that the meal Jesus had most likely was not a Passover Seeder, like the ones Jewish people celebrate now. That practice began around 70 AC based on rabbinic sources.

Seeder or not, Jesus is telling his disciples to drink from a cup that represented his blood. These were Jewish boys. They knew about the Temple, and about the Law of Moses. They knew about sacrifice and atonement for sin. Jesus is asking them to drink for the forgiveness of sins.  But why? Jesus had forgiven sins before. He had healed many people before. Why in the world was He talking about pouring out His own blood for forgiveness?

Not only that, but then He tells them that He won’t drink again from that cup until He drinks it with them in God’s Kingdom. Is this making any sense to you? Am I making stuff up?

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I [Jesus] go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

John 14:2

The greek word for room is μονή. It represents a dwelling place. An abode. Jesus, as they drink, is inviting them to join in a wedding celebration. Their own. Jesus, as the groom, will go and prepare a place in God’s Kingdom for them. Not only for them. Jesus is preparing a place for everybody that in faith has placed his/her faith in Him as Lord and Savior. No wonder why communion is so important and full of meaning.

In the New Testament, The Church is referred as The Bride of Christ, and Christ is portrayed as the groom. God wants to be married to us. That’s why marriage is one of the most delicate and intimate relationships you can ever have with someone. That’s why God talks about sexual purity and inner purity. That is the relationship God wants with us. I am not making this up. Jewish people believe God married them at Mount Sinai, as told in My Jewish husband – Part 2.

Tonight, as I realized these things, I felt like God was smiling. If not smiling, then singing at the tune of B.T.O’s song. He totally blew my mind away…

You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

B-b-b-baby, you just ain’t seen n-n-nothin’ yet…

Here’s something that you never gonna forget,

B-b-b-baby, you just ain’t seen n-n-nothin’ yet…

I am married. If I’ve learned something from following Jesus as Lord and Savior, is that you don’t quit on marriage. Marriage is hard, and even harder when you have children. But the rewards of keep on trying, keep on making peace, keep on forgiving, keep on hoping, keep on loving a spouse and children unconditionally… The rewards far exceed the sacrifice. I will never quit on you, my earthly husband. I will never quit on you, my son and daughter.

I may not understand many things, and I don’t have all the answers, but the groom I chose is coming back. He might explain things once He is here. And if He doesn’t explain, does it really matter? He’s coming back!

Of course I’m not quitting on my Jewish husband!


For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

Revelation 19:6-9

My Jewish husband – Part 2

Crashing a Jewish Wedding 101

If you aspire to be like John and Jeremy (Wedding Crashers, 2005), this might help you out enormously. A Jewish Wedding Celebration is filled with humongous deep spiritual meanings in every step. I hope you enjoy reading about them.

1. Kabbalat Panim or Pre-Chupah Reception 

On the wedding day, the bridegroom is like a king and the bride is like a queen. This day is considered a personal Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) for the groom and the bride, for on this day all their past mistakes are forgiven as they merge into a new, complete soul. By tradition, the bride and groom refrain from seeing each other for a full week prior to their wedding, so as to increase their love and yearning for each other. The mothers of the bride and groom break a china or glass plate to show the seriousness of the commitment. Mazal Tov!

2. Badeken or Veiling

A procession headed by the groom goes to the bridal reception room, where the groom covers the bride’s face with a veil. The custom of covering the bride’s face with a veil originated from Rebekah, who covered her face when meeting her groom, Isaac (Genesis 24:64-65).

The veil emphasizes that the groom is not solely interested in the bride’s external beauty, which fades with time, but rather in her inner beauty, which she will never lose.

3. The Chupah or Marriage Canopy

The chupah is a canopy which sits atop four poles and is usually ornately decorated. The marriage ceremony takes place beneath this canopy which is open on all sides. This is a demonstration of the couple’s commitment to establish a home which will always be open to guests, as was the tent of Abraham and Sarah. The chupah is the groom’s domain. After all this preliminary activity, the actual marriage ceremony begins.

4. The Betrothal or “Engagement”

According to Torah Law, marriage is a two-step process. The first stage is called kiddushin, loosely translated as “betrothal,” and the second step is known as nisu’in, the finalization of the nuptials after the Seven Blessings . Nowadays, both kiddushin and nisu’in are accomplished successively beneath the chupah. 

Two cups of wine are used in the wedding ceremony. The first cup accompanies the betrothal blessings, recited by the rabbi. After these are recited, the couple drinks from the cup. They are now betrothed. This finalizes the kiddushin. The marriage contract is read and the Seven Blessings are recited. The first blessing is prayed over the cup of wine. Then, the couple drinks from the second cup. This finalizes the nisu’in. They are finally married. 

It is very interesting to note, however, that in ancient times, the two stages of marriage (kiddushin and nisu’in) were done on separate occasions. They were separated by a full year -or even more- which the groom would devote to Torah study. There are Biblical accounts for this like Samson’s Marrriage, the wedding of Isaac and Rebekah, and the wedding of Jacob and Rachel.

There were negotiations involved for the arranging of the marriage, which were conducted by the members of the two families. The negotiations involved the marriage contract (ketubah) and the price of the bride. The groom would pour a glass of wine and would offer it to the bride. If she drank from it, the proposal was accepted and they were betrothed (kiddushin). After drinking from that first cup of wine, they were to be considered as man and wife in all legal and religious aspects, except that of actual cohabitation. It was an agreement only to be dissolved by a formal divorce.

In present-time weddings, after this betrothal stage is finalized, the groom then places the wedding band on the bride’s finger. While putting the ring on her finger, the groom says: “With this ring, you are consecrated to me according to the law of Moses and Israel.” Then the ketubah is read aloud.

But tradition tells us that after the betrothal, the groom would return to his father’s house to make a place suitable for his bride. He would only come back to get her with his father’s approval. Meanwhile, the bride would be making herself ready so that she would be pure and beautiful for her bridegroom. During this time she would wear a veil (badeken) when she went out to show she was spoken for – she had been bought with a price.

After a year, the groom went to the house of the bride at midnight, creating a torchlight parade through the streets. He was accompanied by his male friends. The bride would know in advance this was going to take place, and so she would be ready with her maidens. They would all join the parade and end up at the bridegroom’s home (the chupah). The couple would drink from a second cup of wine because they were finally together.  They would live together as husband and wife.

This explains why nowadays the couple are in different rooms at the beginning of the ceremony. They re-act the whole thing. He goes, veils her, and everybody takes them to the chupah. Once there, the betrothal and finalization of the wedding is done. The ceremony tries to represent all the stages that had to take place in Biblical times. That’s why it is so full of meaning.

5. The Ketubah or Marriage Contract

The ketubah details the husband’s principal obligations to his wife to provide her with food, clothing and affection, along with other contractual obligations. The ketubah document is reminiscent of the wedding between God and Israel when Moses took the Torah, the “Book of the Covenant,” and read it to the Jews prior to the “chupah ceremony” at Mount Sinai.

6. The Seven Blessings

The first blessing is the blessing on the wine (as we already saw) to finalize the nisu’in, and the remaining six are marriage-themed blessings, which include special blessings for the newlywed couple. They drink and they are finally husband and wife.

A cup is then wrapped in a large cloth napkin, and placed beneath the foot of the groom. The groom stomps and shatters the glass. The shattering of the glass reminds them that even at the height of personal joy, they must, nevertheless, remember the destruction of Jerusalem, and yearn for their imminent return there. Mazal Tov!

7. Yichud Room

After all the public pomp and ceremony, it is time for the bride and groom to share some private moments. Inside the room, the couple traditionally breaks their wedding day fast. It is also a time when the bride and groom customarily exchange gifts.

8. Reception and Grace after Meals

When the bride and groom emerge from the yichud room to join their guests, they are ceremoniously greeted with music, singing and dancing. The men with the groom, and the women with the bride, traditionally dance in separate circles.

Indeed, on a Jewish Wedding, there exists a deep mystical connection between wine and marriage.


I started to write this blog to share the struggles of my faith. But if Jesus is who He claimed to be, I have drunk from that first cup of wine. I am married to Him.

In the middle of my present circumstances, am I seriously considering a formal divorce?