Groom breaking the glass at a Jewish wedding

What Does Breaking The Glass Symbolise in a Jewish Wedding?

Offley Place

Offley Place

A Jewish marriage will be crammed with unique traditions, from the Seven Blessings to getting the sacred Ketubah signed. But, one that really sticks out to most guests who are attending a Jewish wedding for the first time is breaking the glass. 

For those outside the Jewish faith, stamping on a glass may seem a little strange, but there’s actually a perfectly valid reason for this unique ceremony. Breaking the glass is an opportunity to reflect on times of sorrow, symbolising the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. So, let’s explore the history a little more. 

What Was The Temple in Jerusalem? 

Both Jews and Israelites used to preach their faith here. If you’ve read the Hebrew Bible, you’ll know that the first temple was apparently built in the United Kingdom of Israel in the 10th century BC. The Babylons destroyed this temple in approximately 587/586 BCE and deported the Jews to Babylon. After the Jews’ captivity was ended by the Persians, a second temple was built around 516 BCE on the same spot, but this was later torn down by the Romans in 70 CE.

Why Remember the Fall of Jerusalem at a Wedding?

In more traditional Jewish wedding ceremonies, just before the smashing of the glass, the Rabbi will sing “If I Forget You, Jerusalem”. This song and smashing the glass represents the fall of the Temples and the persecution of the Jews, the idea being that it should never be forgotten, even on the happiest day of your life. When sorrow is remembered, the joy of a wedding can then be celebrated.

How Is The Glass Smashed? 

A cloth will be wrapped around glass, and then placed onto the floor. The groom will then deal the fatal blow. Often, the pieces of glass are then used to create a beautiful mosaic, ornament or piece of art for the couple’s home to remember their special day.

More Upbeat Theories

There have been many other reasons attributed to the origins and symbolism of smashing the glass. One is that the glass shattering represents the splitting of one single soul as you were born into two people who have now found each other and reunited their souls as one – a beautiful definition of soul mates.

Other reasons include it representing that the marriage is not based on material goods or that the breaks in the glass symbolise the potential cracks in the relationship that have been transferred to the glass, resulting in a happy marriage. Whatever you choose to believe, this iconic moment in the wedding is not to be missed.

If you are attending a Jewish wedding and are unsure of the customs, traditions or what to wear to a Jewish wedding ceremony, check out our guides and advice on Jewish Weddings.

Experience Dream Jewish Weddings at Offley Place  

We love Jewish weddings and work tirelessly to ensure people getting married in Hertfordshire who follow this faith, get their dream day planned and executed to perfection. 

Use our 27 acres of glorious parkland and enjoy all the wonders from our tried and trusted Jewish suppliers, who help us create weddings you simply won’t forget. 

Your dream Jewish wedding day is waiting for you. To get started, get in contact with our team for more details about our stunning weddings. 


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