Not everyone knows that the Jewish wedding day is considered to be one’s own personal Yom Kippur, a day of atonement. It is a day that the bride and groom can pray to open gates in heaven for them, ask for forgiveness and move forward into their newlywed life with a clean, sin-free state. Here are four things Yom Kippur and Your Wedding Day have in common.
Everyone knows that we’re not allowed to eat or drink for 25 hours of the Yom Kippur fast, but did you know that some brides and grooms do this as well for their wedding day? Fasting isn’t meant to be a way of torture, rather it is to eliminate all physical needs to focus on one’s spirit and spirituality. So too, on your wedding day you should stop focusing on the flowers and your dress and really focus on the purpose of the day – you marrying your soulmate, your basheret.
Of course if you are not able to fast you do not have to, and shouldn’t if it is going to make you sick!
“Fasting isn’t meant to be a way of torture, rather it is to eliminate all physical needs to focus on one’s spirit and spirituality.”
The gates of heaven are open on Yom Kippur for our prayers to God and the same is believed for the bride and groom on their wedding day, particularly when they are under the chuppah.
Certain prayers, specifically said on the afternoon of Yom Kippur, are often recited by the bride and groom on the day of their wedding.
Anenu, vidui, and al chet, which are prayers of atonement, confession, and asking God for forgiveness. This way the couple can enter into their marriage, this new stage of life, pure and clean of all sins just like we do for the new year.
Traditionally a bride wears white on her wedding as a sign of purity. It is with this similar idea that many Jews, often women, can be seen wearing white on Yom Kippur to symbolize spiritual purity, inside and out.