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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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< Q8.28 TOC Q8.29 >

Question 8.29:
What is the role of the parents or the rabbi at a wedding?


Jewish tradition has no role for the parents. In the west, we tend to have them walk their children down the aisle, but even having an aisle is a western culture thing, not a Jewish one. And the rabbi doesn't marry them. Marriage requires the couple and witnesses. The rabbi is there as "mesadeir qiddushin" (arranger of the marriage), he's there to insure that everyone does everything correctly.

Note that one can also honor a second rabbi with reading the kesuvah, and six other rabbis to read the blessings. The cantor chants/sings the traditional greetings and often a song about Jerusalem before the groom breaks the glass. The couple also often honors three sets of winesses, having one group witness the tana'im (the contract specifying which family will pay for what of the wedding), one for the kesuvah, and one pair guarding the door to the yichud room.

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at

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© (c) 1993-2002 Daniel P. Faigin <>