The Jewish Wedding Ring

In Jewish culture, the wedding ring is usually a single simple band to re-enact the days of the Bible when a groom would give his bride a low valued coin. Many argue that the ring should be made of gold, but others have grown lax with this custom and say that the ring can be made of any material.

The Jewish wedding ring is not so much about the type of metal or the adornments of the ring, but the circular nature of it. This circle is means to represent how in Judaism, the couple will encounter the same experiences again and again, but each time bring a unique insight to them. So, the circle is about learning from previous experiences and creating a better life.

When the ring is presented, there is a custom that dictates it must first belong to the groom. The groom then gives it to his bride as a gift and they are married only when the Kiddushin takes place. The bride and groom do not actually exchange rings at a Jewish wedding. Rather, the groom gives his bride something to pay for her hand in marriage. This is a customary exchange and does not really signify the bride’s worth.

As the couple stand under the chupah, the groom will face the bride and tell her that she is betrothed to him, according to the laws of Moses and Israel. He will then slide the ring onto her left ring finger in full view of all the guests, who act as witness.

The symbolism of rings and many of the other pastimes of a Jewish wedding are very interesting and theologians have studies these customs for years trying to interpret why some customs are followed, while others are simply noted. One thing that has become very apparent in all Jewish weddings is that because of the amount of customs to follow, the wedding process is very interesting, both for the couple and their guests. There is a lot of tradition surrounding this process, and also surrounding the rings and how they are used during the ceremony.