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Wedding Rings According to Halacha
You might be asking yourself what exactly kosher jewelry is, and which wedding rings are allowed by Halacha.
Many Jews are observing traditions while walking in step with the 21st-century progress. They manage their Rosh Hashana, Pesach, Sukkot, Purim, Hanukkah, and the rest of the Jewish year with no trouble at all. Then they find love and want to have a proper Jewish wedding. When the time comes to obtain rings, they discover that there is such a thing as kosher jewelry.
Wedding rings must follow a strict path of rules before they can end up on the lady’s index finger, even if she’ll wear hers for the rest of her life on the ring finger.
The Jewish laws typically have something to note about every jot and tittle in the life of a person, certainly in such a significant event as a wedding. The requirements of a Jewish wedding are unambiguous and precise, and the times of their origins are radically different from ours. It is, therefore, the rabbis’ job to help people understand them better and come to terms with things that seem outdated. One of such things is the issue of kosher jewelry or Halacha wedding rings.
When talking about Halacha wedding rings, two key questions arise:
• What about diamond wedding rings for women?
• What about wedding rings for men?
So, what is a kosher wedding ring according to Halacha?
Halacha Wedding Rings
Kosher wedding rings should be made from a pure material (not necessarily gold), and not coated. That is to prevent misleading the bride into thinking that the ring is more expensive than it is. The ring should be a full circle, not perforated or damaged. That means that if it is engraved, which is allowed, then the engraving shouldn’t go all the way through the ring. That is to symbolize strength and wholeness of the family unit the couple is about to enter.
There should be no precious stones in the ring. That is to prevent a situation of a fake jewel that looks more expensive than it is in reality. It is to allow the bride to precisely identify the cost of the given ring and not to be led into a marital contract under false pretenses.
Everything about Halacha wedding rings’ rules is meant to convey straightforwardness, honesty, and connectivity. The ring is an extremely potent symbol in itself, and during the Jewish nuptial ceremony, its symbolic prowess escalates to new levels of spiritual intensity.
Halacha Wedding Rings for Women Only
According to the Jewish laws of Halacha, only women are required to wear a ring during the wedding ceremony. The man as the giver is securing his rights to the woman’s hand, ensuring that from this moment on, she will be intimate only with him.
In Orthodox Judaism there are two stages to the Chuppah (marriage canopy) ceremony: the first step is known as Kiddushin and the other step as Nisuin. A man gives the wedding ring to the woman in the first stage.
These are the traditions as observed through ancient times. However, as the roles of men and women have evolved since then, more and more couples are looking to express their relationship’s equality right from the start of their mutual journey.
People wish to know about double-wedding ceremonies in which women equally give a ring to the man.
What About Jewish Wedding Rings for Men?
Many times, it isn’t just the woman’s desire for equality that drives the couple to look into the subject of wedding rings for men. The men, too, wish to experience that moment of receiving their fate, so to speak, from the hand of their chosen beloved. That’s completely understandable. The custom of giving each other a ring is a beautiful one, and there’s no reason for it to be only one-sided.
That said, the Chuppah is a ritual, and as such, it works in a symbolic way which in turn affects the people taking part on a deeper, subconscious level. For that reason, Halacha is very clear about the order of things and who should do what; it is designed to avoid confusion. Some rabbis say that if a woman presents the man with a ring, too, in the same ceremony, then it cancels the ring that the man had just given her.
Therefore, if you wish to follow the traditions root and branch yet still give your groom a wedding ring, then the yichud room is the place for it.
Jewish Wedding Rings
Kosher wedding rings should bear no holes; they are smooth and continuous bands to symbolize the kind of connection upon which the couple wants to establish their mutual life.
The wedding ring must belong to the groom, and the reason it shouldn’t contain jewels is not to mislead the bride into thinking that the ring’s worth is more than it is. The point behind the simplicity of the ring is to match the actual occurrence to the symbolic one. The wedding ceremony represents a step onto which two separate entities tread to become one entity made of two bodies. The couple enters the union employing a smooth and straightforward symbol – the ring – to ensure stable and truthful family life.
In fact, Jewish wedding rings are a kind of novelty, albeit not at all a recent one. In the past, it didn’t have to be a ring. Although the ring is abundant with symbolism in its own right, initially the object produced by the groom for his bride could be anything worth more than a pruta (a penny).
Matching Jewish Wedding Rings for People Who Like Diamonds
Having matching wedding rings at the wedding is a reasonable concept many couples wish to employ. United in life, united in heart, united in jewelry. But what if we’re talking about Jewish wedding rings?
For people who want their wedding jewelry to have diamonds, yet are equally adamant their wedding follows the Jewish tradition, there is a solution. The husband and wife can exchange diamond rings after the Chuppah ceremony, and those rings can replace or be worn alongside the original Halacha wedding rings.
That way the couple can enjoy both worlds: kosher jewelry first, diamond jewelry after.