Yichud

This was on Jewish Treats this morning… thought it was interesting, especially after recent release of the new youth video:

 

According the Jewish law, a man and a woman who are not married to each other may not be secluded alone in a room or other private space. To comply with this law, couples who are dating, spend a great deal of time in public places or in the company of other people. This law includes an engaged couple and, in fact, applies up until the moment the groom places the ring upon the bride’s finger under the chuppah.

In Hebrew, words often have a positive and a negative meaning. Yichud is the term used to describe this law prohibiting “unchaperoned time alone,” but it is also the Yichud Room to which the new bride and groom are escorted immediately after the chuppah (at Ashkenazi weddings*).

Although there have been times and communities in which the post-chuppah yichud was meant to be a time during which the couple actually consumated the marriage, that is no longer the custom today. In the Yichud Room today, it is customary that the bride and groom enjoy a light meal (in many cases they have been fasting during the day until the conclusion of the ceremony) and exchange small gifts. By the very act of being secluded in a room, the bride and groom are making a public declaration of their married status.

As a significant part of the wedding, there is ceremony and fanfare surrounding the Yichud Room ritual. The couple is escorted to the room directly from the chuppah with dancing and music, and the room is checked by the couples’ two “witnesses” to ensure that no one else is in the room. Once the door is closed, it is guarded so that no one disturbs the bride and groom. They remain sequestered for approximately 8-10 minutes (thus giving them private time together during a very public event).

*While the Yichud Room is primarily an Ashkenazi customs, some Sephardi couples also enter the Yichud Room after the wedding feast.

Posted in LDS permalink

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Comments

Yichud — 1 Comment