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Chapter 126:2
Remembering the Destruction of Jerusalem

2. Similarly, [as a reminder of the destruction of Jerusalem, the Sages] ordained that when one makes a feast for guests, even a feast associated with a mitzvah, one should not serve all the dishes that would ordinarily be served at such a feast (1). Similarly, a woman should not wear all her jewelry at one time (2).

[At a wedding,] a groom should place ashes on his head, on the place where he wears Tefillin. The veil used to cover the bride should not contain strands of silver or gold. Similarly, it is customary that when drawing up the engagement contract ("t'no'im"), a dish is broken, as a remembrance of the destruction; however, one should use a dish that is already broken. Under the wedding canopy, the bridegroom should break a glass vessel; a whole glass may be used (3).


(1) Omitting even one minor item is sufficient. On Shabbos and Yom Tov however, nothing should be omitted from the traditional three meals, because publicly showing signs of mourning on Shabbos is prohibited (Mishna Berura 560:5,6, and Sha'ar HaTziyun 13).

(2) The Be'ur Halacha 560 (D"H: "Hiskinu") wonders why these two reminders are not observed nowadays.

(3) The basis for requiring these reminders is the verse: "If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its cunning. May my tongue stick to my pallet, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy" (Psalms 137:5-6). Many have the custom to sing this verse while the bride and groom are under the "chupah" ("wedding canopy").

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