Chaya and Schmeryl's Wedding Program

Welcome to Chaya and Schmeryl's wedding. We are delighted that all of you could be here to gorge yourselves at Chaya's parents' expense. We have prepared this booklet in order to illustrate the beauty and deep meaning of the Jewish wedding ceremony, as well as to provide a means to distract you during the rabbi's endless dreying and deflect your neighbors' flatulence.

Kabalat Panim

The day's festivities begin with kabbalat panim, an opportunity to offer a joyous greeting to the bride, who is escorted in by her friends and family. Chaya is seated on a large, throne-like chair, where she receives greetings from guests. At this point, it is customary for the men to attack the smorgasbord like a pack of hungry refugees. It is customary for women to comment aloud about how beautiful the bride looks, while musing quietly about what she'll look like after about ten years of childbirth and strudel.

The Ketubah

Archaic and incomprehensible legal documents play a very important role in Judaism. One of the most important such documents is the ketubah, an ancient document that details Schmeryl's monetary responsibilities and Chaya's claim to all of his assets, including the shirt off his back, as security for those obligations in the event of death or divorce. It is customary to decorate this document with pretty flowers and other colorful designs and hang it from the wall of the couple's new home.

At this point in history, the role of the ketubah is important, but largely symbolic, unlike the shtar tannaim, which is completely useless. The shtar tannaim is an agreement between the two families that their children should get married. Duh. Like, if they didn't want them to get married, why am I, like, wearing a gown?

The Chosson's Tisch

"Tisch" literally means table in Yiddish. At the "chosson's tisch," the men gather around a table and serenade Schmeryl with Hebrew drinking songs. The same table is also used to sign the ketubah and tannaim. It is considered a fortuitous sign to spill an entire glass of scotch all over a $1,200 illuminated ketubah. If the groom is a scholar, he delivers a torah lecture. While he is speaking, it is customary for the men to discuss the basketball or football game that they are missing in order to be at the wedding.


An important part of the marriage ceremony is the bedekin, wherein the bride and groom see each other for the first time after a week of separation, and prepare for the marriage ceremony. In order to make this process as noisy and confusing as possible, Schmeryl is danced in by a large crowd of smelly men. He then lowers the veil down over Chaya's face, consummating an important part of the marriage process. Many authorities insist that Chaya's veil remain down from now until the wedding ceremony. This is because it is funny to watch her bump into things.

The Procession

During the ceremony, Chaya and Schmeryl will stand under the chuppah, or wedding canopy. The chuppah is a symbol of the Jewish home, since most Jewish homes are built to look like large white bedsheets.

Schmeryl is preceded by a procession of his close friends and family: bubbe and zayde; his brothers, Yonkie and Yitzie; sister Huvie and friends Chaim Mukapuckapucka, Louis Friedsnickman and Dr. Steven Putzamulla. Schmeryl will then enter, escorted by his mother and father, who are carrying lit candles in order to keep away the mosquitoes.

Chaya's family and friends are next: bubbe and zayde; sisters Mali, Rachel and Latifa; brother Duvie and friends Shani Grezputkinoff and Dani Rulbuggabug. Chaya, together with her parents, will enter next, at which point it is customary to stand up and take flash pictures 8 inches from her face.

When Chaya has reached the chuppah, she will walk around Schmeryl seven times. Seven is a very significant number in Judaism, as it is the smallest positive number that is the sum of a perfect square and an odd number greater than one.


In ancient times, a man would betroth a woman by hitting her over the head with a large rock or animal bone and dragging her away. Judaism sought to bring reverence and sancity to this relationship between man and woman. We were therefore commanded at Sinai to recite a short Hebrew formula before hitting the woman on the head with a large rock or animal bone and dragging her away.

The essence of the wedding ceremony is "kiddushin," wherein Schmeryl buys Chaya for a nominal sum. Once Schmeryl has bought Chaya, no one else is allowed to either buy or borrow Chaya and Schmeryl may not sell Chaya at any point. Any liens, easements or sale-leaseback arrangements involving Chaya that pre-date Schmeryl's purchase should not be discussed publicly, except in low tones among cousins and family friends during the wedding ceremony.


The second half of the wedding ceremony (which is actually the first half; don't ask) is known as nesuin. This act symbolizes the groom's removal of the bride from her father's house and her placement in his own domicile. There are several rituals that are used to fulfill this obligation:
  • Veiling the bride - performed during the bedekin
  • Standing under the chupah together
  • Yichud - Complete seclusion in a private room. This is where the bride and groom traditionally break their fast, and it affords Schmeryl his first real opportunity to practice ignoring his wife while eating.

    Sheva Brachot

    The marriage ceremony is accompanied by seven blessings, praising the Almighty for creating the joyous institution of marriage. Each blessing is customarily given out as an honor to a different individual. It is considered admirable to allocate blessings to rabbis and Torah scholars with whom the families enjoy close relationships. However, since few families say more than three words to their rabbis over the course of a lifetime, it is customary to hire bearded men off the street to pretend to be rabbis.

    Breaking the Glass

    At the conclusion of the wedding ceremony, it is customary to sing the verse from Psalms - "If I forget thee, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning." Shortly afterwards, Schmeryl will step on a glass; the broken glass symbolizes the memory of the destroyed Holy Temple and our people's exile from Zion, which makes even the joy of a wedding incomplete. After the glass has been broken, the audience generally breaks out into applause to demonstrate our joy that the Messiah has not yet come, and we may therefore continue to live in Teaneck.

    Back to "Books for Jewish Children"

    Back to Lori's Mishmash Jewish Humor Page

    Back to Lori's Mishmash Humor Page

    [an error occurred while processing this directive]