Communal Joy for Seven Days

May there soon be heard, Lord our G-d, in the cities of
Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem, the sound of joy and the sound of
celebration, the voice of a bridegroom and the voice of a bride, the happy
shouting of bridegrooms from their weddings and of young men from their feasts
of song. — From the Sheva Brachot, the Jewish wedding blessings, “>   — notes that the first week of marriage is considered a “private Yom Tov” during which there is an obligation of simcha.

Couples who decide to observe the traditional week of
“Sheva Brachot” should expect to see plenty of family, friends, meals and public
celebrations. It also means postponing thoughts of escaping to a private
honeymoon on some isolated beach. And that’s a good thing, says author Michael
Medved in his article titled “Banish the Honeymoon,” “> . Wine is poured from two cups into a third and then back into the original cups. “The newlyweds sip from the wine and share the third cup with their guests. The “Sheva Brachot” ritual thus extends the sense of blessing expressed in the words just recited. Along with the wine, the couple’s joy reverberates through the community.”

Mark Mietkiewiczis is a
Toronto-based Internet producer who writes, lectures and teaches about the
Jewish Internet. You can reach him via e-mail at