Jewish Wedding Remix: Crowd-Sourcing the Seven Blessings
Steve Kaell and Erica Chapman at their New York wedding
The traditional seven blessings, or sheva brachot, are a beautiful part of the Jewish tradition as they are often recited by seven different honored guests. Steve and Erica didn’t feel particularly connected to the traditional sheva brachot, but wanted to keep the opportunity to hear the blessings in the voices of close friends. Steve explains:
“Instead of doing the traditional seven blessings during our ceremony, our rabbi, Laurie Phillips, suggested that we come up with seven concepts/characteristics/hopes that we’d like to be the anchors of our marriage. Erica and I spent some time together deciding what we would hope to serve as the glue of our relationship – seven shared values that we will strive to live up to as a couple. We came up with Laughter and Fun, Connectedness, Curiosity, Celebrating Individual Differences, Generosity of Spirit, Food, and Commitment to Family and Friends. We asked seven of our friends to write personalized blessings that incorporate those characteristics. Our friends recited their blessings during the ceremony, which was the first time we had heard what they had written. We loved the element of surprise! Their beautiful words made our ceremony particularly meaningful, personal, and memorable.”
Steve and Erica listening to one of their seven blessings
Here’s a selection of a few of those blessings:
Connectedness (blessing by Zaid and Noelle)
Our wish for you is that you will remain connected, mind, body, and soul, for all the days of your marriage.
May you feel each other’s love when you lock eyes in a crowded room.
May you always love the sound of each other’s voice.
And may the best part of each day be the time you share with one another.
Curiosity (blessing by Maxine)
May you both be blessed with curiosity and opening your mind to new people, ideas, worlds, and possibilities.
Erica – Curiosity about people gave your mom and dad and us, you.
Steve – Curiosity gave Miles “In a Silent Way,” Coltrane “Ascension,” and Zappa “Grand Wazoo.”
Curious people could close their eyes and touch a map to decide where to live next. If you both stay curious like Galileo, Spinoza, Jefferson and Einstein, you could change the world and hear someone ask, “Surely You’re Joking.”
Maxine offers her blessing on the topic of “Curiosity”
Celebrating Individual Differences (blessing by David)
The differences that lie between two people coming together in marriage are the basis for extraordinary dynamism. They supercharge intimacy; they stoke illuminating dialogue; they conjure up a space you can fill together.
Pay special attention to the irreconcilable differences. They frequently demand the most attention, and they always reward constant engagement (often with great hilarity). Commonalities lead to answers. Differences lead to questions. Live the questions, and the answers will surprise the both of you in enchanting ways.
Food (blessing by Josh)
Food is not only a source of sustenance, but also of life’s possibilities and meanings – sweet, sour, savory, bitter and rich.
May your home be always filled not just with delicious food, but with everything it represents: family and heritage, community and connectedness, adventure and celebration.
May your partnership be nourishing and memorable; captivating and gratifying; nurturing, healing and full of love.
And may you always find reasons to celebrate.