A New Minhag ?
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August 9, 2009 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm #590153YW Moderator-80Member
I recently attended a Chasunah. By the Tanoim, one mother held the plate and the other hit it with a hammer. Has anyone else ever seen this before? (or heard of it)?August 10, 2009 12:12 am at 12:12 am #652810
The hammer/plate has been around for a while. It is simply easier to break a plate with a hammer. The idea of the minhag is that both mothers are doing it together, so what is the difference if they both hold it and smash it (risking injury, btw), or one holds and the other hammers (also risking injury)…80
I don’t know if there is a difference, I just never heard of it before…80
In our chasunahs, the two machetenistas held the plate and smashed it simultaneously, but many people are doing it the other way, buying specialty hammers for the pupose (decorated beautifully, etc.). It comes in a kit with the plate, a pretty holder, and the hammer.August 10, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am #652812
Nicely decorated hammer. Seems to clash with the reason it is broken. I guess people are gullible enough to buy anything these days.August 10, 2009 2:32 pm at 2:32 pm #652813
jphone, and gullible to believe everything they read 😉
Try banging the plate against something, like a table or the back of a chair (the metal part on top). Usually works fine, although never tried it myself.August 10, 2009 5:36 pm at 5:36 pm #652815
What IS the reason for the breaking of the plate????August 10, 2009 5:47 pm at 5:47 pm #652816
Probably zecher l’churban.August 10, 2009 6:10 pm at 6:10 pm #652817
“Im eshkocheich yerushalayaim….”.August 10, 2009 7:13 pm at 7:13 pm #652818JoseMember
I heard another reason for the minhag of breaking a plate. The reason was just like that breaking the plate results in something permanent, so too we wish that the shidduch should be permanent. Often we find that a brocha is accompanied with an action to solidify it. I think the inyan of breaking an object to remember the churban is only by kiddushin not just tanoim.
Accordingly, it is not neccesarily inappropriate to use a decorated hammer to break the plate. (usually, the timing of the machetenistas is off and one of them throws out her shoulder or something. The hammer is a convinience)August 10, 2009 7:23 pm at 7:23 pm #652819shaatraMember
I never heard of breaking a plate at all (whether it be with a hammer, drop it, ect.) Is it because its an ashkenaz minhag?August 10, 2009 7:43 pm at 7:43 pm #652820
The reason behind the minhag of breaking the plate is as follows:
In old times, the tenaim were very strictly fulfillrd and breaking these conditions was considered a grave transgression, one that cannot be amended. A kli cheress, pottery, cannot be fixed once broken. The breaking of the plate essentially is announcing that whoever dares break the tenaim should be aware that this transgression can never be fixed. That is why it is done at the tenaim. It is not zecher l’churban.August 10, 2009 7:59 pm at 7:59 pm #652821
Sorry, one more thing. The method of breaking the plate seems to be inconsequential. A hammer is effective because most caterer plates are thick and not easily broken on a table, chair or anything. I think we’ve all seen the exasperated faces of the mothers who just cannot break that thing.August 10, 2009 8:07 pm at 8:07 pm #652822shaatraMember
Oomis: interestingAugust 12, 2009 9:08 pm at 9:08 pm #652824bptParticipant
I just saw a video of a chasseneh, and it took the machetenistas more than 10 tries to get the plate to break. A hammer would have been a great idea!August 12, 2009 9:19 pm at 9:19 pm #652825
Why didn’t they erase that part? That’s SO embarrassing!August 12, 2009 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm #652826
Maybe i missed it, but i didnt see any source cited, that the reason we break a plate is to drive home the idea that breaking a tenoim is a serious thing. Lets assume it is true. Why the 2 mothers, why not the fathers, brothers, or any 2 people? Can it be a subtle hint to the 2 mothers in law? 🙂August 13, 2009 12:33 am at 12:33 am #652827
Does the prospect of breaking the glass cup under the chuppah fill you with dread?
Does the thought of an unbroken cup skidding out from under your heel as your chavrusa scrambles after it to position it for another attempt make you break out in a cold sweat?
Now you can be a Chuppah Hero!
(can be bought in a kit with the tnoyim hammer and plate or purchased separately.)August 13, 2009 1:59 am at 1:59 am #652828veyatzivMember
ICOT: I hope you really patented it. You can become rich if you really market it!
By the way I was by many chassunas where it took the chosson a few tries and the orchestra started playing with each try. I didn’t want to experience this at my wedding so I told my chosson during the engagement: “Make sure you step hard the 1st time.” Guess what? He stepped so hard so fast that the music didn’t even realize it was time to start and the photographer made him step on the glass again because he didn’t have time to catch it. I was so proud!August 13, 2009 2:22 pm at 2:22 pm #652829
I was asked indirectly for a source that the plate breaking minhag is related to the importance of keeping the tenaim.
The source is the sefer Otzar Dinim U’minhagim by Yehuda Dovid Eisenstein , originally printed in 1917. It can be found in any good bookstore. Page 438,
??????? ???? ????? ?????? ?????? ??? ???…???? ???? ??? ????? ??? ?? ????, ?? ?????? ????? ??? ???? ??? ??????.
The minhag is quite old, as there later developed chassidishe interpretations by the Besht and Rabi Nachman of Breslov. The original explanation appears to be much older.
Why the mothers? I have some thoughts, but anyone’s guess is as good as mine.August 13, 2009 2:43 pm at 2:43 pm #652830
ICOT, I’ll buy the first one! This is a brilliant idaa.August 13, 2009 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm #652833
Thank you.August 13, 2009 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm #652834
ICOT what a GREAT idea!!!!!!!!!!!!August 14, 2009 3:07 am at 3:07 am #652835
Seriously, I think a small wood container with a loose top that the glass goes into would avoid the issue of skidding cups and the potential of a glass shard penetrating the shoe’s sole (not that I’ve ever heard of that happening). Of course, that would mean the end of the standard chuppah photo where the chosson’s foot is in midair and the kallah is smiling and cringing / leaning away at the same time.
(good evening, speedy approver)August 14, 2009 3:16 am at 3:16 am #652836
“and the potential of a glass shard penetrating the shoe’s sole (not that I’ve ever heard of that happening)”
I have not only heard of it, I have SEEN it, and it was not pretty. The chosson was lucky not to need stitches, but he did get cut. I also saw a chosson who COULD NOT break that glass. He tried and tried, and it kept flying out from under him. It took him a good five minutes (and I think they ended up bringing another glass. If I had a nickel for every time the band started up the “recessional” music, I could retire! 😉August 14, 2009 2:07 pm at 2:07 pm #652837
ICOT, what’s that supposed to mean? I’m not exactly 15 years old anymore.August 14, 2009 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #652838
That was one of my unintentionally cryptic posts.August 14, 2009 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #652839
Gotcha! All good now! Thanks for the wishes!August 16, 2009 5:40 am at 5:40 am #652840ambushParticipant
actually if you use a wedding hall/ caterer that is really experienced in Jewish weddings, they will often use a… Light bulb! It’s a lot easier to shmash, and reduces the chances of the glass penetrating the shoe (yes, it really did happen!)August 16, 2009 4:02 pm at 4:02 pm #652841
A light-bulb – what a bright idea!
If the “zaicher lechurban” only requires that something be broken, I wonder why the oilam uses a cup?August 16, 2009 6:32 pm at 6:32 pm #652842
The olam probably uses a cup because the kos (shel yayin)is a symbol of the simcha, and breaking it is symbolic of the sadness we feel for the churban Bayis.August 16, 2009 7:55 pm at 7:55 pm #652843PhyllisMember
I would look into it before breaking a light bulb, although it is practical. There must be a reason why EVERYONE uses a cup.August 16, 2009 8:05 pm at 8:05 pm #652844Mrs. BeautifulMember
Phyllis, I agree with you being that I am very traditional and “old fasioned”.August 17, 2009 3:50 am at 3:50 am #652845ambushParticipant
will look into the matter!August 17, 2009 9:57 pm at 9:57 pm #652846
As blissful as ignorance was, I did a little research for the mekor of the minhag we have of breaking a kois under the chuppah.
Toisfos says that this is the origin of the minhag to break glass by a chasunah.
Based on this, my assumption would be that specifically a cup should be used.
I found a few places online that mention the use of a burned-out lightbulb instead of a kois. The smashing of a burned-out bulb (or anything valueless) seems to clearly be incorrect as a method of dampening an excessively celebratory mood.August 19, 2009 6:11 pm at 6:11 pm #652847
Thanks ICOT for clearing that up!August 19, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm #652848
Thank you, but I wouldn’t count my perfunctory research as supplying a definitive answer.
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