The Badeken — The origins and meaning behind the Minhag

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    1. What is the purpose and meaning behind the Minhag of the badeken? If there are multiple meanings, what are each of them.

    2. When did the badeken originate? Have non-Jewish groups copied this Minhag of ours over the years?

    3. If the badeken is see-through, doesn’t that defeat the purpose? (Perhaps it could be called, using today’s terminology, a “fake badeken”.)

    Reb Eliezer

    I don’t understand the Taamei Haminhogim so I will speculate. It says in Rus 3:9 ופרשת כנפך על אמתך and you should cover your maiden with a talis.
    This is was a sign of marriage since married women covered their hair. In
    Frankfurt, they cover the groom and bride together in a talis. There is a connection for this in the Torah where the making of ztitzis is followed by the pasuk of marriage.


    Check out Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan’s book “Made in Heaven”.


    “3. If the badeken is see-through, doesn’t that defeat the purpose? ”

    How can you ask “doesnt that defeat the purpose” if you dont know the purpose?

    There are many reasons as you point out. and it is hard to list “each of them.”

    According to some the badeken is the chupa I though this was tur but I cant find it now. Tosfos Yoma 13b says Kalalh wearing veil is chupa, though Iremeber a shita that it is chasan spreading clothing on her. (the reason for the yekke minhag)
    Other point to imahos either Rivka who covered herself wit hcloth or LEah who yaakov didnt recongnize so she must have been wearing a veil (I guess according to this last one a see through oen would defeat the purpose, though this is a strange purpose to copy to the tee)


    If it is see-through then she’s isn’t “badeken”.

    Though you apparently agree that a see-through would defeat the purpose of the badeken at least according to some of the reasons for the badeken.

    On a slightly different note, is the kallah davka wearing white an official Minhag? If the kallah wore an all purple dress would that breach any bona fide Minhagim?


    I don’t think that the word ‘badeken’ comes from ‘bedecked’. I think it comes from ‘bodek’, like the groom is checking that the kallah is who he thinks she is.


    Brides wearing white is a recent trend, one that came from a Mary Queens of Scott’s when she became the French queen through marriage, wearing a white dress. The style spread.

    There is precident in yahadus of girls wearing white, such as in Shilo, but as far as I have heard, this started as a secular style.


    The “ba” is not part of the root, but part of the Yiddish conjugation (I hope
    that’s the word) of the verb. To “bashmutz” someone is to besmirch them;
    to “badek” someone is to cover them.


    jdb: It maybe but the Mishna in Chagiga states that on Tu B’av and Yom Kippur the Shehbenos Yerushlayim yotzos Bkli Lavan


    Jdb and Jews used to wear white for shabbos and Yom tov. In fact, black is a bad color in kabbalah


    According to Jewish custom the badeken/veiling of the Kallah is only when it’s a besula.

    The Christians copied our wedding traditions such as veiling the bride, using a wedding canopy, giving the bride a ring and the bride wearing a white gown. After the Christians copied us it also spread to the non-Judeo-Christian cultures.


    Christians use a wedding canopy? Never knew. Not that I’ve ever been to a church wedding, but they have them in movies and tv shows.

    And I’m positive that the white dress thing is from Queen Victoria; In ‘The Bostoner Rebbetzin Remembers’ Rebbetzin Horowitz wrote that white bridal gowns were considered un-Jewish in her day, so her wedding dress was a light pastel color. Fact check, anybody?


    is chuppah a minhag

    It is form of acquisition
    one of 3
    with Chuppah ,and the private room afterwards


    I think I overstated it about the canopy. But the veil and ring is certainly copied from us. About the white, I’m told that in Europe Jewish brides have long had the tradition to dress in white. And long before Victoria ever got married it was the default color of most Jewish brides. Perhaps Victoria was familiar with Jewish weddings and liked the white so she took it for herself thereby spreading that in the non-Jewish world.

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