Halachically Speaking: Zecher L’Churban (Part 6)




The minhag is to break a plate at the t’nayim as a zecher l’churban. The breaking should be done by any of the machatanim (usually the women). The minhag is to break a complete plate.

Ashes on the Forehead

Before going to the chupah, ashes are placed on the chosson’s forehead in the place where the tefillin are put on and the chosson should say im eshchacheich… Although some say the custom is to remove the ashes immediately after putting them on, it seems that most people leave the ashes on the chosson’s forehead. Some say that the kallah also gets ashes placed on her forehead. Some people do either the placing of the ashes or the breaking of the glass (see next paragraph), however, the custom of most people is to do both. 

Breaking a Glass under the Chupah

The custom is that the chosson breaks a glass under the chupah as a zecher l’churban. The glass is broken with his right foot. The reason why the chosson breaks a glass now and not the plate at the t’nayim, is because at the t’nayim his simcha is not yet complete. The glass is wrapped in a napkin in order to prevent the chosson from hurting his foot. There is no concern of b’al tashchis with breaking the glass because it is being done for mitzvah purposes. The seforim mention why a glass is broken by the chupah, and a plate (earthernware) at the t’nayim.  

The glass is broken after the sheva berochos are recited. Today, many people sing im eshkacheich… before breaking the glass. Some poskim maintain that mazel tov should not be said immediately after the glass is broken because one is supposed to be remembering the churban at that time. Nevertheless, the minhag is to say mazel tov immediately after breaking the glass.

Compiled by Rabbi Moishe Dovid Lebovits who can be reached at[email protected]

Reviewed by Rabbi Ben-zion Schiffenbauer Shlita

All Piskei Harav Yisrael Belsky Shlita are Reviewed by Harav Yisrael Belsky Shlita