A Jewish wedding ring is a symbol of the couple’s eternal love for each other and plays a pivotal role in the Jewish wedding ceremony. Among the most popular inscriptions on wedding rings are “I am my beloved and my beloved is mine.”
Whenever a couple thinks of getting married, one of the things that a groom must traditionally do is to purchase a wedding ring for his wife to be. The wedding ring serves two purposes. Firstly, it is a symbol of the couple’s eternal love for each other and secondly, it plays a key role in the wedding ceremony. According to Jewish law, marriage vows or even a wedding contract are not sufficient in order to wed a couple. Jewish law dictates that a groom must give to the bride something of great value and today, this requirement is generally fulfilled by giving a wedding ring.
There are specific requirements for what a Jewish wedding ring should look like. Pure gold, preferably 14K or 18K, is the preferred medal for Jewish wedding rings. Jewish tradition and the Kabballah prohibits the ring from being decorated with gems or stones. However, engraving Hebrew letters or phrases into the ring is permissible and popular but it never should be engraved entirely through the ring or else the ring will not be considered to be whole.
Among the most popular Hebrew phrases to be engrained into wedding rings are “I am my beloved and my beloved is mine” (Song of Solomon 6:3); “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,” (Proverbs 3:5); “For wherever you go, I go,” (Ruth 1:16); and “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).
Aside from not having any blemishes or gems, the ring also must be perfectly round. The roundness of the Jewish wedding ring symbolizes an unspoken prayer: just as a ring must not have any obstructions, we pray that this marriage will be one of simple beauty, free from strife and conflict. The choice of gold for wedding rings symbolizes that the bride should be as precious as gold to the groom.
Unlike non-Jewish weddings, only one ring is required to perform the wedding ceremony. However, the ring must be the property of the groom at the time of the wedding and should be given to the bride at the wedding ceremony. The groom can also have a ring but only the bride will have the ring placed on her hand during the wedding ceremony. The groom can have his ring placed on his hand later on.
While planning a wedding, it is critical to recall that the Talmud teaches that Adam and Eve were created as a single human being, with one side being feminine and the other side being masculine. According to the Jewish tradition, G-d then separated the two of them from Adam’s side. Since that time, husband and wife have been a single entity for togetherness is their natural state. The Jewish sages preach that no man or woman is a complete entity until they are joined together in marriage.
The groom giving the ring to his bride underneath the wedding canopy symbolizes man and woman joining together to be one entity. When the groom places the ring on the brides’ finger, he proclaims: “Behold, you are consecrated to me with this ring according to the laws of Moses and Israel.” Indeed, any marriage is a partnership not only between man and woman but also between humanity and G-d above.