No Jews Marry, But Jewish Customs Abound
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No Jews Marry, But Jewish Customs Abound

At Cameron Diaz' wedding, breaking the glass, 7 blessings, Yichud -- will Jewish weddings be Hollywood's new fad?

Hannah Dreyfus is a staff writer at the New York Jewish Week. She covers abuses of power in non-profit and religious settings. She heads up the Investigative Journalism Fund, an initiative to fill a gap in investigative and enterprise reporting. Reach her at hannah@jewishweek.org

Wondering what the choopla’s all about?

On Jan. 5 film star Cameron Diaz married Benji Madden, the guitarist for the popular punk rock band Good Charlotte, at her Beverly Hills home. Though neither Diaz or Madden appears to be a member of the Tribe (even though Madden’s middle name is Levi), the star-studded ceremony was unequivocally Jewish, according to US Weekly. Guess it was an easy job for wedding planner Yifat Oren.

1. Seven blessings under the chuppah. Can you get more textbook Jewish? The seven traditional blessings recited during every Jewish union were an integral part of the ceremony.

2. The breaking of the glass. As is custom in a Jewish ceremony, Madden stepped on and broke a glass to seal the deal as the crowd shouted, “Mazel Tov!” The ritual is performed to commemorate the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.

3. The Yichud room. After the vows, Madden and Diaz shared a personal moment away from the crowd. The two newlyweds entered a private room for about 30 minutes, an essential part of the Jewish wedding ceremony known as "Yichud." According to Jewish law, Yichud is the marriage ceremony's last official step.

4. They did not see each other before the wedding. A popular custom in religious circles, Diaz and Madden did not see each other before the ceremony. The two prepared in separate rooms, US Weekly reports. Diaz, 42, and her bridesmaids Nicole Richie (her new sister-in-law!), Drew Barrymore, her older sister Chimene Cain had their makeup done while groomsmen Josh and Joel Madden changed into their black tuxes. Madden gave his bride a special note that she received just before the vows.

5. High-profile Jewish guests. OK, no rabbi officiated. But Gwyneth Paltrow, who recently converted to Judaism; and Madonna, a longtime Kabbalah aficionado; were in attendance, as well as Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Jewish CEO of DreamWorks Animation. Those will be some nice wedding gifts.

hannah@jewishweek.org

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