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by Abigail Rome

The “House Rings” Miracle

How Our Very Modern Wedding Was Blessed by Antiquity

Last spring when my partner and i got married, we didn’t use just two wedding rings. We used four. And that wasn’t because we were trying to upset convention any more than we already had — with two brides of two faiths under a huppah. To the contrary, we were following a venerable Jewish tradition, in use as long ago as the 14th century, in which Ashkenazi grooms placed ornamental rings shaped like houses on the index fingers of their brides. (Obviously we didn’t follow the “groom” part!) The ring signified the sharing of a home and offered an opportunity for the couple’s new domestic relationship to be blessed, though there was no added liturgy. The rings were often oversized because they were not intended to actually be worn; they were for the purpose of ceremonial “witnessing.” The giving and accepting of a ring is the central legal act, along with the recital of the vow, of a Jewish wedding.*

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The articles in this special section:

The “House Rings” Miracle

by Abigail Rome

How Our Very Modern Wedding Was Blessed by Antiquity

Try a New Wedding Vow (This Time the Man Gets the Ring)

by Rabbi Susan Schnur

House Ring! Housework! Pioneering Men, Step Up!

“A Marriage Agreement”— 1970

by Alix Kates Shulman

Postmodern House Rings

by Susan Schnur

The Old Is New Again