Rav Yehuda, as recorded in the Talmud, taught that 40 days before a male child is conceived, a divine voice reveals the identity of the woman he will marry—a literal match made in heaven. These holy unions are fundamental to the stories of Biblical heroines like Sarah, Rebecca, Esther, Ruth, Rahab, and Zipporah. Beyond functioning as the cultural basis of human companionship, these marriages often served as the bedrock of the Jewish community’s resilience and continuity. Marriage has remained a cornerstone of Jewish culture, with the wedding ceremony standing as a pinnacle moment in Jewish life.

An array of wedding customs honor pivotal events and teachings that have shaped Judaism and Jewish history: many important traditions are reserved for women specifically. Join the Museum for an inside look at Jewish women’s marriage customs through objects in our Permanent Collection, in a lecture led by Chaskel Tydor Curatorial Intern Allison Ruman, followed by a conversation with Consulting Historian and Curator, Professor Judy Tydor Baumel-Schwartz.

Live closed captions will be available during this program.

Wedding of Abram Trop and Jane (Jenny) Dunn in Troy, New York, 1915.
Gift of Cynthia Lewis-Berry, 2000.P.432