Minhagim of Worms - Nissuin

09 Nov 2012 10:33 #2214 by Daniel
Minhagim of Worms - Nissuin was created by Daniel
The purpose of this outline is just that - an outline of the Minhagim of Worms regarding Nissuin. It is not practical and only sparingly includes R’ Hamburger’s footnotes. I am writing it to help myself remember what I learnt, and to hopefully be a zechus for myself. For practical, see: www.moreshesashkenaz.org/mm/publications/MadrichEnglish.pdf. If anybody would like to add more details, feel free. Feedback is welcome. It is a work in progress and will IYH completed over time.

Minhagim of Worms


Tannaim Rishonim
This is how a couple become “engaged”:
Tannaim (which are called K’nas) are done at the house of the Rav.
After they are finalized (by breaking a plate to use for kinyan sudar), the men at the Rav’s house go to the Chassan’s house to wish him Mazel Tov.
They then go to the Kallah’s house to wish her Mazel Tov.
She wears Shabbos clothing.
They (neighbors/relatives) walk the Kallah to the Chassan’s house.
The father of the Chassan and the Kallah provide desserts (actually, the text says Lebkuchen) to celebrate the tannaim.
At some point after, the Chassan is obligated to make a meal. This meal is called K’nas Mahl (K’nas meal??). A source for this can be found by Eliezer: וּמִגְדָּנֹת נָתַן לְאָחִיהָ וּלְאִמָּהּ.
The first Shabbos after the Tannaim, the Chassan is obligated to have an aliyah. He pays a sum of money for this, unless the tannaim were done in a different location.
To celebrate, he (and she) provide(s) Yayin Saraf to important people (relatives, neighbors, friends, chazzan, the shamesh) and to whomever they want.

Before the Wedding

A Chassan and Kallah do not go to the cemetery 30 days before and after the wedding, unless it is for a relative that they must mourn for.
The Kallah does not wear the Shtortz for the entire year after marriage since it is a garment of mourning.
Seven days prior to the wedding the Kallah dons levainim.
Girls come to eat with her. This meal is called a “Soup Meal”.
The Kallah wears Shabbos clothing from this point on until the wedding.
The Kallah (and Chassan) does not leave her (his) home from this point until the Aufruf (Spinholz), and the Seudas Sivlonos.
During these seven days, girls go to the Kallah’s home to rejoice with her.


The Shabbos before the wedding is called the Spinholz [or Schpinholtz??] (i.e., Aufruf).
The Chassan wears special Shabbos clothing.
The Chazzan sings certain portions of teffilah in specific tunes for the Aufruf.

Shabbos Night

After the night meal, the community, both men and women, come to the Chassan’s home.
The fathers of the Chassan and Kallah wear special Shabbos clothing and provide drinks to those entering the house.
The Chassan sits at the head of the table.
Dessert type foods are served, as well as wine.
Members of the community come in and sit for a brief period of time, and rejoice with the Chassan. Many people do not eat at all.
When others arrive, the first group leaves. This procedure continues as more groups come.
At the end, young men come to rejoice with the Chassan.
The women do not actually sit at the table. They stand and wait for their husbands, and leave with them.
Desserts are provided to those who leave.


The groups that left the Chassan’s house, proceed to the Kallah’s house.
She also sits at the head of the table.
The table is set in a similar manner as to the Chassan’s table.
Young women sit around the table. They sit there in an extremely tzenuah manner and do not eat or drink anything. (See R’ Hamburger’s footnote - apparently the Chavos Yair was not pleased with this).
The men and women that come do not sit, but rather “survey the scene”.
The father of the Kallah provides wine to the guests that come.
When the guests leave, they are provided with desserts, same as was done by the Chassan’s home.

(Orphans, R”L

An orphan that marries a woman who was never married, or a man who was never married marries a woman who was previously married - they have a regular Aufruf.
If both are orphans, they do not make an Aufruf as to lessen their rejoicing. (It is unclear to me if they both must be orphans in order to not have the Aufruf, or in the previous case, the one that is not an orphan has the Aufruf and the orphan does not).
Orphans do not wear [the] new clothing [of a chassan and kallah] to shul on Shabbos.
The female orphan wears the Shtortz during Shabbos day. She does not wear it in the same manner as one in mourning).

Shabbos Day

During the day, the Chassan comes to shul in the same manner that he came Shabbos night.
He is not called to the Torah on this Shabbos by Shacharis. (This differs from most kehillos where the Chassan is obligated to have an aliyah at Shacharis. In Worms, he is obligated at Mincha to have an aliyah. In Feurth, no aliyah was given at all).
Musaf - the Chazzan sings certain portions using the special tune for a Chassan/Kallah.
After Musaf, the friends of the Chassan accompany the Chassan to his home. They drink Yayin Saraf and have deserts (Lebkuchen) at his home.

Shabbos Afternoon

Women of the community go to the Kallah’s house.
The Kallah is placed on a chair wears woman’s garb called a רעקלי (German: Rock, Röckli. Some kind of skirt or dress that is a woman’s garb of mourning).
The women sing appropriate wedding songs. (These songs are in Hebrew or German/Yiddish. A well known one is “Echad yachid umeyuchad”, among others. See footnote number 45 for several others and Shorshei Minhag Ashkenaz (SMA) Volume 3). (I need to point out that I am not familiar with all the different articles of clothing and am not necessarily being so accurate with them).
The רעקלי is removed and she dons the women’s sarval.
She is led by two young women on either side of her, while being followed by the rest of the women, to the ‘Braut Haus’ (the Kallah’s House, i.e., the Wedding Hall. Braut means Bride. This hall was used for other purposes as well).
While being led to the Braut Haus, “clowns” walk before her with musical instruments. If a wedding is on Shabbos (very rare in Ashkenaz - not the typical custom), non Jewish musicians are hired. (These “clowns” are not similar to the Polish Badchanim; the one’s in Ashkenaz were musicians. See Chavos Yair and others that were not very happy with the Polish Badchanim).
When the Kallah walks she wears (...a variety of clothing I am unfamiliar with).
They women dance with the Kallah at the Wedding Hall. Women that are close to the Chassan and Kallah attend.
The Chassan’s friends escort him to the same Wedding Hall and dance with him there.
The father of the Chassan and Kallah provide wine and honor various attendees with a drink.
The neighbors from the community that attended leave first, followed by the Chassan and his friends, followed by the Kallah and her friends. The musicians escort the Kallah back to her home.


The Chassan comes to Mincha in a similar manner as to the way he came to Shacharis.
He is obligated to receive an aliyah.
Before his aliyah he wears the ‘mataron’ in a similar manner to a mourner. After his Mi Shebiarach, before he comes down from the migdal (bima), he puts the mataron back to the non-mourning manner. He returns to his seat.
After Kedusha, the Chassan leaves the Beis Hakeneses and his friends accompany him home.
The congregation then recites tzidkasicha. (It is considered wrong for the Chassan to remain and deprive the tzibur from the opportunity of saying this tefilah. In Ashkenaz the Chassan has the status of a Chassan already on this Shabbas in that the tzibur will not be able to recite the tefilah if he should remain).
The community attends the Third Shabbos Meal. Women are not specifically invited to this third meal (as they are home and busy with their families. At this time in Worms, the Third Shabbos Meal was eaten after Mincha. This is not the typical German custom - which is to have the third meal before mincha).
The men eat with the Chassan. The Kallah’s friends eat with her.

On the first day of the wedding week, the Chassan and Kallah wear Shabbos clothing (as they are compared to royalty).
Most weddings are held on Wednesday (even though the reason the Talmud mentions for this is no longer applicable, in Ashkenaz they continued to marry on Wednesdays for various reasons. On rare occasion (or at specific times) people married on Friday).
On the second day of the wedding week [beginning of night number three], a meal is made called R’ Maanis Meal. Relatives of the Chassan and Kallah are invited along with a select group of distinguished neighbors. (It appears that this meal is named after an individual. Some communities called it ‘Maanis Meal’. There are various explanations as to the source and meaning of the name [it may mean a table, it may refer to the wedding night (i.e., to the following night)]. Some communities called it by different names).

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