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    Seven times round the groom – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Why does the bride walk round the groom when she enters the chuppah?

    wedding circle bride groomA. It is a custom, not a law. Some link it with the verse in Jeremiah, “A woman shall go round a man” (Jer. 31:21), and see it as a pledge to surround him with love and loyalty. The folklorists prefer to believe that it is to keep evil influences away.

    The number of circuits is usually seven, since this is the Biblical number of completeness. Others advocate three circuits, corresponding to the three-fold betrothal pledge in Hosea 2:21-22. Occasionally there is only one circuit.

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