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What is an Aufruf?

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Question: What is an Aufruf?

Answer:
Aufruf ("call up" in Yiddish) is the ceremony in which the groom is called up to recite the blessing over the Torah in synagogue.

Ashkenazic Jews generally have this ceremony on the Sabbath before the wedding, and Sephardic Jews often have it on the Sabbath after the wedding.

While only the groom is called up in orthodox synagogues, both the bride and the groom are called up in Reform, Reconstructionist, and most Conservative synagogues.

After the Torah reading, members of the congregation traditionally sing "Mazal Tov" and to throw soft candies at the groom or couple-to-be as an expression of the community's wishes for a sweet start.

Some say that the Aufruf ceremony evolved from an ancient practice in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. According to the Talmud, King Solomon built a special gate in the Temple that grooms would go through on the Sabbath to be greeted by family and friends.

Certainly the Aufruf effectively makes both the community and the Torah a part of the newlyweds journey into married life.

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