Detroit (Jul. 10)
The breaking of the glass at Jewish weddings is a superstition which ought to be abolished, and to remember Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple, for which this ceremony is intended, a more dignified and a more practical custom ought to be substituted.
This sentiment was expressed here yesterday by Solomon Lamport, national treasurer of the American Jewish National Fund, during a conference with Detroit Zionist leaders. Mr. Lamport quoted Jewish authorities to point out that centuries ago the bridegroom was called upon to repeat the excerpt from Psalms: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning, may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember thee, if I place not Jerusalem at the head of all my joys.” In this way, he said, the cradle-land of Israel was then remembered at weddings.
Quoting from the Shulchan Aruch, Mr. Lamport said that at one time it was a custom to invoke the tragedy of Jewish dispersion by placing ashes on the groom’s head at the wedding ceremony. On account of Catholic observance of Ash Wednesday, however, this practice was abandoned as “chukas hagoyim,” as a non-Jewish law not to be practiced by Jews. Mr. Lamport objects to the retention of all similar practices retained as “zecher le-churban,” as a remembrance of the Temple’s destruction. As a substitute for “zecher le-churban,” Mr. Lamport urges the Jewish people to adopt a “zecher le-binyan,” a symbol of upbuilding and reconstruction, and he pointed to the Jewish National Fund as offering a means for such substitution.
Mr. Lamport displayed a “Ketubah,” or traditional marriage contract, to be printed on parchment in seven colors, with illustrations and drawings having modern significance. This “Ketubah” will be presented to newlyweds with the compliments of the Jewish National Fund, at the same time serving as propaganda to remind the young people of the existence of this fund which they will be asked to remember with their contributions on every wedding anniversary.