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Bedeken (b'DEKEN)


Translating as "veiling," Bedeken is the ceremonial veiling of the bride by the groom in an Orthodox Jewish wedding. Also known as Badeken, B'deken, Badekenish, or Bedekung.
 
Just prior to the actual wedding ceremony, the chatan approaches the kallah and lifts the veil over her face. The veil serves to remind them that they remain distinct individuals even as they unite in marriage. This ritual veiling developed from the biblical story of Jacob, who married Leah by mistake, instead of Rachel, the woman he loved. The tradition now is that a chatan and kallah see each other before the ceremony to avoid such confusion.

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