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Breaking the Glass
The Meaning of Mazel Tov!

Even if you're not Jewish, you've probably heard the expression "mazel tov" before. It's a blessing and congratulatory statement that essentially means good luck. It can be given at any time, but most non-Jews are familiar with its role in weddings.

After the groom places a ring on the finger of his bride, he stomps on a glass wrapped in a napkin or cloth. The glass can be anything from a Champagne cup to a light bulb, but besides being a fun and unique way to end the ceremony, breaking the glass is extremely symbolic. It echoes the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem and reminds the newlyweds and all the guests of the commandment in Psalms 137:6 to "set Jerusalem above my highest joy," even in the happiest of times [source: Shulman].

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