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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Jew Candy–Jewish Book of Why

I emailed my Rabbi and emailed Ronnie–the two men I take my jewish questions to. Then I realized that I have The Jewish Book of Why and thought I would check there. Guess what? It had an answer for me on the candy throwing at temple.

Why is a bridegroom sometimes showered with nuts following his aliya on the Sabbath before his wedding?

The groom is generally called to the Tora on the Sabbath before his wedding. The occasion is designated by the Yiddish word aufruf, which means “calling up.” As the groom returns to his seat after the aliya, he is showered with nuts. The custom, not widely observed in America, evolved because the numerical value of the letters in the Hebrew word egoz (nut) were found to be equal to the value of the Hebrew word tov (good). Both equal seventeen. The aufruf ceremony symbolizes entry into a new phase of life which, it is hoped, will be good and wholesome. In some communities, raisins and other sweets are thrown at the bridegroom, thus expressing the hope that his new life will be sweet and fruitful.

Page 30-31 The Jewish Book of Why by Alfred J. Kolatch, 1981, revised 2004.

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