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AUFRUFEN (Yid. "call up"), traditionally a designation among Ashkenazim for the honor bestowed upon a groom to ascend the bimah for the reading of the Torah at a synagogue service (see Reading of the *Torah ) on the Sabbath prior to his wedding. He may be called up with a special chant (re-shut). In some congregations the groom receives the maftir aliyah and reads the prophetic portion (haftarah). There may be a similar celebratory Torah honor on the first Sabbath after the wedding called Shabbat Kallah marking the change in status of the bride. Among Sephardi Jews this custom is called Shabbat Ḥatan (the bridegroom's Sabbath) and takes place the Sabbath after the wedding. This public recognition of change of status was originally based on a talmudic tradition that King Solomon built a special gate through which bridegrooms would pass on the Sabbath and be greeted by family and friends. After the destruction of the Second Temple, the custom was moved to the synagogue.

In recent decades, brides within the Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist movements have begun to share these honors with their bridegrooms or have their own Torah honors. In some modern Orthodox congregations, the bride may be called to the Torah before her wedding at a special women's prayer group (tefillah). The bride and groom may be showered with sweets and the rabbi will express the good wishes of the community to the couple through a Mi she-berakh (May the One who blessed our ancestors, bless this bride and groom) prayer.


Eisenstein, Dinim, 322; I.G. Marcus, The Jewish Life Cycle – Rites of Passage from Biblical to Modern Times (2004), 152, 185.

[Rela Mintz Geffen (2nd ed.)]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.