The Tallit at a Wedding

Object number

A. Palmer

S. Slowe

Object Information

This picture shows Sophie and Jessica getting married at West London Reform Synagogue. They stand together, wrapped in a tallit – the Jewish prayer shawl. On every tallit, you will find knotted tassels called tzitzit which symbolise the 613 mitzvot.

In a Jewish wedding, the tallit is often wrapped around the couple by a parent. This symbolises the unity within the newlyweds’ relationship, and also serves as a reminder that the couple is surrounded by G-d’s love.

This tradition tends to happen for the final blessing at the wedding.

Sophie and Jessica got married at a Reform Synagogue.  The Reform Jewish community allows gay marriage and, in actual fact, the Rabbi that married these two women had the first same sex marriage in the UK’s Reform Jewish Community in 2005

Hear from the donor

What is happening in your image?

We got married at West London Synagogue on 10th November 2021. We had an intimate wedding in this beautiful synagogue with our four delighted parents, loving families and the wonderful Rabbi David.

Why is this image important to you?

As two gay, Jewish women who both grew up in London, it was a moment neither of us had even dared to imagine but that we will both treasure forever. It is testament to the progressive and inclusive nature of WLS that two women can stand under a chuppah in the Sanctuary and say, “I do”. Not only did this mean the world to us and our families (particularly as Sophie’s parents also got married at WLS 40 years earlier), it struck a chord with many thousands of people around the world. Jess shared the post below on Twitter after the wedding and, within a few days, it had been liked 132K times!

 In three words, what does Judaism mean to you?

Family. Food. Traditions.


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