“Harei at mekudeshet li b'taba'at zo k'dat Moshe”
In keeping with tradition, the groom puts on the ring on the finger of his bride as a symbolic confirmation of the marriage contract (ketubah). The ring must be modest, without precious stones. The bride should not have the impression that the object she receives is of high value; it was feared that this impression could prove to be erroneous. According to ancient tradition, the wedding ring should only represent a value of no less than one prutah (the smallest antique coin). The ring was not put on the ring finger, but on the index finger of the right hand, as this finger was believed to be the most important. While putting on the ring, the groom recited the following marriage formula: Haraj et mekudeszet li ba-tabaat zu ke-dat Mosze we-Israel (Behold, thou art consecrated to me according to the law of Moses and Israel). From that moment on, the marriage was considered to be concluded and binding.
In the last decades, the act of putting the ring (by a bride) on the finger of the groom (to be more precise: a wife being just wed to her husband) is becoming increasingly popular. Some people raise objections to this ceremony, as for those not familiarised with Jewish traditions it can look as though the wife is returning the ring which she had just received. Nonetheless, there is no legal basis for forbidding this new custom.
Except for marriages concluded within the reformed Judaism, the woman does not repeat the words recited earlier by the man.
Sometimes the woman recites the abbreviated version of the formula which is as follows: “You are wed to me by this ring“.
Moreover, the majority of the objects being previously in the possession of a husband or a wife later become the property of the entire family, whereas the ring belongs to the wife exclusively.
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