aufruf n. Yiddish (AUF-ruff) Literally, “calling up.” A congregation’s public acknowledgment and blessing of a marriage. In many congregations, both the bride and groom are called up to the bimah either to read from the Torah or to recite the blessings before and after the reading. In Orthodox congregations, only the groom is called up to the bimah; if the couple is observing the custom of not seeing each other for the week before the wedding, the bride will not be present. After the reading, it is customary for congregants to throw small, wrapped candies, called peklach, at the groom or the couple as a token of sweet wishes and a sweet future. After the service, it is common for members of the community to offer their congratulations to the couple and their families. In Ashkenazic custom, the aufruf takes place on the Shabbat immediately preceding the wedding; Sephardim have theirs after the wedding.

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Eisenberg, J., Scolnic, E., & Jewish Publication Society. (2001). The JPS dictionary of Jewish words. Over 1000 entries for Jewish holidays and life-cycle events, culture, history, the Bible and other sacred texts, and worship. Each entry has a pronunciation guide and is cross-referenced to related terms.; “A JPS desk reference”–cover. (10). Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society.

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