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What are the requirements for the people saying the blessings (shevah brachot) under the chuppah? E.g., need they all be male? be shomer Shabbat/observant?

Are there different customs?

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kolech.com/show.asp?id=24760 – Gershon Gold Jan 14 '14 at 16:23
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Traditionally they've been male and over bar mitzva. (There's been some contemporary discussion about why this is customary, or necessary, but it's the way it's done.)

As long as they can say the words and believe in God, I don't see a problem with someone non-Orthodox doing it. (Just as plenty of synagogues will allow someone not-fully-observant to make a bracha on the torah, or even serve as chazzan.) I've seen someone non-shomer shabbos do one. Some rabbis might bristle at a card-carrying Reform rabbi being given the honors, but run-of-the-mill non-observant Jew? Probably not an issue.

Just to add -- if you're looking for additional visible honors for some non-observant friends or relatives (well, let's assume male ones), you can go with a chuppah that needs people to hold up each pole, and ask people to do that.

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I'd say: Traditionally he's been male and over bar mitzva. Splitting up the blessings for multiple honorees is a pretty new phenomenon. – Double AA Jan 14 '14 at 15:51
We had an orthodox wedding and I had three male relatives say three of the sheva brochos (they were all Jewish, none orthodox, none shomer shabbos). The other four blessings were said by two rabbis and the cantor, all shomer shabbos. – Dennis Jan 14 '14 at 19:15

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