Kesubos 7b-8a (translation is mine, based on Rashi):

ת״ר מברכין ברכת חתנים כל שבעה אמר רב יהודה והוא שבאו פנים חדשות מאי מברך אמר רב יהודה בא״י אמ״ה...
The Rabbis taught [in a Braisa]: We make Sheva Brachos all seven days [after the wedding]. Rav Yehudah said: This is only when there are new people [on each day; otherwise only the last one is recited]. What is said? Said Rav Yehudah: [The Gemara proceeds to say the text of the blessings].

Rambam, Ishus 10:6 (still my translation):

הַמְאָרֵס אֶת הָאִשָּׁה וּבֵרֵךְ בִּרְכַּת חֲתָנִים וְלֹא נִתְיַחֵד עִמָּהּ בְּבֵיתוֹ עֲדַיִן אֲרוּסָה הִיא שֶׁאֵין בִּרְכַּת חֲתָנִים עוֹשָׂה הַנִּשּׂוּאִין אֶלָּא כְּנִיסָה לַחֻפָּה. אֵרֵס וְכָנַס לַחֻפָּה וְלֹא בֵּרֵךְ בִּרְכַּת חֲתָנִים הֲרֵי זוֹ נְשׂוּאָה גְּמוּרָה וְחוֹזֵר וּמְבָרֵךְ אֲפִלּוּ אַחַר כַּמָּה יָמִים.
If one does Kiddushin and said Sheva Brachos [under the chuppah] but did not seclude himself in his house with her [which would accomplish Nisuin] she is an Arusah, as Sheva Brachos does not accomplish Nisuin - only entering the Chuppah does that. If he did Eirusin and Nisuin but did not do Sheva Brachos [under the Chuppah], she is a full-fledged Nesuah, but he must go back and say Sheva Brachos even after several days.

The last point in the Rambam is alluding to the Braisa at the very beginning of Kallah Rabasi:

כלה בלא ברכה אסורה לבעלה כנדה שלא טבלה. מה נדה שלא טבלה אסורה לבעלה אף כלה בלא ברכה אסורה לבעלה:
A Kallah without a Brachah is prohibited to her husband like a Niddah who has not tovelled: just as the Niddah who has not tovelled is prohibited to her husband, so, too, a Kallah without a brachah is prohibited to her husband.

The "Gemara" explains:

אמר רבא באי זו ברכה אמרו ברכת שבעה ולא ברכת אירוסין.
Says Rava: Of which Bracha was this said? Of Sheva Brachos, not Birchas Eirusin.

The Ritva to the Gemara in Kesubos above says this obligation is only D'Rabbanan. The Braisa in Kallah proceeds to quote a passuk for the chiyuv Sheva Brachos, which the "Gemara" explains is an Asmachta (not a real source - a passuk on which the Rabbanan "hung" their own chiyuv).

So why did the Rabbanan institute Sheva Brachos, and why is it so important that the Kallah is prohibited to her husband if they don't do it? If, as the Rambam paskens, it doesn't help with either Eirusin or Nisuin, then what does it do? Furthermore, this only explains why we do it at the Chuppah. Why do we do it during the week?

  • Just because it isn't itself Nissuim doesn't mean it isn't the Berakha on Nissuin. We say Berakhot before Mitzvot, generally. – Double AA Nov 18 '16 at 20:46
  • @DoubleAA Then it should be of the form Asher Kideshanu Bemitzvosav, and even if it is a Birchas HaMitzvah, why are there six of them? And if you still want to say they're Birchos HaMitzvah, if a guy doesn't make a brachah on Shechitah does it treif up the cow? Of course not. So why is this different that it prohibits bi'ah? – DonielF Nov 20 '16 at 22:18
  • @DoubleAA Also, my question is based on the Rambam who holds that Eirusin is a mitzvah (Ishus 1) but not Nisuin (Ishus 10). – DonielF Nov 20 '16 at 22:23
  • biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Tobit+8%3A5-6&version=GNT seems to be a very old practice. – Double AA Dec 8 '16 at 2:03

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