n. "Bridegroom of Genesis" (Glinert), an honor given to an important member of the community on the holiday of Simchat Torah where the honoree is called up to the Torah for the last reading, which contains the first lines of the Torah.
"Why are they making Mr. Greenspan Chatan Bereshit—what has he done for the synagogue?" (Glinert)
"The time-honoured tradition of the Chatan Torah and Chatan Bereshit giving a kiddush on Shabbat Bereshit [the Shabbat on which Parashat Bereshit is read] echoes a custom from the Middle Ages when those two dignitaries would make a feast for the community." (source)
"Likewise, the Chatan Bereshit must be a young person who shines by his or her commitment and potential." (source)
Languages of Origin
- Textual Hebrew
חתן בראשית chatan bereshit 'bridegroom of Genesis, or more literally, bridegroom of "In the beginning...', since those are the opening words of the Torah corresponding to the word bereshit'
- Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
- Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)
- Organizations: People involved in a professional or volunteer capacity with Jewish nonprofit organizations
- North America
- Great Britain
- South Africa
- Australia / New Zealand
- The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
Who Uses This
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In some more-liberal communities, a feminine term kallat bereshit 'bride of Genesis' can be used.
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