Baltimore Frum Rabbi Goldberger Jewish Martin's West Maryland bedeken chosson chuppah kabbalat panim kallah mitzvah tantz orthodox tish wedding
I have photographed many frum and modern orthodox Jewish weddings but until Mori and Mordy’s wedding I had never photographed a mitzvah tantz. This Hassidic tradition is quite old. It allows honored male relatives an opportunity to dance with the kallah, or bride, through the use of a gartel, or long belt used by men during prayer. The entire affair is a beautiful, and intimate, display of joy celebrating the marriage.

What I found particularly amazing was the intensity the men had while dancing for the kallah. They showed no discomfort dancing in front of so many people. They used their dancing as a way to daven, or pray, for the new couple. And then, right afterwards he is swarmed by the men to continue dancing surrounded by family new and old. This pattern of solo and intimate then large invigorated continues for uncles, siblings, fathers, and I imagine whichever male relatives that are called up.

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The manner by which each person is called up to dance was fascinating as well. A relative sings, or recites, a poem describing the next person to come dance waiting until the end to say their name. It seemed a lovely way to honor the dancer.

Frum weddings are nothing if not intense emotional affairs and I was thrilled to be a part of Mori and Mordy’s.

And for those of you that know more about these traditions please forgive me if I got this wrong. I would love to learn more about the mitzvah tantz so please leave me a message.


  • Shlomo Goldberger

    September 11, 2015


    Beautiful pictures, Michael, and wonderful write up as well.

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