Was there bridesmaid custom in the biblical times?


I do not know of a historic source for bridesmaids in biblical times. However, the Talmud (Berachos 61) teaches that when God brought Adam to wed Eve, He served as the shushvin, or bridesmaid; the Midrash (Bereishis Rabba, on the verse “He brought her to Adam”) teaches that the angels Michael and Gabriel served as bridesmaids, and other sources add further, similar ideas. The idea of the shushvin is to act in bringing together husband and wife, a task directly performed in today’s ceremony by the parents of the bride and groom, who accompany them to the chupah (see Zohar 1:49a), but which bystanders also join in, in a more passive sense.

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