It is traditional for the groom to receive an aliyah to the Torah [in which he recites blessings before and after the Torah reading] on the Shabbat prior to his wedding. In Reform, Reconstructionist, and [most] Conservative synagogues, both bride and groom are usually called to the Torah. This ceremony is called aufruf, which, in Yiddish, means “calling up.”
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After reciting the blessings, the rabbi usually offers a Misheberakh blessing [said for someone who has an aliyah] for the couple.
After that, the groom (or couple), as they leave the bimah [pulpit], is showered with candy and raisins, symbolizing sweetness and fruitfulness; or nuts, because the Hebrew word for nut, egoz, has the same numerical value (17) as the Hebrew word for good (tov).
Excerpted with permission from Teaching Jewish Life Cycle: Insights and Activities (A.R.E. Publishing, Inc.)
Pronounced: shuh-BAHT or shah-BAHT, Origin: Hebrew, the Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.
Pronunced: TORE-uh, Origin: Hebrew, the Five Books of Moses.
Pronounced: OHF-ruff, Origin: Yiddish, custom in which the groom (and often the bride) is called to the Torah for an aliyah on the Shabbat before the wedding.