Sunday, January 26, 2014

Everyone Loves a Chuppah

Last night I had the pleasure of having coffee with a friend I haven’t seen in a while, and as we got talking we bounced ideas around creativity that spark excitement and passion for us. I told her how interesting it is to me that people tend to respond positively to the sheer idea of creative and personalized chuppah (not to mention the reaction when they’ve seen a handmade chuppah in person.) Why, I asked my friend, is this particular ritual so enduring and endearing to Jews of the diaspora? I have wondered about chuppah customs around the world and also, the historical aspect of chuppahs—i.e. in the shtetls, did they use a tallis (prayer shawl) as a chuppah—or could it be that women known for their handiwork helped to create chuppahs? I told my friend that I didn’t have many answers to my questions at this point, and we wondered aloud at the wonderment of chuppahs. While any couple of any religion can get married/united under a canopy, when guests at a Jewish wedding catch sight of a canopy they instantly connect with the magic of the occasion. This special ritual provides a sense of place and home, much like the chuppah itself. I think this topic is worthy of more research. What do you think; do you know more about who made chuppahs in generations past?


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