and Origins of the Chuppah
When a baby is brought into the Jewish covenant a traditional blessing
is said: Just as this baby has entered the covenant so may s/he enter
the Torah, the chuppah and good deeds. The chuppah has come to
symbolize the entire Jewish marriage ceremony. Someone who says, I am
going to Gwen and Jeremys chuppah in June, means she will be attending
Gwen and Jeremys wedding ceremony.
God constructed ten chuppot for Adam and Eves wedding, according to the
Midrash. (Jewish Legend) Ten is a mystical number in kabbalistic thought
referring to the ten divine attributes through which God relates to the
The word chuppah refers to covering with garlands. In the Talmudic
era, brides and grooms wore laurel wreaths during the ceremony. Early
Jewish practice named the bridal chamber, where the marriage was
consummated, as the chuppah. Wealthy fathers in those times would employ
gold and expensive scarlet cloth in the construction of their sons
chuppot. (Sanhedrin 108a, Sotah 49b) Today the four sides of the chuppah
represent the first home a new couple shares.
Who Holds the Chuppah During the Ceremony
Since a chuppah may be a free-standing structure, even halacha shies
away from spelling out who must hold the chuppah. With four poles to
support, chuppah-holding honors are a good way to include a host of
people in your wedding.
Should You or Can You Make Your Own Chuppah?
The originality and personalization of a chuppah are limited
only by your imagination. Florists will only be too happy to show you
the garlanded chuppot they have created with clouds of tulle and
twinkling lights. Artists will batik dye, tie dye, weave, paint or
hammer out chuppot based on your personal preference.
Outdoor gazeboes can be pressed into service. Couples have commissioned
landscape artists to create chuppot out of woven vines and greenery.
Chuppot fashioned from a tallit and four poles are simple and elegant.
Some couples ask friends and relatives to embroider or decorate cloth
squares, which are then sown into a chuppah quilt that is later hung in
If you are getting married in a Jewish establishment, such as s
synagogue, temple, or Jewish Community Center, a chuppah may be
available for your affair.
You may wish to use a talit (prayer shawl) and four poles as your
Chuppot may be purchased - and later displayed as wall hangings in
your new home. Many artists create a variety of chuppot.
Chuppot for rent is another, less expensive alternative
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