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 Home > Jewish Wedding Guide > Conservative > Chuppah: The Inner Meaning

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Chuppah: The Inner Meaning
A Conservative Perspective by Rivka C. Berman

 • The Chuppah's Four Sides
 • The Chuppah Covering
 • The Chuppah Poles and Cloth

 • Can One Make One's Own Chuppah?

Every detail of the Chuppah is symbolic of a Jewish value.

Four Sides

Abraham’s tent is recalled by the four open sides of the Chuppah. Guests could enter Abraham’s tent from any direction, and the new couple will attempt to be just as hospitable.

Covering

-When the Children of Israel gathered to receive the Torah, God held Mt. Sinai over their heads like a Chuppah. (Exodus 19:15, Rashi)

-From the veil to the bride’s circling of her groom, many parts of the wedding ceremony center on acknowledgement of the presence of a special Godly aura at a wedding. In the same way, the Chuppah’s ceiling stands in for the divine light that surrounds all creation.

Poles and Cloth

As the Jewish People journeyed through the desert, the portable Temple, Mishkan, was constructed as a first home for God’s presence. Poles and cloth of the Chuppah are similar to the tapestries and beams were created for the Mishkan. This likeness to the Mishkan, which was created with the richest materials, gives rise to the notion that a Chuppah should be as beautiful as possible.

Make Your Own Chuppah
In halacha any two poles topped by a cloth, or even a thin wire, is a doorway, and a doorway has the halachic standing of a wall. A Chuppah with four poles and a top may not look like it, but a Chuppah is actually a private room.

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 the home.



 

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• The Bedeking Ceremony: Veiling of the Bride
• The Chuppah - the Wedding Canopy

• Chuppah: The Inner Meaning
• The Processional and the Chuppah Ceremony
• Jewish Wedding Ceremony Part I: The "Erusin" - the Engagement
• Jewish Wedding Ceremony Part II: The Ring and Its Significance
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