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A discussion regarding various chupah customs

  

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Rabbi Naftali Silberberg: Welcome. I'll be with you in a moment...

Rocky07: hi, im getting married in a month and i have a few questions about the Chupah ceremony

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg: mazal tov, may you have a long and happy marriage. go ahead with your questions... one at a time

Rocky07: sure

Rocky07: first of all, is it true that during the chupah both me and my bride have to untie all knots on our person? including shoelaces etc. 

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg: yes, that is commom custom 

Rocky07: would you know why?

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg: its mostly symbolic. at the moment when they “tie the ultimate knot,” there should be nothing else binding them...

Rocky07: interesting

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg: did you buy your wedding shoes yet? 

Rocky07: no

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg: if this really bothers you, you can get slip-on shoes...

Rocky07: nah, its not such a big deal, i was just kinda wondering

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg: whats next on your mind?

Rocky07: whats the story with the chupah being outdoors?

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg: it is customary for the chupah to be held beneath the open skies.

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg: this is to symbolize that their descendants should be as numerous as the stars of the heaven.

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg: btw, certain halls have a skylight directly over the chupah canopy, and it is opened for the duration of the ceremony.

Rocky07: k

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg: are yoy Ashkenazi?

Rocky07: yes

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg: just checking, cause Sephardic custom is to have “roofed” chupahs

Rocky07: i have no such luck!

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg: lol

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg: anything else i can help you with?

Rocky07: yeah, one last thing

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg: go right aehad

Rocky07: what should i be meditating under the chupah? i mean these are like the most important moments of my life...

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg: you got that right :)

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg: the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, rabbi yosef yitzchak schneersohn, instructed that beneath the chupah the bride and groom should meditate on fear of G-d, and should wordlessly beseech G-d to bless them with the ability to establish a Jewish household which should produce generations of G-d-fearing descendants.

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Life Cycle » Marriage » The Wedding

Ashkenazi
(pl. Ashkenazim). A Jew of Northern or Eastern European ancestry.
Rebbe
A Chassidic master. A saintly person who inspires followers to increase their spiritual awareness.
Lubavitcher
One who follows the teachings of the Chassidic group which was formerly based in the Belarus village of Lubavitch. Today, the movement is based in Brooklyn, New York with branches worldwide. The Lubavitch movement is also widely known as "Chabad."
Sephardic
(adj.) A Jew whose ancestors stem from Southern Italy, Spain, Portugal, North Africa or the Arabian countries.
Chupah
Wedding canopy. Under this canopy, the groom betroths the bride with the customary ring, and the traditional marriage benedictions are recited.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.