Friday, November 7, 2008

Under the Huppah

Walter and Darrel got married a few weeks ago. After nearly 48 years of being together, they decided it was time. They called a friend in California, and a room was found for the ceremony in the courthouse at the L.A. airport. The friend also arranged for another friend to be a deputy marriage commissioner for the occasion. And so they were married.
Walter and Darrell invited us to look at their marriage certificate and the pictures of the wedding. In one of the photos, Walter and Darrell, standing under a garland of flowers, are looking tenderly at each other. When I saw this, I said, “It’s a Huppah!” and cried a little and hugged and kissed them.
Darrell is Australian and loves opera. Walter is Jewish, tells awful jokes involving rabbis, and is religious not at all. And yet in the photo, I saw a Huppah, and Walter didn’t disagree.
As one website has it: “A traditional wedding Chuppah (often spelled Chuppa, Huppah, chuppot (pl) huppot (pl)) is the canopy under which the bridal couple says their wedding vows. Chuppah means "that which covers or floats above". It is open on all four sides, recalling the tents of the Jews’ nomadic ancestors, and must be a temporary structure. The Huppah canopy represents G-d's presence at the wedding, and is a symbol of the home. In this sense, the chuppah is often viewed as the couple's first home.”
It certainly looks to many as if God was on the side of those who voted to outlaw gay marriage in Arizona, California, and Florida. But in the picture, there are Walter and Darrell together under those insubstantial, perishable flowers - under the Huppah - to start this new phase of their life together. I think G-d was present at the wedding of Walter and Darrell, and I say mazal tov to them both! And G-d bless!

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