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Friday, Mar-Cheshvan 26, 5781 / November 13, 2020


This week’s Parsha, Chayei Sarah, relates in great detail the story of how Abraham’s servant, Eliezer, searches and finds Rivkah as a wife for Yitzchak (Isaac).


Q. What is the origin of the custom to cover the bride’s face with a veil at the Chupah (canopy)?


A. In this week’s Parsha, the Torah relates that when Eliezer brought Rivkah back with him as a wife for Yitzchak and she first saw her future husband, “She took her veil and covered herself.” This is why the bride’s face is covered before entering the marriage ceremony.


Q. Why is the marriage performed under a canopy, called “Chupah”?


A. The Torah states, “Yitzchak brought he [Rivkah] into his mother, Sarah’s, tent and he loved her.” The canopy symbolizes the Jewish home where bridegroom and bride will live and raise their children.


Q. Why do many have the Chupah-canopy outside, or if indoors under an open skylight?


A. To award the couple G-d’s blessing to Abraham, “Your children shall be like the stars of heaven.”


Q.  Why is the bridegroom led to the Chupah before the bride?


A.  Many of the customs of the wedding ceremony are connected to the Giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, which is compared to a wedding. For then G-d betrothed the Jewish people as his people through the Torah. At Mount Sinai G-d came first and waited for the Jewish people to arrive. Thus, at the wedding ceremony, the groom comes first under the canopy and waits for the bride to arrive. 


Q. Why does the wedding ring have to be a plain gold band without precious stones in it?


A. Honesty is most important in a marriage relationship. The precious stones may mislead the bride as to the actual value of the ring. A ring accepted under a mistaken impression would invalidate the legal sanctification for which the ring was intended.


Q. Why is the ring placed on the forefinger of the bride’s right hand?


A. One of the reasons it is placed on the index finger is because it points easily, thus she can readily display the ring for the two witnesses to see.


Q. Why does the bridegroom break a glass at the end of the Chupah ceremony?


A. At the height of the marriage ceremony, we have to remember the destruction of the Holy Temple.         




Montrealcandle lighting time: 4:07 / Shabbat ends: 5:12