Chelsea Clinton is engaged to Marc Mezvinsky and
a summer wedding will probably take place on Martha's Vineyard.
The big question: Will Chelsea and Marc be married under a "chuppa"/"khupe"--
I can just imagine the headlines of Jewish newspapers in 2010:
CHELSEA ASKS MARC, "WHAT'S A CHUPPA?"
CHELSEA IS REGISTERED AT BED BATH & JUDAICA
CHELSEA SAYS "THE MEZVINSKY'S ARE 'VUNDERLEKH' (WONDERFUL) PEOPLE"
CHELSEA LEARNS HOW TO PRONOUNCE
"KABOLES-PONIM" (wedding reception),
CHELSEA REQUESTS BAND PLAY "SUNRISE, SUNSET" AT WEDDING
CHELSEA WILL USE A HYPHENATED SURNAME: CHELSEA CLINTON-MEZVINSKY. MARC IS "BROYGEZ"
CHELSEA SUFFERS FROM TENNIS ELBOW. "ES VET ZICH OYS-HAILEN BIZ DER CHASSENEH."
(It will heal in time for the wedding.)
NO SHADKHN (MARRIAGE BROKER) NEEDED FOR CHELSEA AND MARC
CHELSEA SAYS THAT THE NEWSPAPER REPORTERS ARE "MACHEN A TSIMMES" (FUSSING
ABOUT NOTHING) ABOUT HER RECENT ENGAGEMENT
CHELSEA REGISTERED FOR 2 SETS OF DISHES! WILL SHE KEEP KOSHER? "VER VAIST"?
CHELSEA IS STUDYING RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH'S BOOK, "KOSHER SEX"
CHELSEA IS SIGHTED AT SHOPRITE MARKET, COMPARING THE INGREDIENT LABEL ON
TREIF HOT DOG PACKAGES WITH HEBREW NATIONAL HOT DOGS
While preparing the above-shown headlines, I remembered a beautiful chuppah
story contained on the "vebzaytl"/ "vebzayt" of Rabbi Andrea Frank, an
ordained Reform Rabbi. (see:
www.jewish-wedding-rabbi.com) With her permission, the story is shown below:
This Chuppah story is about a hopeful bride belonging to a reform temple
and that someday her wedding ceremony would be in that temple's sanctuary. That
day arrived. It was all she thought it would be, but before that memorable day,
the wedding planning hit a few bumps in the road. This one bump is now a
treasured story and this bride allowed it to be shared, here, for all future
The bride, because of her deeply held beliefs and her very active involvement in
the temple, had always known that she wanted to have the traditional Chuppah
used for her wedding, not a florist's artistic expression. Though a
florist's creations, with the white tulle, ribbons and flowers, can be quite
beautiful, they did not have that feeling of tradition for this bride. Besides,
what does happen to all those flowers, tulle and ribbons when the ceremony is
The first people she went to were the ladies in the office who know all there is
to know in the temple. She was quite astounded that they did not seem to know
just where the traditional temple Chuppah was. There had been some major
construction on the main building and things had been moved around.
"Where are the poles and their bases?" she asked. "We do have them and they are
in good condition." The office secretary assured her. She also advised the
bride-to-be to talk to the temple board member who was in charge of overseeing
events such as a wedding at the temple. As she was going down the hall toward
the lobby and to the exit, she just happened to meet the board member she needed
to speak with.
"Pardon me, Sarah. I just spoke with Kathy in the office and she said I should
speak with you. Do you know where the temple's Chuppah is stored? I want
so much to use it for my wedding."
"The Chuppah! Oh, I am sorry, but I think it was accidentally destroyed
during a phase of the major construction of the building," Sarah responded.
"Destroyed? Will the board be able to replace it in time for my wedding?" asked
the dismayed bride.
Sarah answered, "I don't know right now. It would have to be discussed and it is
not high on the priority list at the moment."
The bride was stunned and asked, "Not a priority? But what about the couples who
want to use it for their weddings, like us?"
"I am very sorry, but we just don't have one for the time being. Why don't you
have one made by the florist? Everyone else does," Sarah replied.
As she exited the building to the parking lot, the bride thought, "How could it
be that a temple would not make it a priority to replace one of the most
important symbolic ritual items a bride and groom needed for their Jewish
wedding? Before she entered her car, she turned and looked at the building
bewildered, and knew 'like everyone else' giving up was not an option."
After speaking with her groom-to-be, she knew she had to jump into action. The
temple provided the bases that held the poles in place. These can be adjusted to
fit any size canopy as they are free standing.
(*) If the budget allows and there is sufficient time, many artists hand paint
Chuppahs. There are websites on the internet that showcase their designs.
Oversized talits (prayer shawl) can be used as long as it is a
lightweight fabric and the wedding couple with family can fit underneath it.
(*) A beautiful alternative for a Chuppah is a large, lightweight linen
tablecloth. Material would need to be sewn with corner-like pockets in a manner
that enables the tablecloth to be attached to the poles. The reason for the
lightweight linen is to avoid sagging in the middle when erected for the
A Treasure was Discovered
The bride found just such a tablecloth. She kept her mother's linen tablecloths,
and after looking them over, there was one that stood out among the rest.
However, it did have a few yellowing age type stains and a tiny slit. It had a
nature-like design with branches and flowers that were elegant without being too
busy and a border that was a lovely sky blue. The colors had never faded as
well. Was this her something blue from her mom? She saw it as a gift from her
mother, who had passed on, and that made this tablecloth even more meaningful.
The few yellowing stains did need to be removed and she had to soak it several
times with a stain remover. And it worked! Now she not only had the something
blue, but she had a Chuppah with extra special meaning. It seemed to be a
sign that her mother was right there with her doing what mothers do best--saving
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of a new book titled, "Yiddish for Dog &
Cat Lovers." To order, click
19 Market Dr.
Syosset, NY 11791
$13 (plus $3.50 postage & handling, USA)
$13 (pus $5.00 postage & handling, Canada)