Why is there a chupah (canopy) at a Jewish wedding?


Marriage is the union of man and woman. But male and female are opposites, and the idea that they can become one is absurd. You can't take opposites and make them one. It's impossible.

Impossible, that is, unless you do one thing: find something that encompasses both of them. An energy that can include opposites can unite opposites. And the only energy that can include opposites is divine energy. Only G‑d, the source of male and female and everything else, can bring together opposites. And so only G‑d can create a marriage.

The word chupah means "encompassing." It represents the divine presence that hovers above bride and groom to unite them. Because man and woman can only truly become one if they dedicate themselves to something bigger than the both of them. When two people unite for a common higher cause, then they transcend the differences between them and become one.

Love, attraction, chemistry, biology and physics are all important for marriage, but what will keep it together is shared spiritual values and a common sense of divine purpose. As long as G‑d is a partner in the marriage, you will be standing under the chupah for a lifetime.