Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wedding of Miriam and Chris

Chris and Miriam were married in Greensboro, North Carolina by Rabbi Eliezer Havivi. Miriam Dolan is a cousin of my wife Terry. We took a long car drive up to attend the wedding. The wedding day is considered the happiest day of one's life. It is a personal Yom Kippur for the groom and for the bride. On this day all their past mistakes are forgiven as they merge into a new, complete soul. The veil conveys modesty for the bride and stresses that no matter how physically attractive she may be, it is the soul and character that are most important. The couple stood under a chuppah or marriage canopy which is a symbol of the home to be built and shared by the couple. It is open on all sides to convey that the couple should welcome people in unconditional hospitality. Miraim circled Chris seven times, which symbolized that the world was built in seven days. Two cups of wine were used in the ceremony. The first cup was sipped when the rabbi recited the betrothal blessings. Wine is a symbol of joy in Jewish tradition. The wedding is a sanctification of a man and woman. After the ceremony, the groom placed a glass on the floor and shattered it with his foot by stomping on it. This tradition stresses that even at the height of one's personal joy, we must remember the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. After the ceremony the couple was escorted to a private room and left alone for a few minutes. This time of seclusion signified their new status of living together as husband and wife.
All of these traditions are somewhat new to me since I was raised christian, so I sketched with fascination. I was still adding watercolor washes when the ceremony was over and people began to file out to go to the reception. Terry lost patience when the synagogue was empty since she wanted to get to the reception to see the newly married couple arrive. I got my sketch done.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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