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Wedding canopy for Temple Beth El


1991

BIRMINGHAM MICHIGAN USA

In this sanctuary by architect Minoru Yamasaki, perimeter windows of clear glass look out onto the Temple’s beautiful landscaping. The chuppah extends this view and reminds us of the custom of planting a tree when a child is born and using the boughs at his or her marriage.

A pomegranate and fig tree spread their branches over the couple.

These trees are being nourished by God’s spirit which comes to a focal point where the branches meet. This movement is also reflected in the benediction: “May G’d’s spirit shine graciously on you.” The 32 figs and pomegranates represent the number of letters in the marriage vow, the Hebrew numerical equivalent for lev (heart) and herald a fruitful future for the couple.

 

⊕ Many different fabrics on a cotton/rayon ground; steel framework

⊗ Appliqué, stenciling, painting

↔ 3 m / 10′

⊥ 2.6 m / 8′-6″

⌊ 2.4 m / 8′

↑ Photo: Carol Jokinen

→ presentation model

↓Photo: Carol Jokinen

Architect: Minoru Yamasaki

Feature article: Ann McPherson, “Ceremony and Craft”, Ontario Craft, Summer / 1996