Friday, September 03, 2004

Another day another wedding picture.

For the anthropologists in the audience, we present this photo of a Jewish groom who appears to be keeping at least three of the more unusual wedding customs. Aside from the kittel and candles, which, of course are present, this groom is wearing an overcoat, the overcoat is half on, and his shoelaces are untied.

I confess. My first reaction was: Look at the clown! Who let him out of the dressing room with his clothing half-on?

But L, my native guide, tells me that some grooms approach the chuppah partially undressed to suggest that they are incomplete people until they are married. L says this is a big inyun, but L also says that kugel on shabbos is a big inyun. In fact I once saw him fish a piece of kugel out of the garbage ("It was on top!") when he arrived at a kiddish after all the kugel had already been consumed. “I couldn’t go through a kiddish without kugel,” he said. “It’s a big inyun.”

So his big inyun might not be ours.

L did not have an explanation for the overcoat, and he delivered one of his perfected Withering Looks of Disdain when I suggested that the overcoat custom might have begun when some wedding host forgot to pay his heating bill. L did concede that a half-dressed bride would jazz up the proceedings, but he did not know, if brides perform the same ritual.

I think it is only a matter of time.


As usual, I don't have anything substantial to say. I just want you to know that I find your blog hugely entertaining. Keep it up.  

Just thought that I would add that I also enjoy your blog.  

You can't possibly be suggesting that kugel ISN'T a big inyun.  

I think what you are referring to is actually a reszevulke (a kind of bekishe or black satin overcoat) that chassidim tend to wear. It is worn Friday night during the davening too by many chassidim and is seen as a part of the regular Shabbos uniform. It is worn friday night for davening to replace the Or Hamakif (or holy aura) that is represented by the Tallit during the morning service.
I have to admit that I cannot remember why one arm is removed but I know it has some kind of significance just as there is a reason why the chassan (groom) also unties his shoes and any other laces he might be wearing (think of the knickerbocker pants) and all jewelry is removed.  
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