Now that I have finished the conversion process, had my first aliyah, and experienced my first Rosh Hashanah as a Jew, I have started to think about my next steps in life. At Tablet’s request, I have decided to use my design background to create a Jewish ritual object.
There are many possibilities available, but since I have been blessed by gifts from friends and relatives of challah covers, candlesticks, mezuzahs, and kiddish cups, I have chosen to create a preliminary design for a chuppah I hope to use in the near future.
When I was in my early teens I was seduced by the passionate, mysterious, poetic outpouring in the Song of Solomon. Two years ago, when I first looked through a catalog of Judaica, I was impressed by the number of items for weddings that had the phrase, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” inscribed on them. At about that same time, I was introduced to the Yiddish word bashert, which means both destiny and soul mate—two very relevant concepts to me at this moment in my life.
So my chuppah design will have the word bashert written twice in the center, the phrase, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” written along each long side, and my future husband’s Hebrew name, Shmuel, written along one short side and my Hebrew name, Chana, written along the other, with some of the relevant fruits and other symbols used in the Song of Solomon arranged as decoration in each of the four corners. I look forward to standing underneath it soon.