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Chupot are popping up all over the shop

If reports are to be believed, Jewish celebrations have been appearing long before rules were relaxed this week

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June 25, 2020 10:31

The government’s announcement this week that weddings will be able to take place again from early July will come as a relief to some young couples, even though celebrations will remain tightly restricted.

But in some quarters of the community, it is irrelevant as, if the reports that have reached me over the past few weeks are to be believed, chupot have already been popping up in various locations. An acquaintance told me this week he had spoken to an American who had come here for a wedding.

A number of out-of-town venues are said to have been deployed for the purpose, including one mansion a couple of hours’ drive from London. I was shown footage of a chupah reported to have been held in recent days where some 60 or so guests were sat around eating tables in the sunny English country. There was a fiddler on a chair, if not a roof.

A photo showed a chain of black-hatted men hora’ing. Not a Manchester rave, I grant you, but not exactly compliant with social distancing rules either. The local police said they had visited the venue twice but caught no marriage in the act (which considering one of their visits was on a Saturday was hardly a surprise).

London police did acknowledge one marquee had been brought to their attention but said they had found no proof of weddings. One wonders what they thought the marquee was for.

One London father a fortnight ago told me he had organised a chupah in his garden (limited to six people in line with the rules at the time) with guests in neighbouring gardens. He said he would send me an email which showed the police approved.

Nothing arrived, but hours later another person I know forwarded me an email. Names had been scrubbed out, but the address indicated it came from the Met, so I take it as genuine.

The emailer was not in a position to authorise or refuse “such events”, he — or she — made clear but suggested: “The only scenario that may keep within the regulations would be if people remained on their own private properties in the street [similar to how we have seen some worship taking place] as this would not constitute leaving the home”, adding that, sadly, weddings were “still not deemed as a valid reason for leaving the home under the current regulations”.

However applied, this is not a warrant for wedding parties to country estates. But then since Reb Dom Cummings, some people have felt justified in interpreting social distancing guidelines as they see fit. As the Book of Judges says: “Every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

June 25, 2020 10:31

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