A Moment in Time: My First Orthodox Jewish Wedding

 

It was a heart-filling experience, one that will become an indelible memory in my budding Jewish experience. I attended the wedding of iWe and Mrs. iWe’s son #2 and his bride.

I was a bit nervous about attending, fighting off a low-level anxiety about potentially “doing the wrong thing.” A few days before the wedding, however, I realized how silly and self-centered my concerns were. I was not attending this blessed occasion to make some kind of impression on those who were there; I was attending to contribute joy (simcha), offer blessings and goodwill with everyone else for the bride and groom. Holding that wish in my heart was the only mission I needed, and the one that guided me through the day.

Rather than take you through the events as they unfolded, let me share some moments that were especially poignant . . .

. . . welcomed, as I arrived, with the warmest delight, by several family members . . . having a conversation with one son about his playing the viola, another about his new job, and with the groom about his plans with his beloved after the wedding . . . meeting the bride and basking in her joy for the day . . . listening to father, oldest son and next to youngest son (with his pure, high voice) singing blessings of hope, love and devotion. . . dancing with laughter and abandon, holding hands, catching the eyes of others smiling across the circles that grew, merged and swelled again. . .

. . . meeting several people whom I recognized from Passovers past and catching up and reminiscing . . . meeting the first grandchild of the iWe family. . . a few women taking me under their wings to help guide me through the afternoon . . . being with a group of relative strangers in deep comfort with whom I shared an overriding and unspoken wish: to bring our joy and blessings for the day, to create memories of this most holy day, to wish the greatest happiness for the two who would be merging their future; our togetherness this day would mirror our dreams for their lives as a couple.

 

These wishes were not just in the background: they infused every moment of our time together. To build simcha, joy, so the couple would know deep in their hearts that they were receiving a mountain of good wishes and hope that we were building for them, in a way that would fill their hearts, to be drawn on in good times and bad. We were all there on a mission from G-d, not just to celebrate this auspicious day, but to create a loving and delight-filled moment-in-time that would last forever.

 

There are 6 comments.

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  1. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    For millennia marriage has been enforced  as a social contract—with pressure from the broader  society to uphold its terms. The ceremony you described reflects the social support and commitment that envelopes the bond of passion that has formed. It ensures that if passion fades, the social and personal benefits will remain. 

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    For millennia marriage has been enforced as a social contract—with pressure from the broader society to uphold its terms. The ceremony you described reflects the social support and commitment that envelopes the bond of passion that has formed. It ensures that if passion fades, the social and personal benefits will remain.

    I agree, @rodin, especially because the community will–their immediate community and the broader Jewish community will hold them up and support them. Thanks for a fine description.

    • #2
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    May the marriage last a thousand happy, growing, and prosperous years.

    • #3
  4. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    Woo Hooh! Lucky you! 

    And many, many blessings to the new married couple: How wonderful! 

     

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Woo Hooh! Lucky you!

    And many, many blessings to the new married couple: How wonderful!

     

    Thanks, @GrannyDude! I’m a person who doesn’t like big crowds and sometimes struggle with small children running around. But it was all so intimate and joyful, I couldn’t help but love it all.

    • #5
  6. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Mazel Tov to the bride and groom. Thanks for sharing Susan. 

    • #6
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