Wedding Celebrations and New Perspectives

This jet lag is wacky! It’s 4am and you’d think I just drank 5 espressos.

I got back from the states two days ago, where I was visiting for my little sister, Hadassa’s, wedding. It was not in the plans until 7 weeks ago, because they had a really short engagement. (Super cute story- she pretty much married the boy next door. Thank G-d I know him, or I would have been freaking out!)

ze'ev and hadassa
Ze’ev and Hadassa, newly engaged

It was the first wedding our family has made, so we had to figure out everything from scratch. It’s good Hadassa was the guinea pig, because she’s great at staying relaxed and handling stress. My parents are also very easygoing, so I came home to an easy, joyful (albeit messy) environment.

Our Goofy selves
Being our goofy selves

My sister and I have been best buddies our whole lives, and this wedding only brought us closer. We shopped, we cried, we fantasized about the future.

The wedding was so beautiful; romantic, joyful, holy, and full of love from all directions. Literally the best day of my life!!

It’s a Jewish tradition that the bride and groom don’t talk to or see each other the week before their marriage, so my siblings and I became the ‘In-Betweeners.’

The In-Betweeners
The In-Betweeners. Passing on an important delivery with my brother Gavriel.

The most emotional moment came when Ze’ev and Hadassa saw each other for the first time during the wedding.

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Ze’ev seeing Hadassa for the first time in a week

You can watch it online on Ze’ev’s facebook live video. The bedeken (when they first see each other) begins around 56 minutes in. (In the video, that’s me in the pink (bawling) with my sister Minky next to me in turquoise, and my mother in the beautiful headscarf. The redhead walking Ze’e’v to Hadassa is my father.)

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Our Rabbi, Rabbi Menachem Goldberger, blessing the couple

Needless to say (why am I sharing this?) I found myself eating non-stop for the two weeks before the wedding. In Chinese medicine, there’s a malady called ‘elation,’ meaning, overpowering joy beyond the appropriate or socially acceptable standards. I think I caught a bit of that, but it was in the air already.

So, what was it like being back in the states? There’s always a part of me that’s resistant to deepening the relationships I have in America, since they make it that much harder to leave. It’s because I love my family and friends so much that this fear comes up, so I push myself to remain in my vulnerability and openness.

I find it a bit hard to be around the affluence and externality that many parts of the States embody. In Jerusalem, it’s definitely easy to immerse in the beauty, but the mentality is more spiritual and less superficial. That’s being said, air conditioning wasn’t a bad perk, and I love the greenery in Baltimore and on the highways, which is a different type of beauty than Jerusalem’s ancient walls lend themselves to.

My feelings each time I go back from visiting are split. On the one hand, I miss my family way too much when I’m away, and life as a single girl in Israel, in my personal experience, has been physically and emotionally taxing- going to school in Hebrew, living with 5 roommates, and working on my feet for hours a day.

On the other hand, when the plane lands and I’m back, in my place of deepest connection to Hashem (G-d), I’m hit with a burst of inner peace and joy that doesn’t get old, and for the 5 gazillionth time, I realize I’m living my dream. I also know that this is transition time, and that life gets more fluid after settling down, and I deeply hope and believe that my family will join me one day.

Lightrail
The light rail at dusk

My mother pointed out to me, as I was getting in a bit of a grump packing to leave, that I was being drawn into victim mentality, feeling like I had no choice in matters that lead my life. And she was right. I needed that reminder from her, and Rachel Welfeld, who I had spoken to earlier in the week, that I am never stuck, and that I am always in the place I’m supposed to be.

So, I’m keeping that in mind this week, as I attempt to get back into my groove and stop sleeping at weird hours. I hope YOU are getting some sleep and reading this at a decent hour.

It’s been a pleasure 🙂

 

5 thoughts on “Wedding Celebrations and New Perspectives

  1. Your thoughts at the end are spot on! I was thinking that myself as I walked away from meeting you on Shabbat. How sad it would have been if I had been that 15 minutes earlier (like I thought I wanted to be ). I would have missed seeing you and our lovely conversation by the empty traintracks. So I said “Thank You” for putting me where I needed to be WHEN I neded to be there. Love ya!

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    1. I was great seeing a familiar face on my walk home! So true- it’s really life wisdom that can be applied anywhere. I hope you made it to shul in time to catch the davening:)

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  2. Converting into Judaism, most of these traditions are new to me – even the obvious bond you share with your family. It’s so beautiful seeing how genuinely joyous everyone is on a sacred day like this; those tears had me in tears! Mazel Tov to Hadassa and Ze’ev!

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    1. Hi Simone Esther, I read just a bit of your blog and I love how you share and write your journey. The customs and rituals before and during the wedding really allowed space for holiness to enter, and I’m so blessed with a loving family. Mazel tov! Those tears are prayers in their own right.

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