Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Wedding...

Years ago, two sisters moved to Israel with their husbands and young children. As is the Sephardi custom, the oldest two boys were both named for their grandfather. One goes by his Hebrew name and is called Tsadok, which means righteous. The other goes by the name, Justin...which also is from the root just, righteous.

Shmulik's wedding - five years ago
When they came, they were adorable boys; now they are both such handsome young men. I went through my first experience with the army with my oldest son; the two sisters each watched as Tsadok and Justin were drafted...like my sons, both of the boys went into combat units and like my oldest, their oldest sons were sent to war.

Two summers ago, I reached out to try to help one sister...and didn't make enough of an effort to help the second one. I love them both. I don't know what happened. I heard the worry of the first and somehow focused on that. Towards the end of the summer, we were all invited to a wedding and there I saw the second and realized that I hadn't been there for her. We held each other and cried...it was all I could do.

Last night, I hugged her with one of the greatest joys a mother can feel. Her son is out of the army and more, he was getting married. And more, his bride is just beautiful and sweet and gracious. There is something so amazing about a wedding attended by many young men who are soldiers. They dance with a joy that fills the room and the hearts of everyone there.

The two sisters were so filled with joy. They are incredibly beautiful women and dressed as they were, in such beautiful gowns, they were simply stunning. It's hard to believe that the two little boys are grown; that the two sisters are old enough to have children even close to getting married.

It rained enough during the outdoor reception before the ceremony that people moved inside but rain in Israel is seen as a blessing and so as the rain stopped, everyone moved back outside so that these two beautiful children of Israel could start their married life under the stars and the skies of this land.

I love weddings. Mostly, I like watching people dance, talk, socialize. I love watching the look on the groom's face when he first sees his future wife; I love watching the mothers as that moment comes. He's all grown up, a husband now. She's his wife, forever his.

Last night, as I listened to the music at a place that has the most incredible view, I thought simply of all the blessings. The one that brought these sisters to be my next-door neighbors...but more...their families came from the same place as my husband's family and so Lazer has known the father of the groom for probably 40 years...definitely 40 years. And the rabbi who married us, who was Lazer's rabbi back then...he was at the wedding too, as was his wife, who has always had a smile for me and greeted me with so much warmth...and we got married in her dining room for the civil part of our married life.

Circles...of life, of love.

They danced in circles last night, around and around the bride and groom. If you want a recipe for a perfect wedding...it isn't about the weather but about the people. The food was great, but it isn't even about the food. It's about a family... a boy who now has a wife; parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins and tons and tons of friends. There's something wonderful about being at the wedding of two kids from the same neighborhood or city...

Through the rain and the wind, the message of last night's wedding was that here was a young man who came from across the world to meet his future bride. Here are parents who picked up their young family to fulfill a dream. Here is a family that has come together to celebrate, to dance, to laugh. Here is a community that is celebrating the marriage of two of its children and finally, here is Israel, watching as the future takes shape.

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