Thursday, July 06, 2006

Jewish Weddings.

I know you're all rolling your eyes at me. that's fine. I just wanted to say (bc I was just recently at one) that there's just something about a Jewish wedding that seems to embody everything about the Jewish community. you've got all walks of the community represented (or several communities, depending on the wedding) people who would never talk to each other normally, coming together to fulfiill this one common mitzvah. And there's something about the moment that brings out all our most Jewish qualities. I'm not even sure how exactly to explain what I mean by that, but I know that it's true. Maybe it's because the wedding is the physical manifestation of the heart of our community. you know, wedding is the beginning of the family, which is the building block, the microcosm, of the Jewish community. somehow, at weddings, you tend to see the best in everyone; everyone's just so honestly happy for the chatan and kallah, and they all just want to do this mitzvah of making them happy on their special day. It's just a time completely centered around mitzvot; the mitzvot that couple are performing that day, the mitzvot all the guests are doing by being there, every mitzvah that will ever occur in the home of this couple or by any of their children,grandchildren, great-grandchildren, all start on this night, in this wedding hall. it isn't just about what's happening right then, but about everything that is to come, and what is to come are whole new lives and worlds of people serving G-d. It's a pretty powerful thing, and it's something that hangs heavily in the air, like humidity; and it's played out physically in very moment of dancing and singing and shtick. it's good stuff. the stuff of poetry and ballads and whatnot, only I'm done playing the troubadore for the moment. (sorry to ramble; it's late and I'm exhausted as usual.)


Blogger Tobie said...

Well, this is a far more positive view than I normally have of weddings. Weddings, I am afraid, bore me. I expect that my own will do the same. And this general boredom, perhaps, shades my perception of the rest of it. But I rarely see much variation of the community at a wedding, except for the couple of token non-Orthodox relatives. And often I feel like people are forgetting about the mitzvot entirely and enjoying themselves as at a social occasion with plenty of opportunities to show off- how else can you explain the ubiquitous habit of breaking off into line dances both when the kallah is on the other side and when she is circle-dancing just next door?

I suppose that I am simiply a crusty old sour-puss, and I much prefer your vision of the evening, but there is something about almost all weddings that leaves me cold- some air of ostentation and dull, adolescent, homogeneous excitement.

5:19 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

having never been to a real Jewish wedding (unless you count the Conservative wedding between the couple who had been civilly married and then had a bare-bones Jewish wedding after she converted, for the benefit of the torah school), I have several questions; but the only one I'm going to ask now is this:
you mention a "wedding hall." Is there a place one customarily does or does not have a wedding?

6:37 AM  
Blogger Miri said...

there is not. some people have them in shuls (I'm told this is customary in England;) some in hotels; and some in halls specifically designed for weddings and other formal parties. most weddings in Chicago happen in a place that used to be an old-age home, and was bought for the purpose of being a wedding hall. I have heard several stories of "elopements" where ppl walk in to random shuls looking for a minyan to marry them. this, however, is rare.
and Tobie - you're just wrong. you're not entirely wrong, of course, but I think I'm more right than you are. anyway, my version is how it's supposed to be.

6:20 PM  

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