Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Lebedik Time

Weddings are beautiful- no matter where the country/city/hall is....but Eretz Yisroel chasunas (weddings) have a special flavor all their own.
I've been to weddings all over the United States, but Israel's weddings have a certain 'lebedik' flavor all their own.

Some of my friends have had their weddings in Bnai Brak- and in the furnishings and the music, there was no difference between that and a wedding at a hall in Williamsburg, NY.
In Yerushalayim, there is no actual 'music' at a wedding, due to mourning the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash (holy Temple), but there usually is one instrument- the drums, and some vocals.

I attended a wedding today- simply beautiful. The kallah (bride) looked radiant, and all the men sang together (since it was in Yerushalyim, so no music) as they walked the chasan (groom) down to place the veil on her head.

The chuppah (wedding canopy) was outside, like all Eretz Yisroel weddings, which was a distinct contrast to the US, where some chuppahs are outside, and some indoors, usually under a skylight. You could see the inky black sky of Yerushalayim, complete with the buses heading back and forth during the duration of the ceremony.

The dancing was lively and lebedik. In Israel, weddings are very casual, and sometimes many people show up, often times not invited, and most people aren't dressed that fancily.

But, it doesn't matter- because the whole point is to be 'Mesameach Chasan V'Kallah"- gladden the bride and the groom. People can be squished, the dance floor could be tiny, and there are beautiful little children running around. But there's a true simcha, a true happiness all around, celebrating the building of this new home in Israel- this Bayis Ne'eman.

No one really cared what was served, or which flowers were on the table (although this wedding had stunning lily arrangements)- all that mattered was sharing this happy night with both families.

I have seen weddings where an orphan is wed, and close to 300 people have shown up- not that they know the bride or groom, but just to join in and make them happy.
I have seen weddings where there is no room to breathe, but more keep coming in, and performing the most amazing tricks and 'shtick' to make the bride and groom smile.
Eretz Yisroel is truly phenomenal, and their weddings exemplify that- true simcha.

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