On Sunday Mr. Rosenberg and I attended the wedding of his "second cousin, once removed" or as we call her simply, "cousin." Serena is a beautiful woman who wed, Jeremy a wonderful guy. These two are perfect for each other. Smart, happy, and so very in love. Mr. Rosenberg and I got a little misty during their self-written vows. In the photo above they are being lifted in chairs as the Horah is being danced around them. The Horah is a traditional Israeli circle dance typically danced to the song Hava Nagila at Jewish weddings and other happy occasions. There is so much joy.
I love weddings. The fancy dresses, the traditions, the hope, and the tiny hors d'ouevres passed around at the cocktail hour. Weddings are sweeping family operas played out over the course of six or so hours. Whatever we are busy with in our own lives, a wedding is a chance to once again be rooted to a ceremony that defines a lifetime.
I always learn something at these gatherings. Sometimes I learn about the groom's relationship to his family, or how well the maid of honor can (or cannot) hold her liquor. I learn stories of the bride and groom's childhoods, I learn sunscreen would have been a good move on my part considering our seat in the sunlight of the afternoon.
At Serena and Jeremy's wedding, I really paid attention for the first time to the Jewish custom of the breaking of the glass. In Jewish tradition, after a couple is pronounced husband and wife, the new husband steps on a wine glass wrapped in a napkin, crushing it with his right foot as the assembled crowd exclaims their congratulations, shouting, "Mozel Tov!" I learned that this custom has many meanings, the most popular being that even in times of extreme joy, we pause to recognize the brokenness that yet remains in the world.
This resonated with me. That happiness and sadness must co-exist to define each other. That while our spirits are lifted in love and song there is also the knowledge that we are all just doing our best to get along in a lovely, yet shattered place. Our job, to be grateful for our blessings, yet at the same time use our time here to better the lives of the less fortunate. Daily we seek the impossible, to fit the pieces of the glass back together while we sing and while we dance.
Mazel Tov, Serena and Jeremy. May you mend the broken parts you find in each other and live in love and grace.