The first wedding of the week has finished, and tomorrow night is the second. Last night's wedding was lovely...the bride and groom were so relaxed and obviously were enjoying themselves, and the atmosphere was extremely friendly and happy. There was a mixed dati(religious)/hiloni (non-religious) crowd there, and everyone seemed to be having a good time together. The first round of dancing was separate (men-women) circle dancing, and the second round was mixed and modern, and everyone seemed happy to let things flow and everyone participate when and where they wanted to. The groom's mother, my co-worker, was teary-eyed under the chuppah, and by the time I made my way to her, I was glad that I had some extra tissues in my purse to press into her hand, because she really needed them. The groom's father passed away about 7 years ago -- everyone that I know of there was remembering him as they watched his son, who was wearing the shirt that his father had gotten married in, standing under the chuppa. But what we all remembered about the father was that he was an incredibly happy and optimistic person, and that he would have only wanted everyone to enjoy themselves.
Tomorrow's wedding is going to be that of a daughter of friends...a girl who grew up with Avishai from age 2! I have a picture of her, chubby, blond-rings in her hair, playing with Avishai, and it's hard to think of her as a married lady. Tonight, her mother invited us to join them for the "henna" ceremony, when after the bride goes to the mikva for the first time, she dresses up in an elaborate caftan, with all sorts of jewels and gold, and henna is rubbed into everyone's hand for good luck. The custom is actually North African, but Atara, whose parents are from England and antecedents from Eastern Europe, was game, and it was great fun with her sisters and friends. Afterward, they had supper -- ordered Chinese, which was terrific. I don't even want to think about how much weight I gained tonight, since Chinese food is all fried and not exactly low-calorie. But, hey, what the heck...sandwiched in between two weddings, who's going to notice?
In the beginning, I was invited, along with Avishai, but then I asked if Ariella could be invited, since she's also friendly with the bride, and was told "yes". And yesterday, the mother of the bride called up Yochi and invited her too. So, again with a bit of chutzpa, I asked if I could bring Margalit and Hagai, if we all shared chairs at the supper, and was told "wonderful, bring them". Truthfully, there's so much food at the reception, before the chuppa, that I can't imagine that we'll have any problem sharing our food, but it's important to me that the kids see the older kids in the neighborhood getting married (though this wedding won't be particularly religious, which is always a good example) and participate in the weddings. So I'm looking forward to going together. Avishai will hopefully be released for the evening from the army, and will either come with us from Tzfat or will meet us in Jerusalem, and I'm hoping that Ariella will be able to come too. I think that I found a ride for her.
Ah, just when the holidays finish and I think that I'm done planning.....