This morning I read a post like this from a man who got married last Friday. On Friday there was a simple celebration with all the relatives, full of joy, love and happiness.
The actual wedding ceremony under the canopy, the chuppah, was planned for Sunday.
On Saturday morning they woke up late, sat euphorically in the living room, opened wedding presents… and then heard the sirens in the distance.
The groom raised an eyebrow, wondering what was going on. They turned on the news and the madness began.
People oscillated between great sadness and great relief because they were granted the opportunity to celebrate in peace with all their loved ones on Friday, just a few hours before the tragedy that was to strike the country on Shabbat morning.
Chuppah and Kiddoshin were scheduled for Sunday, October 8, 2023. According to the original plan, a rabbi was supposed to arrive and the ceremony was supposed to take place in a close family circle.
The groom consulted his mother. “What are we supposed to do?” And his mother told him: “No matter what happens, a wedding will not be postponed, not even in war and total chaos. Those who can will come, we will have a short ceremony with the rabbi, we will rejoice for a moment… we are not canceling a wedding.”
Ido felt inside him that God was speaking to him and telling him: Get married.
In fact, they organized a wedding on Sunday, even though the rabbi who was supposed to marry them was called up to the army. And Ido’s brother was also called to duty.
But the wedding preparations continued.
In the meantime, some of the family arrived, all crying in pain. One of the brothers, who is also a chef, began preparing the meal. They had the feeling of moving between two extremes, between profound pain and temporary joy and happiness.
Evening fell, the family was gathered, the rabbi who had received the draft notice came from the base specifically to marry the bride and groom. He insisted that the mitzvot of marriage takes precedence over an IDF call-up.
But there weren’t enough men for the minyan (according to Judaism, you need 10 men to pray). Ido quickly posted a request in his neighborhood’s WhatsApp group and called on everyone who wanted to join in the celebration to come. Many neighbors came, there was a canopy full of tears and pain mixed with joy and the feeling that no matter what happens, the light will prevail. Love will overcome fear, we will stand firm forever and ever with hope. Ido’s brother from the reserves was also there via video link.
It felt like it didn’t matter what chaos was out there. They took action. After the chuppah, people sat down to a wedding feast and for a moment forgot what was happening in Israel. Ido’s message was that one should not take any soul or person in the world for granted.
Why am I sharing this story here? For two reasons:
One must, as I have already mentioned, remain steadfast in all the darkness, for there are also rays of hope, and a little light is enough to dispel the darkness.
The second reason is that my son Tomer and his fiancée Esther want to get married on October 27th, in less than three weeks.
At the moment it does not seem possible to carry out the celebrations as planned. But both me and Esther’s mother say exactly the same thing as Ido’s mother: a wedding is not canceled.
You can have a small wedding. And the big celebration can be postponed until happier days. My prayer is that we achieve these beautiful days and that we can make the bride and groom happy on their wedding day.
And how exactly we celebrate the wedding will be the problems we have to deal with.
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