My hand, Torah, and Miya’s leg. None of these things are affilliated with each other. Few photos on Flickr
Lucy pokes me to ask why I’m contemplative. The alcohol, I guess. Endless wine and four fingers of scotch make indi a bittersweet boy. I first met Tanya (the bride) in Solin Hall, in Lucy’s apartment. I remember Tanya as the insanely hot Russian that scared all the boys. The intensity in her eyes was, once I stopped being scared, intelligence. We had a Psych class together and she’s basically the reason I learned anything. There were hundreds of rat torture experiments which I couldn’t piece together until I talked them over with her. In the end I just stopped doing the readings altogether. Tanya graduated a year early, as she’s always been a bit ahead. I’d visit her and Tommy in Toronto every now and then. Now she’s the first to get married, and I’m very proud and happy for her.
The wedding was held at the Chevra Kadisha (holy friends, I think) synagogue in Snowdon. In the chapel the light was streaming in through the stained glass onto the rows of guests. First the parents met each other and walked under the hoopah. Then Tommy and Tanya walked down the aisle, in turn. As a better explanation, here are some of my favorite parts from the programme,
*the huppah*: The traditional Jewish ceremony takes place under a wedding canopy known as the huppah. The wedding canopy is a multifaceted symbol: it is a home, a garment, a bedcovering, and a reminder of the tents of our nomadic ancestors. The huppah symbolizes the home that Tanya and Tom will create and build together. It is open on all sides so that family and friends will always feel welcome.
*the seven circles*: As we approach the huppah, the first thing Tanya will do is to circle Tom seven times. Traditionally, the circling represents the mystical act of creating an invisible wall to protect each other from evil spirits. The number seven is also symbolic as it represents the number of completion; the number of days it took G-d to create the universe, the number of perfection.
*the breaking of the glass*: At the conclusion of the ceremony Tom will break a glass beneath his foot to signify that relationships are as fragile as glass and must be treated with great care, love, and respect. The practice also reminds us of the shattering events in our history, such as the destruction of both Temples. It is customary for everyone to share in the couple’s joy by yelling *Mazel Tov* (congratulations) when the glass is broken!
My favorite part of the ceremony was when Rabbi Jacobson said that Tanya and Tommy pledge to love each other in the broken parts, for better or worse. I’ve found that a lot of people are around when I’m up, but to find someone to love you in the broken places is something indeed. I’ve stayed with Tanya and Tommy in Toronto and it’s remarkable how much they love each other. They act like kids when alone, yet they’re strong enough to stand in front of everyone and commit to a life together. At a time when the word ‘dating’ scares me, it’s a marvelous thing. I also hope that too many more people don’t get married, or else I’ll get more scared. But to be serious, I’ve seen Ta and Tommy be there for each other for years now, and this is the most right marriage I could imagine.
At dinner, with the wine and the appetizers. I would settle for a smoked meat sandwich and pickle, but this is nice. The relatives give speeches, which are sweet. My favorites were the grandparents, mainly because they’re just so happy. It must be a wonderful thing to see the line of life stretching out so far in front of you. One speech could be rightly condensed to ‘Babies! More babies!’ The women gave the best speeches I thought, but maybe that was just me.
All in all it was a beautiful ceremony for two people with substance underneath. It’s bittersweet for me cause someone I care about has moved to another stage in life. As the Rabbi says, they are made one, woven deeper into the fabric of life. There’s a whole swirl of family that I can only begin to imagine. They’re a part of something bigger now, namely each other. I know my friend is in there, but I’m still a little scared. But above all, Mazel Tov Tanya and Tommy. I wish you all the best. Knowing you (vous), I don’t think you’ll hesitate to take it. Oh, and Babies! More Babies! JK, that would really mess with my head.