From Baby to Bride

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In 1991, when my husband moved to Israel to attend yeshiva, the Samet family unofficially adopted him. During his two years at the yeshiva, Josh would spend several nights a week discussing theological issues with Rabbi Yisrael Samet, and almost every Shabbat with the Rabbi, his wife Tami, and their 8 exceptional and adorable children.

Since then, the Samets have remained our unofficial family in Israel. 14 years ago today, Rabbi Samet performed our wedding ceremony, and several years after that he recommended Josh for the teaching position of his dreams which he holds until this day. If Josh and I have important questions- where to send our children to school, how to deal with tough parenting issues, how to plan for the future- the Samets are almost inevitably the people we turn to. In the hard times, as well, it has been the Samets who have stood by our side to support us until we got through to the other side.

It is not an exaggeration to say that to this day, the Samets represent an unparalleled ideal to me. A loving, respectful marriage between two best friends and soul mates. Strong, bright, curious children who are extremely proud to be Jewish and equally proud to be Samets.

This all means that I remember Shira Samet, the fourth Samet child, from way, way back.

I remember Shira with miniature blond braids abouncing, running ahead of her mother on their way to pick up their father after synagogue every Friday night, and scurrying underneath the table and my feet one Shabbat Chanukah with her younger sister declaring, “We are Maccabis hiding from the Greeks!”

I remember Shira a few years later. The excited smile with which she greeted us Weisbergs when we appeared at her door after the tiring bus ride from Jerusalem, the way she bent over with a bemused yet serious expression to listen to my young daughters’ latest news from kindergarten and nursery school, and the sweet, sesame-sprinkled Challot that she and her sisters prepared every Friday and that Josh and I loved so much.

I remember Shira in high school, her insightful and insistent questions to her father during the family’s traditional Bible study session during Shabbat lunch, and her urgent idealism and activism during the months leading up to the Israeli withdrawal from Gush Katif.

And I will always, always remember how it felt to see Shira standing, so ethereal, so beautiful all in white, underneath her chuppah with her young husband last Wednesday night.

Oh, did I cry.

Where did the years go? I blinked, and Shira the Maccabi with the bouncing blond braids had become a woman and a wife.

I looked over at my own daughters gazing up in awe at Shira underneath her chuppah.

Savor these days, I thought to myself.

Savor the hurricane days, the un-tuned afternoon orchestra of children’s voices, and the traces of wet kisses on your cheek. Savor every moment, because soon, all too soon, these children, too (with G-d’s help) will spread their wings and fly.

Photo courtesy of users Jacob and Kiki Hantla


  1. Just beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Jenny – so beautiful. Hashem has blessed you with Moshiach eyes to capture all these moments and share them with the world. Thank you so much for that remarkable account of Shira. May her and her husband build a bayit ne’amen byisrael and may all of Klal Yisrael see great nachas from them.

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