A Long-Awaited Wedding

A Long-Awaited Wedding

It’s right before Shabbat in Jerusalem, and I’m trying to figure out what to post to provide some hope and chizuk regarding the tense situation in Israel right now.

And I realized the most powerful message of hope I can give is from the equal-parts beautiful and moving wedding I attended yesterday, a very different wedding than the Chassidic wedding I told you about two days ago.
Yesterday’s wedding of Deborah and Moshe from Brazil was long-awaited.
Moshe’s family is part of Brazil’s thriving Moroccan Jewish community. Deborah, by contrast, grew up in a remote part of Brazil, where assimilation and intermarriage of Jews had become the norm. Deborah’s family had lived in Brazil for centuries, as part of the community of crypto-Jews who had fled the Spanish inquisition.
Deborah knew she had Jewish ancestry, and when she met and fell in love with Moshe, she tried to find proof of that ancestry. She found bits and pieces proving that she was Jewish, but not enough…
So she came to Israel, leaving behind a successful career as a lawyer and a job she loved, in order to learn about Judaism and convert “l’humra,” a conversion “just to make sure.” She supported herself and paid for her Jewish studies by cleaning houses (including mine:) and washing countless dishes every day at a busy restaurant from 5 PM until 2 AM.
The original plan had been for Moshe and Deborah, following the conversion, to marry and live in Brazil. That would have been the easiest plan. The most reasonable for sure. Considering that their families live there. And Deborah had a great job there. And Deborah knows barely any Hebrew or English.
But after her months in Israel, despite the many difficulties she encountered along the way to her conversion, Deborah decided that she wasn’t willing to live anywhere else, and any other way than the way she had learned about in seminary.
When Moshe recited the shehechiyanu under the chuppah, the entire crowd roared AMEN!
This was, as I said, a long-awaited wedding.
Awaited for years by this young couple who had to go through so much to stand under that chuppah yesterday.
And awaited, as well, for centuries by Deborah’s ancestors, those determined men and women who out of unwavering devotion to Judaism and Torah had fled the Inquisition, only for their descendants centuries after to assimilate to such an extent that it was no longer clear who was still Jewish and who wasn’t anymore.
Those holy ancestors waited until yesterday to see Deborah, a proud, observant Jew, stand under her Chuppah in the Holy City. The wait was very, very long. But in the end, there was a chuppah and hours of joyful dancing and undeniable proof for the entire world that the Jewish soul is stronger than any of our enemies. Proof that those who hate the Jewish people and try to destroy us will never, ever succeed.
Mazal tov!


One comment


Leave a Reply

Follow by Email