Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wedding of Jonathan Neril

As is said, when the month of Adar comes in, joy increases. Well, we're already in Nissan, but I have some pictures that I've been meaning to post from a wedding I went to on 25th Adar (which is also known as March 15th.) The wedding of my friend and landsman, who made aliyah from Walnut Creek a couple of years before I did, Jonathan Neril.

Transportation from Jerusalem was by communal bus, those of us without cars headed down to Shapelles Yeshiva to meet up. With the sleet and occasional snow falling heavily, walking through about a half-mile of the stuff to get from my bus stop to the meeting place, I began thinking about how much more wonderful life would be with a car.

Hail on a car roof, in Jerusalem before departure.

By the time we got out of Jerusalem to the nearby settlement of Kibbutz Kfar Etzion where the wedding was being held, it was dark. And at the higher elevation, they had experienced something very rare for this time of year in Israel....

SNOW! It looked like a full six inches and gave the landscape a dreamy feel.

As the wedding was getting started, Jonathan's father recognized me from Walnut Creek, and came over and handed me a video camera, asking me to video the whole wedding. So the pictures you see were taken while holding my digital camera in my left hand and the camcorder in my right. It took lots of focus, but had benefits, since I got a front and center view.

Meanwhile, inside, Jonathan gets warmed up with the guys.

And now for bedeiken (checking to make sure you've got the right bride.)

Jonathan's Parents take him back from the bedeikin.

Jonathan and his wife Shana are to move to the small yishuv of Bat Ayin, which has a reputation as back-to-nature organic whole-grain type of community. I'm hoping to get out there and blog the place some time soon. Jonathan, learning in the yeshivah there, invited his fellow bochurim (bachelors/fellow students,) so I got to see some familiar faces from the bay area.

The Bat Ayin guys set up their natural wood chuppah (wedding canopy,) with Adam, Jonathan's brother, on guitar.

The chatan (groom) under the chuppah with his parents.

Here comes the bride.

The reading of a most artistic ketubah.

Mazal tov! They're married. And now, off to the yichud room (alone room.) We got a little lost in the snow, as nobody really knew where it was, but we made it eventually.

Some collapsed in the snow in ecstasy.
Back at the wedding hall, the real fun begins.

Over the mechitzah.
Adam Neril and yours truly.
There's a mitzvah (commandment) to bring joy to the new couple, so one minhag (tradition) is to perform all sorts of tricks. In this case, a dangerous-looking ninja-dance with a wooden pole that could knock the lights out of anyone who got in its way.

Others display their musical talents.

The happy couple, starting sheva brachot (the seven special blessings recited after a wedding.)

Mazal tov to the new couple!

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