Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Wedding of Moishe Page

Continued from a previous post...

I hopped on the bus and made it to the wedding with ten minutes to spare before the announced time. This gave me a good hour of real time to prepare as the wedding on Israeli time.

Moshe has been studying with me at Machon Meir for the last six months. He is probably one of the newly religious most dedicated to learning I have ever met, immediately becoming enamored of the deeply spiritual and mystical teachings of the Rebbe of Breslov, Rebbe Nachman of Uman. There was only one impediment: he wasn't Jewish. So he came to Machon Meir to learn. Within a few months, he already had the beard and peyos (sidecurls) and was as devoted to Torah and mitzvot as I've ever seen, but he still had much learning to do.

The ceremony was modest, appropriate, and hugely fun. Here is a post-wedding review of the highlights:

Moishe and Rav Segal (from Machon Meir) review the Ketubah (marriage contract.)

Rabbi Segal seals the documents.
We pause in the proceedings to daven Minchah (afternoon prayers) before it gets too late.

The kids play, waiting.
Rav Segal puts some ash or something on Moishe's forehead (I'm still trying to figure out the meaning of that particular custom.)
Candles are fired up as Moishe puts on his kittel, the white all-body garment Jewish males wear to their wedding, on Yom Kippur (the day of atonement,) and to burial.
Next comes bedeikin, checking. Moishe needs to make sure he's got the right girl. This custom was instituted by Ya'akov Avinu (Jacob the patriarch,) who was fooled by his father in law Lavan into marrying the wrong sister after seven years of labor. We won't be making that mistake again.

Rav Segal does a double-check in case Moishe made a mistake.

Moishe is led out to the chuppah (canopy.)
Well, looks like we're ready to go here. Only I keep thinking we're forgetting something...
Ah yes, the Kallah (bride)! Here she comes.
She does seven orbits around Moishe, symbolically separating him off from all others.
And now we're ready to get started.
A few blessings, and Moishe drinks the wine.
Moishe gives the ring. Despite the angle of the camera, which makes it look as if he's putting the ring on the finger of one of the guys holding up the chuppah, I assure you it's only an illusion.
Now that Moishe is married, a REAL MAN, he can put on a tallit (prayer shawl.)
Rabbi David Lau, chief rabbi of Modi'in and son of Chief Rabbi of Israel Yisrael Meir Lau, reads the Ketubah (marriage contract.)
The ketubah reading.
They drink more wine.
Then smash the glass. A reminder of the destruction of the second temple in Jerusalem, a reminder that in every moment of joy there should be a bit of sorrow.

And now, the party begins!

Dancing around the room.

Moishe with the The Machon Meir guys.

The happy couple together.
Rabbi Segal dances for the couple.

Moishe getting down.
David from Machon Meir reads one of the sheva brachot (seven blessings) after the wedding.

Mazal tov to the couple!


Dena Page, M.Ed., CBA said...

As half the "happy couple," thank you for doing such a great job capturing the joy we felt at our chuppah! - Dena Page

Mark Wusinich said...

From the Wusinich's of Upper Darby to the Page's of Isreal: Mazal Tov

We are so happy for the three of you.

Ephraim said...


Thanks so much for inviting me! Mazal tov!