Friday, June 16, 2006

An Unforgettable Experience

I went to a wedding of one of the guys from my unit last night. First, some background. The guy is from Susia, a settlement near Chevron. Actually, its not near anything, just a lot of barren hills. After about an hour in the army, the guy turned to me and said he had never worn shoes for so long. For those with army understanding, he was a negevist, and on hikes would help with the pakal mayim in addition to the negev. And he came to my wedding barefoot playing the flute.

The wedding was in Sussia, the families provided busses for transportation. We crossed the green line, passed all civilization, drove another twenty minutes, and there we were. Except the wedding wasnt actually in Sussia the settlement, it was in the ancient ruins of Sussia, a mountain or two over. The Chattan was dressed in sandals, khaki pants, and a white loose t-shirt with a small design on the side. We talked to him, and then we wandered around. We found the Kalla further down, dressed in white pants and a long shirt/dress. We wandered some more and found a bonfire with pots around it, we later found out that this is a delicacy called poykl (pokly? poilyk? I dont think there is a correct way to spell or say it) which is basically goulash. I dont have time to write the whole thing down, all of which was so different from what I am used to, yet so amazing, but here are some highlights.

The Chuppa was held in the courtyard of the ancient shul of Sussia. People were perched on top of the ruins, including the cameraman, who kept jumping from ruin to ruin.

The Kalla danced around the Chattan seven times, instead of the usual slow walk.

The father of the Chattan read the Ketubah, with the funniest commentary I've ever heard, saying it's basically a document like signing on a mortgage at the bank, just more expensive. He also spoke about the shephard of Sussia , who was killed by the arabs, and who was a freind of the chattan.

Before the Chattan broke the glass, he requested that no one say mazal tov right after. He then spoke about how, for him, the Churban is not just about the Beit HaMikdash, but about the settlements of Gush Katif. When he hears Churban Bayit, there is a specific house in gush Katif that he thinks about, and may the settlements there be rebuilt speedily in our day. Then he said Im Eshkachaich (If I forget thee, Jerusalem), took a guitar, and started playing and singing Al Ele Ani Boche (On these I cry). while playing the song he broke the cup and continued playing. Then he sang Im Eshkachaich, and the Chuppa was over. It was a tremendous mix of joy and sorrow.

The dancing was outside on pavement. About half the people danced without shoes (including me-I felt it was part of truly experiencing this kind of wedding instead of watching from the side). There was no singer, just a band playing music.

While I was in culture shock for most of the wedding, it was truly a beautiful affair, and the Chattan and Kalla both were so happy the whole time.


Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Israelis really know how to party. You gotta put a picture or two up, because most people (aka, Americans) won't be able to picture this kind of wedding.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unless, of course, you don't consider Arabs as part of civilization.

3:10 PM  
Blogger 2R said...

sounds awesome :)

3:05 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home