We went to a brilliant wedding last night, an Australian-Moroccan wedding. We were invited from the Aussie side but besides the bride’s parents (who are friends of my other half) we knew almost no one. The Chuppah was an amusing mix of Ashkenazi and Moroccan. The MC was the bride’s brother who said everything in both fluent Hebrew and strongly-accented Aussie English. The Brachot were sung alternately to Ashkenazi and Sefardi tunes, and the last “big” bracha was both! It started off being sung to a Moroccan tune, changed at the words “kol sasson vekol simcha” to our familiar Ashkenazi tune, and then back to the Moroccan version for the finale. The Ketuba was sung (!) in a Moroccan chant and it was delightful.
The most moving part was when the Rabbi welcomed the bride’s grandmother, who had come via Poland and the concentration camps to Australia and then here for the wedding; and then he welcomed the groom’s grandmother who had made it from Morocco via immigrant camps (maabarot) to a proper home in Israel. That was truly a מיזוג גלויות (mizug galuyot) – a blending of the exiles into one Jewish Israeli nation. This is what I feel true Zionism is all about. It was a very heart-warming and uplifting moment.
The wedding meal itself was delicious and the dancing was fantastic. It started out as a regular Israeli religious wedding. Then the males of the Moroccan side appeared with stick-on moustaches – they looked like a team of Saddam Husseins – and broke out into a wild Debka dance. I just wish I had taken photos; it was too funny! At that point the Aussies produced beach balls and the whole thing descended into a kind of well-dressed beach party. I can’t remember when I laughed so much at a wedding!
We were seated at a table of Aussies whom, as I said, we didn’t know. We introduced ourselves and by the end of the evening it was all hugs and kisses and exchanging phone numbers. They are so friendly!
I really didn’t expect to enjoy myself so much, it was much more of a “duty call”, but I’m so glad we went – even though it was in the hills of Jerusalem in Maale Ha’hamisha and we came home through thick fog. These little moments are the spice of life in Israel and what make all our troubles disappear for at least a short while.
Mazal tov to the happy couple and may they have a long happy life together.