A few weeks back Asya and I were invited to our first wedding here in Israel and my first ever Jewish wedding. Needless to say it was quite an experience and very different from the few weddings I have been to back home in England and Denmark. I managed to catch some of the highlights of the religious ceremony on my camera, which I’ve pasted below.
Not quite your Church of England wedding, is it? Despite the presence of the rabbi and necessary religious overtones that are, by law, necessary at Jewish weddings here in Israel (civil marriages and inter-faith marriages are prohibited) the wedding ceremony had a very party-like atmosphere to it, with loud chanting, clapping and cheering accompanying the various stages of the ceremony.
I am used to weddings being long, drawn-out affairs that last the best part of the day, with ample time between the marriage ceremony, the meal, and dances etc. But here there was little more than an hour between the newly wed bridegroom was smashing the glass at the altar (the traditional way to end a Jewish wedding) and the couple finishing their meal and having their first dance. It all seemed a bit hasty and rushed. Still, I can’t complain as the food and drink was plentiful and as always it was just nice to have an excuse and an occasion to dress up a bit and escape Jerusalem for the evening.