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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
Wedding and Dropping in

I went to a wedding last night. This isn't such an odd thing in that yesterday was the 33rd day of the Omer (otherwise known as L'ag b'Omer, which means, well, 33rd day of the Omer. I've mentioned Jewish holiday naming before.) The Omer is the 49 day (we count each one) period between Passover and the holiday of Shavuot, which means "weeks". Because 49 days = week of weeks. 7 squared. It's a time of semi-mourning because there was a plague around 2000 years ago. We refrain from wearing new clothes, listening to live music (note - music transmitted electronically? Not live.), getting haircuts and getting married. The plague ended on the 33rd day, or it went into abeyance, so we celebrate with bonfires, haircuts and weddings.

And there was a wedding late yesterday afternoon, before dark (while it's still L'ag. Because customs differ - some begin the morning on the first New Moon after Passover, some start on Passover and end on L'ag, some start on L 'ag and end on Shavuot and some observe the entire time, but have fun on L'ag.) This was a couple from the Netherlands who knew no one, but a friend of mine, also from the Netherlands, was asked if she could help - could she do a wedding in ten days?

Yes. Yes, she could. Most O weddings are held in wedding halls, but there's no way she could book one on ten days notice on L'ag. And the couple knew no one, either. So she decided to hold it in her smallish apartment (filled with her beautiful paintings - she's a professional artist.) And she'd ask nice people she knew to be there so that she knew the bride and groom would be treated well. Apparently, we were up there on the list. There were about twenty - maybe a bit more - in their little living room (she has a husband and two children. Yoni, her son, was the photographer.) The bride wore a white skirt, jacket and camisole, and a scarf over her hair. Her bedeken - the blusher O brides wear over their faces - was a sheer white scarf. The food was a bagel and lox buffet. My husband got a bracha and was one of the guards to the yichud room (where the bride and groom go for about five minutes after the ceremony.)

It was lovely. And it was so nice to participate in a mitzvah as well.

I was going to do this yesterday, but chickened out and went today - I dropped in at my cooking school, where they were holding the next session of the professional class. Chef greeted me with a big smile and a hug, and it turns out I'm famous. He gives out my blog url, and he tallks about me, and he uses my outline for the food handling material in the class.

He even had the class (this one majority male) ask me questions. Yeah, I admit it. I very much admit it - I LOVED it. This is not something that happens everyday (nor should it) but just this once, it was amazing.

And when Chef told me he was working every weekend, I asked him if he needed help, and he said he'd like to use me in a weekend or two for a smallish party. Which. YES! *bounce*

Also, I got my food handler's id and certificate, which is also a good thing.


I want my wedding to be like that!

That's so awesome!

I was actually thinking about you, and how much you'd love all of that - from the smallness of the group and venue to the simplicity and modesty of the bride.

I'm hoping we can make simple look elegant as opposed to, "Poor college students who can't afford a wedding"-like.

It's entirely possible. Stay away from excessive decorations, wear a very simple outfit and don't overdo the cake. (I'd go for vases of flowers, ethnic vegetarian food and avoid all lace.)

Grandma's making the dress, and there won't be lace. Dress is going to be white, but simple and not floor-length. Mom is making the cake. It's going to be one-layer and, like all her cakes, amazing tasting. We're going to this restaurant for dinner after. Their prix-fixe menu is surprisingly reasonable, and we're having fewer than 15 people, so we can swing it. They'll let us bring cake a wine for a fee.


The next night, we're having a party for all our college friends, We can't afford to have everyone we'd like to celebrate with for a sit-down dinner, so we're booking a building on campus, buying good food, and having some fun after celebrating with the grown-ups the day before.

That? Is perfect.

Thank you. I hope it will be.

That sounds lovely. My husband and I had a small wedding in my in-laws' back yard just after Sukkot. One officiant, four parents, two aunt-uncle sets, two siblings, one brother-on-law, one niece, and a photographer. And we did the whole thing - bedecken, betrothal, ceremony, seclusion. It was really lovely.

No Scotch? I thought even at the most minimal of frum weddings there has to be Scotch. At least, that was true of the one minimal wedding (ten men plus bride and groom in the rabbi's office) that I attended.

There was certainly schnapps. As I didn't have any, I can't say of what sort. I was offered; I just didn't feel like it.

I've never heard a veil referred to as a blusher before. Is that Yiddish?

Nope. It's bridal talk for a veil that goes over the face. The Yiddish term is "bedeken" (might be pun - bedeck (draping) and bedek(Heb for checking.)

Nope. Bedecken means "to cover". As in "deck the halls". The cover of a pot, for instance, is a deckle, but that doesn't sound right for a veil. I don't think I've ever heard the actual veil itself referred to in Yiddish, but I would guess deck-tach ("cover-cloth") or just tichel ("cloth"). (Compare hand-tach, "towel"; and noz-tach, "handkerchief".) Then again, a challah cover is a challah-deckel, so maybe the veil is a kallah-deckel...

As we said. Draping/decorating. As in "with roses bedight" or "The boar's head in hand bear I, bedecked with bays and rosemary." Not necessarily completely covered. The halls are also draped with holly, decorated, not covered.

And since the purpose of bedeken is in part in commemoration of Yaakov's being lied to, we check to see that we're marrying the right girl, the pun seems a reasonable part of it - bedek/bedeck. Alternatively, we're checking to insure that we meet at least once before the wedding (in the days of arranged marriages).

A third theory (endorsed by our old High Holidays chazan at askmoses.com, and other Chabad sites) is that she is draped/covered because Rebecca was covered with a veil when she met Yitzchak (Gen 24:65).

See here and here frex.

That is wonderful about the blog- i would think you would be famous. How many people are there who are both interested in a career in kosher cooking -and- excellent writers?

Not many I would think.

And the wedding sounds as if it was lovely. I think a Lox and Bagel spread is exactly what wedding food should be like. (ok, I don't like lox, but I like Bagels enough to make up for it threefold).

I hope I'm a good writer. I keep kinda hoping I get discovered. ;)

You haven't been to a normal Jewish wedding - the buffet is only the first part of the meal. The rest of it is a four course sit down dinner. The bris special would NOT fly. This was very different - appropriate, but different. Also, I think the hosts may be vegetarian.

Edited at 2009-05-14 02:18 am (UTC)

Egoboo: whee! Sounds like fun.

Oh, it WAS.

Very Cool!

Oh, YES.

Getting to speak to the class is way cool.

It was. Very much so.

Your friends' hosting of the wedding was a mitzvah indeed. Good for them, & best wishes to the couple.

And I'm so glad your internship is such a success. At the very least, Chef should be good for some killer references once you're done.

(Icon in honor of the wedding!)