how we're incorporating jewish traditions

I spy Mike looking confused.


Shalom, friends!

I would say that Mike has been helping me practice my Hebrew, but that would be about as true as me teaching Mike how to recite the Lord's prayer. Our religious knowledge is now pretty much limited to what we can (and can't) eat during our respective families' religious holidays.

My favorite Jewish dish: charoset. Full disclosure, I first spelled that with a double "r" and "t" because, you know, Narragansett? Amagansett?

Mike's favorite "Catholic" dish: breakfast strata with a dollop of Italian guilt served on the side.

Somewhere, around the world, Mike's bubbes and my nonnas just rolled over hundreds of times in their graves.

America!

Anyway, I've already detailed how we're incorporating Filipino traditions into our ceremony, but I also wanted to make sure to explain what Jewish elements we've chosen to include.

First -- and most beautiful -- the chuppah. Chuppah means canopy or covering in Hebrew (or so Wikipedia tells me. Not Mike, see above) and in traditional Jewish weddings, the bride and groom are married underneath it. From its early inception as simply four poles and a cloth overhead, many couples now choose to decorate theirs with flowers, branches, kittens, etc. The emphasis is on elements found in nature, so I think Mike's Redskins-themed arrangement will unfortunately have be scrapped.

We've worked with our florist on this, since we are including flowers in the overall structure. I'm very pleased with what we eventually decided on and can't wait to see it in person. I think makes for an excellent focal point when you're looking at the couple and, in fact, I know of non-Jewish couples who are choosing to include them just for that reason. Pictures post-wedding, of course.

Second: the breaking of the glass. Did you know that Judaica stores like the one pictured above actually sell specialized champagne glasses and wee little bags in which to store them? For those of you that are unfamiliar with this tradition: in Jewish weddings, the groom stomps on a glass at the conclusion of the ceremony. This serves two purposes: it's when the guests are allowed to erupt into cheers and it is also a comment on the fragility of love and life.

Most couples choose to keep the glass and place it in a special box or incorporate it into a menorah or mezuzah. I find that to be a neat little tradition. I suppose we could also pull an Angelina and Billy Bob and wear shards of broken glass on necklaces? No? Maybe?

Finally, we WILL be dancing the horah at our reception. There are two parts to this: the dancing in the circle part and the getting-thrust-into-the-sky-from-a-chair part. I am understandably more nervous about the latter and have begged The Plaza to find me a chair with arms. Short of that, I suppose I'll be holding onto that seat like Kim to Kanye.

OH BURN.

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