During a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, a parent will often lovingly wrap the Jewish bride and groom in a prayer shawl called a tallit. Sheva Brachot, the recitation of the seven blessings, follows in Hebrew. Often the seventh blessing is sung adding to the intimate beauty of the moment.
Sheva Brachot, the seventh blessing (translated to English):
“Blessed is the Source of Life, who creates wonder, pleasure, song, and delight! May the bride and groom be filled with gladness, and rejoicing, love, harmony and companionship. And may they be blessed with lots and lots of peace! Blessed is the Source of Life, who is the Source of Peace.”
Later in the ceremony, the breaking of the glass serves as a reminder of the destruction of the Temple. Frequently, Psalms 137 is recited by the rabbi before the groom stomps on the glass:
By the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.
There on the poplars, we hung our harps, for there our captors asked us for songs,
our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
They said, “Sing us songs of Zion!”
How can we sing songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?
If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand cling forget its skill.
May my tongue client to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy.
This is done in remembrance of where the tradition originated. It’s a moment to remind those present of the weight of history that flows through the present to unite this couple in this most joyous of occasions.
Traditions bring with them comfort, peace, unity, the past walking next to the future grasping hands in a soft embrace. Whispering hope and love to those present.
Lori’s parents both passed away before they could witness the love shared between this couple. As Jeffrey and Lori found each other later in life, through, in no small part, a group of faithful believers who meet every Friday night at their Temple for a session with their Rabbi called “Friday Night Live.”
The group, having fallen in love with Lori’s generous spirit and loving heart, took it upon themselves to play matchmaker. A blind date with Jeffrey led to two, which led to more. Sunday, August 15th, as Tropical Storm Fred moved on to Hillsboro Beach Club the stalwart Friday Night Live crew, joined their Rabbi, Lori, Jeffrey and their family and friends to witness the ceremony sealing their love in marriage.
The tallit and the Book of the Old Testament used in the ceremony were the same that adorned Lori’s parents on their wedding day. Though not present in spirit, present in memory with a tangible gift felt on the shoulders of this Jewish couple. As a tenor sang the Seventh Blessing, there were many joyful tears glistening in the eyes of those gathered privileged to experience a moment of such beauty.
Blessed indeed is the Source of Life, who is the Source of peace.