Monday, May 31, 2010

Simcha Weekend

A Simcha is a happy event. This weekend, we had three to celebrate.

Saturday morning, we were thrilled to attend the adult Bat Mitzvah of our friend Joy, mum to the twins in Micah's class. It was lovely, and we felt honored to be there.

Sunday, we drove down to New Jersey. Met Laura and Lilie and Travis in Fair Lawn at the hotel. Settled in, and took Sofia swimming for a bit (the MOMENT we got to our hotel room, she started stripping and looking for her bathing suit!).

Then David and I left to attend the wedding of Adam Miller to Gail Peters. I've known Adam since he was a little kid - his family is very active at Temple Israel, and we always spend holidays together. We had a HUGE contingent from Temple Israel! Four full tables of TI folk! Rabbi Liben co-officiated (here's where it gets kind'a weird...).

Adam and Gail had met during college, and the Hillel was run by a Chabad rabbi. So they got very involved in Chabad. The rabbi from the Hillel officiated, and spoke. And spoke. And spoke. It was a very long ceremony!

And not only were there Chabadniks in large quantity alongside the very Conservative Temple Israel gang, but the bride's family is mostly Reform or unaffiliated. And the groom's aunt is a Mennonite, so her whole family was there, too! It was quite a mix!

But it was a fancy New Jersey wedding, with all the fixin's. Yummy food - we all mostly fressed out on the hor d'ourves. Dancing was split by gender for the horah - very Orthodox style, with a mechitzah (divider) made from the plants. The Rebbe's son juggled fire!

But during the dinner hour, the more stringently observant folks all went out into the hallway, and the female singer joined the band, and regular modern dancing took place.

And then, the Temple Israel gang really got to show off, when there was a whole session of Israeli dancing. Our rabbi almost became a professional dancer instead of a rabbi, and he leads Israeli dance classes every week. So a large group was able to show off very beautifully. (I am not one of them - I can dance with the kids at school, but it's not nearly as graceful as the adults!).

The Temple Israel gang was there till the end, which meant Rabbi Liben led Birkat and Sheva Brachas. We finally left at 11:45 so we got back to the hotel after midnight.

Then this morning, yet another event - the B'not Mitzvah (plural of Bat Mitzvah) for the twin daughters of David's second cousin! It was lovely, and great to see the family. This is David's father's uncle's family, and there are lots of siblings at my father-in-law's level (on the family tree), who range in age between my FIL and David. And then plenty of kids.

Sofia, however, was not thrilled with the loud music at the party (since today was not Shabbat, they were able to do a lovely service, including Monday Torah reading, and still have the fancy party right away).

Took us about 4.5 hours to get home. Looong weekend, but really lovely.