5 Weddings

It sort of happened like this:
Rabbi David Brofsky reached out to see if David and I would be interested in hosting five weddings at the Meshek. I’m always up for things that sound exactly like this so I was in. We actually drove around the kibbutz taking pictures of cool places to hold chuppot (small amphitheater very close to cows, cool vineyards or orchards very close to thistles), and we all decided on climate-controlled indoor space.
I started a Glam Squad of friends who are in the event planning business to ask them for event hacks — cute things we could do on a string shoe budget. They tossed tons of ideas our way. Dikla made wedding cupcakes and we were ready to go. Rabbi David Brofsky and Rabbi Zvi Hirschfield have been working with the Romanian Jewish community and in a series of twists and turns the wonderful people converting came to Israel to convert. The culmination being the chuppot held here.
I expected five couples but instead we were blessed with 50 people who came in to our space to celebrate or be celebrated. The community Rabbi (Israeli, obv) with his booming voice just lit the place up. Kibbutz friends showed up too. The 12th grade class of Ulpanat Rosh Tzurim came to throw candies and sing and dance. I cried (again, obv) a whole bunch of times. It was just the way I want things to be in my life — full and sometimes loud and emotional and significant. I’m not sure I ever danced to Hava Nagila before (a song that sadly did not make the playlist), but I sure did today.
So Mazal Tovs to one and all. It truly takes a village. And it was so fun to be part of that village.
Here is Rabbi David Brofsky’s moving account of the experience:
“Son of man, can these bones live?” (Yechezkel 37:3).
I have the great zechut of participating in what can only be described as a “techiyat hameitim” – a literal “ressurection” of Romanian Jewish communities, over 70 years after World War II. The Holocaust, communism, and widespread intermarriage and assimilation left many Romanian Jewish communities dormant, waiting to “wake up” from their spiritual slumber.
There is a thirst for Judaism, for spirituality, for Torah and mitzvot, and for religious authenticity. BH there are communal leaders and religious teachers who are there to respond, to rebuild communities and provide religious resources.
Over the past few days a group of Romanians fulfilled their dream of returning to, or joining the Jewish people. They have studied for years, and they will head back to their communities with renewed energy and dedication, and strengthen religious life in their towns and cities.
The greatest thank-you goes to national and local leadership who work tirelessly to promote Jewish and religious engagement. Mr. Felix Koppelman, Ery Daniel, R. Sraya Kav, R. Rafael Shaffer, and many others are slowly rebuilding communities and bringing people back to Judaism.
Mazal tov to those who traveled to Israel in order to finish their journey (which only now begins..), and to those (5) couples who, finally, stood under a chuppa, k‘dat Moshe v’Yisrael. Their mesirut nefesh, and desire to learn and grow, to deepen their commitment to the Torah, and to join the Jewish people, should be an inspiration for those of us who sometimes take for granted the great gift of Torah and mitzvot.

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