Recap: After two broken engagements, Michal has finally found the right one.
Everything went easily and smoothly. On the Shabbatot (sabbath visits) , the siblings received exactly the little gifts that they wanted. On dates and outings, everyone said precisely the words that were meant to be heard. The hearts expanded and swelled. The world was one airy bubble of joy.
For the two weeks before the wedding, they didn’t see each other, as is customary. Instead, she and her sisters went to the little apartment that had been rented for the couple, cleaned it thoroughly, more than a Pesach (Passover) cleaning, and started filling it with furniture and items that had been bought and collected with toil and love. Beautiful bed linen with the fragrance of Gan Eden, clothing folded neatly in the closet, like an army of soldiers. And the kitchen – oh, how sweet was the new, shiny kitchenware. Everything was nothing less than perfect.
Happiness permeated every spot and was contagious. They laughed together and wove dreams. She davened (prayed) in her heart that when the time would come, her sisters would be zocheh to be as happy as she was now.
Sometimes you have to be careful with tefillos (prayers), too. Or at least to word them more carefully.
Elchanon, the chosson (groom) , was waiting for the wedding. Getting excited. It was hard for him that they weren’t able to meet. A big, happy compliment, all in all, no?
The day of the wedding came. Excitement, confusion, an excellent make-up artist, tefillot, a beribboned car, a long train filling up the entire back seat, hearts pounding away.
The hall was stunning. She saw everything from behind a fog of excitement, but, still, she was grounded enough to be happy with each one who came over to give and receive a berachah (blessing). Everything went right. The traditional melody, the torches, Abba, shvigger, chatan. She hadn’t seen him for two weeks. Heart beating in time to the music. Tears. He covered her with the veil and his hands trembled — totally understandable.
Soon after that, Ima (mother) she, and the shvigger(motjher-ion-law) walked down to the chuppah (bridal canopy), went around seven times, and… hey, what’s going on? Why is he shaking like that?
Throughout the chuppah, her chatan — her smart, level-headed, balanced, respectable, tall chatan — rocked back and forth like a lulav,(palm tree) insanely. Yes, insanely. That was the right word.
From behind, his father and uncle gripped his shoulders. Michal and her mother exchanged a horrified look.
But the wedding went on. In the yichud (room inwhch bride and groom may speak together privately) room, he talked a lot. She didn’t understand so much of what he was saying. Everything suddenly was blurry. A kind of screen came down on her brain.
Something wasn’t clear. Something wasn’t good.
Her elderly Aunt Penina, who spoke with the chatan and wished him “Mazel Tov,” came over to Michal right afterwards, a glint of bewilderment in her eyes. Michal didn’t know what to say.
But the wedding continued, like a “show that must go on.” To be continued.