Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tonight will be the third consecutive night that I'm attending a wedding and -- get this-- it will be the first of the three that is not taking place in the Ma'arat HaMachpela. What are the odds of that?

The two weddings in (actually, next to) the Ma'arah were both very special. If nothing else, they were showcases for the amazing diversity that has taken hold in our tiny little corner of a tiny little corner of the world. Last night's wedding brought together the daughter of American olim from My Little Town and the son of a couple at the epicenter of the artsy, neo-hassidish, Hevron world. You wouldn't have had a hard time guessing which side any given older guest had been invited by, but if you'd have tried to perform that trick on the young people, forget about it.

The wedding the night before that was a very special story. As a teenager, Y supported himself as a janitor in a shul in his native Venezuela. Although he was not Jewish, he grew very connected to Judaism. He heard about a conversion institute for Spanish-speakers in My Little Town and simply moved here.

Y was sort of adopted by the people on my street and by one family in particular. When he successfully completed the conversion course and was called up to the Torah for the first time, our shul made him a kiddush. On Shabbat, he would stay on our street, usually sleeping in our extra room.

Y attended Machon Lev, studying Torah half a day and computers half a day. Having no financial assistance, he spent every free minute cleaning and painting houses. He eventually learned to speak Hebrew better than I do. In addition to all that, Y volunteered at Shaarei Tzedek.

And it was there that he met O, a nursing student from a frum French-Moroccan family, who had come to Israel on her own. On Monday night, a son of Avrohom Avinu married an FFB olah from Marseilles on the spot revered as the eternal resting place of his adopted father. The Jewish gene pool will be all the better for it.


Blogger zahava said...

Kleenex alert. You. Need. A. Kleenex. Alert!


2:21 PM  

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