Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Simin Tov u Mazel Tov

There is a famous saying, "It takes a village to raise a child." And to that I counter, "It takes a community to make a Simcha." The wedding I attended on Sunday was just such an event. Almost the entire community was there to celebrate.

There is a mitzva l'sameach Chasan v'Kallah, to bring joy to the groom and the bride. It is incumbent upon each guest to do so, thus a Jewish wedding is filled with people doing their utmost to bring them happiness. Dancing, singing and different types of schtick (clowing, frivolity) are used to bring delight.

This is not the place where I want to go into all the details of [observant] Jewish life, but it is worth noting that in our circles the acquaintance of bride and groom before the wedding is usually quite short by Western standards. The engagement period is usually 2-4 months. Thus, halls are not booked months to years in advance, preparations are made with alacrity. Starting with the Vort (engagement party) the wedding event is marked with milestones leading to the day itself. One such milestone occurs on the Sabbath before the wedding. The Shabbas Kallah, where the bride's friends gather together on Sabbath afternoon to praise her and offer their personal blessings. This Shabbas Kallah was particularly touching and there was nary a dry eye in the house. Our Kallah has been a central figure in this community for 7 years and though I am new here, I too have been touched by her kindness. Which is why I wanted to make her a special gift.

The wedding itself was a wonderful affair. Seeing the hall filled with so many people. Breathless as we watched the groom then bride escorted to the chuppah by their parents. Watching the bride circle her groom 7 times. From the blessings to the breaking of the glass, you could feel the Divine Presence among us. And then it was all laughter and joy. Dancing and dancing and dancing. Dancing with the Kallah and for the Kallah (this being mirrored on the men's side for the Chassan.) And smiles, lots of smiles.

I was nervous about attending. As my grandmother had earlier noted, "Why should she invite you?" But invite me she did and I am so glad I went.

In about 2 weeks, my home will be hers and her husbands. Her old home will be mine. So today I start packing, AGAIN. And when she arrives, her present will be waiting for her. I hope to finish side 2 today, buy a cushion and start figuring out how I will attach the two pieces. In spite of the dearth of responses to my request for advice I managed to figure out what to do. I plan on going with subtle side, as I believe the designer intended.

The big change of plans is that instead of the Seed Stitch backing I had planned on, I came up with an even better idea. In fact, it may end up becoming the front side!

I scanned the couple's monogram from their wedding invitation,

and worked up a chart in Excel.

So far, so good!

Once the knitting is completed, and the piece has been blocked, I think the monogram will really stand out.

And then I can get on to the Icosa Ball pillow. Because New Roommate's wedding is less than 4 weeks away.

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