It is a June wedding seemingly like other weddings. The beautiful chuppah (marriage canopy) for a Jewish wedding. The floral arrangements dotting the pews. The family and friends, joyous and excited. The bride and groom so into each other, so overwhelmed at this moment that they are beaming and tearing up simultaneously. One wonders if they will make it through their vows; both bride and groom are romantics and prone to crying at weddings.
The Rabbi approaches the chuppah. A Reform Rabbi, he sees the Jewish wedding not as one with a rigid structure or format, but one enriched by and celebrating the Jewish tradition. The Rabbi begins:
I’d like to take this moment to begin with the Shechecheyanu – the blessing we say upon reaching a new season. For today, we are not only celebrating the marriage of this beautiful couple, but also, the fact that we can gather together for the first time in a year and a half. The Shechecheyanu is the perfect blessing to mark the momentous occasion.
The Rabbi asks the crowd of family and friends to recite together:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יהוה, אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָֽינוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמָן הַזֶּה
Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Haolam, shehechiyanu, v’kiy’manu, v’higianu lazman hazeh.
Blessed are You Eternal Spirit who has given us life, sustained us and allowed us to arrive in this moment.From My Jewish Learning
We nod and say amen, aware that we have emerged tentatively, like tender green pea shoots, out of coronavirus hibernation and into a new season.
Joy and gratitude
We celebrate this season