Shehecheyanu

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 Shechecheyanuthe 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

Shechecheyanu

This is a stock photo (throwing rice is not a thing in Jewish weddings) but the above is based on a recent true story. Photo by Victoria Priessnitz on Unsplash

For dVerse

29 comments

    • It really was an amazing wedding – from the couple that’s perfect for each other, to the Rabbi who was the perfect officiant, the whole ceremony and dancing reception, and the sheer fact that we were sufficiently post-pandemic that the wedding was even happening (it was originally scheduled for 2020)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh there are plenty of things I could be snarky and judgmental about. The venue was odd. The menu choices were strange and the food was something of a mixed bag – some things were tasty and some things were decidedly not, and the timing of the food was also odd. There were some awesome music choices and some bizarre ones. The wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses were not dresses I would have chosen if it were me.

      All that said, it was one of the most amazingly joyous and fun wedding ceremonies and receptions I have ever been to.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This transition is an interesting time. Concurrently hopeful and uncertain. Here in Australia we target COVID elimination. We get very worked up and crack down if there is just one case. The rest of the world seems more different than ever. Finally, I can see you have a lot to teach about the world of Judaism. I look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Concurrently hopeful and uncertain” is a good description. I think a lot of people feel that way. I feel like in the US, it’s definitely been more of a rush to get things back to normal as soon as possible, in part due to the economic impacts. That said, my personal COVID risk tolerance has been relatively high throughout and I’m an extreme extrovert who coped badly with stay at home orders; I had little hesitation about dancing and partying hard at this reception!
      Thank you – I’m so glad you found the Jewish references here accessible.

      Like

    • Hey! I’ve missed you! How are you doing?
      The wedding was a COVID rescheduled one – initially planned for 2020 and moved to June 2021. It was such an amazing wedding. Bride’s mother seemed to think they should have gotten married in 2020 with fewer people, no dancing, etc., but I’m happy they rescheduled.

      Like

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