If you’ve never been to an Orthodox wedding, you should really get to one. I mean it. They are a mix of seriousness (the ceremony) and crazy-funness (the reception). Picture rabbis in dark coats and long beards, and then picture those same rabbis dancing with their arms in the air, juggling, doing handstands, showing off complicated footwork, acrobatics, pyrotechnics, you name it. And that’s just a tiny taste of it. People go all out.
You really have to see it to believe it.
I had the very good fortune to attend a wedding last night. I’m very close to the kallah’s family, and it was a absolute pleasure to dance with the kallah, her mother, and many dear friends who came in all the way from St. Louis, MO to celebrate the wedding in Lakewood, NJ.
It’s a big mitzvah to make a chosson and kallah happy on the day of their wedding. It’s part of the mitzvah of loving your fellow as yourself (one of my faves). Part of this mitzvah is to make sure that the chosson and kallah have what they need. That’s one reason you’ll always see people bringing them water, or a chair to sit in, and lots and lots of shtick to enjoy. That’s why people go all out during the dancing. That’s where the unicycles come in. ‘Cause, really, who doesn’t love unicycles?
One who makes a chosson and kallah happy merits the Torah, and it’s considered to be like bringing an offering to the Temple AND as if you’ve built one of the ruined houses in Jerusalem, so it’s kind of a big deal. (paraphrased from vosisneias.com)
It’s also nice because sometimes the young (or not so young) couple can be very nervous as they embark on this new stage in life. It’s exciting, but life as they know it is about to change, so dancing your skirt off can help ease that tension.
Anyways, I’m pretty much exhausted from all the driving and dancing I just did (and in heels, no less. Don’t judge me, I love them), so I will leave you with this question:
What’s the most interesting dancing/shtick/entertainment you’ve seen at a wedding?
You may also enjoy:
- Torah Tuesdays – It’s all good
- Torah Tuesdays: Lasting Effects
- Torah Tuesdays: Get good directions
- Torah Tuesdays: The more you give, the more you have