I’m getting married today!

WhatsApp Image 2020-05-12 at 3.34.51 PM

I will be getting married B”H today, Lag Ba’Omer, in Jerusalem. I am 34 years old and had been looking for my b’shert for a long time.

Thank G-d, I found him, and we will soon start our lives together. But it will not be the wedding that I dreamed of since I was a little girl. Nor will it be the wedding I had anticipated when I got engaged six months ago.

Mattan and I met 11 months ago. We were set up by a friend of mine whom he had dated recently. The funny thing is that we had many near-missed opportunities of meeting. We both ate in each other’s apartments in Washington Heights while the other wasn’t there, went on the same Israel programs, but different years.

Our shadchanit had a strong hunch that we would be a good match.

After four and a half months of dating, we decided to get engaged, although I decided much earlier that he was the one I had been looking for. We both wanted our parents to be with us in Israel when we announced our engagement, so we waited another two weeks before they flew from America to Israel. We had a beautiful l’chaim, surrounded by many friends and filled with dancing.

We started planning the wedding of our dreams that would take place on Lag Ba’Omer. We had planned on getting married just outside Jerusalem at a venue with beautiful flowers in the springtime. Over 80 family members and friends had booked flights from abroad to come dance with us.

But then Corona happened. At first, I was very optimistic, maybe naively so, and thought that the situation here would quickly improve, and get better by Pesach. When it later became clear that I wouldn’t be able to fly home for Pesach as planned, I began to understand that our wedding wouldn’t be what we had anticipated. I tried to stay positive, but there were definitely times when tears were shed. Mattan was always at my side to comfort me, whether it was about not dancing with my friends, my parents being unsure if they could attend, or even the many typical wedding customs that feel much more important when you can no longer have them.

Thankfully, my friends were also very supportive. My mom’s friends changed the Skokie bridal shower to a Zoom event. The virtual shower allowed me to have a meaningful conversation with each person. Everyone shared a bracha, games were played and a d’var torah was shared. My friends also planned a Rosh Chodesh Zoom party for me and since I try to go to the Kotel every Rosh Chodesh, they brought the Kotel to me. A guide at the Kotel Tunnel Tours gave us a virtual tour. Friends shared brachot and divrei torah about Rosh Chodesh and we danced separately in our own homes. Although once again we were separated, I could feel their love.

As the wedding is just hours away, I realize how much I have to be grateful for. My parents, who are not Israeli citizens, and one of my brothers, flew here from America to celebrate with me. It is beyond a miracle that they made it here.

Now that Israel is opening up, we will be able to have more guests at our wedding than we anticipated. Friends have opened up their beautiful garden in Jerusalem for us to use as our wedding venue, and others who wanted to express their love and celebration of our happiness, have surprised me with musical concerts, food, videos, and gifts.

These past few months have been a difficult journey, but one that has made me appreciate so much. I am thankful that my parents and one of my brothers will be at my wedding. (Sadly, my two other brothers, Mattan’s parents, and sister and brother-in-law are not able to attend). I have amazing friends who are here to celebrate with me and others who will be watching virtually.

Hopefully, our wedding will be bringing happiness into the world during this difficult time. We know that we will have a story to share with our children and grandchildren that no one will forget.