This wedding was different from most. For the groom it was a second marriage after the death of his wife. Two small children stood under the chupa, the Jewish wedding canopy together with them. This by itself did not make it unusual. But then the unexpected happened. Someone got up and spoke. He was the brother of the groom’s deceased wife. He spoke honestly about his feelings – his beautiful sister who was gone, his feeling of wanting the ground to swallow him up and his appreciation and welcoming of this new bride and how they would build a new life together on the ashes of the family’s destruction. The blessings were said as usual by various friends and family members. The last blessing was recited by the father of the first wife. It was very moving. As the father of the bride said, three families were joined. He also spoke of a joining of cultural origins and of Jerusalem (where the wedding was held) as the city of joining and of peace. That the bride’s family had the graciousness to incorporate the first wife’s family into their celebration and that the family of the first wife had the graciousness to bless this new union was truly one of those moments in which I felt this chupa was holding up the world. (submitted by Batya)

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