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My Big Ol’ Jewish Wedding: Mazel Tovs And Hebrew School Regrets

We’re about three weeks away from the wedding.  One year of planning, freaking out, food tastings, thinking about what baseball team our kids will like, wondering what music we’re going to play, and the dozens of other wonderful things that come with planning our day under the chuppah, and now we’re rounding the final corner. But before we can have our day there’s two big things I’ve been thinking about.

The first being all the mazel tovs.  I’m seriously going to miss them.  You get used to people hearing you’re getting married and uttering a very low-key “mazel tov,” followed up sometimes by a jokey, “You’ve still got time.  I’m kidding!  My wife and I have been together 40 years and we couldn’t be happier.”  I’ll miss people carting out cakes that have mazel tov written on top in pink frosting, and I’ll miss people telling us how happy we’re going to be, how beautiful marriage is, and the wisdom people who have been married try to pass down.  I’ll also probably miss blogging about the wedding, but who knows?

Also, my upcoming wedding means that, for the first time since my ill-fated bar mitzvah haftorah reading of 1993 (more on that later), I will be called in front of a congregation, and I will have to speak Hebrew.  Granted it’s only about one minute of Hebrew, but since I slacked off in Hebrew school prior to my bar mitzvah, even the most rudimentary prayers are difficult for me.  Am I embarrassed of this?  Well, not especially.  I haven’t had to use that much Hebrew in the fifteen years since the day I became a man, but I’m worried that when it’s my turn to go up and say a few (literally, a few) words, I might have some repeat performance of my meltdown that I had in that Chicago shul back in the Clinton-era.

But I’m an adult now.  I think it’s going to be alright, but it proves one thing: you should probably pay attention to your Hebrew school classes.

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