Sunday, July 03, 2011

Chassidic Wedding Outside Amway Hotel 

Beneath a wedding canopy set against the backdrop of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel this week, Chayale Weingarten, the daughter of local Rabbi Yosef Weingarten, married Levi Groner of Melbourne, Australia.

Jews of all sects and from around the globe took part in the ceremony, one of the area’s few Hasidic Jewish weddings, according to the father of the bride, who is director of the Chabad House of Western Michigan.

First Hasidic wedding for many

“The last one we had was a few years ago,” Weingarten said of the last such event held in Grand Rapids, adding such occasions allow for both celebration and education.

“Many people (who attended) have never been to a Hasidic wedding,” he said.

Symbolic acts

The ceremony was steeped in tradition, from its onset late Monday afternoon to the moment of union beneath the wedding canopy, called a “chupah,” around 7 p.m. Then, there were the post-wedding festivities.

There was copious singing, prayer and merriment interspersed with symbolic steps prior to the marriage.

The bride and groom, who until their wedding day had not seen one another for a full week, recited their commitments to both others and each other.

The mothers of the soon-to-be-married break a plate during the receptions beforehand, illustrating among other things the irreversible nature of the wedding.

And there is, of course, the love and support of a community that appears small at face value, but in reality is global.

Family support

“To have my whole community here from town and out of town, it was beautiful,” said Chayale Groner, formerly Weingarten, referencing how attendees came from as far as London, Israel and beyond. “I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Per tradition, wedding festivities take place for an entire week following the ceremony. Beyond that, the couple readies for a life with one another.

The young Groners will move to New York City to teach and learn at a Jewish school there, Levi Groner said. They will stay there for at least a year, he said, and they hope in the future to travel the world seeking places in need of the sense of community the couple felt in Grand Rapids.

And that, Weingarten said, is most exciting.

“The world is open for them,” he said.


Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Chaptzem! Blog