Tuesday, May 16, 2006


The 6:00am workout didn't happen, but a 3:30pm workout did. I managed to squish in most of the Day III: Mostly Quads session between school and the wedding. Did the two varieties of rows, the squats, and had just started the lunges when I realised that I needed to leave if I didn't want to miss the bus to the wedding. The bus was leaving Jerusalem at 6:00pm, and I still had to shower, dress, put on makeup and so on.

My classmate D's wedding was held at Gan HaVradim - the Rose Garden - that site has an annoyingly slow intro, no English and no skip intro button, but if you want to see what the place looked like, stick with it. I love Israeli weddings, and this one was probably the best I've ever been to. Everything was good: location, music, food, friends... The eclectic music included traditional Jewish Yemenite (bride's heritage), modern Israeli and near-eastern, American and European pop.

Israeli weddings always have lots of food. This one had hors d'oeuvres and food stations upon arrival, and at the sit-down dinner after the huppah, the appetizer was a choice between grilled salmon and quiche with goose breast, and the entree a choice between spareribs and turkey. The service was excellent. The waitstaff was really nice and kept offering to bring us drinks, even though our table was at most 15 steps from the bar. I had the salmon, which I finished, and the spareribs, which I didn't. I also had some dessert and drank a lot of water, which became a necessity after each boisterous dancing interlude.

I didn't drink any alcohol except for a sip of red wine at the very end. After the last part of birkat ha-mazon (grace after meals), we said the seven wedding blessings (traditional translation, modern translation), and the bride and groom each had a sip of wine after the last blessing. Then, if they wanted to, single women had a sip of the bride's cup and single men had a sip of the groom's cup - as a good luck thing - that they too should be married soon.

There's a point in the dancing where the bride and groom sit on chairs and then the guests lift them overhead and dance around them. I was one of the people who was holding up the bride's chair, and it hit me that this was a great fringe benefit of weight-lifting: you get to make the bride and groom happy, which is a big thing in a Jewish wedding. I got home at 2:00am, went to bed at 2:30am and woke up this morning at 6:40am. Unsurprisingly, I'm exhausted today, and grateful for the existence of cafffeine. I'm going to try and get to the gym a little earlier than usual and go to sleep early tonight.


At 8:49 PM , Anonymous Bud Gibson said...

Sounds like a great time. Do you have plans to return to Israel once you're back in North America? It seems like a big part of your life now.

At 2:33 AM , Blogger JuliaMazal said...

I've always thought the chair part was 3/4 terror, but I guess I wouldn't know till I'm precariously perched like that...

Glad you had fun! Any fun new Israeli pop groups we should know about?

At 6:10 AM , Blogger Mich said...

Bud - Definitely coming back asap. As early as December 06 for vacation if I can afford the flights.

JM - Lots, but no names coming to mind at the moment. I'll send a list later on.


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