Chatunot ve-Yeriyot (Weddings & Shootings)
I had to write in Hebrew. It fits, and acknowledges my new family in our ancient, beautiful language. I thank my parents (may their memory be a blessing) for speaking to me in Hebrew as a very young child, so that I would internalize it and it would be my second mother tongue. But not to worry, my non-Hebrew speaking friends: I will now loosely translate:
Today is the 'big day.' This evening my older son is getting married to a wonderful girl, from a fine family. We are currently staying with the kallah's* mother, at her house in Ashdod. As is written in Ethics of the Fathers, "Ben Zoma says...who is respected? He who respects others..." I thank G-d that my son found the love of his life in such a wonderful girl.
And that describes my son's new family, his machatenim, or in-laws, as they say in Yiddish. No Yiddish here, however; instead, there's Farsi (Parsi=from 'Paras,' or Persia), as the kallah's mother came here as a young girl with her family, from the country now called Iran.
I need to get ready; the kallah and chatan are already in separate places preparing (she is getting her hair done; he is getting a massage to calm him down!)
Yesterday I was sitting here on the back patio, having my cup of coffee, listening to the war going on in Aza (Gaza), about 30-40 kilometers to the south.
That is this reality of this country: always sudden attackes, stone-throwing smashing car windows and injuring civilians, and wars, little ones and big ones--from the multiple enemies surrounding this tiny country, wanting to push it into the sea--and always--thank G-d--chatunot, weddings--and bar and bat mitzvahs and births and celebrations; of new life and continuance.
Because this is our country from time immemorial. And, as HaDag Nachash say in their song, we are here to stay.