| Tempo: Second Guessing |

A Tale of Two Weddings: Readers Join the Conversation

“You would never miss your sister’s wedding for your boss’s wedding; you cannot miss your best friend’s wedding either”

Last Week:
Ari’s right. I know he is. It’s not even really a question, except that it is. Yaeli has eight children, kein ayin hara, there’ll be more weddings. Devorah only has Eliyahu. I work with Devorah every day. She’s my boss, she’s my friend. But Yaeli is like my sister.
Why? Why’d they both have to be on the 4th of July?
Why can’t they both be in town?
Why can’t neem oil fix everything for me, too?
The wedding is absolutely gorgeous, with nary a ponytail or marshmallow in sight. Yaeli looks like she’s 20, and we dance up a storm. There’s nowhere I’d rather be, but when Devorah texts me a “it’s not the same without you” selfie of her gorgeous gown, I can’t help the sadness that forms in the pit of my stomach.


Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too?
R.R., Chicago

The expression is true: you can’t dance at two chasunahs (on the same night!). I think the struggle is real and both sides really have merit. I do think Shif chose the right wedding that night. Her place is with her best friend. On the other hand, it’s not all or nothing. There are compromises in life; perhaps Shif could have made arrangements to spend the Shabbos aufruf with her boss’s family or joined for davening and lunch. She could have even brought a log cake for dessert. Simchahs should be shared by family and friends, and it’s possible for her to make both baalei simchah feel her love and participation — no neem oil necessary!

It's Simple
C.S., Israel

Ari doesn’t see the dilemma. “Yaeli has been your best friend since you were six years old,” he says as he helps me wash up.

Men. Like it’s that simple.

Shif, this time it is that simple. And Ari says it best, yet again: “Yaeli has been your best friend for 35 years. Devorah has been your boss for six.

Shif, make your heartfelt apologies to Devo. And you don’t have to fake anything; they are heartfelt. You really wish you could be there. But you can’t. Your best friend is making a wedding.

I don’t know how far away Baltimore is, if you could possibly dash there after Yaeli’s wedding even for a few minutes, but if you can’t, you can’t.

In the baal teshuvah world in Israel, of which I’m a part, many of us don’t have a lot of (or any) “real” family around. Our friends, especially those longtime friends we “grew up” with, in Torah and Yiddishkeit, are our sisters. Just as you would never miss your sister’s wedding for your boss’s wedding, you cannot miss your best friend’s wedding either.

And the boss, whose boundaries you so respect, will regret your presence but respect your boundaries as well.

Who Needs Me More?
Rechy Bergman, Lakewood

This was a tough one! I would have gone to my boss’s child’s wedding because as hard as it is to miss the first wedding my best friend makes, im yirtzeh Hashem there will be more. For someone who has only one child, this is just a much bigger deal, and with the wedding being out of town, she probably needs the crowd more. I would explain it to Yaeli beforehand, and try hard to make it up to her, stopping by during the day to help out, sending lunch, and making sure I see everyone all dressed up if I can. But when thinking about who needs my presence at the actual event, I keep going back to my boss.


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 896)

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