| Close Call |

Close Call: Chapter 14

Something struck me about this incident. Something strange and shocking. Something I didn’t dare tell Ahuva

My wedding day arrived.

I woke up bright and early and dove right into tefillah. If I’d been worried that fasting would impede my concentration, my worries proved ungrounded. The world seemed to freeze around me, and it was only me and my siddur as I poured my heart out to HaKadosh Baruch Hu, thanking Him for bringing me to this special day and beseeching a lifetime of brachah upon myself, my future husband, and our future generations. Who could think of eating at such a time? With every word I uttered, I felt my soul soaring to tremendous heights as I connected with Hashem on the most profound level.

The day advanced, and soon it was time to get ready. Through the whirr of preparation — hair, makeup, gown — my mind remained focused on the gravity of the day, and I recited kapitel after kapitel with intense emotion. It was my personal Yom Kippur, the shaarei Shamayim were open to my tefillos. I didn’t want to squander even a single second of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

I kept my Tehillim within reach all day, grabbing it between rounds of pictures, constantly whispering, whispering, until I literally felt spiritually cleansed, ready to take the monumental step and walk to my chuppah.

The hall filled up quickly. A sea of faces swam before my eyes as I sat on my bridal throne, swaying in tefillah. As guests started approaching to wish me mazel tov, I tried to contain the butterflies in my stomach and smile warmly, accepting their meaningful brachos.

Miriam walked up to me and we hugged. She whispered the most beautiful brachos into my ear. With glistening eyes, I thanked her, and wished her sincere brachos in return. A kallah’s brachos on her wedding day carry incredible weight, and I was effusive with my blessings.

Very soon, the music shifted and the crowd parted in two rows, craning their necks in anticipation of my chassan’s approach. I lowered my head and proceeded to daven with urgency. This was it. The moment had come.

I’d worried that when the time came for the chuppah, I’d be so afraid and overwhelmed, I’d freeze up. But to my great fortune, I experienced remarkable level-headedness throughout the entire time and was able to daven with extraordinary kavanah.

And then it was over. My chassan stomped on the glass, the crowd erupted in mazel tovs, the music exploded to life.

After grabbing a bite to break our fast, my husband and I were summoned for pictures. We laughed at the photographer’s corny jokes, and soon our families joined us for yet more pictures.

We were surrounded by happiness, genuine smiles all around us. Our families were exuberant and the atmosphere was filled with authentic simchah.

I was beaming at the camera, surrounded by my siblings, when I noticed the door of the room open a crack. Someone peeked in. Was that — Ahuva?


I blinked, startled. Between rounds of pictures, I waved her over. Breathlessly, she wished me mazel tov amidst a torrent of excuses. “I’m so sorry for coming so late, I can’t believe I missed your chuppah, don’t ask what happened.”

I didn’t ask. I had more important things on my mind then.

“You’re not angry?” she asked worriedly. “Are you?”

I wasn’t angry. Surely she’d had a good reason for being unable to make it on time. Things happen. Besides, this was my wedding day. I was enveloped in happiness. I didn’t have the headspace to be angry.

So, no I wasn’t angry. But something struck me about this incident. Something strange and shocking. Something I didn’t dare tell Ahuva.

Because the reality was, Ahuva, my very best friend, had missed my chuppah.

And I hadn’t even noticed.

(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 770)

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