| Teen Diary Serial |

Vered’s Story: Chapter 5      

 After her conversion, my mother and my father had to get halachically married. That was an interesting experience for me!


Soon after my tenth birthday, my mother was finally ready to convert as well. As an adult, she had to learn much more than I, so she had to study for a lot longer than I had to. We had been keeping Torah and mitzvos as a family for a few years already, and my mother was so eager and grateful to join the Jewish nation at last.

After her conversion, my mother and my father had to get halachically married. That was an interesting experience for me! I was eleven years old at the time, and I can tell you, it was an odd feeling. How many teens can tell you that they were present when their biological parents married each other? Not so many!

The wedding was supposed to have been just a modest affair in our shul, but it turned into a whirlwind, leibedig, frum wedding. Sadly, another wedding in our area had been cancelled at the last minute, but all the bochurim who had come in for that first wedding were already in town. They got wind of my parents’ wedding and decided to join and be mesamei’ach chassan v’kallah at this special event. I had never been to a wedding before, and most certainly not a frum wedding, and it was an amazing experience. One of my memories of the wedding is my little brother, all of four years old, running around the shul during the chuppah. I was upset at him; didn’t he realize what a serious event this was? Couldn’t he behave a little more formally?

My mother looked beautiful in a regal white wedding gown and a gorgeous veil with intricate beading she had made herself. I remember looking at her and feeling that she looked like a queen. As for myself, I don’t even remember what I wore — this wedding was so much not about the outer trappings. By now, I’ve been to many weddings, and I can wholeheartedly tell you that my parents’ wedding was a unique and beautiful experience. It was a wedding that was purely l’sheim shamayim. Sometimes, I feel like the joy of building a bayis ne’eman somehow gets lost in all the glitz and sparkle: the flowers, the gowns, the hairstyles, the band, the music, the hall… Sometimes we seem to lose focus of what’s really happening: a Jewish couple is getting married. They are founding their own Jewish home together, a place for the Shechinah to dwell, a mikdash me’at, and hopefully a place where they will raise the next generation of Yiddishe neshamos. The beauty and meaning of all this was clearly felt at my parents’ wedding: it was completely for the sake of the mitzvah of a Jewish marriage. (I felt that some of the weddings we had during Covid pandemic had this same meaningful feeling: The guests came just to be misameach; no one was trying to impress anyone else. There was a sort of wholesome holiness that sometimes gets buried at regular weddings.) Maybe, if I had to sum it up, I’d say it was a heightened awareness of what is necessary and what is not. It was so special: a focus on the kedushah of marriage and not on anything else. Besides for the strangeness of being at my own parents’ wedding, that is the main emotion I remember: a feeling of awe and respect for the entity that is Jewish marriage.

We went home that night as a completely Jewish family, together and whole in a way we had never been before.

to be continued…


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 938)

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