THREE FACTS: (1) Erin and Josh are planning an outdoorsy fall wedding on a budget in Virginia’s Shenandoah mountains. (2) Erin recently completed her conversion to Judaism, and she and Josh are looking forward to filling their big day with Jewish traditions while keeping it enjoyable and understandable to friends and family from all backgrounds. (3) Erin is a member of Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club!
Sometimes as a bride, it can be really easy to become laser-focused on your wedding. Sure, you usually are still working, still maintain friendships and our relationships, but a bride (myself very much included.)
But right now, it seems like the world is conspiring to ask us to look beyond ourselves. Beyond our weddings.
There’s a pandemic that has all but stopped our cities. A pandemic that has left people away from their loved ones for months, without jobs, sick, and sometimes even dead.
In the United States, where I live, people are seizing the moment and protesting systemic racism and police brutality. Taking to the streets, even in the midst of a pandemic, because once again we feel like we have had enough.
So where does a wedding fit into all of this? Honestly, I think this is a question my fiancé and I are still fully sorting out.
One thing all of this does make me think of is our chuppah and our ketubah.
Our chuppah will be a symbol of our home we will build together. When we build our home, how will we build it? What will we build it with? I hope that it will be a welcoming place for neighbors, a safe and nurturing place for our family to grow. I hope it’s a place where we will continuously learn and try to be better people (and know that we will never be perfect people.)
Image: 100layercake.com from STG article Chuppah ideas & styling for a modern Jewish wedding
Our ketubah is more than just a document. My fiancé and I are making our ketubah ourselves, but we plan on making sure the text we choose speaks to us. It is once again a chance for us to reaffirm our relationship, love, and how we want to grow together.
DIY Ketubah by STG Real Blogging Bride Gillian from her Blogging Bride post
That being said, I hope that both our chuppah and our ketubah are imbued with the Jewish ideals of:
Pikuach Nefesh – “saving a life”
This is the principle in Jewish law that the preservation of human life overrides virtually any other religious rule. How can we live right now in a world with a deadly disease that we know relatively little about? What steps will we take to keep ourselves and others sage?
Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof – “Justice, justice you shall pursue” (Deuteronomy / Devarim 16:18)
How can we live our lives such that we pursue justice? We can’t just passively hope that justice will be done, or ignorantly believe that it is, but my fiancé and I have decided that we must hold each other accountable for learning and trying to contribute more to the fight for justice.
Artwork – TeeSpring
Tikkun Olam – literally “repairing of the world”
What can we do to help people be more mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally healthy? What can we do in our larger communities to make them safe and helpful for all people? What can we do for our planet, to keep it a healthy place for everyone to live?
Right now, I think I have more questions than answers, but that’s one of the beautiful things about building a Jewish life with my partner – the more questions means the more discussions, and the more possible answers, and growing together.
Click here to read all Erin’ planning posts to date.
Erin & Josh’s Wedding Vendors booked so far:
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