The Jewish Week is always here for you.
We need your support now.
Your contribution will help us bring you vital news
and frequent updates about the impact of COVID-19.
The Jewish wedding: t-shirts or tuxes?

The Jewish wedding: t-shirts or tuxes?

The Jewish Week caught up with Sharon two months into her aliyah journey. To read about her adventures from the beginning, click here.

As was supposed to be the topic of my previous post, I just wanted to express how happy I am that I was able to attend my friend Michelle’s wedding, 6,000 miles away from my new home, thanks to the financial generosity of my parents.

Now let’s just hope I can catch up on the three mornings of ulpan I missed.

If you remember, about a month ago I was quite on the fence about this decision, and feared that a return so soon the US would have a number of negative consequences on my decision to move to Israel.

But in the end, I decided that I couldn’t miss this day in Michelle’s life, as she has been one of the closest people to me in the world for the past 10 years. I decided that while there were only a few people I would fly that far for, she was absolutely one of them. And I’m so happy I was there.

None of my friends or family members whom I couldn’t see were at all offended (or at least they told me they weren’t), and the Misrad HaKlita has assured me that restarting my immigrant basket payments will be easy, assuming they stop at all.

And psychologically, as Ravid reminded me, I have to remember that I am quite a strong person with deep-rooted convictions, and I already chose to move my life to Israel, where thankfully, I seem to be having some bits of success already.

Both the ceremony and the reception at B’nei Tikvah in North Brunswick were absolutely beautiful, as was the kallah of course. Michelle had a striking poise and sense of confidence up there that I really admired. The way those two looked at each other – well, you couldn’t help but smile.

When she and her family walked down the aisle to “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav,” I felt a warmth spread through my chest, knowing that this age-old ritual that Michelle was about to embark upon stemmed directly from the Jewish State’s capital city – now my city.

Logistically, the wedding was quite similar to that of my friend Liat, another beautifully poised kallah and equally close friend, whose wedding was held here in Israel a mere three weeks ago.

Each had a delicately designed chuppah with family members surrounding her, and each went through a series of prayers that have highlighted Jewish tradition for years – from the sheva brachot (the seven blessings) to the respective grooms chanting, “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right arm forget its cunning…”

The biggest difference between the American and Israeli Jewish weddings was, as entirely expected, the attire – ahem, the male attire. At Israeli weddings, it is rare to see a jacket or a tie, and many young men will even show up with sneakers. This is absolutely accepted and approved. It would be strange to show up otherwise. Meanwhile, at a New Jersey Jewish wedding, male family members wear tuxedos, while most everyone else sports their best suits.

Personally, I think each has its merits, and I honestly couldn’t care less what the guests are wearing as long as my friends getting married are happy as they should be.

It’s funny though that all the women, on the other hand, seemed to dress rather similarly. I guess wherever she is and no matter what country she’s in, a girl will always be a girl.

_ _

This entry is cross-posted on Sharon’s original "Sacred and Insane" blog. You can reach Sharon at, or follow her on Twitter.

read more: