Hello there folks! It has been awhile, and per usual a lot has happened. As the title may let on, I've been doing a lot of celebrating. At the beginning of March one of my most beloved friends in the whole world, Brittany, got married. At the end of March a very dear friend from work, Philippa, got married—and that same night another friend from work, Jodi, had her baby.
Aside from their obvious joy, each of these events holds a special place in my life for different reasons.
Brittany is one of my best friends in the whole world, literally; we met in college and bonded through our love and support for Israel. She has been a light in my life from the pacific northwest to the middle east, so getting to share her special day with her, here in Israel, this place we both feel connected to and connected by, was really something else. With Brittany's marriage comes Jochanan, and for me this means family. I don't have blood relatives in Israel (other than all the other members of the tribe) but Brittany, and now Jochanan, have been that and will be that. I can't wait for our kids to grow up together in this magical place we call home.
Philippa's Wedding and Jodi's Son's Brit Milah
I group these two events together for a few reasons. First, is because both of these wonderful ladies work with me at Masa. There must be something in the water there because the Masa family constantly has a lot to celebrate. in the short (or long) six months I have worked there 3 babies have been born, 3 more are on the way, 1 person has gotten married and another got engaged.
Philippa's wedding is the first Jewish wedding I've ever been to. None of my family had Jewish weddings and none of my Jewish friends have gotten married (at least not while we were in the same place geographically). Jodi's son's bit was the first brit milah I've ever been to. (Pause: for those unfamiliar, a brit milah is a Jewish ceremony preformed 8 days after a baby boy is born. There is a ritual circumcision performed by a moil and the baby is officially named.) Both of these are important Jewish traditions that will someday be part of my life. Attending them was important not only because I have never experienced them before, but also because they make me think about my Jewish identity—past, present and future.
My parents recently celebrated 28 years of wedded bliss and with all the marriage, love, and simcha (joy) happening around me I can't help but also contemplate my life in those terms. What do I want? I want all of this. I want to be head over heels in love and promise my life to another person who will also promise theirs to me. I want to bring new life into this world and try my best at inspiring them to be a good person. And I want to do this all Jewishly.
What exactly does that mean? Well, I'm still figuring that out. But don't worry. With all that's been happening I've got a few ideas.