There was a buzz on the train and with every station, more people piled on. It was a rather funny train experience because people only came on; not off. Until “Tachana Merkazit- Central Bus Station”. Then, like the Jews leaving Egypt, people in waves piled out of the train, all at once, and headed towards the same direction.
Across the street.
I for one was going to dance with Sarah Litman, no matter what. What I didn’t realize is that thousands of others had the same agenda.
Sarah had lost her father and brother a few days before her original scheduled wedding in a terrorist attack. The wedding was postponed until after shiva was over and the wedding was moved to Binyanei Ha’aumah; the biggest hall in Jerusalem. Sarah called out to Jewish people all over the world inviting them to join her wedding celebration. And boy did people accept that invite! Individuals flew in from other counties, traveled into Jerusalem from all over Israel, and thousands of Jerusalemites attended the wedding.
It was one of the most overwhelming experiences I have ever had. I have been in mobs, but mostly they were for rallies or funerals. I had never been in such a claustrophobic scene on the foundation of pure, unadulterated, happiness. Yes, I couldn’t breath well stuck between someone’s armpit and another’s shoulder blade, however, I maintained the ability to take in the moments.
All in all, it was a benchmark in my life, no question. At the end, I was unable to enter the hall or see the bride (although I did see the Chattan; he came out to the crowd to dance with us)…but I was certainly part of the wedding. With thousands and thousands of others.
All who needed a message, got one.
Our enemies got the message: you can’t break us and this is how we fight terror-with simcha and achdut.
Hashem got the message that no matter how much he breaks our hearts with sadness and pain, we are His beloved nation and we come together as His children in times of happiness and sadness.
The Jewish people got the message that when we come together, we create an army stronger than any army in the world’; including IDF. It’s the army of, “Love your brother as much as yourself”.
The world got the message: “Ain Kamoch Amecha”. Jews know suffering and pain, but continue to choose joy and euphoria.
As for Sarah and her Chattan Ariel Beigel… they got the message they needed most: We love you and we stand with you. Always.