Each Time Is Like the First

A newly engaged couple………our grandson Yoni, formally Jonathan but I don’t think he answers to that name ever……..and his kallah to be Nina.  Pop the corks.  We rejoice in their love as if theirs is the only such celebration we’ve ever had.  Each time is like the first. We bask in their love.  We are so thrilled that they found each other.

Just yesterday I was the young bride.  The year was 1960.  Can it be?  Almost 60 years ago.  No.  It was yesterday.  I was 20……which any student of math can tell you makes me 80 now.  Can it be?  How on earth did this happen?  Sabba and I are now the ancient grandparents, bent and wrinkled as we walk towards the chuppah…..again.  Each time the joy is palpable.  We’ve done this before.  We hope to do it again and again!  Our children and grandchildren have made beautiful pathways to the chuppah.

The first wedding was our daughter Amy’s to her bashert Mark.  1986.  A beautiful wedding during Chanukah when all of the many guests gathered around the chanukiah to recite the brachot and sing a heart rendering Maoz Tzur.

A few short years later Lori married Michael, her best friend, in the holy city of Jerusalem.  Her bridal dress was something informal that she had seen in a Chicago store window.  It was perfect and the wedding itself was homespun simplicity, Israeli fashion, with Michael’s Tzahal chevrah dressed in anything goes casual, and the most beautiful dancing I have ever witnessed.

Pam married Matt in Jerusalem as well.  The chuppah was in the gardens behind Mama Guggi and Pampa Leo’s apartment building, next door to the King David Hotel where the reception was held. The spectacular views of the ancient city surrounded us in all their glory. The wedding was spirited and spiritual, a blending of three cultures, New Jersey, London and Israel.

Impatiently we waited for Peter to meet his own bashert.  Liz was worth waiting for!  They married atop the Fontainebleu Hotel, on a sunfilled day with a chuppah high above the world.  And while it snowed in New York and New Jersey that early afternoon in March,  we bathed in the warmth of love and the glorious vistas of Miami Beach.

The babies started to come.  And grow.  And now to walk to their own chuppahs.  First was Eitan to Dita whom he had met in high school.  By the time they celebrated at their joyous wedding, Dita, with her voice of an angel, had long since felt like a member of the family.  And she, and he, have now brought us two boys of their own.

The next wedding was Adiel’s.  Adiel is our marathon runner but she ran towards Matt, and their wedding was a magnificent blend of tradition and music, with balmy breezes cooling the summer heat wave.

This past August, Benji married Erica.  He, at 22, was the youngest chatan so far, except for Sabba,  but the wedding in Michigan showed us that there is Jewish life west of the Delaware and it is good.  The pounding dance floor at the shul outside of Detroit was testament to the spirit of the occasion.  The ruach was non-stop.

And now we await Yoni and Nina’s plans.  It will be a special wedding, as they all have been.  Two Jews deeply in love…..what could be better!

For us, the only thing we will have to do is recite the Schehechaynu and thank God for bringing us to this glorious moment.

About the Author
Rosanne Skopp is a wife, mother of four, grandmother of fourteen, and great-grandmother of three. She is a graduate of Rutgers University and travels back and forth between homes in New Jersey and Israel. She is currently writing a family history.
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