The day I got married it rained like I have never seen it rain before. I mean sheets of rain so thick that you couldn't see through them and flooding in main thoroughfares of north Toronto. Ironically, the only thing the groom had requested vis-a-vis the wedding was to get married outside. Well, that surely didn't happen.
Many of the people who were there that day felt compelled to tell us that rain was a sign of good luck in a Jewish marriage.
Now I am not a superstitious person and I don't buy into that sort of thing, but there was definitely a little piece of me hoping that the Jewish folklore was true. I mean, who doesn't want all the help they can get to have a good marriage? And if rain is a good sign, then bring on the signs.
Tonight we were at another wedding (although this time it was within the internationally although unreasonably approved borders for the State). The weather was beautiful and everyone was in the mood for fun.
The young couple seemed to be having the time of their lives standing under the huppa and in typical wedding fashion in Israel, some of the guests were actually listening to the ceremony.In Israel it is not uncommon for people to get married outside because the weather is conducive to it. And many facilities simply don't have an indoor alternative in case of rainy weather, because rainy weather is rare.
Unfortunately rainy weather in Israel is often much too rare. You may notice that I did not say "bad" weather because in Israel no one considers rain a bad thing. And many consider it a gift from God -- a gift that He sometimes gives reluctantly. The past few years have officially been drought years because the rainfall has been so low.
I have to remind myself that I am not writing about rain specifically tonight but rather rain as it tangentially affects life events.
Let's fastforward a bit. The young couple get married. Everyone is happy. We dance. And then, because we are Jews and no party is complete without a lot of food, we sit down outside at lovely tables to eat!!!
And that's when the rain started.
Now at first no one wanted to look like a wuss so we all continued to eat, talk and get rained on. It was a light rain and remember, rain in Israel is a real blessing. Then the rain got a little heavier. Some women, in an effort to protect their hair and dresses, started to cover themselves up with the fancy napkins on the table and began yanking at the tablecloths in a effort to increase their protective coverage.
One table for 10 people collectively got up and moved their table to a more sheltered spot out of the rain.
But for the most part, everyone just kept eating, dancing and socializing. Looking around, there were people putting up umbrellas and covering their heads with linen napkins but overall, no real movement towards shelter. It was remarkable and I couldn't help wonder what would happen if the rain had started to fall during an outdoor wedding outside of Israel?
Do other people in other countries value rain the way Israelis do?
I have said it before and I will now say it again: if you complain about rain in Israel, someone drives by in an unmarked car, kidnaps you and drives you directly to the airport to deport you. In other words, you simply do not complain about rain in a drought-inclined country. No, not ever. Not even during a wedding.
Of course, you don't have to. It's good luck.
(note to regular readers: If my life is starting to look like one big party I want to set the records straight .... as soon as I stop laughing at that assumption.)