June 24, 2024
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June 24, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

It began with my lighting candles on Friday night. This was not just any Shabbat. It was the Shabbat prior to our grandson Ezra Hagler marrying his bashert, Shoshana Schrier. I have no difficulty in shedding tears at the slightest thing, but when I saw how beautifully our daughter had prepared her Shabbat table, it made me very emotional. There on the table was my parents’ silverware, which is usually used only on Rosh Hashanah at the Hagler home, and each special napkin was rolled into sterling silver napkin rings, which also were a part of my relatives in Germany’s home.

As I sat down at the table I rubbed the fork gently and felt as though both of my parents were present with us at the table. The same sentimentality that I feel for things that have travelled oceans to be in our homes is also felt by my daughter Chavie, and I am extremely thrilled that at least one of my children shares my sentimentality. Every drop of food was special and festive. We were indeed at a very special chatan’s tisch.

The usual fanfare of an impressive aufruf attended by friends and relatives did not happen. The kiddush and lunch that would have been planned did not happen. A small table was opened outside the Hagler home, and only neighbors on their one small street were asked to come and make a l’chaim, with each cookie and dessert wrapped individually.

The wedding with the allotted 150 people could not have been more festive. A hall that is able to accommodate 500 was rented for 150 people. Masks were worn; people danced with small hula hoops or ropes between them, strings attached, in order to ensure that they did not touch one another; and the food was outstandingly delicious and served individually. There was nothing missing at this simcha. Not even (forgive me) the 200-300 people who might have been invited had we not been living in this COVID time. I don’t think that I have ever been at a more lively wedding. Each dance was to be mesameach the chatan and kallah only. Everything was golden.

What I need to share are the components of what to me makes a wedding most special and why I continue to be weepy. The preparation, the gowns, the matching ties and socks, the haircuts for men and the makeup for women become trivial, in my way of thinking, to the real essence of what made this simcha so special. Seeing our children together, happy to be in each other’s company to celebrate for Chavie and Chaim, and even more so, every one of our grandchildren, (except for one who could not find a late enough flight back to Chicago Sunday night) were there from everywhere.

It was not easy for them. Our grandson from Columbus had planned to come with his entire family until there was a realization that there would be no children at the wedding, so he flew in Sunday morning and flew back Monday morning. B”H our married grandchildren all have young children who had to be left with babysitters so that they could attend. Nothing stopped any of them from making it happen: cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents that sincerely love each other.

For those who think that if a grandparent or married child lives out of town it can deter the family from being close with one another, I must tell you that certainly has not been the case in our family. I credit two things on our success as a family. The first is that the many chagim that our children travelled from all over to spend with us in Montreal succeeded in gluing our grandchildren to each other. They really care about and love each other. It is almost unheard-of to consider one not being present at another’s simcha.

The other reason that our grandchildren are close is because they have seen over the years the love and concern that their parents have shown for them and their siblings. Every person has their own challenges, and that includes our children as well. For each challenge that arose a sibling was there to show concern and help. It’s difficult to describe what it means to us as parents that their union becomes more and more solidified.

Of course, there was a sad note in that our daughter Naama was not able to be present due to the borders between Canada and the U.S. being closed. It didn’t deter us from having her celebrate with us. She Zoomed the entire wedding, and her group home dressed her up specially; she invited two friends from where she lives to join her; and we ordered special catered food for her to have while we were eating our feast. A special thank you to Jeffrey Braverman, who for many years was almost a family member of ours in Montreal, and he managed to include Naama several times at the simcha.

I continue to be teary-eyed in gratitude for our amazing family, to our amazing Chavie and Chaim, together with the Schrier family, who shared the same page especially when it came to COVID safety. This simcha could not have been more perfect, and the lifetime ahead for Ezra and Shoshana should be as flawless as their wedding, especially because it was planned with so much love and respect.


Nina Glick lives in Bergenfield with her husband, Rabbi Mordechai Glick, after many years of service to the Montreal Jewish community. Nina coordinated all Yachad activities in Montreal and was a co/founder of Maison Shalom, a group home for special needs young adults. She can be reached at [email protected].

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