Sunday, September 14, 2003

Mor's wedding

The stage was set long before anybody decided to get married here, a place brought back from the brink of barrenness by the work of one Nogah Hareuveni, and now, with the beautiful landscaping can only be described as an oasis nestling among the hills. We made the journey to Mor's and Yaniv's wedding by bus, watching the land idly slip by in the dark. (I was sitting with my supervisor, and oddly enough most of the conversation was about leeches: we swapped leech and tick and fly stories till finally the bus reached its destination, hampered only by a couple of wrong turns). We took our little table cards, these cards that indicate where we are fated to eat, who our companions will be and what view we will have. The road winded through the semi forestland, passing by all the trees and plants mentioned in the bible, each with a small quotation telling us that this land is sacred, if only for the trees. The full moon guided us, we didn't need the small lights that lit the way. Across the pond, past the small boat anchored in the center, we heard the strains of soft music- a flute and a harp. I have never heard a harp live before, but it was perfect, it set the mood of quiet contentment, as we mingled with the guests. Mor was resplendent in white and red, eyes shining as she welcomed everyone, happy to be the center of the gathering. Later, we witnessed the hupah ceremony, with a dj throwing out riffs before and after. The affable rabbi made a light effort at dispelling the seriousness, and I listened to his words, translated by friends sitting next to me, sometimes together, sometimes not at all. After this the train (not a real train, a pseudo-train) came to take us to the dining section, a delightful picnic area with circular sloping tables and heavy plates, and the music already setting the tone for the celebration. The celebration started in earnest then, a dramatic ring giving gesture and a lead dance by the newlyweds, and a signal for us to pour onto the dance floor, enticed by the DJ. Mor sparkled, flirting with the cameras, after all she had red shoes. And the moon shone on, till midnight when we had to leave because the bus was leaving, and night came on till the desert wind hit us once more.