Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Pennsylvania Dutch, Yiddish... we're all family.

We attended a Jewish wedding this past weekend, and it was like being home, only not.

Let me explain. As a Mennonite, I feel a bit of kinship with the Jewish. We are two cultures who put a lot of importance on family, food, and mothering. Singing and worship are linked. We love our grandparents. We are very aware of our history. I can't tell you how many times people have mistaken the appearance of Orthodox Jewish and Old Order Amish.

We have a lot of differences too, significant ones. Mennonite history goes back 500 years... Jewish history goes back further than I can comprehend. And let's look at the stereotypical career choices:

Mennonite = farmer
Jewish = lawyer

Of course there's the Jesus difference.

I didn't feel that it mattered, because I felt welcome there. I love that feeling. When the blessings were sung in Hebrew I got chills of the most delightful kind - ancient, full of sadness and pride and a calm confidence in the possibility of happiness.

The bride and groom are both talented and intelligent and basically amazing... and they're madly in love with each other. Weddings are awesome because they're not a finish line, they're a beginning. It's the joining of two people, two families and a new branch of history being created. I love that.


JKB said...

Me too. I'd love to have seen that and experienced it.

I'm glad you got the chance to!


One Red Horse said...

"A calm confidence in the possibility of happiness." What a gift - be it from culture, family, or self.

pseudosu said...

That feeling of acceptance is always so warming. I guess identifying so much with a religious "culture" it probably gives you that tribe feeling I'm always searching for. Sigh.
Happy for you, sounds very nice. Also-- I love your men post, esp the cute pic of you and Jethro!

Coffeypot said...

I think most religions have some good parts to them. The biggest differences I see between Jews and Old Order Amish are, running water, electricity, BMW’s and big screen televisions.

But what do I know? I just see what is portrayed on TV much like us Southerners wearing shoes and living on dirt roads.