Jewish Wedding

Tonight, my wife and I went to our first Jewish wedding ever.  Best of all, we didn’t even know it was going to be a Jewish wedding ’till we got there.

One of my friends from back when I worked with the ambulance company got married (he’s at Chicago’s police academy now).  The wife and I felt pretty awkward at first… we hardly knew anyone, and the few people I did know (who I’d also worked on the ambulances with), I hadn’t seen in several months.  Still, it ended up being fun.  The officiating rabbi was cool and interacted well with both the bride & groom, and also with the crowd.  He realized not everyone was Jewish, and gave a lot of insight into Jewish tradition (though we were sorry he quickly sped through the parts spoken in Hebrew).

The best part of the service, of course, was when a woman fainted because she made the mistake of not eating all day.  People were concerned, someone called out she was diabetic, etc,… they got her some food and orange juice, and she was fine.  Nonetheless, my row was filled with EMT’s (like me) and Paramedics, so two of them got up to see if they could help.  They couldn’t, but it was still one of the best places for someone to fall ill!  I realized later that this was probably the safest wedding I’d ever been to… we were surrounded by medical personnel and police officers.  Very well secured…

We also realized tonight how incredibly spoiled we are by Living Water and Mennonite/Anabaptist weddings.   It was weird to be in a ceremony not centered around worship (though the Jewish parts were cool), and to be surrounded by so many people focused on image… I had completely forgotten that, even though at Living Water, putting on a button-up shirt is as dressed up as you need to get, that isn’t the case everywhere!  I was one of only 2-3 people who didn’t have a tie on, and one of the few who wasn’t wearing a suit… at least I had thought far enough ahead to put on some dressier pants and shoes.

Anyway, I surprisingly had a good time, even though I’m usually bored at weddings unless I’m shooting them.  It was great to hang out with some of my former co-workers… it was a little awkward at first, but a little bit of wine loosens me up pretty well.  It wasn’t long before we were all right back into joking with each other.  I kind of miss it.  I realized tonight that, even though that work environment wasn’t a place I wanted to stay, I really enjoyed working with some of them.  Socializing with people working more blue-collar jobs like emergency services is often easier… it takes me a bit longer to get to know them, but once I do, I feel like it’s so much easier to just be myself with them.  In some cases, even more than at my church… which is sad, because when it comes to accepting you for you who are, my church is pretty darn good at it.  Anyway, I miss ’em.  It was a great place to practice actually living out the Gospel in my personal life… not just talking about it.  Sometimes, surrounded by a lot of Christians, that isn’t always easy to do.

Aight, I’m off to bed.  Sorry if this was a little discombobulated.  I’ll have to remember in the future not to write after 4-5 glasses of wine.

Today, belovedness is probably a 7.  Yay for semi-old friends.

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~ by Peter on December 16, 2007.

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