Sunday, August 28, 2011

Goodnight, Irene

I'll See You In My Dreams:  There is still a wedding in Abq Jew's future - but an aufruf in Abq Jew's past!  The aufruf of Dr Jessica Robin Schnur & Mr Dov Israel Yellin was celebrated yesterday at the Forest Hills Jewish Center, where our machetonim are members.

Here's another picture of the happy couple:

Dr Jessica Robin Schnur & Mr Dov Israel Yellin
An explanation of aufruf from Wikipedia:
Aufruf (Yiddish: אויפרוף ofrif,oyfruf, ufruf/ifrif or אויפרופן ofrifn), which in Yiddish, means "calling up", is the Jewish custom of a groom being called up in the synagogue for an aliyah, i.e., recitation of a blessing over the Torah. In the Ashkenazic Jewish community the aufruf ceremony is held on the Shabbat before the wedding ....

After the Torah reading, the congregation sings a congratulatory song and the women throw candies at the groom. In non-Orthodox congregations, the bride and groom may be called up to the Torah together. It is customary for the family of the groom to invite the congregation to a festive kiddush after the services.
And an explanation of machetonim from Rabbi Julian Sinclair of The Jewish Chronicle:
Machatonim is a word that, so far as I know, has no equivalent in any language except Hebrew/Yiddish. The parents of the people your children marry are your machatonim (the male is your mechuten, and the female your machatonister).

They have an official status. Theyre not just the couple who happen to be the parents of the boy/girl your child happened to marry, whom you will only see at the grandchildrens britot and weddings, if then.

They are people with whom you enter into a lifelong relationship that is dignified by a title by virtue of your respective childrens union. Surely, theres something very Jewish about that.

Machatonim is derived from chatan which means bridegroom or son-in-law. Chatunah is the Hebrew word for wedding. Chatan also has the connotation of guest of honour, or star of the day as in chatan Torah and chatan Bereishit, the people honoured to be called up at the end and the beginning of the Torah on Simchat Torah.

The verb chatan, means to tie, connect or covenant. (Jastrows Dictionary says that it is related to the Assyrian word chatanu meaning to protect).

We can see from this etymology the sense of a marriage being, not just a holy covenant between two people, but also an alliance between two families, a meaning that is preserved in the endurance of the word machatonim until today.
We are, right now, at our hotel in West Orange, New Jersey, spending the day riding out Hurricane Irene.  The worst of her seems to have passed through last night, while we were sleeping.  Which brings to mind, of course, the famous recording by The Weavers (Lee Hays, Ronnie Gilbert, Fred Hellerman, and Pete Seeger):

CAUTION!:  Abq Jew's selection of Goodnight, Irene has absolutely nothing to do with the upcoming wedding, and should not be interpreted in any way as either a pre-history of Dov & Jessica's marriage or a guide to the marriage adventure.  Sometimes a hurricane is just a hurricane, and a great song is just a great song.

Abq Jew's blog-posting time may still be be somewhat limited - so here, once again, is that truly ... awesome! ... animation of Squirrel and Penguin playing that old favorite, Dueling Banjos.
Click here to play!

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