Last night I had the privilege of attending the wedding of Racheli, one our dear girls at Lev LaLev.
While most of our girls come from broken or challenging homes which require them to live with us, Racheli, has been left without a mother or a father. Lev LaLev is her ONLY family.
The best part of my living in Israel is that I can attend the weddings of the girls at the Home. It’s a simcha that is indescribable. A precious child arrives at our home, we nurture her and care for her, and finally she blossoms into a young woman, who is now starting to build a home of her own. We hope and pray that she will build a peaceful and happy home.
It is very hard for me to put last night’s wedding into words.
I attended many weddings, but I have never been to one like this. Imagine a young girl, all of 21, walking to the chuppah without her mother holding and supporting her. At the men’s side, her father isn’t there to walk the chosson down to the chuppah. There were many attendees at the wedding, including those who cared for her all these years, the loving staff at the Home, but obviously its just not the same.
I can just say that I’m not sure if I was more emotional last night or at my own wedding, a couple of years ago. I stood watching Racheli greet her guests by the badeken, with tears in my eyes. So many amazing people sharing in this special simcha.
I went to say Mazel Tov, and after Racheli heard who I am, she thanked the supporters of Lev LaLev so beautifully for everything that was done for her throughout these trying years of her life. In addition, she thanked everyone for making her wedding happen, and paying for all the expenses. I wish I would have gotten that part on video!
After the chosson came in for the badeken, the Israeli custom is that the guests on the womens side remain standing and praying for the kallah, while the chosson goes to the chuppah. At this point, there wasn’t a dry eye, EVERYONE was crying and praying. This girl went through so much in her life…Hashem, let her be happy!
It says that the neshamas of the previous ten generations of the chosson and kallah come to the chuppah. At Racheli’s wedding her parents neshamos were there, rejoicing with her. We all felt so emotional. We were all crying and praying that Racheli should build a bayit neeman. Like I mentioned, I have never been to such a chuppah.
And then… the chosson broke the glass, he put a ring on her finger, the brachos were said, and Mazel Tov! Racheli is married! Everyone went to wish her and her chosson Mazel Tov, and now you can feel the joy and simcha in the air!
After the Chuppah, the Director pointed out to me a Psychologist and therapist who worked with Racheli. She mentioned to me, that after the wedding Racheli will still have their help as it is very important to her.
Mazel Tov to Racheli and her husband, and may they be zoche to build a bayis neeman b’yisrael.
At Lev LaLev we don’t just let go of our girls as soon as they turn eighteen. We help them with finding the right career, cover the cost of their training, and help them get married. We have matchmakers working with our girls, we help them pay for the wedding, furniture and household appliances. Many of the girls need marital therapy after they are married, and we help them with that as well, as we want them to be happy and build solid and stable homes.
To learn more about helping orphaned brides, you can visit our website, or you can be in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org