Monthly Archives: February 2018

Choosing wedding music for the chupa

So many little details go into preparing for a wedding!

Right now I can’t describe the different things that I’m doing all at one time. It’s overwhelming if I try to describe it or think of all the different details that I’m arranging, and then I start to feel stressed. Dealing with one piece at a time is how this entire period of preparing for two weddings so close together has been manageable and relaxed for me.

So I’ll just share about one piece. :)

For the chupa (wedding ceremony), three songs are chosen – one for the chasan to walk down to, one for the kallah to walk down to, and one for when the cup is broken at the end. Michal asked Amitai for his feedback on what song he thought would be a good choice for her to walk down to.

He chose a song that I love, love, love. Bo’i Kallah, by Yaakov Shwekey.  I thought it was perfect.

And then Michal told me that she is choosing a different song.  Something that better reflects her thoughts and feelings. I didn’t think I could love a song any more than the first one, but when I heard this one, I got choked up because it is so …. her.  The song is Tefilat Kallah – Prayer of the Bride, by Yaakov Shwekey, and has had special meaning for her even prior to getting engaged.

I’ve been practicing listening to it and not crying – so far it hasn’t worked. :) I get teary at the same point every single time. But since I didn’t cry at either of the last two wedding ceremonies (even though I had to take a few deep breaths and close my eyes to keep the tears back), I’m hopeful I’ll make it through this next chupa without flooding the ceremony as well.

The only problem with this song is that the vocal range ranges from very low and very high. Not a problem for a singer with an unusual ability to hit very high notes. But Michal has asked her oldest two brothers to sing this for her as she walks down, and they’re concerned about the necessary vocal range. We’ll see what happens!


My husband and I with our lovely bride!

Wedding of Tehila and Meir – pics

On Thursday evening we celebrated the wedding of Tehila and Meir! Appropriately for a wedding on Rosh Chodesh Adar, it was an especially joyful wedding!

Tehila started the day of her wedding by praying at the Kotel. Since a bride and groom have a special spiritual power to give blessings on the day of their wedding, she then went to a Jerusalem hospital to bless sick children and their families. In October 2015, ds5 had a serious surgery and Tehila was there when a bride came to his room to give him a blessing. She was so impressed by this that at that time, she told me when it was her wedding day, she planned to do the same. And so she did.

The director of the ward where she visited was so touched and impressed by her that she came to the wedding to let my husband and I know what a special daughter we have. She told me that parents were crying at the beautiful blessings she gave them.

The photos I’m able to share are dependent on what was sent to me by friends and family who took pictures from the sidelines. I don’t yet have pictures taken by Meir’s family members, and most of the pictures I have are from before the wedding when the couple couldn’t yet see each other, so he’s underrepresented only for that reason.

Here are some pictures for now!

Tehila - reading prayer for the brideTehila – reading prayer for the bride

t wedding - t bouquet

Family pic

Family pic

My husband and I with our lovely bride!

My husband and I with our lovely daughter!

Tehila with her brothers

Tehila with her brothers – note Rafael grabbing kippa off of ds8’s head

Fun pic with brothers

Fun pic with brothers!

Rafael - almost a year since this cutie joined the family!

Rafael – just five days short of a year since this cutie joined the family!

My oldest son and his wonderful wife

My oldest son and his wonderful wife

Before bedeken

Before bedeken

Getting a blessing from her father at bedeken

Getting a blessing from her father at bedeken

Meir speaking to Tehila at bedeken

Meir speaking to Tehila at bedeken

Giving a blessing to her sister

Giving a blessing to her sister after bedeken

The chupa was so beautiful- one of the most beautiful I’ve ever been to. Actually, it was the most beautiful I’ve been to. :)  I was able to be very present and really appreciate each moment; it was definitely easier since this isn’t my first child to get married and I knew what to expect.

While I managed to keep the tears at bay, I was told by a friend that there were many people crying during the chupa from deep emotion and happiness.

Circling the chasan seven times

Circling the chasan seven times

t wedding - chupa 2

Kallah circling the chasan under the chupa


Married!! Being introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Samberg for the first time

Married!! About to enter the hall as they are being introduced as husband and wife for the first time

Meir dancing for Tehila

Meir dancing for Tehila

It was a very special evening for a very special couple!

This is what I’ve been writing and teaching about parenting for all these years – this is what it leads to. To amazing young adults that I feel proud and humbled and grateful to call my children, watching them go onto their independent lives with the necessary skills to be successful in relationships and in life.


Dd23 at her engagement party with dd21

Having two brides in the family at the same time

It’s been busy with our two upcoming weddings to prepare for and I’m sorry I haven’t been able to share more here, especially with so much going on!

As we’re just hours away from the last Shabbos spent together before our oldest daughter’s wedding, I thought I’d share about a comment/question that I’ve been constantly hearing:

What is it like to have two daughters engaged and getting married around the same time?

The short answer? Amazing. Wonderful. Unbelievable blessing coming through the spiritual and emotional pipelines.

But I realized that with this question being raised so often, maybe that’s not really saying enough.

My daughters have also gotten comments about how hard it must be. One of them shared with me a question she was asked: “Isn’t it hard being engaged at the same time as your sister? Don’t you compare who has more and who gets more, whose chassan (fiance’) is better, etc?”

When my daughter shared this with me, I was taken aback. I thought this revealed a lot about the questioner, but after sharing this comment with many others who agree it’s a legitimate concern, apparently what was unusual was my surprise about the sentiment expressed rather than the concern raised.

Here’s our experience.

Each of my daughters is marrying a wonderful guy, each who is perfect for her. Each young man is very different, with different strengths and abilities. What in the world is there to compare? Who is happier? Who got a bigger diamond? Whose fiance is more thoughtful?

That would be ridiculous. Comparison is the last thing any of us are thinking about, especially our daughters. I think it’s amazing it is that our daughters can share this special stage of life with each other as they go through similar experiences, and they’ve said the same thing. For our family, it’s only heightened our happiness for them to be engaged at the same time. They’ve always been good friends and now this is brings an added dimension to their relationship.

Dd23 at her engagement party with dd21

A friend told me yesterday, “Only you could have that attitude.”

What in the world????? Did I get pushed up onto a pedestal because I recognize and welcome the abundance of having so much positive energy in our home at one time???

I can’t deny that there’s a lot of time and energy that is necessary. Planning a wedding is a lot of work, and doing it times two so close together is a LOT of work. That’s no contradiction to it being a wonderful experience! In fact, most of the things in life that bring us the most happiness are the things we’ve invested the most in.

For us, the experience of having two daughters getting engaged two weeks apart, and soon to be married twelve days apart, has been about seeing how perfect Divine timing is.

We humans can find a way to ruin anything good – no matter how good! – by finding something to complain about! I was very conscious from the beginning of the first engagement that my focus would be on my gratitude. It was important to me to be conscious of that since I knew it could very easy to get into overwhelm or complaining about how much there was to do, if that’s the direction I chose to go in.

Yes, it’s a choice.

The thoughts we think are a choice. What we focus on is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Gratitude is a choice. It’s not all about what is sent to us in this world, but the attitude we choose to take when various life circumstances come our way.

Fortunately for us, in this case enjoying this period and enjoying our two brides has been an easy choice for us all!