The big day is tomorrow. I was a bundle of nerves during the weeks preceding the trial, but all I feel now is uncertainty. I wish it was over already.
I thought this period of preparing to become a kallah would be so joyful, so full of delightful excitement. And so I found myself today, trying out wedding dresses – and you know, this magical moment, when you look in the mirror and ask yourself, "hey, who's this beautiful young woman in the white dress? Oh, yes! It's me! It's really me!" – and all the while, doubts. Nagging doubts. Will the wedding take place on the intended date? Or will all of our plans and preparations be in vain? What will the chatan's parents think if we come to them and say, "Um, we're really sorry… but don't send out invitations to all the extended family yet. You see, maybe we'll need to postpone the wedding because, uh, the rabbinical court isn't quite certain Anna is Jewish…"
Fantastic. A wonderful start to becoming a part of his family.
Some of you might be asking, "But Anna, why didn't you go to the rabbinical court earlier? You had all the time in the world to prove you are Jewish, why did you put it off so long that it actually endangers your wedding plans?"
One, I didn't know the process would be so long and complicated, or that it would involve so much bureaucracy. Sure, technically, I knew I'd have to prove I'm Jewish, because my family is so assimilated. But... I mean, I grew up knowing I'm Jewish, listening to stories of my grandmother about Shabbat, holidays and Jewish rituals in her community prior to World War 2. I thought it would be obvious very quickly. A suggestion that I might not be what I am is absolutely laughable. I mean, imagine trying to gather documents and evidence to prove that you have an arm! Or a leg for that matter.
And two, I had no idea I would need this so soon… I thought to myself, "oh well, I'll deal with it after my professional training is done and I have more time". Now it turns out I don't have time. Conclusion: when you know you have something important to do, don't put it off!
Now that I've rambled long enough, I feel that some of the weight has been lifted off my heart. There's something comforting in putting one's frustrations and fears into written form, even though normally I try to avoid doing this here. I'll make an exception this time because I feel this is a really important message to pass along: if you are an Orthodox Jew but your parents didn't get married through an Orthodox Jewish ceremony and you think you might have to prove you're Jewish in order to get married, do it now. Trust me, you don't want to spend sleepless weeks later, wondering whether all your wedding plans might be suddenly called off.
I hope you ladies are having a wonderful day/evening. I'll keep you posted on how things progress. Not much more on my mind right now…