愛-Vey! This Is the Hora that Never Ends

Being a bride and groom is a bit like being a cute baby: people applaud you for doing completely banal things, like entering a room. After garnering huge applause for managing to get onto the dance floor without falling on our faces, Mr. HC and I snuggled up for our first dance.

We did the sixth-grade sway to Springsteen's "Drive All Night," which we selected as a romantic allusion to our fourteen years of long-distance dating.


Since we knew our awkward nerd moves would not be particularly entertaining, we asked our band leader to invite the rest of the wedding party and all the other guests onto the dance floor after a minute. But to our embarassment, one minute became two, two became what seemed like an hour. Mr. HC looks like he is smiling adoringly at me in that photo, but I'm pretty sure he was muttering under his breath, "When is this going to end?" And I was whispering back, "I wish we had some moves! We need moves!"

Finally, after what felt like days, our wedding party came to save us from humiliation. And soon enough our dance floor was packed with couples far more graceful than the two of us.


As soon as the last notes of Springsteen faded away . . .

the familiar, joyful sound of the hora began. And what an unbelievably fun, ecstatic, and loooooooong hora it was!


I was a bit nervous about whether our horah was going to be off-putting to some of our guests. So many of our Chinese guests had never been to a Jewish wedding. Would there be a split in the room, with half our guests feeling left out, alienated, or confused?

To our great joy and amusement, almost all of our guests joined in! Jewish bubbies, adorable Chinese grandpas, boys and girls of all ages . . . everyone piled right on the dance floor and started madly circling like a drunk Yiddish dance troupe. And, judging from the photos, all seemed to have as much fun as we did!

It was a supremely awesome Chewish moment.

Seriously, it was beyond fantastic. And I can objectively say that it was the horah to end all horahs. Not only because it rocked -- which it did -- but because it lasted for more than 20 minutes.

You see, the hora is Mr. HC's favorite aspect of a Jewish wedding. And when he requested a thirty-minute hora from our band leader, I thought he was just exaggerating out of exuberance.


But he was serious. And so was our band leader.


About a third of the way through the insanity that was our hora, we got put on chairs -- chairs with no arms! -- and lifted up.

I nearly peed in my pants.

I think my mouth was open in that ridiculous expression of horror and laughter the whole time.

And then they wanted me to let go and hold onto the damn napkin? Do I look like I have a death wish?

Apparently, yes. (By the way, how hilarious is the look exchanged between groomsman E -- of the purple yarmulke -- and friend J -- of the black yarmulke? They appear to be cursing us for consuming a whole platter of hors d'oeuvres before being lifted up.)


Finally, they set us down, and a very kind soul brought me some water and brought Mr. HC a napkin to mop up his copious schweatiness. But just when we thought it was over . . .


a very familiar looking purple flag appeared! It was the flag that Mr. HC had used at his election as Junior State Governor fifteen years ago. (Some of you might remember that we met through the Junior State, an organization for high school politics geeks.) One of his best friends had secretly gone to Mr. HC's parents' house, dug through the garage, and unearthed this archeological artifact!
The flag was part of the "schtick" that Mr. HC's groomspersons had planned for us. At traditional Jewish weddings, the groom's party would perform a funny routine to entertain the bride and groom. As you can tell, Mr. HC's friends were very entertaining indeed.
They even staged a "horah-off" between our groups of friends -- the MD/MBAs (representing Mr. HC) and the JD/Ph.D.s (representing me).

Eventually, I think one of my dear friends-of-honor, seeing that we were about to collapse from hora-induced exhaustion, signaled the band leader.

Alas, even the hora that never ends, had to end. But wow was it amazing while it lasted!

DSK Steph  – (May 25, 2011 at 8:20 PM)  

You have the most beautiful wedding photos!

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