jewish wedding

Breaking the Glass

Patater-

“Babe.”

“Mm.”

Kent doesn’t say anything for a minute.  His mouth is occupied with tasting the skin over Alexei’s collarbone.  It’s not sexy, really.  Not now.  He’s sated, and bone-tired, and the arms round him are warm and heavy.  His eyes are half closed as he mouths at his fiance’s skin.

“Babe.”

Alexei doesn’t answer verbally this time, but draws sluggish fingers through Kent’s hair, mussing his cowlicks more than usual.

“I don’t want to break the glass.”

Alexei shifts, slightly to the side, then tilts his head down to look at Kent.  “Why?”

“I don’t…”  Kent doesn’t really know how to explain it.  He tries to express himself as best he can, but he’s never really been good at it.  “Do you ever get tired of everything we get having to be surrounded by misery?  My mom…”  He stops and takes a breath because he loves his mother.  She did her best by him, but sometimes it was so fucking hard, and sometimes he swears she’s only really content when everything in her life is terrible.  “I spent so many years being unhappy, Alyosha.  Everything was so fucked for so long.”

“Okay,” Alexei says softly, in that way he’s letting Kent know he can keep talking until he gets it all out.

“I met you, and this is the first fucking time that loving someone doesn’t feel like I’m walking on shards of glass.  I want…I want…”  He stops and pushes his face hard against Alexei’s shoulder, and his eyes squeeze shut.  “I don’t want to think about being shattered apart.  I don’t want our wedding to represent destruction.  Of anything.  I want one fucking day where it’s about us, and love, and being happy for the first time in my life.  I know it’s not about that.  I know it’s not…it’s meant to celebrate being rejoined but…”

“Kenny,” Alexei breathes, and Kent stops talking.  He shifts, and Alexei moves so he can cup Kent’s cheek with one, massive hand.  His thumb brushes a constellation of freckles just under Kent’s left eye.  “Is okay.  I’m understand, and want you to be happy.  This being our day, Kent.  Mine, yours.  You not want, is okay.  We not have.”

“My mother’s going to be so pissed,” Kent murmurs, and tucks himself deeper into the embrace because he knows that compromising certain traditions is going to be hell.  She’ll be angry, but smile through it and he’ll have to weather a tsunami of passive-aggressive bullshit for months to come.  If not years.  If they have a kid, she’ll send snarky messages about, ‘What traditions are you going to ignore for the birth?  Are you going to raise this child as a child of G-d, Kent?  Have you been keeping the Shabbat at all?’

But he supposes she’d do it anyway, whether or not they follow every goddamn ceremony to the T.  Because she really only knows how to love him like this.  She only knows how to drag people down with her, into her well of unhappiness.  And he’s accepted that for years now.

“Is okay.  I’m be there with you.  Our day, Kenny.  Want you smiling, no frown.”  Alexei runs his thumb across Kent’s bottom lip before he leans in and kisses him, slow and sweet.  “No breaking glass.”

“Okay,” Kent says, and he breathes, and feels lighter and calmer than he did before.  He hadn’t realised how much it was weighing on him.  He knew how fucking lucky he was to find Alexei, and he doesn’t need to smash a glass to be reminded that he knows he was shattered apart.  He doesn’t want to celebrate that, and he thinks maybe G-d would understand.

Alexei does, at least, and ultimately that’s what matters most.  Right now, anyway.

He lets himself smile after a minute, after his shoulders unclench and his hand moves up to brush a lock of hair from Alexei’s forehead.  “I fucking love you, babe.”

“Yes,” Alexei said, his brow furrowed and serious.  “I’m know this.  Because I’m best.”

Kent laughs, feeling stupid and giddy and fucking wonderful.  He nestles in.  “Yeah babe.  Yeah you really are.”

Jozef Israels: A Jewish Wedding (1903).

Jozef Israels was born in the provincial town of Groningen, Holland, on January 27, 1824, one of eight children. His father was a small banker, the mother, who had a strong influence on the boy, was devoutly religious and sought to raise her son in the true jewish fashion. His early years were spent in a jeshiva with the learning of the Talmud that left a deep imprint upon his life and thinking.

He started to paint at the age of 8, and his first little exhibition was at the age of 13. In 1840 Israels left home for Amsterdam to study under Jan Adams Kruseman, a popular portrait painter. Later Israels came in contact with the works of Rembrandt, who is strongly influenced him in his later works too, as you can clearly see on the picture above. He as an ardent orthodox jew who observed the shabbath, produced a few pictures about jewish everyday life and ceremonies. “A Jewish Wedding” is an idyllic depiction of the groom and bride under the chupa in the ceremony of sanctification of the nuptial union, surrounded by a crowd of onlookers, friends and relatives. The scene bathed in bright sunlight symbolizing the joy of the occasion.

I am Israel
All the generations before
exist within me.
All are present at this moment–
dwellers in tents and tenements;
weavers, tailors, bankers, physicians;
beggars dozing in a sunny corner;
fruit-sellers freezing in the market square.
Mothers and fathers in a tangled chain–
all those who studied the Torah;
All those who settled the Land;
all those who were crammed into steerage;
who broke the glass and circumcised their sons.
Six hundred thousand who stood at Sinai;
six million souls who perished.
Abraham by father
Sarah my mother
Joseph my brother
Miriam my sister
Moses my teacher–
their voices speak in me;
I am Israel.
—  Mishkahn Hanefesh for Yom Kippur pa 357
  • what she says: I'm fine
  • what she means: Rose and Kanaya getting married may, in fact, be the best thing I have ever seen in any media. Not only did the lesbians not die in the comic, which happens way too often, but they actually had an on screen wedding. It wasn't awkward, it wasn't ruined, it was a happy celebration for the romantic bond between two women. To make it better, it was the one relationship that had an actual marriage scene, and the relationship was a lesbian couple. It wasn't erased, it wasn't sexual, it wasn't dramatic, it was just a happy marriage scene, and everyone looked happy (and I'm pretty sure Roxy was crying out of joy). Nothing bad happened. No sadness, no (het) jealousy, non of that, just happiness and love. The lesbian couple wasn't erased and/or ignored in the end, and was in fact the main one focused on, the fandom is losing their shit over it, and now they are each others wives. As a lesbian, I am beyond happy about that scene. I've never been more happy about two panels of a credit roll in my life.