S: Dave and Naomi's Wedding May 29th, 2011
BC: All Of My Love To You!
FC: Dave and Naomi | May 29th 2011
92: Father of the Bride | Father of the Bride | Dear Family and friends, mishpaja yekara ve iedidim, querida familia y amigos; welcome, brujim ha baim, bienvenidos. If there is anyone here that does not know me, my name is Chalo Smukler and this beautiful woman in blue by my side is my wife Susan; we are Naomi’s parents. As the father of the bride it is my greatest honor to offer the couple the first speech. I want to begin by saying what a true pleasure it is to welcome, on this extraordinary day, Miriam and Jim Lederman, Dave’s parents as well as Rachael, Shai and Micha, Dave’s siblings. I would also like to extend a warm welcome to all of the other guest that have taken the time to come to share with us this day. Some of you have traveled literally thousands of miles to share with Naomi and Dave their wedding day. For this reason, on behalf of Naomi and Dave, Miriam and Jim and Sue and I, we thank you for sharing this special day with us. I wish I got a dollar for every mile you have traveled. Naomi, Nomi, Noms as we always call her was born 29years, 2 month 4 days and 7 hours ago. The day Naomi was born was one of the most memorable days of my life. She was just about born in the highway. I’ll never forget the experience. However, the thing I remember the most about that day was not all the rushing around, but the overwhelming joy Sue and I felt the minute we had a screaming, pink and wrinkly baby in our arms. She was so beautiful then and today Naomi, you look more beautiful than words can ever express. We are very proud of you Naomi. She got all of her mother’s fine qualities and some of my good characters too. The result is this loyal, hard working, faithful and compassionate human being, and Dave, I’m sure she won’t let you down. Without a doubt one of the most important decisions Naomi has made in her life up to this point was choosing Dave as her husband. The very first time we met Dave was Pesaj 2008. Naomi was on vacation from medical school in Tel Aviv. She was coming home while suffering from painful kidney stone. Dave came trailing right behind her making sure she was OK, and as soon as the stone passed on the night of the first seder, David left. Talking about caring and commitment!! ! Having gotten to know Dave over the last couple of years it has become clear to me that he is a fine man and it is perfectly suited for Naomi. They complement each other in many areas, and most importantly, as you can tell just by looking at them, they are obviously deeply in love. Therefore Dave with the greatest of pleasures I want to welcome you into our family and let you know that we are thrilled you are now also part of the Smukler clan. The great think for Sue and I, is that we know that Miriam and Jim feel the same about Naomi, having taken her into their home and hearts too. Naomi and Dave share lots of interest in common. The one that it is immediately obvious is their love for traveling and the outdoors. Therefore it will come as no surprise that Dave chose to climb to the top of a 7 tiered waterfall in Thailand as a back drop to proposing to Naomi. She was so taken by the view that she said yes. Great choreography Dave. Now we get to the tricky part of the speech. According to the internet Idiots guide to Father of the bride speeches (by the way- a curiosity- the latin name for father of the bride is Homo Bankraptus) this is the part were I am supposed to give advice to Naomi and Dave on the subject of marriage. Speaking from a position of a man with years of experience in marriage, I want to share with you Dave about some of the things you will probably encounter being married to Naomi. Paraphrasing Oscar Wilde, he said Women are meant to be loved- not understood!!! The interpretation of this statement for you Dave is that Naomi will probably always have the last word in any argument. Therefore never forget the two most important words of your marriage: YES DEAR!! Or say it in Spanish “SI MI AMOR”. It got me a free pass out of jail many times. Also Dave don’t forget that no man was ever shot while doing the dishes or putting out the garbage. And last Dave, remember: HAPPY WIFE, HAPPY LIFE. I will like to conclude with my personal wish for the two of you ( the words of Lynn James): May the love that you share give you strength. May the life that you share bring you joy. May the dreams that you share bring you hope. May the faith that you share bring you peace. And wherever you are in your journey through life, may your hearts always find their way home. Ladies and gentleman, please join me, proud father, in a toast to the health and happiness of my beautiful daughter Naomi and her husband Dave. To Naomi and Dave!
93: Father of the Groom | Whenever Jews are stuck for something to say—which I admit is very rare—they turn back to the Bible or the wisdom of our forefathers for guidance. So, since I have never delivered a wedding toast before, that is what I have chosen to do. And I’ll begin at the beginning because Adam and Eve were the world’s first recorded married couple. Eve was also the first celeb to start an entire industry—apple growing. I’m not sure how significant this is, but according to the Israeli ministry of agriculture, apples, not oranges, are Israelis’ favorite fruit. Maybe that’s why they think they are so smart—apples supposedly being the fruit of wisdom. But more to the point, if you think about it, Adam and Eve were the world’s luckiest married couple everno mothers-in-law—or fathers in law—around to interfere. Adam didn’t have to sit around listening to all the tales about the men Eve could and should have married. And Eve didn’t have to hear about how her mother-in-law—or father-in-law’s—cooking was infinitely better than hers. The Bible abounds with lessons about when and how to get married. Jacob, for example, had to agree on a two for one deal. Later, the first thing the ancient Hebrews did when they entered the Promised Land was to surround Jericho. It seems though, that, even before the shofars had cleared out the wax in everyone’s ears, the Hebrew fighters, who were accompanied into battle by their wives and fathers and mothers (and their mothers-in-law and their fathers-in-law), were constantly being badgered at full volume to smarten up, polish their sandals, put on a tie and look good. After all, these family critics claimed, “what would the neighbours think?” So, after the final battle, the troops were heard to mutter that marriage is like a city under siege. Those outside despair of ever getting in, while those who are inside the walls despair of ever getting out. The Bible, of course is also the source of what is considered to be the greatest love poem of all times—the Song of Songs. For us Jews, our entire world, and our appreciation of the world is changing so rapidly. The great dream and prayer of Jewish parents used to be to live long enough to see their daughters married off to Jewish doctors. Well, contrary to the opinions of our children that Miriam and I are caught in a time warp and are a pair of old fogies, let me say that we know that the old saws no longer apply. We two can kvel no less than the Jewish parents of old that we have married off our child to our “daughter-in-law, the doctor.” All told, we are very proud to have been able to live to see our children mature. Had that not been the case, this marriage might have been impossible. You see, in his younger days, Dave was more than a bit of a wild man. When he was about two and a half feet tall, he drove his tricycle over the edge of a 6 foot high terrace of land. And when he first learned to ride a two-wheeler, he most closely resembled a drunken driver pretending that the broad, open street in front of the house we were living in Boston at the time was actually a maze that had to be negotiated through innumerable twists and turns. And now that the marriage contract has been signed, we can reveal one of Dave’s deepest and darkest secrets—how he actually won over Naomi. Many of you may know that Dave attended a high school for environmental studies. But he was actually a tree-hugger before tree-hugging became fashionable. While all the other children in school were dreaming of becoming policemen or firemen, Dave went into intensive training to become a chimpanzee. It seemed to us that Dave never met a tree he didn’t like; and he felt a compulsion to climb every one that we ever passed. I can recall, for example, the time when we took Rachel and Micha to do what all the other kids did and play soccer. Dave, though, was in heaven when he found that the playing field was overlooked by a 400 year old tree with a 6 foot diameter trunk. Nirvana had descended. Dave climbed half-way up the trunk and, without any branches to hold onto, he just pulled himself towards it and began encircling the trunk. With years of such training and expertise, he became an Olympian cuddler. And so, having now laid out the secret of how this day came to be, I raise my glass in a toast to the new couple and to all of you who have come from near and far to join us on at this joyous moment. Shehechianu v’kimanu v’higianu la’zman hazeh.
94: Brother of the Bride | Greetings My name is Ari, for those of you who don’t know me, I am the brother of the Bride. And, now it's my turn to say a few words about my amazing sister and her brave fiancé Dave. Naomi and I have always been close albeit in different ways, throughout our entire lives. As children we lived close to each other. I kept my fingers close to all of her buttons and she kept her hands close to my throat. As the years went by as they do and we grew up and matured we became close in a much more profound and personal way. I don’t know what happened or why, but something changed, I think around the time she left for college where I realized that this girl that was the target of my antics for all those years may in fact be a more valuable and potent ally than an adversary. As the years passed and we grew closer, my curiosity led me to discover that I was in fact related to a person with more depth of character than I had ever imagined. A confident woman with strong beliefs. A person of integrity, honesty, and intellect. Now, those of you who had the privilege of knowing my sister from a young age will also have shared the experience of watching my sister grow and change as time passed. In retrospect for me at least, some of her changes seemed more indicative of life phases, but others were distinctly deeper and more profound. Many of the most profound changes I observed seemed to occur when she left for Israel to study in medical school. I didn’t get it at first, but now I understand completely. When Naomi studied in Israel, I of course didn’t get to see her as often so some of these changes really threw me for a loop. Many of you may not know my sister has always had an extreme aversion to some things. For example I’m pretty sure think there is a pediatrician out there somewhere with a crooked nose that can probably explain Naomi’s aversion to needles. Well for years my sister also had a similar aversion to pictures. You can imagine my surprise when one day when I was home from college and she was home from Israel and she in fact volunteered to show me pictures OF HER, and her boyfriend. My initial shock would have probably been the same had she walked into the room and said hey Ari, check this out, and stabbed her arm with a needle. Something happened when Naomi met Dave. She suddenly wanted to hold onto and memorialize her experiences with this man in a way that I had never before seen. When she told me about him, her eyes lit up with feelings and emotions I had never before seen from my sister. Needless to say, at this point I knew that I needed to pay attention, because something was going down, and indeed it did. Dave, you have proven to all of us that you know what Naomi needs to be happy. My sister has always been a strong independent woman yet you cracked her code and opened her heart in a way that is evident to all who know her. I am so happy that my sister found a man like you. A good man, a Jewish man, a man that values family, and a man that I know has the will, resolve, and ability to do what it takes to build a life with my sister who I hold in my heart so dearly. I feel safe knowing that she has you in her life. So now let us raise our glasses to the bride and groom. Here's to my sister who I love without limit and to her husband David. I've never had a brother but you were worth the wait. Welcome to the family.
95: Brother of the Groom | Naomi, David, Susan, Chalo, Mom and Dad and all you great people here tonight. When David and Naomi announced they were getting married and the plans began to fall into place, I knew I wanted to stand here and raise my glass to my baby brother. I also wanted to tell you all how amazing he is, and I wanted to throw in a little story from our childhood. Then I realized the key word here was OUR. I can’t do this toast without telling you about Saturday morning in our house in Jerusalem, our parents still asleep and all 4 of us are in the kitchen looking for the hidden jellybeans This happened quite often and once the jellybeans were found, we used to sit at the bottom of the stairs and arrange them by colors and divide them amongst us. During those years we did everything together, whether it was building a house under the dining room table or a tent between the beds. One thing I have to mention was our favorite Saturday morning game, rocking the armchair in the basement family room back and forth, pretending it to be an airplane, or as we called it the Poonchirella. Because of all that, I can’t do this toast on my own, so Rachel and Micha, please join me up here. Now that we are together please raise your glass to David and Naomi. As of today we have a new member in our jellybean hunt! Gluten free, I may add! Naomi, welcome to our Saturday mornings. Congrats to you both and all the love a sister and brothers can give you. Lechaim!
96: The Amy Speech Dear Naomi and David, Just wanted to tell you both that we love you and we so truly thrilled to be here to celebrate one of the most memorable times in a couples life. You have both overcome many obstacles and still hold fast to your relationship over these past few years. Look around you and witness the miracle that brings family and friends from around the world to witness your promises. Rob and I are gaining family just as we did when Chalo our beloved bother entered our lives! We are welcoming the Lederman Clan from Israel and Canada, Chalo’s family from Israel, South America and Australia. (Obliviously we do not take weddings lightly!) I do want to praise my baby sister Sue for pulling off the great feat over this past year, besides working 2 full time jobs to make it all possible for us to have this magic weekend. It is much like the stage crew and directions of a Broadway Show who do not ever get to take a bow. I know that she could not have done it without her loving husband Chalo. Naomi and Dave, it takes a village to strengthen a marriage when lives are strained and by those standards you two are very rich! Look around and see your international village of loved ones. We will lift a glass and toast you as tomorrow you become man and wife!