By Larry Gordon
The wedding is behind us. Shana and Nachi are married and are at the outset of their quest to build a good and strong Jewish home; may they always be showered with great berachah and mazal. And I’m sure you want to know all about it.
That said, it is imperative that I thank those who made what turned out to be an extraordinary celebration that exceeded our expectations. There are a few people who guided us through the process.
Of course, full disclosure mandates that I say that this is the wedding of our son and daughter-in-law I’m writing about, but even so, I have never been at a celebration like this. So in alphabetical order, these are the folks to whom we are grateful for shepherding us through the process and making it the grand festivity that it was.
They are: Suri Brody of Surreal, Jason Meyer of Jerry Meyer Studios, Neil Sambrowsky of the Visual Image, the inimitable PD Roth, Ohad Moskowitz, Aaron Teitelbaum of the orchestra that bears his name, and, as people are wont to say at times like this, I am sure that I am leaving some people out. But that is precisely why there is such a thing as future columns on essential matters of this nature.
Let me say this about Suri — she is the straw that stirs the drink, so to speak. There are so many disparate details in putting together a wedding — or any celebration — these days to the point where it can truly run you down or drive you crazy without the efficient and professional assistance that Suri and her staff at Surreal provide.
And it’s not just knowing the various vendors who make these things happen. It is getting them to deliver their best work and their best stuff that make a big event like this the celebration that it should be and that you want it to be. In order to grasp how essential Suri’s assistance on a multiplicity of levels is, I had to debrief my wife and walk through the myriad details that Suri gets done with maximum proficiency and ease.
The checklist runs the gamut from the floral centerpieces at both the wedding and the aufruf, the design of the room, the size of the tables, the tablecloths, the mechitzah … actually, the list is quite extensive and almost endless. Suri’s advice and direction are priceless and make it all possible and enjoyable, so thank you, Suri.
And then there is my longtime friend Aaron Teitelbaum. If I wrote that I’m speechless, I would have to stop here and that would be the end of this particular essay. So let me try this instead: words do not do justice to the performance and the fashion in which the Aaron Teitelbaum Orchestra elevated our simcha this past Sunday night. Led by the unparalleled talent of Ohad Moskowitz, the band starting playing at 5:00 p.m. and carried us and our guests with a beat and rhythm through the night that raised the bar to heretofore unprecedented levels.
I met with Aaron to discuss the wedding a while ago. At the time, he talked about bringing Ohad in from Israel, adding a group of four background singers, bringing in strings and a horn section, and so on down the line. It sounded great to me and my son, Nachi, the chassan, but now these few days later I have to admit that I was not capable of imagining what Aaron had in mind and the dimension this orchestra added to this wonderful and momentous occasion.
When I walked into The Atrium on Sunday afternoon I was immediately taken with the two-tiered stage they had built or brought. I took a deep breath, scanned the length and breadth of the two-level platform, counted the number of chairs already in place, and wondered whether in fact they would all be for musicians. They were.
From the time the doors opened, the place started to hum and hop with a rhythm and beat that carried us through the next five hours, with great food, wine, and drink along with relatives and friends from around the area and the world who made the trek from various locales to join in the simcha.
As the evening progressed and guests arrived, it became abundantly clear why Aaron Teitelbaum and his orchestra are at the top of their industry, the man others in the industry desire to emulate.
I cannot say enough about how Ohad carries a simcha with an energy and enthusiasm that flows from his microphone, moving people to the dance floor in an ecstatic celebration of a great day and event in two young people’s lives. Thank you, Aaron and Ohad — it was a great show!
If you do not properly capture the fleeting nature of a simcha, you may at some point wonder to yourself about the actual evidence that any of this took place. That’s why it is imperative that the right people are in place to capture for eternity, in a thorough and creative fashion, the essence of this emotional and high point in one’s life.
This time around, as with other simchas that we have been privileged to celebrate, we had our good friends Jason Meyer of Jerry Meyer Studio and Neil Sambrowsky of the Visual Image. These folks are in the unique business of seeing to it that great events in life are able to last eternally, and that is exactly what they did. We are eagerly waiting to see the results and relive this magnificent and exciting night for us.
As many of the readers know from past essays, none of this could have taken place without a great friend like PD Roth doing what he does best — that is, using his influence and powers of persuasion to bring people together. That is what PD did here by bringing Nachi and Shana together.
Any expression of gratitude would be incomplete without acknowledging the central role of the rabbanim in this process that launches your children in the next positive and forward-looking direction in life. Nachi’s rebbeim, Rabbi Yissachar Blinder and Rabbi Pinchus Weinberger, have had an extraordinary impact and influence on his life. They were both there under the chuppah to see their talmid off on the first step in this important direction.
And finally, over the last 15 years — or summers, rather — in Camp Munk, Nachi grew especially close to Rav Dovid Cohen of Brooklyn, and it was his choice to have Rav Dovid as mesader kiddushin, overseeing the marriage ceremony.
Early in the evening, about an hour or so before the chuppah, as Rav Dovid sat down to fill in the kesubah, his first question was not a new one but one that the rabbi said has been discussed in this particular venue many times previously. His question was what to write on the marriage document, which is a contract that requires specificity, regarding the location. “Are we in Monsey or Spring Valley?” he asked. He answered his own question, saying that Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky, zt’l, who lived in the area for many years, always wrote Monsey.
Some of the local residents standing nearby went on to add that Monsey is actually part of Spring Valley. That small debate was short-lived, the great simcha went on and on from that point, and right now we are still celebrating. Our gratitude to all who made it all possible.
Read more of Larry Gordon’s articles at 5TJT.com. Follow 5 Towns Jewish Times on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates and live videos. Comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome at 5TJT.com and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.