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the pig, the jackal, and the snake

“A used heart is much more desirable than one fresh from the
package.” (Elyakeem Kinstlinger poeticizing a story from R.
Simon Jacobson)

heading to friends’ wedding
up in the northern mountains of israel

several days prior to the ceremony
the men and women separating from each other
women staying together in big house
overlooking the lake of galilee
keeping company to the bride
building up the feminine energy for the ritual

we the men setting up camp in nature
near a dry spring
clearing up and preparing the grounds
for the wedding ceremony
building shrine inside the spring’s dry pool
spiral from rocks, candles, and fabrics
cutting the thorny weeds
creating sitting areas with bedouin carpets and pillows
putting together the huppa – jewish wedding canopy
and placing ceremonial flags

besides the mighty thorns
the area is full with wild yellow flowers
sending their fragrance in all directions
mulberry tree satisfying our sweet tooth
olive trees kindly giving us shade
from the strong sun
birch trees providing decorative leaves
for the huppa
fig trees teasing us with fruits
that will ripe only in august
forest of ceder trees
from the moroccan atlas mountains
surrounding the wedding spot
providing us with privacy

while working to set up the wedding
two of the men noticing wild pig
few hours later spotting a jackal
then seeing viper snake

in hebrew pig is khazir
jackal is tan
snake is nakhash

the first letters of khazir, tan, and nakhash
make up the word groom in hebrew
exactly in the order these living totems appeared

two eagles flying high above us
mating in the air

is god playing for us a pre-wedding symphony?

the day before the wedding
going with the groom to visit
the grave of the ari
in the sacred city of tzfat
dipping in the ari mikve, the ritual bath
fresh freezing water
pre-wedding purification

the day of the wedding has arrived
the ceremony and celebration are about to begin
they deserve their own story

© 2006. All Rights Reserved.
Zemach Zohar Wilson, Israel, May 2006