Mall 'wedding' a celebration of Jewish culture

By Cheryl Fogle

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Hillel Foundation held a mock wedding on the University of Arizona Mall yesterday as part of Jewish Awareness Month.

"Being in the wedding was good practice," said mock bride Jennifer Wolinsky, sociology and Judaic studies junior. "The cantor had to omit certain words and give us fake names to make sure he didn't accidentally marry us."

She was called Sarah, and the groom, Neil Loewentritt, was called Abraham.

"I was really excited," said Loewentritt, communications junior.

"Abraham" and "Sarah" exchanged rings to symbolize unending love. Then they repeated vows in Hebrew.

In a traditional wedding, the cantor blesses a glass of wine which symbolizes joy, but Cantor Ivor Lichterman used grape juice for the mock wedding. Then they sipped from the same glass.

The cantor then read from a marriage document giving the date and time Sarah and Abraham were married. Abraham gave it to Sarah, and she held it up to show her acceptance.

"We didn't have anybody witness the document, so it isn't legal," said Molly Frydrych, an organizer of the event.

Traditionally, after the marriage document is read, there are nine blessings, but the cantor only said two of them. One was for the wine, and the other was to make the marriage holy, Lichterman told the Mall audience.

He pronounced Abraham and Sarah husband and wife, after which everyone at the ceremony was invited to dance the hora to participate in a celebration with the bride and groom.

"We wanted to do something visible," Frydrych said. "A wedding is a beautiful aspect of Judaism."

Wolinsky and Loewentritt are neither married nor engaged.

Last night, Hillel held a mock wedding party with free food, a deejay and dancing.

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