So oodles of money later and with pomp that is absurd, two non-descript folks in England got married this past week. Non-descript, you splutter, but…but…but they’re royalty! And I smile and say, royal what? Royal attention seekers? Royal lazy bums who don’t produce much for society but leech off like two lice in Britain’s hair? The wedding cake designer gushed on how involved the bride was in every little icing flower that went on the wedding cake. Uh, really meaningful, isn’t it, to spend tons of money on wedding cakes to be perfect when unemployment plagues the lower class in that country. Blimey, and didn’t some folks tweet that the “prince” married the wrong sister based on body parts flashed to all viewers?! Gosh, really exalted, dignified doings, no? The weirdest part of the fanfare is that these folks’ claim to fame is that they had ancestors and relatives who beheaded, who used and abused, who trod upon masses. Kinda like in a few years from now if we all tune into the television specials that will feature the storybook wedding of Osama Bin Laden’s descendants.
Let me give you a different wedding story, slightly different, where the bride married the “wrong groom” in the perfect match. Old Jerusalem where the tiny Jewish settlement struggled against poverty and desolation of a land long not tended. The times and scenery were impoverished, but the souls of men who lived there were wellsprings of all that was exalted and blossoming. Within Jerusalem’s academy of learning at that time were two buddies, one of them an orphan all alone and the other a young man from a well-connected family who was known to be the most eligible bachelor for he was smart, sweet and an all-around catch. Some busy yentas got to work trying to marry off the orphan, he of no family and no money. They eventually came up with the perfect solution for him. There was a young woman, sweet and nice, kind and giving, from a wonderful family. However, she was hard of hearing, limited in sight and had some health issues. The yentas convinced the orphan boy to see past the disabilities and marry her, and he, thinking it would settle him into a nice family, agreed.
The engagement period passed and one night the young couple stood under the Chuppah. At that last moment, in front of throngs of shocked guests, the groom suddenly blurted, “I can’t marry her,” and ran from his wedding canopy as fast as his two legs would take him. The bride, stood there serenely. Her lack of acute sight and sound had spared her the details of her groom’s escape. Somebody would have to break the news to the unfortunate girl. At that point, the groom’s study-partner, he of the stellar reputation and all options of marriage open to him, stepped up to bat. He stepped forward and asked his rabbi if he was allowed to marry the girl to compensate for the pain of rejection and the spectacle of embarrassment she was going to suffer. The rabbi agreed, and the young, brave man stepped forward and said, “Kallah [bride,], I, unfortunately, have to be the one to break some bad news to you. Your Chassan has just taken off like a bat out of hell and will not be marrying you, BUT, if you agree, I agree to step into his place here under the Chuppah and marry you instead.”
As you probably guessed, the girl had no quarrel with getting the most-eligible young man as her spouse and the wedding commenced on schedule with a switch of groom. The officiating rabbi blessed the young couple with a long life, and so it was, they lived in happy matrimony for years and years. Many of the residents of Jerusalem proudly can trace their lineage to a special man who stepped forward to marry someone out of a sense of giving, not of taking. The foundation of that Jerusalem couple was one of compassion and giving.
What a far cry from the debacle in England which probably won’t last into golden years and probably will not produce generations of scholars and do-gooders that are proud of their forebears. For as the foundation goes, so does the building rise. And the foundation for a royal couple in England is one of attention-seeking, spoiled taking and using, and base physicality.