Still Small Voice – May 23, 2022

Shalom Dear Friends:

“…And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So your God will rejoice over you.”

 Isaiah 62:5b

“Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb …” 

Allow us to share our family’s joy over the recent Hebrew wedding in the family.

The Bride and Groom: Shelly Bandel and Daniel Rawlings.

The Location: out on the Hills of Benjamin in Yad ha Shmoneh at sunset.  

The Setting: an ancient synagogue relocated from Galilee;  reconstructed of its original 2,000-year-old basalt hand-chiselled stones. This unique setting took us to another world. Perhaps this was one of the many synagogues where Rabbi Yeshua taught.

The Rabbi:  Rabbi Ehud Bandel, Shelly’s uncle, performed the ceremony with all the love of the LORD God of Israel and his family. 

Yes, Daniel and Shelly were married in Canada in 2020, but as Jews living in Israel, they wanted their families to have the privilege of attending their Hebrew nuptials. A Hebrew wedding is very much a family affair. The parents of the groom walk their son to the Hupa first. Followed by the parents walking their daughter, the Bride into the presence of her bridegroom. Parents stand as witnesses in the Hupa along with the groomsmen and Rabbi.  As Daniel observed: “I get it, it’s a contract!” Ryan, one year and three months was also front and centre with his parents. He was fixated upon the face and words of his Great Uncle Ehud’s message, taking everything in! The Rabbi read the ketubah contract and afterwards, Ryan held it up! So proudly for all to see!

Golden light filled the Hupa as Daniel placed his prayer shawl over Shelly. The symbolism goes all the way back to the book of Ruth when Boaz laid his cloak over Ruth on the threshing floor.  

“I am Ruth your maid. Spread the hem of your garment over me, for you are a close relative and redeemer.”

Ruth 3:9

Wedding vows were said and rings exchanged. The Rabbi pronounced this blessing over the Bride and Groom and Ryan.

“The LORD bless you, and keep you [protect you, sustain you, guard you];

The LORD make His face shine upon you [with favour].

The LORD lift up His countenance [face] upon you [with divine approval]

And give you peace [a tranquil heart and life!]’

So Aaron and his sons shall put My name upon the children of Israel and I will bless them.

Numbers 6:24-27 The Aaronic Blessing

Then came Daniel’s vow found in Psalm 137: 5,6 

“If I forget you O Jerusalem, 

Let my right had forget [her skill with the harp]

Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth,

If I do not remember you,

If I do not prefer Jerusalem above my chief joy.”

Then he smashed the wine glass,

Then came Rabbi Ehud’s final benediction.

All present felt heaven’s touch.

The seven blessings were pronounced by family and friends: Gil Bandel, Yaniv Almagor, Alon Shofman, Gal Gersom, Eliyah Yehudai, Meridel and Jay Rawlings. Instantly, the Hupa filled with guests, hugging and kissing and congratulating the royal couple.

By this time, the sun had set. We were alight with the burning golden glow and as sunsets mural rested upon the evening sky. Almost imperceptibly the heavens transformed to luminous bright emerald green. The lone evening star appeared shining pure silver down upon us. Behold the birth of a new day!

Delightful dinner reception with our family on both sides and close friends was enjoyed by all. The piece d’resistance came with the speeches given by Jay, Daniel, and Shelly, followed by friends. First came those who have stood with Daniel from age three in kindergarten all the way to the Hupa, some 31 years. Israeli men do not hesitate to show emotion. We saw hugs and kisses and many tears.  Michael Hilsden has known Daniel from birth, and in so many words called him a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Paul Chobaniuk a cousin from Vancouver said, one of the best years of his life  was here, working with Israel Vision. He brought best wishes from our Canadian family. Alon Shofman flew in from Berlin, to remind Daniel of their high-school and university days. Chris Rawlings reminded us of Daniel’s giftings. He brought his wife Terhi and twin sons Youni and Liam from Helsinki. David Rawlings, Daniel’s eldest brother came from Jerusalem with his wife Adi, and children Amitai and Liyah. He jokingly rehearsed Daniel’s birth and early years. Rita a dear friend of Shelly’s spoke about their friendship and Mom completed the story of Daniel’s life and why he wore a kilt. Who knew of his passion for his Scots connection? 

Everyone laughed and cried with the good memories and joy that come when love is poured forth; it is sweeter than wine!  YES! A great time was had by all.

If you would like to send a gift to the Bride and Groom please feel free to send it to me and I will see that it goes to them towards a honeymoon.  With JOY!

Love from our family to yours;


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