Italian Word of the Week MATRIMONIO

italicsBy Daniela Gross

In Italian the word for wedding is “matrimonio”, from the Latin “matrimonium”. In the Jewish world, to get married is always a complicated and delicate issue, but the complications of a Jewish wedding in Italy are even worse. Since the Italian Jewish world is not so big, a Jewish wedding is quite rare and always brings a great joy to all the community, along with many obstacles. The tradition is orthodox, but the habits may be diverse among the communities, also according to the prescriptions of the local rabbi. For instance, who has to accompany the bride to the chuppah?

It is up to the father or a brother, as in many communities, or the mother with two friends, as others use? And what about the music inside the synagogue? And what exactly must be done with the food? A Jewish wedding implies kosher food, but it is not so easy to set up a kosher banquet in Italy (I’m not referring here to Rome or Milan, those are big communities marvelously organized also in this aspect).

Yes, on some days a Jewish marriage looks like a nightmare, but all those headaches vanish when you get into the synagogue, and see your spouse waiting under the chuppah. Then it is only time for joy, especially if you have the privilege of getting married in a magnificent baroque synagogue as it happened last week to Micol and Tomer, about whom you can read further in this issue.