Thursday, March 31, 2011

Four Funerals and a Wedding

Remember the movie “Four Weddings and a Funeral”? I loved that movie and the wonderful acting of Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell et al. Recent events brought that movie to mind, but with a twist  (הפוך על הפוך). When we lived in California, we hardly attended any weddings, let alone funerals. However in the two months since we arrived in Israel, I already attended four funerals and a wedding. 

Life in Silicon Valley seems to miss parts of the ‘circle of life’, which include Birth-Marriage-Kids-Death among others…

Hardly anyone dies within the Israeli community in Silicon Valley, and hardly anyone gets married. Most Israelis arrive at Silicon Valley in their late twenties or early thirties as young families – two parents and a couple of kids. With such demographics, no wonder you rarely attend a wedding, or heaven forbids a funeral.

Weddings and funerals usually take place in a land far far away – in Israel. Since making the trip to Israel is an expensive and complex endeavor, we usually attend a wedding (or a funeral) only if it involves immediate family. For everyone else, a polite note and a phone call will suffice.

That reality changed since we moved back to Israel. Every few weeks we received a call, or an email about a friend’s parent who just passed away. Since the funeral took place within a relatively short driving distance, we decided to attend.  And then there was the wedding of my wife’s second cousin – an opportunity to celebrate and a chance to spend some time with her extended family.

The missing parts of the ‘circle of life’ (weddings and funerals) are alive and well here… Especially at the age we are in. Our friends’ parents aren’t getting any younger, while their kids arrive at the stage in life where people get married… At least some.

So does it really matter how many weddings, let alone funerals I attended in the last couple of months? It does matter. Living in a world where there are hardly any weddings or funerals is a fantasy. It detaches you from what life really is. These are important life events, and without them you aren’t really grounded.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like to attend funerals, and even weddings can be overbearing at times. But the ‘circle of life’ isn’t complete without those. And while I hope to attend many more weddings than funerals, I accept the fact that at my age, the phase of life I am in, there will be plenty of both.


  1. If you had more friends outside of the israeli community, you'd attend weddings and funerals. I do.

  2. Baruch, just went through all posts in your blog. This is simply great ! Very candid look and thought provoking posts - I look forward to reading more such great stuff . You might want to check out for a slightly "different" perspective :-)


  3. thanks for sharing,its really worth reading and helping. i will try to contact you soon.
    Wedding in Israel