“Hava nagila

Hava nagila

 Hava nagila vi nis’mecha”

Now to you that may sound like Ewok language, but to me that is the sound of a good time. Palm Beach has a high Jewish population, and the majority of the weddings celebrated at the hotel are of Jewish tradition. That song, Hava Nagila, kicks of the reception into a night of pure bliss.

Every guest piles onto the tiny dance floor, makes a circle and starts dancing around and around until joy is bursting out of every one of their pores. The dance floor is more hopping than a club in Daytona Beach during spring break. Trust me I know. .

The best part of this traditional dance is when the bride and the groom are lifted up into the air, they each grab a corner of a napkin, and are twirled and whirled around. I envy these brides. This looks like one of the most exhilarating, and joyous moments of their life. The most exciting dance at my wedding was when they played ‘Get low’ by Lil John and my grandma got down and dirty.

Anyways, Jewish weddings are absolutely amazing. I was setting up for the evening and quickly noticed a huppa in the ceremony room, and lots of cute little men wearing yamakas roaming the halls, so I knew that tonight would be yet another celebration of Hebrew bliss.

There ceremony came and went, glass was broken, and the bride and groom emerged into the ballroom to make sure every detail was in order for their looming celebration.

That is when I saw her, the bride. She looked beautiful, her hair was swept back, and she had beautiful antique earrings dangling from her lobes. And….she must have weighed 400 pounds.

Now nothing against women who have a little more to love, God bless them … but the thought of that chair dance immediately came to mind. What was going to happen? What….was going to happen! The chair dance is absolutely necessary to complete the Jewish festivities…the chair dance must live.

Then I saw the bride was thinking the same thing I was … as she glanced at the two chairs that were already placed near the edge of the dance floor, two chairs that were staring at her, taunting her. I saw her face go white, clearly nervous about her airborne experience that was quickly approaching.

She went to the bar and quickly consumed three glasses of champagne. Her new husband quietly tried to protest, but she would not hear it. The drinks were gulped down, and she took one more for the road just as guests were starting to pour in.

Drinks were served, food was passed, laughter and celebration filled the air. I kept one eye on the bride, and watched her shoot down 3 more glasses of bubbly right as the music began to kick it.

“Hava nagila

Hava nagila

Hava nagila vi nis’mecha”


The brides face dropped, just as everyone else’s lifted. The clapping and cheering began, and the dance floor filled. The crowd pushed the couple out in front of the stage, their chairs awaiting them. The groom plopped down on his, and the bride hesitantly sat on hers, a nervous fake smile crossed her face.

Every groomsmen in the wedding party surrounded her. The groom must have played college football, all of his friends had necks bigger than Bret Farve’s, with muscles bursting through their tight tuxedo sleeves. The groom clearly had selected his strongest, beefiest friends to be his groomsmen, knowing that this bride lifting moment was to come. I held my breath as I watched to see what would happen next.

The guests were spinning around and around, the music getting louder and louder. The groomsmen counted “one…two…THREE” and heaved the large bride into the air.

A drunken grin buzzed on her red face as she realized “I made it! I am up!” She met eyes with her groom and reached for her end of the napkin. That is when it all came loose. A meat head groomsmen tripped over a renegade high heel on the edge of the dance floor, and lost his balance.

The entire group of men supporting the bride started to sway. Hef face dropped, as did her hand from the napkin. She knew. I knew. We all knew what was about to happen.

They swayed left, they swayed right … someone tried to stand below the woman in an attempt to catch her, but we all knew he would be squished.

The bride ….was going down. She tried to grab onto the chair, onto her groom, anything! But it was inevitable. She tipped forward, arms and legs flailing. The crowd below her could not support her bootyliciuous body, and she, and about 5 guest beneath here, were flattened.

The Hava nagila slowly came to a stop. Everyone gasped, and started trying to help the bride up. But she pushed them all back, and quickly jumped to her feet. A little blood was trickling down her forehead. And a huge smile was plastered across her face. She yelled out a “WOO HOOO,” arms pumping in the air. Her cry was a little slurred.

It seemed as if the excessive champagne self medication had done it’s trick. She felt no pain from her fall, nor any embarrassment. Oh champagne, the curer of all awkward wedding moments.

And with that the band started up again, and the festivities continued for one of the most lively wedding receptions I have ever witnessed. The next morning I worked the post wedding brunch. The bride walked in, hands clasped with her glowing groom, a smile on both their face. She had a black eye, and a band-aid on her forehead. But she looked so happy, especially as she gazed lovingly at her new husband, and grabbed herself, a mimosa.


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