This week, Lizzy Peretz will celebrate her wedding. She will be more than thrilled with her simple, borrowed gown and modest discounted hall. She will sit in her kiseh kallah, surrounded by the buzz of enthusiastic friends from seminary. Her family, however, will be conspicuously absent. Her beloved father passed away recently due to a heart attack. The rest of her family has chosen not to be in contact.
This week, Lizzy and her chassan will arrive at their new apartment. The empty space of their unfurnished living room will suddenly strike them as immense. They will sit on the floor, hoping for chairs. They will stare longingly at empty cabinets. They will awake in the morning hungry, digging through their wallets for change to buy groceries.
This won’t be Lizzy’s first experience with adversity however: the young woman had to raise money for her wedding on her own. Her own mother and siblings have cut off contact since she began her journey toward becoming religious. A generous foster family has taken her in, but are unable to help her financially. She works hard and saves up, but it has not been enough to cover a wedding, or stock an apartment.
This young couple has a long and challenging future ahead of them. Most young brides & grooms would begin their lives together with the help of family. They, however, are alone.
In just a few days, Lizzy has a chance to escape the pain of her past, and to begin a new life. The difference between her starting that life with joy, or with pain, is in our hands.