November 16, 2018

My Rabbinic Nightmare

My wife and I retired the night before our early morning flight to Pittsburgh last week for a family wedding in which I was the rabbinic officiant. We love these two young cousins and were excited to go with our sons and their partners to celebrate their marriage.

I suddenly became aware that two deaths had befallen members of my congregation. My two rabbinic colleagues were unavailable to officiate. What to do? I wanted so much to officiate at the wedding. But who would comfort the two families and officiate over the burial of their loved ones? How was I to be in two places at once – in Los Angeles and Pittsburgh?

I was torn whichever choice I took. I sat up, put my feet on the carpet, and began to walk. Full consciousness came to me. Alas, I realized I was only in a nightmare. No one had died. The wedding was still on.

It was a spectacular wedding. The bride and groom, beloved by family and friends, are comedy writers, as are most of their friends from “The Onion,” The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” and “Saturday Night Live.” The rehearsal dinner the night before the nuptials was a marathon of comedy writing and performance, one hilarious person taking the mic after another keeping us in stitches as each feted the couple.

It was thrilling to stand under the chupah with these two lovebirds. When they broke the glass and kissed for the first time as husband and wife, pandemonium broke out. The party was a joyous as it gets.

Thank goodness it was only two funerals and a wedding in my dreamscape, and my rabbinic nightmare passed.