Sometimes words aren’t really necessary – sometimes, pictures are enough. Shmulik is getting married soon. His future wife’s family comes from Iran – in Israel, they are referred to as Parsi – or Persian Jews. There is a custom among Parsi (and other Sephardic groups), to hold a henna before the wedding.
On my first trip to Israel, when I was 16, we were taken to a henna for Yemenite Jews. Part of the evening includes spreading a yellow-brown paste on your hand and leaving it for a few minutes – it stains the hand for a bit of time (I’ll let you know how long). They explained tonight – if you aren’t married, this will help you meet your intended; if you are married, it will increase your livelihood. Whatever the reason or result, it was an amazingly fun evening. Plus, it is always hard to get everyone together and get a picture. We didn’t totally succeed, but we got close.
So – a cultural journey, a mixing of traditions tonight – in pictures.