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SisterSchmooze: Of Bloopers and Blooms

Marcia Stark Meth / Emmy Leah Stark Zitter / Miriam Stark Zakon

Come join us as we remember how we got past the hitches and glitches surrounding weddings long past, flower girls and “flower boys” now all grown up

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

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hat do weddings and Shavuos have in common?

Flowers, of course.

But more than that… Most of us have heard mefarshim comparing Hashem to a chassan, B’nei Yisrael to a kallah, and Har Sinai to a flower-bedecked chuppah. And those of us who’ve been privileged to witness a hachnasas sefer Torah have seen the Torah being carried under a chuppah to its new home, where it will become the central connection between the mispallellim and Hashem.

Digging even further, we find more comparisons. Anyone who’s ever planned a wedding knows how much logistical, mental, and emotional preparation go into pulling off a flawless event. Similarly, receiving the Torah — both at Sinai and today — requires extensive preparation, though of the spiritual kind.

Those preparations don’t always go smoothly. Sometimes we encounter disagreements or even controversy along the way. Sometimes we experience repeated failures before attaining our goal. And sometimes we need to find ways to come together with others, uniting in agreement, harmony, and achdus.

We Sisters are making our final Shavuos preparations. We’re baking our cheesecakes (okay, full disclosure, two of us are buying). We’re choosing and arranging flowers. We’re counting down the last days of the Omer. And each of these preparations evokes memories.

Come join us as we remember how we got past the hitches and glitches surrounding weddings long past, flower girls and “flower boys” now all grown up, and Shavuos plans nearly gone awry with cheesecake debacles and floral flops.


Marcia’s daughter goes… Slowly “Petaling” Down the Aisle

My two daughters are 17 years apart. When Leah was born, my mother-in-law, Rose Meth a”h, sent a clipping from Good Housekeeping magazine (July 1994) to my older daughter, Miri. The piece was entitled “SISTERS.” It featured a photo of a bride kissing a flower girl. The text beside it read:


Both my daughters have been brought up on GH, and look how they’ve turned out (right)! Overcoming her initial surprise at acquiring a baby sister at age 17, Lisa found that it came in handy five years later, when Casey was just the right age to be a flower girl at her wedding.

It was signed by a woman from Indianapolis, Indiana.

My mother-in-law had taped the clipping onto a piece of paper from a small notepad. Underneath, and spilling onto the back of the notepaper, was the following handwritten message:

Dear Miri, ad meah v’esrim shanah,

Mazel tov on the birth of your baby sister Leah. May she be a source of Yiddish nachas to all of us. By the way, a two- or three-year-old girl can be a flower girl too. You don’t have to wait five years as Lisa in the clipping did.



Zaidy sends his best.


Four years later… The sun shone brightly on this unusually hot day in May. The gauzy chuppah, adorned with flowers, sparkled white against the blue sky. The guests sat in anticipation. My husband and I stood unseen in the wings, arms hooked with those of our beautiful kallah. Tense at the enormity of the moment, we watched the action unfolding before us.

The music came on, the procession began. First, the chassan with his parents. Then the proud grandparents — including my mother, escorted by our two sons, and my in-laws.

The music changed to a light and airy tune, and it was four-year-old Leah’s turn. She looked adorable in the exquisite blue-and-white gown my mother-in-law had lovingly made for her. Leah was a seasoned pro — she’d already been a flower girl nine months earlier at her oldest brother Avi’s wedding.

Her instructions seemed simple: Take rose petals from your little basket. Place them onto the white runner.

But four-year-olds can be quite literal.

 (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 592)

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