Vedding?! . . . Ye call dat a vedding?!

Having ignored invitations to various Anglo-Israeli Royal Wedding bashes – quite apart from my already admitted davka-ness, why would I chance having to share such a uniquely British occasion with Israelis, Americans and, worst of all of course, French? – I watched William’s chasseneh, in Netanya, in the company of the person with whom I witnessed that of his parents, thirty years ago: my mother.

The Duke of Hazard

To be totally honest, I feel rather above such gatherings . . . which of course I am, my late father having served as physician to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Though, for the benefit of the commoners who read this blog, a soupçon of life with the Royals: On the evening before his first visit from the Prince, dad received a telephone call at home informing him of the correct protocol, essentially not to speak until spoken to. This was ironic, really, considering that dad had a very strong sense of propriety, while the Prince, on the other hand, is famed for putting his foot in it at every given opportunity. “If a cricketer, for instance, suddenly decided to go into a school and batter a lot of people to death with a cricket bat . . . are you going to ban cricket bats?” was his contribution to the gun control debate following Dunblane; whilst his welcome of the Nigerian President (who was in traditional robes) – “You look like you’re ready for bed!” – was what perhaps precluded a return invite to Abuja.

Anyhow, as for the wedding and immediate aftermath, I was less worried about Will’s and Kate’s rather pursed lip kisses on the Buckingham Palace balcony than I was relieved that Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks wasn’t caught – for the few seconds that the TV cameras were on him in the Abbey – joining in with Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah (more commonly, though erroneously, known as Bread of Heaven).

Neither royalist nor republican, I recognise the stability that the monarchy brings to the British political process, and believe that the nation would be a great deal the poorer for the loss of occasions such as Friday’s.

"Lionel who?!"

That evening, however, Hanna, an Israeli friend (of Moroccan parentage, if you are reading, Isaac), told me that the excesses of the wedding confirmed to her just how ridiculous the British really are. But it fell on deaf ears, seeming as it did to be akin to Bnei Yehuda’s finest, Pini Balili (right), telling Lionel Messi that he wastes too much time dribbling.

But it was not just Hanna. Sunday morning’s Haaretz was full of cynicism and sneers. On its front page, ‘journalist’ Shai Golden could only sum up the wedding as “a classic case of “Why didn’t you tell us your sister was prettier than you?”,” following that with an equally moronic reference to the newlyweds as “successors” to “the couple regarded as international British royalty,” David and Victoria Beckham.

"Victoria, there's a massive fruit gum on yer 'ead!"

As well as displaying the quality of (what my father used to call) being “well-balanced . . . having a chip on each shoulder,” many Israelis have an infuriating habit of pretending to understand – like they do ‘proper’ football (see Moti, you ain’t no Motty!) – other traditions and cultures (older, if not superior) . . . when, really, they know nothing about them. Golden no doubt watched the wedding on Israeli TV, and, probably only recognising Elton John and “Posh and Becks” amongst the invited guests, had to write about one of them.

“The monarchy has long been dead in Europe,” Golden, now the brilliant constitutional theorist, concluded, seemingly on the basis that “there will never be another like [Lady Diana].” Who could argue with such logic? (Though why am I still expecting anything other than ignorance and arrogance from the writers and pages of Haaretz? See Haaretz: Always hitting us when we’re down.)

As for “trash pop culture and empty celebrity hedonism” – of which Golden brands the Beckhams (of whom, incidentally, I am no fan) “the ambassadors” – he need look no further than his own doorstep for these, so sadly obsessed has this country become with crap reality TV and its inane participants. Indeed, who could expect your average Israeli, whose idea of a “spectacle” is the last night of Ha’Ach Ha’Gadol, to appreciate the magnificent pageantry that we witnessed on Friday?

It is impossible to even imagine Israelis, like the tens of thousands of Britons who lined the wedding route, camping out for days on end with such patience and stoicism: they’d finish their Yediot and garinim, get bored, spread the newspaper over the largest possible area – perhaps, if no one is looking, stealing a few extra inches – and then demand that neighbouring campers save the space until they return in three days’ time! (Anyone unfortunate enough to have shopped in an an Israeli supermarket will know exactly what I mean.)

Who wouldn't want the opinion of this man?

Another report in Sunday’s Haaretz, from the Tel Aviv party attended by the British ambassador, saw fit to quote Israeli singer Tzvika Pik (right), a ridiculous, ageing hippy who once wrote a few catchy pop songs: “I would have had him [Elton John] sing again in the church the way he sang in Princess Diana’s memory. You don’t need more than that.”

And, whilst you’re at it, Tzvika, why not also, after the service, bus all the guests down to the Blackwall Tunnel for a re-enactment of the Paris crash?

Most Israelis just don’t get it. One of the very few who seemed to was actor, Rami Heuberger: “we appreciate the British sense of humor . . . inviting us to an event like this has a lot of humor in it. Because what do we have to do with this? The only blue blood in our veins is the water from the Frishman beach.”

But to my fragrant English Rose, Pippa . . .

Would I . . . !!

Quite apart from your boyfriend (or, rather, momentary aberration) clearly being an absolute dope – who retires at 27 from an extremely promising career as an international cricketer . . . to go into finance?! – I think you will agree that “Pippa and melchett” has a beautiful ring to it.

And you need not worry your lovely legs about what my mum and her Netanya ladies will think/say . . . just the thought of all those hats again – and in real life, this time! – will win ‘em over.

So, Pippa sweetness, you know where to find me. And I am willing to wait if necessary . . . unlike my adopted countrymen, I am extremely patient!


23 responses to “Vedding?! . . . Ye call dat a vedding?!

  1. Michael Greene

    I’m no ardent royalist, but even I felt a certain warmth towards the, hopefully still, happy couple. Whilst little sis Pippa all but stole the show, my eyes were almost blinded by the fabulous Munter sisters Beatrice and Eugenie. It appears that Stevie Wonder is now designing dresses….

  2. robert coe

    Will be in Israel from 26 May to 2 June. If you have some time would like to meet up to discuss the photo project (Hasmo Legends 1959). Let me know.

  3. Jeremiah Bullfrog

    I would concur that your ‘Fragrant Rose’ has a gorgeous pair of legs. Whilst you’re in with a chance because she likes a little yiddushchite, I understand from reliable sources that she avoids the middle aged male variety. Maybe you should try your hand with one of ‘Munster sisters’.

  4. Mr. Bullfrog, you should know more than anyone the potential within all of us to turn into a handsome prince!

    And I have it on good authority that Pippa, on being asked whether she has any Jewish in her, said she’d like some . . . though you are correct: it is fortunate indeed that I am not “middle aged.”

    As for your advice as to what I should try with my hand, I remind you that this is a family blog.

  5. Zvika's Pick

    Good Luck English Rose – Royal Wedding edition of Candle In The Wind:

  6. John Fisher

    Brilliant! The best piece I have seen on last week’s Royal Celebrity Big Brother. That Blackwall Tunnel line would have won an almost impossible 18/20 from Marks for “perfect pitch and perfect timing”. Zvika Pick has always reminded me of Ken Dodd. I hated him as well.

  7. About all I can add from this side of the pond is that it was a good show. In many ways, it seems like too many of your former colonists were more entranced by the whole thing than your (former) countrymen. I did enjoy Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ comment on William’s choice of attire … that it seemed to him that the prince got his costume from the Sgt. Pepper collection. LOL

    As an aside, Tzvika Pik has earned himself almost god-like status in some corners of the contemporary (?) Jewish music world as the composer of the only successful alternative to Sulzer’s version of Sh’ma. Oh well, there’s no accounting for taste.

  8. Mike,

    First – I did not say that all English people anywhere in the entire planet are ridiculous. You know I love the Beatles. All I said was that I find it unbelievably absurd that the royal wedding and family get such non proportional attention, and that so much money is being wasted on them, when the economy in England is not the best. I’m sure the English people could find better and superior uses for their money, other than wasting it on the royal family and such extravagant weddings. And why? because one of their great great great great great ancestors was powerful enough (meaning cruel and aggressive enough) to claim the throne.

    BTW – Not every event that occurs in the world is a reason to attack Israelis.

    However – I totally think you have a chance with Pippa. I’m actually quite positive she is already looking for you. Good Luck with that. 🙂


  9. Hanna,

    The foundations of the United Kingdom date back to the 9th century CE and Alfred the Great. A scholarly lawgiver, NOT a cruel monarch who protected his people from the Danes, encouraged scholarship and founded schools.

    The Royal family does not waste English people’s money. The Royals live off the Crown Estate, which is managed independently and is accountable to parliament. Any surplus made by the Estate goes to the Treasury, which develops public finance and economic policy. I believe that the Crown Estate has been in surplus for some time to the benefit of the economy and to English people.

    In my opinion it’s not fair that the Royals live off this Estate like they do. It makes up a significant part of the country and many of them arguably, with the exception of the Queen and a few others don’t do much to earn it. On the other hand the Royals are intertwined with the constitution, which is stable and, the Monarch must be respected according to Halacha.

  10. She’s Moroccan, Dovid. What next? Explaining to Yemenites about the Separation of Powers? Or to Algerians the Rule of Law? 😉

  11. sorry MM…

    Don’t think the dude has anything on you, but there is no accounting for taste.

  12. “Don’t think the dude has anything on you . . .”

    A 6 foot 3 Old Etonian (a prefect noch) and former England cricketer, “the family pile in the country, a smart job in London and . . . very handsome.”

    Separated at birth, I’d say, Ali! 😉

  13. Strangely enough Mike, I’ve a very good friend in Ashkelon of Moroccan stock who visited what was the family home, over twenty years ago. He traveled onwards to the Capital to see the sites and still had good memories of his trip when I visited his home in 2006.

    More tenuously, I spent a Shabbat afternoon listening to the stories of a half Yemenite Israeli Shaliach last year. Some interesting anecdotes about the Arab-Israeli conflict, including a run in with an Asian shop-keeper who said, “You shoot people!” The response was, “Only if they shoot first!”

    Also, I do some Bookkeeping work for the grandson of an Algerian and he likes asking about the law.

  14. Which only goes to prove, Dovid: we Litvaks are extremely tolerant!

    Anyway, as my ex’s father always used to say, “Mike, there are Moroccans, Moroccans, and Moroccans.” He was the third type, while his daughter, unfortunately, displayed a few too many characteristics of the first and second! 😉

  15. Jonathan Kendal

    Mike check No wonder the Rabbi was keeping quiet – he knew (with his having attended Christ College) that the words were wrong.

    On Pippa I refer to my earlier recommendation to you that English country girls are just the right sort for you who are guaranteed to love your dogs. From her picture it looks like you’re mining a rich seam.

  16. Rather more enjoyable watching Katherine Jenkins sing it (or even just the still below!) Almost choked on me muesli . . .

    My personal favourite, though . . .

    Not a Moozie in sight. Fantastic! 😉

  17. Jonathan Kendal

    Re “Not a Moozie in sight.” I’m always getting into trouble with C when I proffer sentiments like this, for example when we visit some nice English village and I say: “I like it here”. She knows immediately what I am getting at. On the other hand when you look what we’ve got to contend with back in London at the moment: one has to be thankful there’s still some corner of an English field that is forever England. For how much longer – who knows? Here’s yet another problem with their extremism in London and around the country: It brings a whole new dimension to Nimby’ism. So, in returning to the main theme of your blog, it’s lucky, so far, they’ve not come on here and spraypainted out that nice photo of Pippa!!

  18. The Royal Wedding – Klezmer Style!

  19. Jonathan, we both know that C likes to pretend to be PC when it suits her!

    I understand completely re those “nice English villages.” That is why, on my infrequent visits, I prefer the Lakes and the Highlands to anything that the capital has to offer. And it is not going to get better. Anyway, hope to see you both when I am in London, in early June, following my trip round Ireland. Hopefully, won’t be too many of ’em there, either!

    As for “spraypaint[ing]” Pippa, don’t get my imagination going . . . 😉

  20. John Fisher

    “I was relieved that Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks wasn’t caught – for the few seconds that the TV cameras were on him in the Abbey – joining in with Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah (more commonly, though erroneously, known as Bread of Heaven).”

    Lord Sacks of Aldgate in the City of London was not quite so lucky the following Friday morning when he chose as his BBC Radio 4 “Thought for the Day” the significance of the King James Bible on its 400th anniversary. The only religious/biblical phrase he came up with in his three minutes of fame was “In the beginning there was the word”. Before ex-Hasmos dive, for their Concordances, they need not bother. Wrong Bible. John Chapter I, Verse I. One is simply lost for words.

  21. Jackie Bond

    A question for John Fisher in response to his post of May 13 – whaddya mean “Wrong Bible”? I’m confused. Maybe I should ask my Rabbi (aka Tony Pearce!) (I KNOW HE’S NOT A RABBI!). Be blessed!

  22. John Fisher

    Ms Bond

    I do apologise. As I was talking to ex-Hasmos I employed a local dialect with which they are all familiar – Golders Green English. Famous for such expressions as “I was staying by my auntie in Stamford Hill” and “It was mamesh the truth”, it is a form of our mongrel tongue that, if I may take a liberty with your name, is English with a touch of Yiddish “shaken AND stirred”.

    According to the Golders Green definition, the Bible stops dead at Chronicles implying that Lord Sacks rather embarrassingly overshot the mark. I admit that I am guilty of inaccuracy even according to the Golders Green lexicon – but I assume I may be forgiven for not wishing to insult any stray evangelicals taking a coffee break from their asinine activities at Golders Green Station (if that is where they still ply their ignominious trade).

  23. Game on!!

    I’m calling the Majestic – Pippa’ll want it to be over there – to check availability.

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