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Jewesses with Attitude

A Musical Wedding Toast: To Life!

Lin-Manuel Miranda isn’t Jewish; neither is his new wife, Vanessa. But the 30-year old Puerto Rican composer obviously has a taste for musicals: He’s best known for writing and starring in the popular Broadway musical In the Heights, which has won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Perhaps, then, it’s not all that surprising that he chose to surprise his wife with an enthusiastic rendition of Fiddler On the Roof’s “To Life” on their wedding day – but it sure is endearing.

YouTube tells me the video has enjoyed upwards of 2 million views since it was uploaded in September, which means everyone and their Jewish mother has probably seen it. In fact, it was my own Jewish grandmother who clued me into it over Thanksgiving. But I love it too much to let it go unpromoted: Surely it’ll make you smile as widely as it did me, especially when the groom’s father sings Yiddish with a rolling Puerto Rican accent!

I’ve seen Fiddler before, and even performed it in high school, but somehow, watching Lin-Manuel and his animated bridal party serenade Vanessa with their goofy, happy version of this song helped me actually connect with the lyrics: “And if our good fortune never comes, here’s to whatever comes. Drink l’chaim, to life!”

I’ll drink to that.

How to cite this page

Bigam, Kate. "A Musical Wedding Toast: To Life!." 26 January 2011. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on August 20, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/a-musical-wedding-toast-to-life>.

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@erikadreifus yay!! Thanks, that's so awesome
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RT @erikadreifus: @jwaonline, you'll be happy to see this piece by one of your former Rising Voices fellows! http://t.co/87U4TxqYZJ
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Hedy Epstein, the 90-year-old Holocaust survivor who was arrested in #Ferguson, wore a shirt that read "Stay Human" http://t.co/P6V8EXyWlo