A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.
We’ve all been to hundreds of weddings throughout our lives. Most of them have been the simchas of friends – some of very close family members. The gladness we feel rejuvenates us.
But I have discovered that when it is your own child who is going to be walking up to the chupah – a very short march towards a lifelong journey – a tumultuous wave of emotions is
unleashed that almost sweeps you off your feet. These emotions complement one another. Joy, excitement and elation swirl simultaneously with disbelief and wistfulness – even sadness. It’s similar to a chulent that bubbles with flavors that are sweet and sour, tangy and bitter. As impossible as it may seem, you experience a plethora of conflicting feelings like “sad happiness,” “wistful joy,” and “impatient calmness.”
Without warning, run-of-the mill activities and incidents unexpectedly trigger an avalanche of feelings, and the topsy-turveyness of them leave you tottering. One moment I would walk out of a shop feeling good about getting a good price on a wedding related item, then pass a shoe store and feel an explosion of grief shake my core as I was abruptly reminded of my parents, z”l, who also owned a shoe store. They would not be physically at the wedding to reap what they had so painstakingly sowed – a resurrected family tree growing from the ashes of the Holocaust.
You tell yourself that they will be at the simcha – unseen because of a heavenly mechitza separating them from the other guests, but there just the same, rejoicing with you, shepping nachas from you. The grief softens and you feel a splash of comfort, but even so, sparks of sorrow flare up unannounced, so that you sigh even as your mouth smiles.
You continue on your way, but then you see a baby in a stroller, and you stop and take a longer look and your heart starts beating rapidly as you wonder in disbelief at how fast
the years have flown. It really seems like yesterday, the young chattan was the baby in the carriage. And while you are bursting with gladness that after all your time, effort and
strength, your child has reached the point of being an independent and self-reliant young man with the maturity to build his own bayit ne’eman b’Yisrael, you cannot control the
overwhelming sense of loss that floods your heart.
When you get home, you pass by his soon-to-be empty room. Of course, there were many times that room was unoccupied – children go to camp or yeshiva/seminary or to college – far away from your hugs. But you knew, G-d willing, that the move was temporary and that your child would fill the bed once more, sleeping safely under your roof, under your view, under your protection.
You know that it is time to let go – and you want to. For just like a father absolves himself of responsibility for his bar-mitzvah aged son, parents – especially mothers of sons, can breathe easier knowing that they can - at least for this particular child – “retire” from staying up, from looking out the window, wondering when they’ll finally hear the car pull up, or the key turning the lock of the door, relief flooding them as they silently mouth a prayer of thanks to Hashem and allow themselves to drift asleep.
Your child will be opening another front door, his own, and distance bestows peace of mind. Yet relinquishing a role that defined you for most of your adult life is hard to do, and
while the act of “passing the torch” to another fills you with a sense of liberation – it is tinged with a yearning you can’t quite shake off.
Day after day, thoughts, insights and impressions bubble out uninvited. You look in the mirror and see a middle aged person looking back at you, and you are struck with the realization that with the marriage of a child comes the potential for grandchildren, and even though you may feel like a kid yourself, you are in fact the older generation. And with one or both parents gone – you are the matriarch or patriarch of the family, and the generation that is on the threshold that leads to the unknown.
Although you may have intellectually acknowledged the timeless rite of passage that Hashem decreed on humanity, you have to come to terms with it on a spiritual level as well.
It is an indisputable dose of reality that knocks your emotional socks off. But you survive and you accept, and you embrace your todays with wiser appreciation.
And then the day of the wedding and then the actual moment when you escort your child to his future. At every step, a kaleidoscope of memories unfold, and you remember the bumped heads that thankfully healed, the worrisome fevers that cooled down, the planes that landed safely, and the long distance drives that ended peacefully. From the depths of your soul, you silently thank G-d for His infinite mercy in letting this moment happen, and that both your child and his zivug came to this place intact. And you think of your own close calls and near misses, and you recite the Shehecheyanu – blessing G-d that you lived and existed and came to this
point in time.
From a close distance, you hear the shattering of glass – and the book of childhood is completed. You whisper chazak chazak venitchazeik – and a new book begins.
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Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.
We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.
Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.
Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.
A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.
Dear Dr. Yael:
My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.
The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.
Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.
She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.
Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!
Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.
While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.
I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.
Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.
A young lady in her early 20’s, “Sarah” was redt to “Shlomie” a boy from her home town who learned in an out-of-town yeshiva. The families know each other well, which in today’s shidduch scene is a big plus – since it was therefore unlikely the kids would “fall in” due to misinformation and misinterpretations.
They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that is precisely what almost always happens in situations where a reference knew someone had serious but hidden emotional issues, but did not reveal the information to the person making inquiries.
Time never stood still for anyone – why would I be the exception? In my hubris, I thought that somehow I would live forever – and I suspect we all have secretly felt that way, even though we know it’s a fantasy.
One can argue that forgetting something on a regular basis is a sign of advancing age and it’s time to for a neurological evaluation, but based on the number of young people who need to replace a lost smart phone (too bad it’s not smart enough to warn its owner that that they have become separated – or is there an app for that too?), I safely can say that losing “stuff” cuts across the generations.
For quite a few days in late December, Toronto was transformed into a breathtaking – literally and figuratively – frigid winter wonderland, where every twig, leaf, car door, and outdoor wire and cable was totally encased in ice. When the sun shone the landscape was blindingly brilliant as if billions of diamonds had been glued to everything the eye could see.
Outside is a winter-white wonderland replete with dazzling trees, wires, and sidewalks seemingly wrapped in glittery silver foil. It’s quite lovely to look at, which is about all I can do since I’m stuck indoors. Icicle-laden tree branches are bent and hunch-backed by the frozen heaviness of their popsicle-like burden, and the voices squawking from the battery-operated transistor radio I am listening to are warning people not to go out since walkways and roads are extremely slippery, and there is real danger from falling trees.
The necessity of speaking up when you “have a hunch” applies even more when it comes to shidduchim. One little girl did just that – she said something – and I was fortunate enough to be in town for the very joyful, lively wedding that resulted from her speaking up.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/wedding-wonder/2004/07/28/
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