web analytics
October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Wedding Wonder

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.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Wedding Wonder”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Chaye Zisel Braun
Funeral for Chaye Zisel Braun Underway [photos]
Latest Sections Stories

It is important for a therapist to focus on a person’s strengths as a way of overcoming his or her difficulties.

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

Social disabilities occur at many levels, but experts identify three different areas of learning and behavior that are most common for children who struggle to create lasting social connections.

Sukkot is an eternal time of joy, and if we are worthy, of plenty.

Two of our brothers, Jonathan Pollard and Alan Gross, sit in the pit of captivity. We have a mandate to see that they are freed.

Chabad of South Broward has 15 Chabad Houses in ten cities.

Victor Center works in partnership with healthcare professionals, clergy, and the community to sponsor education programs and college campus out reach.

So just in case you’re stuck in the house this Chol HaMoed – because there’s a new baby or because someone has a cold – not because of anything worse, here are six ideas for family fun at home.

We are told that someone who says that God’s mercy extends to a bird’s nest should be silenced.

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-092614-Books

Not knowing any better, I assumed that Molly and her mother must be voracious readers.

Kupfer-080114

Unpleasant happenings are quickly discarded if they do not affect us directly.

I have always insisted that everything that happens to anyone or anything is min Shamayim.

It is so hurtful to heighten people’s sense of inadequacy and guilt in a matzav that is already horrendous and difficult to bear.

Make no mistake: in the wrong hands cars are weapons of mass destruction.

Where once divorce in heimische communities was relatively uncommon, nowadays every family has a son, daughter, sibling cousin who is divorced – sometimes twice or even three times!

Many go about the business of living frum, observant lives, but they are only going through the motions.

Lately I have been hearing quiet grumblings from people who admit that they regret not encouraging their sons to get a post-high school education after a year or two of learning.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/wedding-wonder/2004/07/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: