As of yesterday we have an incoming grandson. His name is Chaim and he’s already quite born, quite educated, quite lovely, and quite in love. He’s now officially engaged to our granddaughter Liat and we welcome him, with tremendous joy, to our family. Yesterday he proposed and she said yes! I wasn’t there for this brilliantly sparkling moment in time, but, knowing Liat, I’m sure she said yes enthusiastically. These days call for superlatives. When happiness arrives we’ve got to grab it and dance with it. I’m, at the tender age of 81, no disco girl singing “Celebration,” but today that’s just what I feel like I am! A wedding is coming and I can’t wait.
And it’s good for the Jews. When, in the midst of a pandemic, when rules and advisories are everywhere and lives are turned outside in (meaning we are in all the time, hunkering in, and hankering to be out!) and we have lost so much of our lives, and our Jewishness suffers as we sacrifice and modify rites of passage and rites of ritual, a traditional engagement with a traditional wedding to follow is truly a moment of significance, and intense, extremely intense, emotions.
I know of what I speak. Our lives have changed. To wit, at 7 a.m. every weekday morning, our living room becomes a ZOOM shul. There is my husband, standing in front of the dining room table, gazing at the smartphone as he adjusts his tallit and tefillin and joins the minyan. In the bygone days of old, like, for example, this farflung past February, the minyan was down the block at the shul. Today it is in a new iteration, a new and familiar, yet unfamiliar, space, as were the high holidays and all those that followed. The words may have been the same but the venue was surely not.
But what the Jews really yearn for are the moments, these crystal clear signs that our people will continue, thrive and survive and grow, and that love will triumph. We can thank Liat and Chaim for giving us such a moment, for giving us a wonderful simcha where we can dance and share our peoplehood and our people’s future. It’s more than what we want. It’s what we need. It’s dream fulfillment. While we are striving to keep safe and subjugate the curse of corona, we still need to let romance and love lead the way. The Jews need this.
And so we are looking forward to a chuppah. In this recent September, when our grandchildren Nina and Yonatan were married, we learned and witnessed that a wedding in the times of corona can be magnificent and moving and powerful and overflowing with ruach and beauty. And so it was. And so shall this wedding be.
Liat will be a breathtakingly beautiful bride and Chaim will be a distinguished chatan. No part of their wedding will be sacrificed. Kabbalat panim. Check. Chatan’s tisch. Check. B’tachat ha shemayim. Most assuredly. Breaking the glass and yearning for Jerusalem. Of course. And perhaps a new ritual: a prayer for the vanquishing of the cursed corona. Even if unspoken, that will be in our hearts and souls as we wish this couple a long and healthy and blessed life together. Ad 120!
And so, am Yisrael is rejoicing. We have a young couple, at the brink of a new life, and we wish them a heartfelt, from deep within out hearts, Mazal Tov.