Love and Marriage in the Time of Corona: A Note for the Future

This is a note for the grandchildren of a young couple soon to embark on marriage. It’s a note for posterity.

We’ve been invited to the wedding which will take place in just a few weeks. This beautiful young couple found each other and each recognized that this was a relationship that would lead to the chuppah. The “he” is our grandson and the “she” is his bashert. How amazing that these two, so perfect for each other, found love and committed to a lifetime together. And to a dream wedding.

In days long gone by brides and grooms imagined their own weddings, surrounded by all those with whom they hoped to celebrate, in a miraculous festival of happiness, dancing, and Jewish tradition. In days long gone by those dreams were fulfilled. In days long gone by, I, a grandmother with deep and abiding love for this young man, the chatan, and. now, for his beautiful kalla, would have purchased a wonderful new dress, bottomed with comfortable shoes, but not topped with medical equipment! That was in days long gone by.

Today, as I plan for this wedding, I know I will be adorned with a mask and goggles. I may be unrecognizable. But that won’t put a damper on my pride. Not at all. My eyes, concealed by the goggles, will gleam with wonder and my smile will be as broad as my mask! I will epitomize happiness. Yet another of my remarkable grandchildren will ascend to the chuppah.

What is truly amazing is that the revisions to the original wedding scheme have not taken away the delight and optimism of the young couple. They are entering these last few weeks before their wedding with all the eagerness and excitement of any young couple deeply in love and about to celebrate their marriage. In many ways their wedding, in this time of dealing with the unknown, will be more memorable than anything they might have imagined. In this ever so challenging era of corona, when nothing is as it was, their wedding will tell the world that some things are truly exactly as they were. And as they should, and must, be. Young and talented and idealistic and committed young Jewish couples will still be escorted to the chuppah by loving parents, and grandparents. Joy will prevail. Ruach and foot stomping and fervent prayers will be seen and heard everywhere. This wedding, this very special wedding, will always be remembered as a brilliant triumph over an insolent virus, a virus with no standards and no morals and no knowledge of goodness, a virus that strove to destroy and ended up being squished by the pounding feet and drowned by the miracle of love.

And what a story these newlyweds will tell their grandchildren. They were married at a simcha during an unbelievable pandemic; and yet happiness was boundless and they and their families were able to share a marvelous festivity where the tears were all tears of wonder and beauty. Their grandchildren, who will have long since been vaccinated against covid19, will think surely they exaggerate, that it was not exceptional at all, just Savta and Sabba being overly dramatic, like elders often are. Certainly they will have heard the story many times before.

Hence, I hope that this note will be further proof for those future beings, progeny all, who won’t believe. Those skeptical grandchildren must know how truly remarkable Savta and Sabba are, and always were, and how their wedding became the hallmark of a wondrous life together even though the world around them was experiencing an unprecedented nightmare. This wonderful young couple got married during a time when nothing was as it should have been and yet everything was totally perfect and beautiful.

Mazal tov.

About the Author
Rosanne Skopp is a wife, mother of four, grandmother of fourteen, and great-grandmother of two. She is a graduate of Rutgers University and travels back and forth between homes in New Jersey and Israel. She is currently writing a family history.
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