All pictures posted were taken by me or allowed to me for redistribution and reposting.
It all began with our wedding, Nov. 27, 1982. But did it really? How far back should we go to tell our story, our Jewish story?
In this week’s Parasha Chayei Sarah, we find some clues.
הִנֵּ֛ה אָנֹכִ֥י נִצָּ֖ב עַל־עֵ֣ין הַמָּ֑יִם וְהָיָ֤ה הָֽעַלְמָה֙ הַיֹּצֵ֣את לִשְׁאֹ֔ב וְאָמַרְתִּ֣י אֵלֶ֔יהָ הַשְׁקִֽינִי־נָ֥א מְעַט־מַ֖יִם מִכַּדֵּֽךְ׃
As I stand by the spring of water, let the young woman who comes out to draw and to whom I say, ‘Please, let me drink a little water from your jar,’
If I had written into a diary in those past days, this is what I would have written, ” As I stand by the steps of this temple, (spring of water), let the young man who comes to sit by himself and to whom I might meet ( or trip over as the case happened to be), and say,” Please, let me sit next or near to you and enjoy your company (drink a little water from your jar.)”
וְאָמְרָ֤ה אֵלַי֙ גַּם־אַתָּ֣ה שְׁתֵ֔ה וְגַ֥ם לִגְמַלֶּ֖יךָ אֶשְׁאָ֑ב הִ֣וא הָֽאִשָּׁ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־הֹכִ֥יחַ יְהוָ֖ה לְבֶן־אֲדֹנִֽי׃
and who answers, ‘You may drink, and I will also draw for your camels’—let her be the wife whom the LORD has decreed for my master’s son.’
and he who answers,”You may sit there, since there is no one else sitting there, and I will allow you to sit there, since it is a good seat for you and your peace of mind.”( did he in fact speak these words to me?)
אֲנִי֩ טֶ֨רֶם אֲכַלֶּ֜ה לְדַבֵּ֣ר אֶל־לִבִּ֗י וְהִנֵּ֨ה רִבְקָ֤ה יֹצֵאת֙ וְכַדָּ֣הּ עַל־שִׁכְמָ֔הּ וַתֵּ֥רֶד הָעַ֖יְנָה וַתִּשְׁאָ֑ב וָאֹמַ֥ר אֵלֶ֖יהָ הַשְׁקִ֥ינִי נָֽא׃
I had scarcely finished praying in my heart, when Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder, and went down to the spring and drew. And I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’
But what he seems to be thinking to himself, “What is someone like her doing here, sitting in my row? Is she someone that I should get to know? Has the Lord sent her to me, decreed for myself?” So he said to himself or to me, “Please take a seat and sit here and give me your company.” Or so I remembered his first sentence to me, but it is being remembered thirty eight years later.(LOL).
וַתְּמַהֵ֗ר וַתּ֤וֹרֶד כַּדָּהּ֙ מֵֽעָלֶ֔יהָ וַתֹּ֣אמֶר שְׁתֵ֔ה וְגַם־גְּמַלֶּ֖יךָ אַשְׁקֶ֑ה וָאֵ֕שְׁתְּ וְגַ֥ם הַגְּמַלִּ֖ים הִשְׁקָֽתָה׃
She quickly lowered her jar and said, ‘Drink, and I will also water your camels.’ So I drank, and she also watered the camels.
He remembers that she quickly lowered herself into the seat, two seats apart, and said, “Thank you for allowing me to sit here and enjoy sitting in this row.” So I drank in her beauty and her kindness. Her light, her aura, lit up our row (the camels). I felt enlightened (watered).
וָאֶשְׁאַ֣ל אֹתָ֗הּ וָאֹמַר֮ בַּת־מִ֣י אַתְּ֒ וַתֹּ֗אמֶר בַּת־בְּתוּאֵל֙ בֶּן־נָח֔וֹר אֲשֶׁ֥ר יָֽלְדָה־לּ֖וֹ מִלְכָּ֑ה וָאָשִׂ֤ם הַנֶּ֙זֶם֙ עַל־אַפָּ֔הּ וְהַצְּמִידִ֖ים עַל־יָדֶֽיהָ׃
I inquired of her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him.’ And I put the ring on her nose and the bands on her arms.
He inquired of me, “Who are you? What are you doing here in this temple on a Friday night?” and I replied. “This is Shabbat Hamoreh, I teach fifth grade here, and I was invited to come to participate here, tonight. The teachers are being honored (bands on her arms).” And I asked her to come join his group of friends (put the ring on her nose), called Oasis, after the service ended.
וָאֶקֹּ֥ד וָֽאֶשְׁתַּחֲוֶ֖ה לַיהוָ֑ה וָאֲבָרֵ֗ךְ אֶת־יְהוָה֙ אֱלֹהֵי֙ אֲדֹנִ֣י אַבְרָהָ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֤ר הִנְחַ֙נִי֙ בְּדֶ֣רֶךְ אֱמֶ֔ת לָקַ֛חַת אֶת־בַּת־אֲחִ֥י אֲדֹנִ֖י לִבְנֽוֹ׃
Then I bowed low in homage to the LORD and blessed the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who led me on the right way to get the daughter of my master’s brother for his son.
and he bowed low in homage to the Lord and blessed the Lord, the Gd of his people, in his thoughts “who led me on the right way to get this woman, of my people, to know.”
וְ֠עַתָּה אִם־יֶשְׁכֶ֨ם עֹשִׂ֜ים חֶ֧סֶד וֶֽאֱמֶ֛ת אֶת־אֲדֹנִ֖י הַגִּ֣ידוּ לִ֑י וְאִם־לֹ֕א הַגִּ֣ידוּ לִ֔י וְאֶפְנֶ֥ה עַל־יָמִ֖ין א֥וֹ עַל־שְׂמֹֽאל׃
And now, if you mean to treat my master with true kindness, tell me; and if not, tell me also, that I may turn right or left.”
And now after Oasis ended, with snacks and treats of all kinds, with true kindness!, a friend, of his and mine alike, turned to both of us and asked us to her intimate birthday party over the weekend, tell me yes; and if not, tell me also, that I may count on both of you coming? We both looked at one another. Should we go and continue this initial meeting?
וַיַּ֨עַן לָבָ֤ן וּבְתוּאֵל֙ וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ מֵיְהוָ֖ה יָצָ֣א הַדָּבָ֑ר לֹ֥א נוּכַ֛ל דַּבֵּ֥ר אֵלֶ֖יךָ רַ֥ע אוֹ־טֽוֹב׃
Then Laban and Bethuel answered, “The matter was decreed by the LORD; we cannot speak to you bad or good.
Then we both answered,“The matter was decreed by the LORD; it seems, we cannot say no to you, by speak ing to you in a bad or good way. We will both be there to celebrate your birthday.
הִנֵּֽה־רִבְקָ֥ה לְפָנֶ֖יךָ קַ֣ח וָלֵ֑ךְ וּתְהִ֤י אִשָּׁה֙ לְבֶן־אֲדֹנֶ֔יךָ כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר דִּבֶּ֥ר יְהוָֽה׃
Here is Rebekah before you; take her and go, and let her be a wife to your master’s son, as the LORD has spoken.”
Here we attended the birthday party and before you knew it, we were together all of the time. By the time that three months had passed, when we were out visiting with his aunt Thelma on Fire Island, when she turned to Larry and said;” Here is Claire before you; why not take her and go for it, and let her become a wife to you, you should be engaged by now you know, as the Lord has spoken to me!” and she laughed, thinking that Gd would have spoken to her!
וַיְהִ֕י כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר שָׁמַ֛ע עֶ֥בֶד אַבְרָהָ֖ם אֶת־דִּבְרֵיהֶ֑ם וַיִּשְׁתַּ֥חוּ אַ֖רְצָה לַֽיהוָֽה׃
When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed low to the ground before the LORD.
When Larry heard the words, spoken by his aunt, he bowed low his head towards the ground, before the Lord in Thanksgiving.
וַיּוֹצֵ֨א הָעֶ֜בֶד כְּלֵי־כֶ֨סֶף וּכְלֵ֤י זָהָב֙ וּבְגָדִ֔ים וַיִּתֵּ֖ן לְרִבְקָ֑ה וּמִ֨גְדָּנֹ֔ת נָתַ֥ן לְאָחִ֖יהָ וּלְאִמָּֽהּ׃
The servant brought out objects of silver and gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah; and he gave presents to her brother and her mother.
Then Larry brought out a ring of silver and gold, a ring from his grandmother, and garments like a welcoming scarf from Aunt Mickey, the wife of his Uncle Ted , and gave them to Claire; and he gave presents to her mother.
וַיֹּאכְל֣וּ וַיִּשְׁתּ֗וּ ה֛וּא וְהָאֲנָשִׁ֥ים אֲשֶׁר־עִמּ֖וֹ וַיָּלִ֑ינוּ וַיָּק֣וּמוּ בַבֹּ֔קֶר וַיֹּ֖אמֶר שַׁלְּחֻ֥נִי לַֽאדֹנִֽי׃
Then he and the men with him ate and drank, and they spent the night. When they arose next morning, he said, “Give me leave to go to my master.”
Then Larry and his friends, who organized a men’s night out, who were with him, ate and drank, and they spent the night partying like they had done in college. When they arose later that night, early the next morning, he said, “Give me leave to get back to Claire so that I may take her as mine.
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אָחִ֙יהָ֙ וְאִמָּ֔הּ תֵּשֵׁ֨ב הַנַּעֲרָ֥ אִתָּ֛נוּ יָמִ֖ים א֣וֹ עָשׂ֑וֹר אַחַ֖ר תֵּלֵֽךְ׃
But her brother and her mother said, “Let the maiden remain with us some ten days; then you may go.”
But her brother and her mother said,”Let the young maiden remain with us about ten months more, until the year is well over, from mourning her father. When the year is over, then you may go.”
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֲלֵהֶם֙ אַל־תְּאַחֲר֣וּ אֹתִ֔י וַֽיהוָ֖ה הִצְלִ֣יחַ דַּרְכִּ֑י שַׁלְּח֕וּנִי וְאֵלְכָ֖ה לַֽאדֹנִֽי׃
He said to them, “Do not delay me, now that the LORD has made my errand successful. Give me leave that I may go to my master.”
He said to them, “Do not delay me, now that the Lord has made my errand of finding a wife successful. Give me permission to marry your sister, your daughter that I may bring her back to my home and live as husband and wife.
וַיֹּאמְר֖וּ נִקְרָ֣א לַֽנַּעֲרָ֑ וְנִשְׁאֲלָ֖ה אֶת־פִּֽיהָ׃
And they said, “Let us call the girl and ask for her reply.”
And they said, “Let us call Claire on her cell and ask for her reply.”
וַיִּקְרְא֤וּ לְרִבְקָה֙ וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ אֵלֶ֔יהָ הֲתֵלְכִ֖י עִם־הָאִ֣ישׁ הַזֶּ֑ה וַתֹּ֖אמֶר אֵלֵֽךְ׃
They called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will.”
They called Claire on her cell and said to her, “Will you go with this man, Larry?” and she said, “I will.”
וַֽיְשַׁלְּח֛וּ אֶת־רִבְקָ֥ה אֲחֹתָ֖ם וְאֶת־מֵנִקְתָּ֑הּ וְאֶת־עֶ֥בֶד אַבְרָהָ֖ם וְאֶת־אֲנָשָֽׁיו׃
So they sent off their sister Rebekah and her nurse along with Abraham’s servant and his men.
So they sent off their sister and daughter, Claire, to prepare to get married to Larry, with blessings and promise.
וַיְבָרֲכ֤וּ אֶת־רִבְקָה֙ וַיֹּ֣אמְרוּ לָ֔הּ אֲחֹתֵ֕נוּ אַ֥תְּ הֲיִ֖י לְאַלְפֵ֣י רְבָבָ֑ה וְיִירַ֣שׁ זַרְעֵ֔ךְ אֵ֖ת שַׁ֥עַר שֹׂנְאָֽיו׃
And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, “O sister! May you grow Into thousands of myriads; May your offspring seize The gates of their foes.”
And they blessed Claire and said to her, “May you grow into a family of many beautiful children. May your children, your offspring rise up to meet their challenges well in life.”
וַתָּ֨קָם רִבְקָ֜ה וְנַעֲרֹתֶ֗יהָ וַתִּרְכַּ֙בְנָה֙ עַל־הַגְּמַלִּ֔ים וַתֵּלַ֖כְנָה אַחֲרֵ֣י הָאִ֑ישׁ וַיִּקַּ֥ח הָעֶ֛בֶד אֶת־רִבְקָ֖ה וַיֵּלַֽךְ׃
Then Rebekah and her maids arose, mounted the camels, and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and went his way.
Then Claire arose, packed up her belongings, mounted her mode of transportation, back to Brooklyn, and followed the man, Larry. So the man Larry, took Claire and went his way.
וְיִצְחָק֙ בָּ֣א מִבּ֔וֹא בְּאֵ֥ר לַחַ֖י רֹאִ֑י וְה֥וּא יוֹשֵׁ֖ב בְּאֶ֥רֶץ הַנֶּֽגֶב׃
Isaac had just come back from the vicinity of Beer-lahai-roi, for he was settled in the region of the Negeb.
Larry had just left one job and had come back from job hunting near the vicinity of Manhattan, for he was settled in the region of Manhattan on the Upper West Side.
וַיֵּצֵ֥א יִצְחָ֛ק לָשׂ֥וּחַ בַּשָּׂדֶ֖ה לִפְנ֣וֹת עָ֑רֶב וַיִּשָּׂ֤א עֵינָיו֙ וַיַּ֔רְא וְהִנֵּ֥ה גְמַלִּ֖ים בָּאִֽים׃
And Isaac went out walking in the field toward evening and, looking up, he saw camels approaching.
And Larry went out walking on the streets of the Upper West Side, looking up, he saw a possible job lead approaching, and wandered into a copy center, looking for work. He got the job.
וַתִּשָּׂ֤א רִבְקָה֙ אֶת־עֵינֶ֔יהָ וַתֵּ֖רֶא אֶת־יִצְחָ֑ק וַתִּפֹּ֖ל מֵעַ֥ל הַגָּמָֽל׃
Raising her eyes, Rebekah saw Isaac. She alighted from the camel
Upon Larry’s return from his walk, Claire was raising her eyes, as Larry entered the doorway. She saw him, as if for the very first time. She alighted from off of the sofa to greet him.
וַתֹּ֣אמֶר אֶל־הָעֶ֗בֶד מִֽי־הָאִ֤ישׁ הַלָּזֶה֙ הַהֹלֵ֤ךְ בַּשָּׂדֶה֙ לִקְרָאתֵ֔נוּ וַיֹּ֥אמֶר הָעֶ֖בֶד ה֣וּא אֲדֹנִ֑י וַתִּקַּ֥ח הַצָּעִ֖יף וַתִּתְכָּֽס׃
and said to the servant, “Who is that man walking in the field toward us?” And the servant said, “That is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself.
and she said to the man, standing in front of her, “Who is that man walking into the doorway, that is smiling, coming toward me?” and he replied to her, “That is your new master, a man with a new job.” So she took upon herself a sign of her new relationship, her engagement ring, and adorned herself as newly engaged.
וַיְסַפֵּ֥ר הָעֶ֖בֶד לְיִצְחָ֑ק אֵ֥ת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָֽׂה׃
The servant told Isaac all the things that he had done.
And Larry told Claire all the things that he had done that day.
וַיְבִאֶ֣הָ יִצְחָ֗ק הָאֹ֙הֱלָה֙ שָׂרָ֣ה אִמּ֔וֹ וַיִּקַּ֧ח אֶת־רִבְקָ֛ה וַתְּהִי־ל֥וֹ לְאִשָּׁ֖ה וַיֶּאֱהָבֶ֑הָ וַיִּנָּחֵ֥ם יִצְחָ֖ק אַחֲרֵ֥י אִמּֽוֹ׃ (פ)
Isaac then brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he took Rebekah as his wife. Isaac loved her, and thus found comfort after his mother’s death
Larry then brought her into the “tent” of his dwelling place, on the Upper West Side, and he took Claire as his wife. Larry loved her, and thus found comfort after his changing of jobs and a past relationship that had ended abruptly.
It was told that the Jewish legacy of Marvell z”l was passed to Claire and Larry’s children. Every Shabbat, their home was full of Shabbat candles being lit, blessings on the wine and the challah bread being blessed and ancient blessings for the children being bestowed, upon her grandchildren, Marvell’s yerushah.
and so the Jewish family line continues into the forging of the next Jewish generation. Bubie/Savta Marvell/Mindl can rest in peace.
Shira was the first to chose to marry Jewish. Thank you Shira, from Bubie. Shalom is in the house. Shalom bayit. Possibly Seth or Sarah might meet someone Jewish on campus. You just never know. Only Gd knows…
Rabbi Claire and the teddy bears