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It was a heart-filling experience, one that will become an indelible memory in my budding Jewish experience. I attended the wedding of iWe and Mrs. iWe’s son #2 and his bride.
I was a bit nervous about attending, fighting off a low-level anxiety about potentially “doing the wrong thing.” A few days before the wedding, however, I realized how silly and self-centered my concerns were. I was not attending this blessed occasion to make some kind of impression on those who were there; I was attending to contribute joy (simcha), offer blessings and goodwill with everyone else for the bride and groom. Holding that wish in my heart was the only mission I needed, and the one that guided me through the day.
Rather than take you through the events as they unfolded, let me share some moments that were especially poignant . . .
. . . welcomed, as I arrived, with the warmest delight, by several family members . . . having a conversation with one son about his playing the viola, another about his new job, and with the groom about his plans with his beloved after the wedding . . . meeting the bride and basking in her joy for the day . . . listening to father, oldest son and next to youngest son (with his pure, high voice) singing blessings of hope, love and devotion. . . dancing with laughter and abandon, holding hands, catching the eyes of others smiling across the circles that grew, merged and swelled again. . .
. . . meeting several people whom I recognized from Passovers past and catching up and reminiscing . . . meeting the first grandchild of the iWe family. . . a few women taking me under their wings to help guide me through the afternoon . . . being with a group of relative strangers in deep comfort with whom I shared an overriding and unspoken wish: to bring our joy and blessings for the day, to create memories of this most holy day, to wish the greatest happiness for the two who would be merging their future; our togetherness this day would mirror our dreams for their lives as a couple.
These wishes were not just in the background: they infused every moment of our time together. To build simcha, joy, so the couple would know deep in their hearts that they were receiving a mountain of good wishes and hope that we were building for them, in a way that would fill their hearts, to be drawn on in good times and bad. We were all there on a mission from G-d, not just to celebrate this auspicious day, but to create a loving and delight-filled moment-in-time that would last forever.