Quietly Now

The joyous tumult of the season of Rosh Hashanah, of Yom Kippur, of Sukkot, and of Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah (these holidays share a date in Israel) have passed. Crisper, brighter autumnal air cools my home. My family’s thoughts turn back to school, to work, and to matters of other mundanities. Nonetheless, with us, b’ayin tova, the partying continues.


Given Hashem’s help, tonight and tomorrow mark the weddings of young women dear to my loved ones. One kallah is a close friend of our oldest daughter. The other kallah is the child of two people my entire family adores.


In general, weddings elevate us. Even when our prayers seem to be “mere” infinite looping chanting, our heaven-sent words get amplified by the authenticity of our rejoicing. It is lovely to be able to welcome new couples into our midst. It is especially sweet when we are invested in their lives.


I’ve noticed that people cry at nuptials. Deep within ourselves, we intuitively understand that what’s goings on elevates all of Am Yisrael It is so good to be Jewish! What’s more, it’s so good to be Jewish in the Land of the Jews! I eagerly await these two weddings.


Meanwhile and more specifically, those two new brides are so special to my family that on Sunday and Monday of next week, respectively, we will, IYH, be making Sheva Brachot for them. My family is Blessed. It is wonderful to be able to account for our time and money in a manner in which we can say that our resources are being used for happy and important events. It’s great, too, to be able to share so intimately in such high occasions. 


Besides all of that extraordinary hoopla, that is, beyond the onetime elations, we still get to celebrate Shabbot. This day of rest, of rejoicing in our connection to HaKadosh Baruchu, of reifying our ties to Him and to His Torah does not fail to show up in our lives when we are preoccupied with fine moments (or when we are preoccupied with challenging ones). Ours remains the positive mazel, every week, no matter that week’s punctuation, that we get Shabbot. I love Shabbot.


In balance, my family experiences much the same fabric of living as does all other families. We are, for instance, currently still traveling through interpersonal and financial growth opportunities. We have a dearth of employment. We have significant health issues. I think, however, that such tests make the happy items in our lives that much more poignant.


Compare and contrast the child who has a surfeit of food with the one who is regularly hungry. Likely, both children would enjoy a desert buffet, but the latter child, the hungry one, would appreciate the nature of that temporary abundance that much more. My family’s hardships allow us a greater clarity with which to appreciate our gifts.


Afterall, this world, at best, is constituted by transitory “wealth.” We humans are fashioned from dust and we will return, at the end of our days, to it. In between, we are tasked to appreciate our piece in life. So, we pray thanks and we work to grasp that we have everything we need. My family works to appreciate that we have everything we need, no matter the tribulations we endure.


Sometimes, Baruch Hashem, we have much of what we want, too. After our daughter’s friend and our friends’ daughter get married, B’ezrat Hashem, my husband’s and my own eldest daughter will be “the kallah of the moment.” In less than one month, Computer Cowboy and I will be privileged to escort Missy Older to her chuppah.


Our four amot, b’ayin tova, overflow with goodness. We are crazy about our chatan (it doesn’t hurt that he has sterling middot). His entirely other neshemah is getting integrated into our family. Our child is gaining a superlative husband. Wow!


At present, I’ve not yet integrated these data into my psyche. There will be the rest of my life to exclaim over this beneficence. I plan to take my time, to gives thanks, daily, for such fortune.


For now, I take sips from my understandings of more Earthly things. Before the chuppah, there will be, please G-d, a Shabbat Kallah. After the chuppah, there will be, please G-d, a week of parties. After the Sheva Brachot, our extended family plans to linger in our Homeland, plans to expand our time of celebration for a little bit longer. I am overwhelmed, in a astonished sense, with all of these forthcoming goings on, BH.


I know Heshvan has the tradition of being a hushed time, a span empty of festivities, a period of slowing down and of regrouping, a portion whose calm allows us to recharge in order to spring forward during the coming year. Yet, this cycle, in my family, this month after we have tucked away the Yomim Noraim, thank-you Tatty in Shamayim, has become a month of gearing up for additional heights.


I am polishing my dancing shoes, keeping my blender busy making dips, and singing my way through my days and nights.  I’m not sure whether or not I am proceeding quietly at all.