Wednesday, 8 October 2014

My Wedding Speech....That I Won't Be Giving at The Wedding

My son is getting married  next week.

That's Younger Son. 

My baby.

This is the child who always made me feel as though my youth was a foregone conclusion.

A mendacity for certain, but one with which I felt I could easily live.

My youngest child is getting married.

I keep repeating it over and over to myself in the hope that the reality will sink in, but instead I find that it is the source of my latest bout with insomnia.

Now, don't misunderstand me. I am thrilled and excited for Younger Son and His Beshert; for all of us actually. Simchas are this family's lifeblood. I adore my boy and the sublime young woman who is now my daughter. These two wonderful people have found each other amidst the flotsam and jetsam of the relationship sea. Their future is before them and I couldn't be happier.'s 3:00am....and I am staring at the ceiling hoping that I might be granted an epiphany to explain how I feel. But.....I've got nothing of substance, nothing that can be easily articulated.

Instead I offer knowledge. Mine to be certain and perhaps more that just a wee bit self-important and pontificating, but it comes from a virtuous place and more than thirty years of being with the same person. That....and really....what's the use of having a blog if you can't utilize it as a vanity space. Maybe just chalk all of this up to the rantings of an overly emotive MOG (Mother of the Groom) a week before her son's marriage. Since I won't be speaking on the day of....a choice well made I might are a few things for my son and new daughter-in-law to ponder.

The wedding will be beautiful even if a few details get missed in the mayhem. I don't say that because I am planning for mayhem or even to suggest that details will be shirked, but rather to remind us all that the most important detail will be witnessing and celebrating the union of these two loving souls. Everything else is gravy. The rabbis attach great importance to the mitzvah of Simchat Chatan v'Kalah, rejoicing with the groom and the bride. Rabbi Eli Mansour elucidates:
The Rambam (Maimonides) comments (Hilchot Avel 14:1) that although the Torah makes no specific reference to this Mitzvah, it is included under the general category of "Ve'ahavta Le'rei'acha Kamocha" ("Love your fellow as yourself" – Lev 19:18). Thus, one who helps bring joy to a bride and groom fulfills a "Mitzvat Asei Min Ha'Torah" – the Biblical command to "love your fellow as yourself."
Weddings matter. A lot. But marriages matter more.

Marriage is hard work. Every single day. It never stops being hard work. It is about making a conscious decision to accept the fact that maybe he doesn't make the bed in the mornings or that maybe she needs to talk to family every day. It is about mortgage payments, and in-laws, and children, and pets, and religious practices, and priorities, and career choices, and who controls the TV remote or the thermostat, and division of household labour, and nursing care, and worry, and panic, and........

It is about not always winning and about not caring about winning. It is about screaming and slamming doors, but never walking away no matter how tempted you may be. It is about having the fortitude to work through the shit because that's what you promised each other, even though the shit is knee-deep. It is about asking for help when needed and about making lasting decisions together. Marriage isn't for everybody and it certainly isn't for the feint of heart.


It does have its moments. Like when he touches your arm for no reason while you are at a restaurant, or when she shoots you a knowing glance during a movie that only the two of you understand. Like when the two of you share inside jokes, intimate history, family, friends, or maybe when you someday stand together with your children under the chuppah. Those are the connections that matter. They are amongst the gifts that your life together will keep on giving to you and they are amongst the most precious.

Years ago I read somewhere that saying "I Love You" during sex is too easy and shouldn't count. Saying it at other times demands more thought and care. Be thoughtful and caring of each other. Be demonstrative in public and say "I Love You" out loud when it is least expected but it might matter most. Flirt and play with each other. Be each other's spouse, partner, person, lover, and friend. Be each other's cheering section and most constructive critic. Understand your differences but accentuate your similarities. Know your weaknesses and catch each other when needed.

No parent could ask for more than to see their children happy. My wish for you both is that you take the joy you feel today and build on it for a lifetime. I know that I am truly blessed....

even if I can't sleep.

Friday, 3 October 2014

On This Day...

A Personal Thought for the Day

To Whomever:

This year I have no answers. I have no great morsels of self-awareness to offer.

I only have questions. 

Questions that hang in the air like limp helium-deprived balloons. Questions that have banal and vapid responses. 

I don't expect replies. I no longer rely on certainty. I can no longer utter the words as rote. The only truth I know is that nothing is as it once was.

I can only hope to help repair the brokenness. Mine. Others. I can only hope that we all can find comfort and peace in our togetherness, in the intertwining of each other's lives.

I am working on my cynicism, on my overly judgemental nature. I am trying to reforge a path that leads me in a comforting direction. I am searching for new meanings, new rituals. I remain consoled by music and nature. I remain comforted by love.

I am a work in progress. 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Blog Elul Day 29-Return

"Return again, return again. Return to the land of your soul. Return to who you are. Return to what you are. Return to where you are. Born and reborn again."~Reb Shlomo Carlebach

It is within us all to become the person we wish to be.

Reviewing the Situation (from Oliver!) Music and Lyrics by Lionel Bart

**Blog Elul is the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer. Her blog and various links can be found at

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Blog Elul Day 28-Give

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."~Winston Churchill

When people are given the ability to work towards a decent way of life, they are given dignity.

7 1/2 Cents (from The Pajama Game) Music and Lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross

**Blog Elul is the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer. Her blog and various links can be found at

Monday, 22 September 2014

Blog Elul Day 27-Intend

"The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding."~Albert Camus

Where we end up may be far from where we began. Our passions will dictate the roads we follow.

Corner of the Sky (from Pippin) Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

**Blog Elul is the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer. Her blog and various links can be found at

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Blog Elul Day 26-Hope

"Where there is no hope, there is no vision."~George Washington Carver

Hope is what nurtures us, feeds us, and sustains us.

Time Heals Everything (from Mack and Mabel) Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman

**Blog Elul is the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer. Her blog and various links can be found at

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Blog Elul Day 25-Begin

"To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance."~Oscar Wilde 

New beginnings are filled with possibilities. It is what we do with the middles that determines the depths of those possibilities.

Here I Go (from If/Then) Music by Tom Kitt; Lyrics by Brian Yorkey

**Blog Elul is the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer. Her blog and various links can be found at