At Your Huppah, Dear Mike and Susie

[Today my niece Susie, a law student, married Mike, a doctoral student in Mathematics. I had the honor of officiating as mesader qiddushin and offered the couple this little blessing.]

At Your Huppah, Dear Mike and Susie

Let me review the seven blessings you will hear under the Huppah and for the next seven days.  And then please allow me to add to them a short blessing of my own.

1.         You are blessed … who created everything for his glory.

We start the blessings of our wedding service with the invocation of the universe and creation and the glory of G-d.

2.       You are blessed… creator of humans.

We move in to focus on the creation of humanity. Still quite universal. Theological and global.

3.       You are blessed… who created humans in His image, in the pattern of His own likeness, and provided for the perpetuation of his kind.  You are blessed, Lord, creator of humans.

We talk about the image of G-d and the perpetuation of the human species. Continuing to be philosophical, scientific and distant.

4.       Let the barren city be jubilantly happy and joyful at her joyous reunion with her children.  You are blessed… who makes Zion rejoice with her children.

We move on, at last, to consider happiness - but in the national idiom of the messianic age and restoration of Zion at the end of days.

5.       Let the loving couple be very happy, just as You made Your creation happy in the garden of Eden long ago.  You are blessed… who makes the bridegroom and the bride happy.

Momentarily we recognize the presence of a loving couple. But immediately we recall the primordial paradise of the Garden of Eden at the primordial beginning of time. From End of days to beginning of days. From Human species to loving couple. And then more about the bride and bridegroom follows in blessing # 6.

6.       You are blessed, Lord our G-d, the sovereign of the world, who created joy and celebration, bridegroom and bride, rejoicing, jubilation, pleasure and delight, love and brotherhood, peace and friendship.  May there soon be heard, Lord our G-d, in the cities of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem, the sound of joy and the sound of celebration, the voice of a bridegroom and the voice of a bride, the happy shouting of bridegrooms from their weddings and of young men from their feasts of song.  You are blessed… who makes the bridegroom rejoice together with the bride.

Rejoicing, in its essence, is defined by the celebration of a wedding. It is the pinnacle of happiness, and we wish happiness it to permeate our world from here in the cosmic huppah, at the most personal of celebration, to the distant future of our people’s redemption, symbolized by dancing in the streets of Jerusalem.

The blessings take you on a grand emotional and theological tour of the Jewish and human galaxies. It reminds us of the n-dimensional space of our lives – intersecting at times – distant at times – the projective geometry of our existences.

You bring together the heritages of two distinguished families, parents and grandparents of great accomplishment and outstanding character. You start off indeed blessed. And you will receive seven timeless blessings now under the Huppah and throughout the week.

Within that context and with much humility I add these wishes.

A mathematical blessing: We wish that you will find much ultimate happiness amid the many conflicting and complex surfaces of your lives. And they have just gotten more complex, and they will continue to morph and reshape in your new household and family, your fresh topological spaces, in the homeomorphism of stretching and bending of your beings into new and more joyous and productive shapes.

A meditative blessing: each berakhah here at your wedding and in the 100 that you recite each day – should be a moment of meditation. Often the meditation takes you away to distant and dramatic places and times, in the past or the future, in all parts of the real world and the cosmic mythic space of religious realities. And you will meditate on all those symbols and stories, since that is what makes up the content of your Jewish lives.

But the true meditation of most utmost meaning is the most familiar, the first blessing under the huppah (the last one at the sheva berakhot) - creator of the fruit of the vine – here in front of you is the simple cup of wine. Look into it, see its liquidness, smell its aroma, savor its taste. Be here in the moment, in your own body, in your own mind, in your own environment. Know and love and be mindful of where you are, together with each other, embarking on that greatest meditation of all - that we call “marriage.”

7.       You are blessed… creator of the fruit of the vine.

No comments: