Sunday, January 11, 2009
Just a thought....
As some of you know, I try to attend classes about Judaism and Jewish history as often as possible because it is really important to me to regain the traditions that my family lost while living in Russia where practicing Judaism was illegal. This past week I went to a lecture about the 5 levels of happiness by one of my favorite Rabbis (yep thats right, I am his groupie.. I go to all of his classes). He mentioned something that I have been rolling around in my brain. He said that a person may attain a brief (as in momentary) glimpse of the highest level of happiness while standing under the chuppah (translation of chuppah = the jewish wedding canopy).
This of course made me think of what it would feel like to gaze at the Big Guy while we are standing under the chuppah, which gave me the good kind of fluttery feeling up and down my skin. Not only is it a hugely emotional moment but it is also something which many of my family members never got to experience. By simply standing under a cloth with the man I love, I am giving life to traditions that were denied to so many people I love. Thinking about it makes my skin feel warm, as if it is glowing with a gentle light. If standing there will make me even partially as happy as I feel just thinking about it, then 5th level of happiness, here I come.
"In our tradition, celebration of life is more important than mourning over the dead. When a wedding procession encounters a funeral procession in the street, the mourners must halt so as to allow the wedding party to proceed. Surely you know what respect we show our dead, but a wedding, a symbol of life and renewal, a symbol of promise too, takes precedence."
- Elie Wiesel