This past Shabbos was the Sheva Brachos for my dear Sister and Brother in law!
At the seudah I was asked to be the master of ceremonies and I noted that many of the speakers invoked Gematria’s to draw a correlation between the chosson and kallah and their families. One speaker in particular, related a Gematria which was actually off by one digit and he prefaced his remarks by apologizing for the slight discrepancy in the numerical valuation.
However, in my ensuing words, I mentioned that the speaker was redeemable and certainly had no reason to apologize, for such a Gematriah is indeed correct. I explained with a beautiful thought which I once heard from Harav Shimshon Pincus to explain why when it comes to Gematrias we can actually always be off by one digit. This phenomenon is known as “Im Hakollel” and I actually wroted about it back in 2009 right here.
Harav Meir Stern Shlita, once told me that we know that Hashem decrees 40 days prior to the creation of an individual, exactly who his or her life mate will be. Of course, he then provides us with free will to choose our soul mate and our decisions ultimately effect and affect our destiny. However, the decree that we are to be betrothed to a certain spouse only carries us to the marriage canopy. After that, says Rav Meir, it is our mandate and responsibility to ‘make it work’ for a lifetime. A successful marriage requires a shared, consistent and sustained effort on the part of each spouse. Rav Stern told me that we say in Baruch She’amar, ‘Baruch Gozer Umekayeim’ – Hashem creates everything ‘yesh me’ayin’ (literally from nothing) and then he sustains everything constantly.
Our Hashkafa tells us that from the most vibrant and active life form, to the most dormant and inanimate object, everything that G-d creates needs to be sustained by him every solitary second of the day, otherwise it would cease to exist in the most literal sense of the word.
This is true in most areas. However, when it comes to the institution of marriage, Hashem is only Gozer – he decrees that it should be. However, it is the couple’s job to be Mekayeim – to see to it that the marriage remains viable and continues to thrive.
The term ‘love’ is perhaps the most distorted, abused, manipulated, misunderstood and misappropriated term in our entire lexicon.
Many people have a misguided approach to love where they believe that to love is to receive. When you are the recipient of something special, it arouses feelings of love for the person you received it from. While this might be an incidental byproduct of being gifted with something, it is not the Torah’s definition of how one actually builds love.
To actually build love, our Hashkafa tells us that we should seek to be a giver and not a taker.
When you give to another person, whether of yourself, your time and/or your resources, over time (and as a natural byproduct) you cultivate stirrings of love for that individual. Ask any parent who wakes up to tend to a crying child at 2 am and they will attest to the endearing and overwhelming feelings of love they cultivate for that child in those selfless acts of giving over the course of many child rearing years.
My brocha to our dear Chosson V’kallah is that the mutual affection which they feel towards each other at this juncture, should blossom into full blown love and Ahavas Hanefesh as they embark on their career together.
As they stand on the cusp of their life, they should take much pride in their significant roots and harness their zechus avos to propel themselves forwards and forever upwards!
We love you both.