April 9, 2024
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April 9, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Several days ago I had the excruciating pleasure of attending the TABC Storm basketball game against the Frisch Cougars. Why excruciating? There were moments when I literally could not watch the game and kept my eyes glued to a different part of the court. There were just too many close calls and aggravating plays that drove many spectators crazy until someone brought them to the attention of the referee. Fortunately for our family, the TABC team won by four points.

One of the reasons that I was able to tolerate what was happening on the court was because I had the pleasure of sitting behind some very newly married couples who were there to cheer on their siblings.

Every once in a while one of them would casually lock eyes with their mate in a way that brought many memories back to me of when I was newly married. We would look at each other the same way. It was “our look,” assuring each other of our love. It was that reassurance of two souls blended through body and mind.

I know that feeling so well.

We were fortunate in that we were able to maintain it through all our years of marriage. As I sat there musing, I wished that I had the ability to bestow upon these couples the power to continue forever with their sweet recognition of each other. Especially at a time like this when I am constantly viewing pictures of the chayalim who “fell” (as they say in Israel), and noting one after the other their young ages listed. Many of them were newly married within a very short time prior to being called up, expecting to do their part in the war and return to their young brides. Time and time again we have sadly seen that not take place. It is heartbreaking.

My mind wandered to the many times that we participated in the OU Marriage Retreats across the country. It was a shabbaton geared for people who wanted to “enhance” their marriages, not for those whose marriages were in distress. We both loved to partake in these special occasions. We always made it a point of sitting at the Shabbat meals with participants as opposed to many others on staff who chose to sit with each other. Each couple would wear a badge informing others of how long they were married. Most were there, I think, because they wanted to maintain the spark which they had in their relationship and others were there because that spark was ebbing. Our job was to help rekindle what was dimming or to encourage even more the bright light to help it get even brighter. We would chat and listen, laugh and sympathize with those who shared various aspects of their marital ups and downs, and always came away feeling that much had been accomplished through the various sessions and personal interactions. One of the highlights of the weekend was always the Motzei Shabbat program, which had four couples participate in the “Newlywed Game.” There were lots of laughs and it was interesting to note that the younger couples appeared to know more about each other than the couples that had been married longer. One would think the opposite. Even more humorous was when a spouse would be sure that their partner knew everything about them, just to learn that they actually did not.

Most people attending basketball games are there for the sole purpose of cheering on their team, or, in many cases, their particular child or relative. I did go to the game for that reason, but allowed my mind to meander, watching “young love” and how very special it is. It is my hope that these sweet newly marrieds are able to maintain their feelings for each other trillions of times over as the years pass by.

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