Thursday, May 19, 2022

I haven’t written in a while and while I had a good number of reasonably valid, semi-truthful and useful excuses for not writing over the last month or so (you know…yeshiva break, etc.) I have absolutely no excuses any more and in fact, I have some really nice news to share with our readership and community this week.

My wife, Dena, and I are proud to announce the engagement last Thursday night of our eldest and only daughter, Tamar, to Isaac Aronoff of Englewood.

Our daughter and her new chatan were set up via close friends in the late spring and it wasn’t that long before our daughter told us that her new friend was someone that she envisioned marrying. We had a very strong sense by the end of the summer that their relationship was “going places.” Thankfully, we have had the chance to get to know our future son-in-law a bit over these past few months and we have been happy to see how well he and Tamar get along and interact with each other. It is truly special and exciting to see a young couple who are very much in tune with one another start planning and thinking about a future together.

As Tamar is our first child to get married, this is a first-time experience for us. The past few months and weeks have been filled with a multitude of emotions, affecting us at all levels. It’s hard to process the notion that our daughter and our family are reaching this next stage of life, even though a good number of our peers are already grandparents a few times over. It’s also hard to believe that we are now actively planning the wedding of our daughter who celebrated her bat mitzvah only a relatively short decade or so ago.

With our daughter’s engagement also comes a powerful sense of simcha and happiness for our daughter, her chatan and our family. We are so proud of her for all that she has achieved so far and we now are looking forward to being there to see the next stages of her life. At the same time, there is also the bittersweet sense that our daughter is now flying the coop, so to speak, and our family dynamic will be irrevocably altered.

Of course, we are feeling all of the above emotions concurrently and simultaneously, and some emotions and feelings are being felt and experienced more keenly and sharply than others. And for some members of our family, we are experiencing them all at different times and in different ways. It’s definitely an interesting time.

For me, the most powerful emotion that I have felt since our daughter’s official engagement last Thursday night is one of being humbled—an almost overwhelming sense of humility, even.

What do I mean?

This may sound a bit strange but our daughter getting engaged reminds me almost exactly of how I felt when she was first born and we became parents for the first time. I experienced a big shift mentally, almost as if the world literally moved under my feet in those moments after her birth, when my wife and I became newly minted parents. Our place in the world became just a bit smaller and our roles now completely altered to fit this new, incredible and awesome role as “parents” with a child to raise. My life’s focus was no longer on my role as a husband and on my career, but I now had a much more awesome responsibility to my daughter. I felt “smaller,” so to speak, as our family unit expanded and my place in the world got a bit smaller.

Now that our daughter is engaged, I feel almost the same way in the sense that I am like a new person with a brand-new life role as a father planning for his daughter’s wedding and, yes, welcoming a new addition to our family. And as our family is expanding, I also feel that my place in the world is just a little bit smaller. It’s no longer just about my wife and me raising our kids as it has been for the past 22+ years, but it’s now about seeing our children move on and out of our home. Again, I feel “smaller” as my role as parent is now downshifted and downsized just a bit more. What I mean is that it’s not “our” moment anymore, but rather it’s now about our newly engaged and soon-to-be married children and it’s now “their” moment in the sun.

I recognize that this brand new and awesome feeling only applies to our first child to get engaged and I am sure I will feel other emotions for future smachot going forward. I am looking forward to experiencing them and perhaps chronicling them in the future.

I want to close by wishing our Tamar and Isaac a very heartfelt mazal tov. We want only the best for the two of you and that your upcoming wedding, and the planning and preparations for it, be as smooth and positive as these past few months have been. The joy and excitement of the past few months should only be a sweet foretaste for a strong, happy, loving and committed marriage, no matter what challenges life will bring.

Lastly, I want to wish a mazal tov to our future mechutanim, Isaac’s lovely and special parents, Dr. Jeff and Eden Aronoff, whom we have gotten to know a bit over the past few months. I have been deeply moved by how beloved the Aronoff family is within the Englewood community and how close their family is with each other. We are looking forward to celebrating together at the wedding and God willing, at many future smachot.

By Moshe Kinderlehrer/Co-Publisher, The Jewish Link


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