June 17, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
June 17, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

It is time to stay away from current events for a while. The news can be overwhelmingly depressing. Be it about the virus or the riots, who wants to listen anymore?

Instead, there is a phenomenon happening right before our eyes that we hope people will learn from. Every day we hear of another beautiful wedding taking place in a backyard, driveway or park, or a bar mitzvah such as our grandson’s, which took place in a backyard with a minyan of 11 men and six women that could not have been more perfect. In all of these cases the concentration was on making the celebrants feel special. The brides and grooms, whose major concern was getting married as soon as possible, and bar mitzvah boys, who were feted for the way they either leined, said the bracha or spoke, all were able to be celebrated. Not one person left these smachot without realizing how in utter simplicity there is something so special.

No, it is not necessary to have the world’s most renowned caterer; massive, many-pieced musical accompaniment; flowers that would leave the Botanical Gardens sorry. Beauty is in the celebrants, not in the accoutrements that people feel are so necessary. The question is how we can make this simplicity and charm become the norm? Will people emerge from what we have all endured over the last few months with the realization that the most important thing in the world is to stay healthy and be together? Will this life lesson be learned? “Healthy and together” means with close family. It does not mean with an extended family of 350-500 of one’s closest friends. It means that when push came to shove couples were eager to get married as long as their closest family members were present. Bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, choosing flowers in Trader Joes and/or Whole Foods and having a friend serenade the group with his own guitar has the potential to become the norm if we allow it to happen.

Of course, the big question is whether or not we will. It seems to us that it has to be up to community leaders to begin the trend. In every shul in our many communities there are well-known donors who enthusiastically support their local shuls and schools. Rabbonim in the community are under the dissecting eye each time they make a simcha to see who will be invited. Now our leadership is in the spotlight to set an example for everyone. Make it small and meaningful. No one will be insulted by not being invited to a simcha, especially if a rule has been established that only family and close friends of the chosson and kallah are invited, or those of the bar or bat mitzvah child. The average person will state that they are tired of attending so many simchas in which they hardly know the baal simcha. People whisper to each other the pain of getting to Lakewood, Monsey, the Five Towns or wherever. Now is the opportunity we all have been waiting for to tone everything down. So many are complaining of the financial burdens they are suffering as a result of the past three months. In many cases we are sure that those burdens were in place way before COVID-19. Now everyone has the perfect excuse to change the grandiose ways of making smachot in our communities.

Who will be the first to grab the golden ring? We hope sincerely that many will rethink the necessity of spending so much money on one event. You will be admired with respect and gratitude for the example you will be setting.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

 

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles