Sunday, January 15, 2006

Ben ... Are you free April 2nd?

Dear Ben,

If you somehow haven't already heard, we are planning a simcha on Sunday, April 2 of this year! And I have been spending quite a lot of time thinking about just how I'd forward an invitation to you.

Although it does involve quite a bit of tedium, it is comparatively simple to draw up the guest list, have the invitations designed and printed, address them and off they go. Simple! Just kind of wait around and collect the responses.

What is not quite as easy is to fathom an appropriate way by which you can be with us, too. Just last week, I consulted with Rabbi L on this question and he suggested quite a few good ways: a 'Kel Mole Rachomim' under the chuppah, a gartel for one of the Sefrei Torah, a set of s'forim-all very appropriate ideas, but frankly ... I'm still searching- as none of them with the possible exception of the 'Kel Mole-' seem right for you, just you!

I guess I'm looking for a way to materialize your essence but in a way that really reflects who you are. What makes this task all the more difficult is that I am trying to avoid the "maudlin"-now mind you ... whether or not I will succeed or am succeeding will be up to you and any others who may happen to read this.

Ben ... what I am trying to say is ... I know that you cannot be there as I so profoundly wish you could be, and beyond this I further know that no Jewish simcha is ever absolutely free of tearful remembrance; that we Jews always blend our joy into a tincture-an admixture of joy yet sobered, as it were, by sorrowful remembrances. Somehow our rejoicing is never quite whole lest we recall the destruction of the 'Batei Ha Mikdash'-thus the breaking of the glass though always followed by a "Mazel Tov!" a sure sign that we Jews, while cognizant of our dark days, always look to the next sunrise!

Which is my way of saying ... "Beni, Avrum ben Avrum v' Yehudit" (my son, Avrum son of Avrum and Yehudit) that whilst I'll rejoice with my kallah, our family, your siblings: Kimberly and Zac, and our many friends and well-wishers, that upon breaking that glass, my thoughts shall turn to you ... and to you only!

Love, Dad

p.s. The chossen's tish is at 5:30.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Whisperings of a "Yom Tov": Recollections ... such as this ... are really priceless "segulos" that do brighten the moment when hints of those same black clouds appear overhead ...

"It surely is a most wonderful event ... the eve of which we are now celebrating."
Ben ... do you remember where I was when I wrote this?

"Your mom and I want that you know how very well, we think, you've done and are going to do."
Remember the hours you and I spent in the kitchen learning your parasha? Sorry I was not the best teacher, but I taught you what I knew.

"Tomorrow morning, after having led the whole of the congregation in prayer, you will reenter our Jewish community-no longer as a child-but as an adult fully participatory and responsible for both word and deed." True enough that a boy does become a man, but in my eyes you would always be ... Benji ... even after your smooth cheeks became "b'stubbled' (I just made up that word!) with whiskers.

"It is our fervent hope and prayer that you will be and remain most sensitive to the enormity of Jewish identity and heritage of which you are to continue to be the proud bearer."
Had you ever before seen so much rain as when we trudged together through the flooded mall parking lot on the way to shul that one erev yontif?

"Lastly, it should give you a great feeling, as I know it does your mom and me, to realize how wonderful it is that so many people-both family and friends- have come from afar to once again bear witness to the process whereby a boy becomes a man."
You know that green tie you wore? I have it in my closet and wear it on occasion.