Monday, July 25, 2011

True Love is not only Physical


One of my cousins (his Mom is my first cousin) just got married. He just post on FB in his status how awesome his wife is. He made me think about my standard שבע ברכות [Sheva Brakhot -- Literally 7 Blessings -- Sheva Brakhot is a period of one week after a wedding -- the first being at the wedding -- where the bride and groom -- חתן וכלה -- Hattan v'Kalla -- are feted by friends and relatives, during which people who couldn't get to the wedding can share in the couple's joy] דבר תורה -- D'var Tora -- literally words of Tora. In the past, particularly at Sheva Brakhot of my siblings, but also at Sheva Brakhot of friends, I have often been asked to speak.

The idea for this D'var Tora began on Purim. The first time I was in Israel, I was there on a program (called WUJS -- World Union of Jewish Students) and as part of the program, I learned in a serious learning group and one of the things we discussed was מגילת אסתר -- Megilat Esther -- the book of Esther. We analyzed the nuances of the Palace intrigue and the plot against the Jews by the evil המן Haman. Haman was so evil that a minor quibble with the hero of our story, מרדכי Mordekhai the Jew escalated into Haman decided to kill all the Jews from India to Ethiopia (127 provinces).

Haman's wife זרש Zeresh is mentioned a few times in the narrative, but always at times when Haman is asking advice or telling of his day and always in the phrase "זרש אשתו וכל אוהביו" (Zeresh his wife and all his loved ones) or similar phrases.

I occurred to me that this implied that Haman no longer loved his wife. יצחק Yitzhak (Isaac, the Patriarch), on the other hand, married his wife רבקה Rivka (Rebekka) and then grew to love her. So what is the difference between Haman and Yitzhak in this regard?

Haman, being an evil person, made his decision about who to marry based solely on externals, solely on looks. Yitzhak, on the other hand, realized that externals are not enough. You can't decide on a lifetime partner, a person to work with, build a home with, raise a family with, solely on external appearances. There has to be more.

My cousin, is one of the sweetest people I know, and one of the most caring. He is also moral and rooted in Tora values. I haven't yet met his wife (I hope to soon -- hint, hint, hint) but I'm certain that he made his decision based on shared values, shared interests and mutual desire to live a good Tora life.

May they always feel the spark of love they feel for each other now.