Sunday, April 4, 2010

Generic Sheva Brachos/ Auf Ruf D'var Torah

I randomly heard the following d'var torah between Mincha and Ma'ariv this Shabbos Chol Hamoed. It's from R' Mendel Kaufman of the Young Israel of Briarwood and I have no idea why he chose to speak about this on Shabbos Chol Hamoed, but I do appreciate the brand new back pocket d'var Torah that it's always good to have.

We know that there is a mitzvah to be M'sameach Choson V'kallah. This has always been a mystery to me.

1) This is supposedly the happiest day in the lives of a choson and a kallah. Why do they need someone to be m'sameach them?

2) Why is it my job to bring the simcha to them? Who am I? Why should I dress up in a costume, dump packing peanuts on a confused couple or try to rack my brains to entertain them?

The answer is that there is a lesson you are teaching the choson and kallah about sharing. Yes, they are happy, but they need to share that simcha with others. They are about to enter a time when they are going from being alone to gaining a partner (i.e. someone with whom to share things). Up until now, it's been all about me me me. Now it needs to be about us us us.

In fact, this idea is brought out more clearly in sheva brachos. We go through seven brachos without mentioning a key blessing for the newlyweds. The brachos mention the creation of man, simcha for the bride and groom and a number of different types of joy. However there is no mention of the greatest bracha a person can receive-children! Why not? After all, it is the reason we get married, to start a family, right?

Even the bracha of M'sameach Tzion B'vaneha, which mentions children in it is only speaking of the children of Yerushalayim rejoicing in the streets. Why do we not bless the chosson and kallah with beautiful, healthy children in the sheva b'rachos (bayis ne'eman b'Yisrael)?

The answer is that the new couple is not there yet. In their first moments as husband and wife, they cannot yet focus on starting a family. They must first learn to coexist with each other and learn to share with one another. Once they are comfortable sharing, they can spread that middah to their children, but as for now, we don't want the choson and kallah to focus on anything but each other.

As a person who never shies away from bringing in wedding shtick, I had never thought of why I do it. I had assumed that (for the most part) it was something that people enjoyed. But after I heard this, I came to the realization that I don't really do all that stuff for them. I do it for me. I do it because I enjoy seeing people happy. Being m'sameach the choson and kallah isn't only for them. It's for you, too. You help them in learning about sharing; they help you become happy.

1 comment:

  1. It's also nice to feel like your friends and family are happy that you are happy and are rejoicing in your happiness. That's how I always saw it.