Tuesday, July 23, 2019 -
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A convert?’s wedding

Dear Tzviling,

I recently became engaged to a wonderful young girl from Israel and we’re starting to make plans for our wedding. We met with the rabbi and reviewed the entire ceremony.

One thing, however puzzles me. At the chupah after the blessings, I will be smashing a glass beneath my foot. This, I understand, is to commemorate the destruction of the holy Temple in Jerusalem. What I don’t understand is, why should the glass be smashed — a sobering moment, indeed — precisely at the greatest moment of joy.

Can this not be done a bit later, perhaps after the meal?

Avi, Aurora

Dear Avi,

Mazel Tov on your engagement. May you build a vibrant Jewish home filled with blessings. Your question is a good one. Why temper our greatest moment of joy with an action connected with loss, pain and destruction?

Herein lies a profound lesson. If at the height of our joy, we can reflect and feel our greatest loss, then during our painful moments of sorrow, we will be able to experience joy and comfort.

Now, don’t forget to smash the glass, since it may be the last time you get to put your foot down.

Dear Tzviling,

I am dealing with a sensitive issue and I’m hoping you can help me.

I am a convert and will be getting married during summer. Many guests, particularly from my side of the family, are not Jewish.

I know that they cannot participate in any part of the ceremony, but is there anything they can do to feel part of the wedding?

Mooki, Cote St. Luc

Dear Mooki,

Hand them the bills for the wedding.

Seriously, you can involve them in things not directly involved with the ceremony, like holding the chupah polls.

More letters in this week’s IJN. Order your copy from Carol at (303) 861-2334 or email@ijn.com.

Send your questions to DearTzviling@ijn.com, to be answered with wit, wisdom and humor by identical twins Rabbis Yisroel Engel (Denver) and Shloime Engel (Montreal) who share their combined 100 years of experience.

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