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Wedding Bells - Past and Present

Friday, 19 March, 2021 - 2:52 pm

This week Malkie and I were privileged to marry off our daughter Sara to a wonderful young man, Ari Rosenblum, in a beautiful wedding that was set in the grounds of the Destrahan Plantation. It was a very special experience for us as parents to see our child so happy and energetically looking forward with eager anticipation to a life together with her new husband, filled with Hashem’s blessings of good health, prosperity, a lovely family, success in their endeavors, and devotion to Hashem’s plan for making this world a better place.

We are truly grateful to Hashem for His infinite kindness and the beneficent blessings with which He continues to shower us. We were delighted to be surrounded by our parents, our family, the extended Rosenblum family, and our NOLA Jewish community, as we celebrated this special occasion. For many, the outdoor setting afforded them the first opportunity to be “among people” since the onset of the pandemic one year ago.

We have the merit of being part of the team of the Rebbe’s Shluchim to New Orleans. Making a Kosher and Jewish wedding in New Orleans during these Covid times has proven to be challenging. We enjoyed the help and support of many who enabled us to pull this off. For this we are very appreciative.

By Divine Providence, Sara and Ari’s wedding week will conclude as our family marks the Yahrtzeits (13th and 1st) of my paternal grandparents, Reb Mordechai and Dusia Rivkin. Sara was fortunate to know them both and was especially close to Bubby. Celebrating the wedding and thinking about the challenges we faced to pull it off, gave me the opportunity to reflect on the exceedingly more difficult circumstances of their wedding in Tashkent, USSR in 1945.

My grandfather was involved in a business that was deemed illegal by the Soviet government. (In other words, they actually turned a profit.) He and his partners used much of the money they made to support the network of clandestine Jewish institutions in the USSR established by the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe. The secret police found out and they were wanted men. My grandfather went into hiding during his engagement to my grandmother. When they deemed it safe, the finally scheduled the wedding. But alas, an agent of the secret police strolled into the wedding venue holding a photo of Zeidy, with the intent of identifying and arresting him at his own wedding. Thank G-d, a close friend gave the agent a very significant sum of money in exchange for the photo and his agreement to disappear from the scene.

They eventually escaped from the USSR and came to these shores, where they presided over a beautiful family spanning many generations. It is my hope that Sara and Ari understand and appreciate that they are links in this special chain. Their path was paved by the love, devotion and sacrifice of their ancestors. May Hashem grant that they continue to be worthy links in the chain as they bring Nachas to the generations that came before them and to us all.

Thank you to all of you who participated in our Simcha in person or by extending your heartwarming wishes of Mazel Tov to our family.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin 

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