Airing Some Clean Laundry

Thursday, 4 May, 2017 - 12:55 pm

One of the hallmarks of observant Jewish life is modesty, which includes keeping one’s personal business – low key. You won’t see much of observant Jewish relationships being broadcast on Facebook or other forms of social media. We try to keep these things understated. We don’t even air our clean laundry in public…

An interesting example of this can be found in the standard text used in Chabad wedding invitations, originally composed by the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe on the occasion of his daughter’s wedding to our Rebbe. The first Hebrew letter of each of the four paragraphs form the acrostic Ahava – the Hebrew word for love. However he was careful to make sure that printed version did not have those letters in bold. So the love is there, but it is subtle.

All that being said, allow me to share a special personal occasion in our family with you, while keeping it subtle. This week Malkie celebrated a milestone birthday. In an era, when many young people spend one or even two decades of adulthood trying to figure out what they want to do when they grow up, it is refreshing to see a person with a sense of direction, who has accomplished much and influenced many.

The sages declare that the ultimate good person is one who is pleasing to G-d and pleasing to their fellow man. I feel very fortunate to have such a person at my side. We have much to be thankful for in our lives. Hashem has blessed us with a wonderful family and community. None of that happens in a vacuum. On our wedding night, my grandfather (Zaidy Rivkin) advised me in Russian, “Marriage is not a pound of raisins.” Meaning, that life requires effort and with hard work and Hashem’s blessing one can achieve. I can say with certainty, that the vast majority of what we have, is thanks to her and I am merely along for the ride in a supporting role.

So I am sure that all of our friends will join me in wishing Malkie a year (and lifetime) of good health, nachas, prosperity and spiritual growth, along with continued success in her important work as one of the Rebbe’s emissaries to our community.  The rest of what I have to say will be kept between us…

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin  

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