Friday, January 25, 2008

What is the foundation to a Jewish Marriage?

"The marriage of every couple ... is connected to the ultimate marriage between G-d and the Jewish people that will be consummated in the Era of Redemption."

-The Rebbe

The audiences the Rebbe conducted with individuals and families were intensely private occasions. The confidential discussions would sometimes cover the deepest and most personal aspects of the visitors' lives. Some of those audiences will never be shared, their contents too private to reveal to others. Remarkably, the discussions which have been disclosed to the public, notwithstanding their inherently personal nature, carry important, lasting insights, applicable to a sprawling range of people and situations.

I would like to present a private audience, conducted with a kallah (bride) just before her wedding in 1963 that I find particularly inspiring and timely, because of my wedding this upcoming week, I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of Myself and my kallah to invite all readers from over the years to join us in our Simcha, our Simcha will take place this Wednesday, January 30, in Oholei Torah Ballroom. Also included is an interesting picture of the Rebbe (part 90 in the series) special thanks to Rabbi Asher Lowenstein.

The following is an encounter between the Rebbe and a kallah, in which the Rebbe shares a beautiful explanation of the mitzvah of Mezuzah.

"When I entered his room, the Rebbe inquired about my wedding preparations. I replied that, "Baruch Hashem, everything is in order."

The Rebbe was interested in details, so I told him that we had bought tables and chairs. Apparently not finding these facts trivial, the Rebbe continued to inquire, "What else?" I mentioned some of the other things we had acquired, "We bought dishes for the kitchen." "What else?"

The Rebbe, unfazed by my petty answers, was genuinely concerned about every aspect of our home. This continued for some time, until we had covered every little thing in the home. Finally, after all the questions, the Rebbe turned to me and stated, "When a Jewish home is being built, the first thing you do is post a Mezuzah on the door."

The Rebbe proceeded to give me an explanation, which I had never heard before, of why this mitzvah is so important to a Jewish home.

The word mezuzah has three syllables: 1) meh, 2) zu, and 3) zuh. The מ (mem), first letter of the word, has a numerical value of 40 and relates to the Torah: The written Torah was delivered to Moshe Rabbeinu over 40 days and 40 nights, the Torah sheb'al peh, the Oral Torah, opens with a 'mem' at the beginning, -
מאימתי קורין את שמע
(may'aimosay korin shema), and ends with a 'mem' (Hashem yevarech es amo bashalom – G-d will bless his nation with peace). The זו ("Zu," the feminine form of "this," in Hebrew) of Mezuzah refers to the Jewish people, and specifically to the women, as the Gemara says, Bayso zu ishto – "the wife is the home."

The women are directly involved and constantly active in forming the character of the Jewish home. Also, the woman of the household is privileged with being responsible for tending to guests, a mitzvah that makes the home radiate from within.

The final vowel, הז (Zuh): refers to Hashem, as it says, זה אלי ואנוהו Ze Keili V'anveihu . – "this is my G-d and I will glorify him." A home glorifies Hashem through family purity. Thus, the Mezuzah corresponds to the three factors that define and bring quality to a Jewish home: 1) Torah, 2) The Jewish woman, and 3) Hashem. The Rebbe's fascinating explanation is just one example of how the Rebbe took every opportunity to instill so many people with the importance of Mitzvos and, one by one, enlightened the actions of the Jewish nation.

Good Shabbos.


Copyright © Menachem Kirschenbaum 2007