Weddings may resemble Holywood-style sound and light shows. But then what? Can our marriage continue to grow even when the sound of "here comes the bride" has been replaced with the sound of a baby crying? Can our love continue to blossom, even when the romantic scene of "you may kiss the bride" has been replaced with the unavoidable reality of bills that need to be paid?Rabbi Allouche
When history happens, it leaves a trail behind.
Bill Gates, founded Microsoft in a tiny Albuquerque garage, with room for only two people. Bob Dylan’s musical genius began to show promising signs, in his childhood home, at 2425 Seventh Avenue East, Hibbing, Minnesota. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic “I have a dream” speech, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The examples are many.
Yet, the most important event in Jewish history – in which G-d revealed Himself to the Jewish people and gave them the Torah – has no geographical trace! Yes, this Divine revelation occurred on the Sinai mountain, in the Sinai desert, but Moses and his nation did not see it necessary to mark the exact location of this mountain for future generations. And today, no one knows where Mt. Sinai really is.
The reason is telling: Judaism seeks consistency. Big splashes, quick, grandiose achievements and Mt.-Sinai-moments, are easy to produce. But G-d wants us to persevere even when the excitement of new beginnings has evaporated. He wants us to persist and do good, even when we are not “feeling it.” And He wants us to stand for what is right, even when Divine truths are out of fashion.
Humanity is filled with examples of prodigies who made big news quickly, and then just as fast, vanished into obscurity. How often do we hear of music groups that release a Billboard hit and then waste the rest of their careers on drugs and other addictions? How about sport stars that never meet the standards set for them by expert scouts? And we wonder: Why? What happened to all that hidden potential?
The giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai was only the beginning of our long-lasting relationship with G-d. But the location of Mt. Sinai’s remains unknown because what G-d desires most is our commitment to Him and His teachings, today, and tomorrow, even if the thrill of our honeymoon is long gone.
A few years ago, during a visit with my beloved mentor, Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz of blessed memory, I asked him: “In your eyes, what is life’s most important question?” Without skipping a beat, he replied: “‘And then what?'(In Hebrew: “veaz ma?”).
And he explained, with his characteristic brilliance: “You see, it is easy to fly into a passion. But what happens after the passion is gone? And then what? What is left from that which we were so passionate about?”
The same can be applied to “love” and “marriage.” Weddings may resemble Holywood-style sound and light shows. But then what? Can our marriage continue to grow even when the sound of “here comes the bride” has been replaced with the sound of a baby crying? Can our love continue to blossom, even when the romantic scene of “you may kiss the bride” has been replaced with the unavoidable reality of bills that need to be paid?
This holds true with our “marriage” with G-d. Over 3000 years ago, G-d gave us the Torah. We were all there blissfully, together as one, when we accepted its teachings upon ourselves by proclaiming to G-d: “we will do and we will listen.”
But now, after many centuries, one question remains: “And then what? Will we translate the bliss and holiness of this experience, into our lives, today and tomorrow? Will we continue to love G-d, with our minds, with our hearts, and most importantly, with our actions of Mitzvahs and good deeds?”