Weddings & Unions

Engagement: The Parents’ Perspective

Inspiration

Our deep wish is for our children to find happiness as adults – including a loving partner. Seeing our children get engaged, their next doorway in life, can be the fulfillment of a dream.

In Jewish history, many parents selected their children’s spouses and entered betrothal contracts with conditions (tenaim) as first steps toward the later marriage contract (ketubah) and wedding canopy (chuppah). Today, most couples find each other and plan their own weddings. As children get engaged, modern Jewish parents still can honor and bless their children – and their children’s life partners – in this poignant moment of becoming, letting go and making space for a growing family.

Prayer

An engagement is the beginning of a process. Your engagement is a beginning to the life that you can imagine sharing together. Engagement is a “time trial” where you watch and learn about each other and yourselves, and the uniqueness of your relationship. This is a time of hope and anticipation. Today, we wish/pray for you the wisdom and guidance to prepare for your for life together. We ask/pray that you have the strength and efficiency as you plan not just the logistics of their wedding, but map out your family life beyond. We hope/pray that you will uproot the inevitable stresses of this time, to glean maturity in your lasting love. We who are gathered here and those who have come before us, wish you increasing love and unending laughter, God’s blessings and mazel tov.

Text

Ecclesiastes 4:7 – 12

And I have noted this further futility under the sun: the case of the man who is alone, with no companion, who has neither son nor brother; yet he amasses wealth without limit, and his eye is never sated with riches. For whom, now, is he amassing it while denying himself enjoyment? That too is a futility and an unhappy business. Two are better off than one, in that they have greater benefit from their earnings. For should they fall, one can raise the other; but woe betide him who is alone and falls with no companion to raise him! Further, when two lie together they are warm; but how can he who is alone get warm? Also, if one attacks, two can stand up to him. A threefold cord is not readily broken!

Poem

To Be One With Each Other

What greater thing is there for two human souls
than to feel that they are joined
together to strengthen each other in all labor,
to minister to each other in all sorrow,
to share with each other in all gladness,
to be one with each other in the silent
unspoken memories?

By George Eliot (1819-1880)