The Wow of Officiating at a Friend’s Wedding
It’s a singular honor and delight to be able to officiate at a wedding—any wedding! One of the bonuses of being a rabbi is that many opportunities arise to be under the chuppah with a bride and groom during an important liminal moment in their lives, a time of transitioning into husband and wife as a married couple. For me, as the misaderet kiddushin, the officiant who assures that the required Jewish rituals are properly fulfilled, it is an opportunity to be an agent of change for a life cycle event that is both legal and kosher by design. Spiritually a wedding represents a new beginning, a chance to build families, to maintain Jewish identity and to bring the destiny of the Jewish people and all of humanity forward. The symbolism and mood is unmitigated bliss, celebration and hope and faith in the future.
It’s particularly thrilling and meaningful when the bride and/or groom are the offspring of old friends or family members. I was doubly WOWED to have been the officiant at both my daughter and son’s weddings to their respective spouses. This past weekend, in Chicago (which is a WOW in itself), I was honored to officiate at Lauren Seaman Enslin’s wedding to her bashert Randy Server, as they made it legal and official after 14 years of being together. Lauren is the daughter of Mort, z”l and Esther Seaman, old friends and surrogate family members to us when we lived in Chicago from 1971-1981. As the Ba’al Shem Tov, the founder of the Hasidic Movement teaches, “From every human being there arises a light that reaches straight to heaven. And when two souls, destined to be together, find each other, the streams of light flow together and a single brighter light goes forth from their united being.” It was a WOW to be uplifted by Lauren and Randy’s light and love with their joyous friends and family.
May we all be blessed to live in the Wow…What is your WOW of Now?