Sunday, May 29, 2011

From the plate to the ring

A chosson and kallah limit their communication and visitation (is that term only used for prisons?) before their chasuna. The Rebbe told many people that, "If you are close when you should be far, than ch"v you may be far when you should be close."
But why is it that you should be far, and distant?
It's definitely something very hard for the new couple. They agreed to get married, after only meeting for a few weeks. The natural tendency is to want to learn everything they can about each other, and grow in their relationship, before becoming lifelong partners.
Perhaps a precedent for this idea, and something which has helped me understand this situation, is the first mass-wedding in Jewish history (yay for Historia!), which first occurred 3,323 years ago, and in a week and a half will occur again, G-d willing, on Shavuous.
When the Yidden left Egypt, they reached Har Sinai and received the Torah. Throughout the spectrum of Jewish commentaries, this moment is described as the Chasuna between Hashem and the Jewish People. The Medrash says that Hashem lifted Har Sinai above the heads of the Yidden. This was like the Chuppa that the Chosson and Kallah stand under.

If Matan Torah was the Yidden's wedding to the Aibeshter, I think Yetzias Metzrayim was a lot like the dating process.

Hashem came in and did lots of fancy, spectacular miracles.
The Jews were very impressed, and agreed to follow their G-d into a desert and become His Chosen People.

A bochur on a date also tries to impress and charm the young lady he is with, by holding doors open, and pretending to be interested in what she has to say.

Then they agree to get married!

But they barely know each other, and soon they will be intimately joined through the union of marriage.

How did the Jews prepare to be united with Hashem?
They didn't try to learn as much as they could about The Big Guy, and only received a few mitzvos to try out in the meantime.
What the Jews occupied themselves with was Sefiras HaOmer.
Instead of learning about Hashem, they chose to learn about themselves. They examined who they were, and worked on themselves in each of their Middos.
This way, when the Sixth of Sivan came around, they could bring the best of themselves they had to offer.