What Do You Do During a Chuppah?

I was sitting at a chuppah recently near a friend of mine from yeshivah days. While I was enjoying the beautiful music and singer, my friend was tearfully davening throughout the chuppah for his beloved teenage daughter who suffered a stroke at the young age of only 16 years. It happened after Havdalah on a Motzoei Shabbos two years ago and she’s been keeping herself in good spirits, as is evident from a speech she sent out on Parashas Vayeshev.

She talks about how Yosef also went through a life-changing event as a young teenager of only 17 years, but with emunah and bitachon, he became the viceroy of Mitzrayim, be”H, and was able to save his father and brothers from hunger. She ends off by saying that she chose to be happy, and if a person chooses to be happy, then they will be happy!

I cried when I heard that her goal was to be able to stand up for Shemonei Esrei. I struggle during Shemonei Esrei to be able to sit down after davening quickly and she’s struggling to stand up and to be able to daven to Avinu shebaShamayim. I told my friend how my Rav from Monsey quoted the Sfas Emes and Rav Tzaddok HaKohen that the real simchas hachaim is having emunah and bitachon.

I suggested that he learn with his daughter Chovos Halevovos Shaar Bitochon. That will give them both tremendous chizuk. We made a deal that we will both dance iy”H at his daughter’s wedding, and she will have a complete recovery b’siyatta diShamaya chasdei Hashem ki lo samnu ki lo cholu rachamov.

When the singer sang “Im Eshkochech,” I thought that it doesn’t only refer to Yerushalayim but to your fellow Jew who may be suffering while you’re enjoying the beautiful chuppah and its music. Why is it that only the women are davening while the men are busy schmoozing or are engrossed with their smartphone? People need refuos, yeshuos, a shidduch, healthy children, hatzlachah in parnassah.

May this be a zechus for a refuah sheleimah for Liba Yehudis Bas Yocheved!

A Lichtiger Chanukah,

Rabbi Moshe Leib Halevy