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Mazel Tov!
After 45 years of living together, with three children and four grandchildren, Dmitri (age 75) and Yelena (age 68) finally fulfilled a lifelong dream: They got married in a Jewish ceremony, with a ring, a ketubah and seven blessings under the chuppah.

Their first “marriage ceremony” was not a wedding, exactly, but a dry formality in front of a bureaucrat in their hometown of Cherson, Ukraine. After 45 years, they made Aliyah to Israel and were finally able to have the wedding of their dreams. Family and friends gathered from across Israel to celebrate this milestone with the couple. Their friends led them to the chuppah, and when Dmitri broke the traditional glass at the end of the ceremony, all the attendees broke out in thunderous applause.

Such second weddings have become commonplace after the wave of immigration to Israel following the fall of the Soviet Union. After seventy years of communist repression, Jews are returning to their roots – and part of that means reclaiming their right to marry in a traditional Jewish ceremony.

These weddings are a foretaste of a ceremony in which we will soon participate, as described in the books of our Prophets and the Kabbalah:

The bride is the Jewish people, and the Groom is G-d Himself. On Shavuot, the giving of the Torah, we celebrated our betrothal. However, it has taken more than 3300 years for us to be ready for the wedding ceremony.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe, has said that according to all the signs of the sages, we are now holding in the final moments before the celebration. Everything is ready. The wedding hall – the third Holy Temple – will descend from above to be enclothed in a physical edifice, and there we will celebrate our union with G-d, which will never be broken.

The wedding feast will consist of two dishes, the livyatan and the shor habor, which contain in them lofty spiritual powers. Whoever takes part in this meal will be able to perceive G-dliness on an unprecedented level. The food will be physical and will be eaten and digested as any other, but the act of eating will cause us to internalize a Divine energy that will enable us to live forever. The feast of Moshiach will be followed by the Resurrection of the Dead, when we will enter into a state in which we will not need food or drink to survive. Instead of the body being sustained by the soul, the soul will be sustained by the spiritual energy of the body. It will be revealed that the physical world is actually the receptacle for G-d’s deepest creative powers. The Jewish people and G-d will dwell together with the ultimate happiness for eternity.

 

 


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