Sunday, September 11, 2011

Following Aaron’s Example

This last Saturday I officiated Wadia and Jared’s wedding in Merida, Mexico. Here are the personal words I shared with them and their guests:

One of the most interesting characters in Jewish lore is Aaron, the brother of Moses. We are told that Aaron loved people, and through this brought them closer to the Torah. Now, what exactly does this mean? How do you through love bring someone closer to the Torah, which really means closer to being a good moral person, in general?

Legend has it that whenever Aaron would bump into someone, regardless of if he knew the person or not, regardless of whom that person was, he would greet the person warmly and very kindly. There were no airs about him. He did not pull rank or act like a celebrity. The result, we are told, is that due to his loving and caring attitude people did not want to disappoint him. Therefore, they would make much better moral choices in their lives, do more positive things, and stay away from what was not proper.

Now, we can ooh and aah about Aaron’s greatness, but I think that there is a much more important lesson here. Feeling loved helps us develop in ways we could not otherwise, and it has the power of making each of us a better person. We each can better ourselves through the knowledge that someone who truly loves us would want us to do the right thing.

I have never heard this better described than the way Wadia does. She describes Jared with these words, “the voice of my conscience”. That is so simple, yet so profound! Jared too reflects this mutual aspect of their relationship, when he says that, “Wadia keeps me both in line, and on my toes.” (BTW, the very first time I spoke to Wadia I picked up on the “on his toes” part…)

Wadia and Jared, thank you for reminding us of this important lesson. May you continue to grow together, to develop together, and to serve as an example for us all for how a true love and being loved can bring us just a little closer to perfection.

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