|Karin and Barry are wrapped in Barry's tallit (prayer shawl) |
to receive the Priestly Blessing
Couples have different reasons for the dates and locations of their weddings. Having officiated over 260 weddings so far, I have probably heard more unique reasons than the average person. However, one of the most special and meaningful discussions I have had about this point with a couple was the first conversation I had with Karin and Barry.
Karin and Barry’s reason for marrying in
What is the essence of Jazz? As the Jazz musician and scholar, Paul Hofmann, writes, Jazz has two characteristics that stand out, its swing beat and its improvisation. What is the swing beat? As another Jazz musician and scholar, Peter Brewer, points out, most music previous to jazz has a straight beat, which divides each single beat into groups of two, like this (read this out loud): 1 and 2 and 3 and 4, 1 and 2 and 3 and 4. Jazz however is based on groups of 3, like this (read this out loud, and snap your fingers): 1 and a 2 and a 3 and a 4, 1 and a 2 and a 3 and a 4.
Now, if you know anything about Jazz, you know that improvisation is not just a characteristic of Jazz; it is the very soul of Jazz. If a classical musician plays what is on the page, for the Jazz musician the page, if there even is one, is just the start. It’s not that there are no rules; it’s just that the rules are much less stringent. The main thing is to let the music flow, and really get into the groove.
There are some great lessons here for marriage. As I have written elsewhere, every marriage is an intermarriage; we each come from different families, and grow up with different sets of experiences. Interfaith marriage just involves one more difference between two people. Now, marriage might seem to involve the joining of these two; two getting into one straight beat. However, when you look a little closer, you see that much like Jazz, a harmonious marriage dances best to the swing beat. There are three beings that must be cultivated, the two partners, and the marriage itself. It is a third entity, which must be carefully nurtured by two people, working together as one in a loving relationship. And, if you know anything about marriage, you know that improvisation has to be its very soul. If there is a page, it can only be the start. It’s not that there are no rules; it’s just that the rules are much less stringent. The main thing is to let the relationship flow, and really get into the groove.
So, next time you hear some great Jazz in
Copyright 2015 – Rabbi David S. Gruber – All Rights Reserved