Monday, October 24, 2011

Believe in the Magic

Jessica and Joel’s wedding ceremony was very intimate. It was just them, Joel’s brother and his sister in law. It was magical! Indeed, magic is what I talked about at their ceremony:

Jessica and Joel, you share a magic that one does not see often enough. You both describe the moment you met, where you shared something that in the cognitive realm cannot be easily explained. There was a meeting of the minds. There was something in the air, that cannot be easily explained.

Though deep love at first sight may be an invention of Hollywood – after all, to love is to know, and one needs to get to know someone to truly love them – we should never discount the magic of the moment. You had that moment, and where others might just discount it, and move on, you did not let that moment become forgotten, either of you.

You continued to develop your connection, what was at first just a business relationship and a mutual appreciation. Then you took the plunge, and followed your hearts to embrace where the magic of that first moment would take you. Happily, it took you here to stand before us today.

So, from you Jessica and Joel, we learn the importance of believing in that magic in this human existence. You show us to not just in believe in it, but to follow it to where it may and can take us. Continue to travel that path, follow your hearts, live magically, and may your love continue to grow, as you follow your dreams.

Self Reflection is Key

Mesina and Mark are one cool couple. They are each tremendously successful and really smart. See them together, and you can see how love is in the air. Here is what I shared with them at their wedding about a week ago:

I remember years ago in a class given by one of my best rabbis and teachers, a truck started backing up in the parking lot behind our classroom. It made that chiming noise to warn anyone standing behind it. The rabbi stopped mid-sentence, and said, “Wow, if only we had that function as human beings – that when we started sliding backwards a chime would ring – our lives would be so much easier!” When driving myself, I often think in similar terms about my GPS. If only we had something automatically chime in to tell us when we have strayed from our way, and might just want to start “recalculating”. In human terms this is, of course, what we call, “self reflection”.

In Mesina and Mark you see this very essential quality that though obvious, many people do not practice enough – a highly refined ability to self reflect. This is something that really stands out in both of them. This is how they have lived their lives, dealt with challenges, and found impressive success. They have practiced self reflection in regards to their spirituality, their professional lives and their personal lives. This act in each of these areas has made them better in what they do, with highly developed capacities in their professional lives. More importantly, in my opinion, it has made them better persons, more compassionate individuals than the average person, and better friends to each other and to others.

We, therefore, owe Mesina and Mark a debt of gratitude. Thank you for reminding all of us, in the midst of the Jewish days of judgment to constantly practice self reflection, to regularly take stock of who we are and where we are going, and through that to be better people.

Learning from Each Other and Growing Together

Graduation ceremonies are often called commencements to symbolize that they herald a beginning, and that learning is something that must continue. Gila and Alan, who I married this last weekend, know how true this is regarding their relationship too. Here are he words I shared with them:

Gila and Alan inspire me in what they have created together. They are humble, honest and hardworking individuals, each in their own right. Had you met each of them before they knew each other, like many of you did, you would be able to say, without a doubt, “Now that is someone I can count on; that is someone who can get the job done.” In fact, that is how they met, at the workplace, with Alan, whose job it is to help us mere mortals navigate the mysteries of technology, helping Gila out with a problem she was dealing with.

What inspires me about this couple is that each will tell you how much they have grown through their relationship, how much each of them has learned from the other, how they each have allowed their relationship to make them better than they were before. Interact with them with for just a short while, and you will see that these are not just words. You can see this with your own eyes. In our individualistic culture, this is no small feat. Such obviously sensible behavior, coming from the recognition that we always have more to learn, can sometimes seem counterintuitive. This is why the way Gila and Alan built their relationship and continue to allow themselves to grow in it is even more admirable, as it necessitates a degree of swimming against the tide.

Gila and Alan, what we wish for you is that you continue to grow together, that you continue to learn from each other. Through such ongoing and careful development, your bond will not only be unbreakable, but grow stronger with each and every passing day.