Marriage is a tricky business – finding a mate, declaring your intentions, and living (happily ever after – that’s the plan, anyway) with your choice.
And, though it’s deeply personal, it’s also the community’s business. It’s all of our business to help young people (and the not-so-young) find each other, to help them build a stable home and thriving family life, to help them pass the heart- and hearth-warming torch of Jewish life and values.
That’s why the wedding on Saturday of Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky was bittersweet. Two young people, visibly happy, beautifully dressed, well-educated and from notable families, declared their love for each other and made promises for the future in front of their families and friends – and the media wrung what it could from this both before and after the fact.
The Jewish media, too. We kvelled at every intimation of Jewishness (see page 28): the groom’s tallit; the sheva brachot said by the guests; the breaking of the glass; the co-officiation – with a minister – of a rabbi.
We commend the groom for wearing his faith on his sleeve (and his shoulders). He’s clearly comfortable with and proud of his Jewishness. And we were pleased to see (at least in photographs) that she is comfortable with it as well.
We wish them joy – of each other and in the future.
And we take this wedding, however joyous, as a reminder that we are not doing our communal job: We are not helping young Jews (and not-so-young Jews) find their basherts. That mitzvah does more than match up a couple; it builds a community. It does more than build a community; it perpetuates Jewish culture and helps ensure a Jewish future.
We all agree that intermarriage is a fact of American Jewish life, but we don’t do much to foster inmarriage.
A case in point is the deplorable dearth of singles programming in this area. We at the Standard have seen the offerings – which once filled columns in our Singles calendar – steadily decline.
We call on the community to do better by our Jewish singles. As the saying goes, marriages are made in heaven, but let us make the introductions.