Mesorah (Jewish stuff)

The Miracle of Marriage

Yesterday was my seventh wedding anniversary.  I’ve been married for seven years.  That’s like having a master’s degree in marriage.  A master’s and part of a doctorate (depending on how long it took to complete your undergrad degree, I suppose, or what kind of master’s program…okay, I’m seriously digressing here).

Friday night, after the kids were in bed and the baby was resting, my husband and I were able to sit at the table and just talk.  Like we used to do, you know, when we were dating.  Seven years ago.  Okay, seven and a half years ago.

When Renee and Tikva asked if I would be up for participating in Hanukkah Hooplah this year, I didn’t realize initially that my post would be overlapping so closely with my anniversary.  And I wanted to write about both Chanukah and marriage.

So Friday night, I was talking to my husband about this posting conundrum, and we came to the conclusion that I could really write about both in the same piece.  Because what is marriage if not the miraculous meeting of two people and their miraculous ability to stay connected despite all the ish that happens to them in their married life?

Our miracles

My husband and I often joke about how our match doesn’t make any sense on paper.  He was born in the Ukraine and grew up in a Russian household in Memphis.  He became Orthodox in his teens.  He’s science-minded and is generally distrustful skeptical.  I grew up in the midwest, going to high school in Des Moines, IA.  I became Orthodox after college.  I’m creatively-minded and trust pretty much everyone/thing.  Basically, we have nothing in common.

Sometimes we marvel at how many pieces had to fall into place just to get us to meet each other.  He had to emigrate from the Soviet Union, I had to leave Iowa, we both had to become Orthodox.  His brother had to get a fellowship in St. Louis and move onto a certain street.  I had to board with a family that lived on a street perpendicular to his.  They had to invite me to a Shabbos meal.  I had to come home from seminary.  He had to not be dating anyone else.

There are a lot of steps involved and a fair amount of near misses.  And even while we were dating, we didn’t really know how well suited we were for each other until after the wedding when we started to relax a little more and discovered, to our delight, that we were both a little zanier than we had let on during the dating process.

And despite our differences, which generally benefit our relationship, we really do have a lot in common, where it counts.

Very nice, but what does any of this have to do with Chanukah?

We (my husband and I) were thinking that Chanukah is a time of miracles, but not flashy miracles like the parting of the sea, but quieter in a way.  You’re probably familiar with the oil that was supposed to last one day and lasted eight.  That’s pretty well-known.  There’s also the military battle that the few (the Jews) won against the many (the Greeks).  To commemorate these miracles, we say the prayer “al hanisim” (which means, wait for it, “for the miracles”).

With all the miracles it took to get us to together and to get us to learn (and to continue to learn) how to communicate with each other and be married to each other, it just seems fitting that our anniversary falls around Chanukah.

We all have miracles in our lives, and they’re not always flashy.  This Chanukah, take a moment to appreciate the small (but big!) miracles that are all around you.

What’s this Hanukkah Hooplah businesss?

Remember back in 2011 when I teamed up with other bloggers to do a Chanukah post extravaganza with a giveaway?  This is kind of like that, but the 2014 version!  Eight other great bloggers (who are well worth a visit and a read) are sharing their thoughts on Chanukah, and everyone’s offering some sort of prize.  That’s eight prizes for eight readers.  The only thing you have to do to enter the giveaway (I know, two giveaways in one month on my blog!  Lucky you!) is to leave a comment.

The prize I am offering is a mixed CD, made by me, sent to you.  Whoever wins can tell me the kind of mood you want me to create, and I’ll pick songs from my musical library and burn a CD for you.  Old school style (well, really old school style would be making you a mixed tape, but I don’t even own a tape player anymore, so we can’t do that.  Sorry).

If you want to check out the master schedule (and you know you do), click on this picture:

Also, congratulations to Sarah, who said:

I love Bamboobies! I recommend them to anyone who asks and I’m kind of obsessed with all their products :). Those and a good nursing cover are top of my list.

She won a Milk-Saver from Milkies!  Hooray!

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39 thoughts on “The Miracle of Marriage

  1. Mazel tov I your anniversary. My husband a do are still working on the communication piece. Like you & your husband, we are very different and his skepticism can really irk me sometimes. I’m glad you and your guy have it all figured out. LOL. Great post and I believe in those small miracles too.

  2. Happy Anniversary! My husband and I also make no sense on paper (he us from Bnei Brak and grew up with no secular education….I am from Miami and have a PhD in Immunology from Johns Hopkins). Marriage is indeed a miracle.

  3. Happy anniversary! We just celebrated our 8th this year. Perfect for Chanukah, hunh.

    Chanukah is my favorite holiday despite its proximity to Xmas. At the darkest time of the year when we are at our lowest and the light- literally in our day- is at its least, He comes to us. HE comes to be with me without my having to ask, at a time when I am often unable to ask. The candles don’t have to be a specific type, the meal doesn’t have to be opulent, the miracles aren’t flashy, like you said. They’re personal. Three years ago on the last day of Chanukah, after a long and difficult road, I found out I was pregnant. Today I have two year old twins. There is no miracle greater- or smaller- than that.

  4. Mazel Tov, Don’t worry even after 30 years we are still working on the communication. Great post. Truly beshert.

  5. Thanks for the reminders that life is short. I haven’t had an easy time lately but this holiday is so special for my kids and I must make the most of it. I met my husband in NYC at shul. He hails from Manchester, England; I come from Atlanta, GA. We probably attended the same shul in London when I lived there after college but didn’t meet. I suppose it was meant to be and we are here together on this earth for a reason. Happy Hanukkah!

  6. Mazel tov on your anniversary! I love hashgacha pratis stories and yours about meeting your husband is really amazing. You guys sound like a great couple! By the w ay, my husband is also a science/math/skeptic/doubter type…and me? Well you know how “impulsive” I can be! LOL. My husband always says that if Columbus would have asked him about discovering America, he would have told him, no way! Don’t do it!…. Haha

  7. Congratulations on the master’s degree! The doctorate is still to come – in another seven years you will melancholically think about those innocent, romantic, early times of your marriage… (insert me waving my cane)

    Good that your match doesn’t make sense. That’s why I don’t believe in dating sites that count and calculate similarities. They forget the most important factor: the unexpected. :-)

  8. Happy Anniversary, Silvers! My daughter called Monday to wish my husband and me a happy 36th anniversary–and adding that it was her 6-month anniversary. I asked her husband if it felt like 6 months. He said; “It feels like we got married yesterday, but I feel like I’ve known her forever.” Great answer, right? I think my husband and I feel the same way. There have been rough patches, but it just keeps getting better and better! It seems like a miracle to me. Hanukkah Sameach!

  9. We’ve been married 19yrs and just recently took StrengthsFinder personality assessments (after I took it at work and became curious about his strengths). While my strengths were all about things that happen in my head (strategy, intellection, ideation, etc) with a tiny little sliver of people stuff (basically that I have close friends and don’t care about anyone else), his strengths were things like Harmony, connectedness, empathy and adaptability. So basically, we don’t have much in common, but we are strong complements to each other.

    1. I love the description of your “little sliver of people stuff.” Heh. And from everyone’s comments, I’m getting this sense of the importance of opposites complementing each other.

  10. I love the idea of focusing on the non-flashy miracle like finding the right person for you. That’s perfect and way to tie the two together (your anniversary and Hanukkah.) And your prize is so cool and original and so you. Love it!

  11. Happy Anniversary, Rivki! My husband and I celebrated our 55th in October by taking a trip to the Northeaster States. We are now at our winter home in Arizona. Marriage, whether seven years or five decades is always full of surprises. Some you might think are not so “good.” However, as you travel the journey and gaze back, you will see that “all things work together for good.” God wants only good for each of us. Sometimes the real miracle is for us to stop complaining long enough to see the good in all things. The joys of your new son even when he’s crying and the thrill of seeing your toddler learn something new even when you can’t take a step without stepping on a Lego, are miracles. Remember, marriage is a journey. Enjoy.

    1. Thank you for this beautiful comment, Marge! It’s such an important perspective to keep, that it’s all for the good, and to appreciate even the pain of stepping on a little Lego (which is mainly why I never go barefoot in the house anymore…)

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