Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Printed from chabad.org
All Departments
Jewish Holidays
TheRebbe.org
Jewish.TV - Video
Jewish Audio
News
Kabbalah Online
JewishWoman.org
Kids Zone
Contact Us
Visit us on Facebook
Views on the News

A Royal Wedding

A Royal Wedding

E-mail

The latest celebrity engagement to set tongues wagging is that of Prince William and Kate Middleton. From reports about the ring (the late Princess Di’s, in case you haven’t heard) to speculation about nuptial plans, this royal love story is making headlines across the globe.

While the media interest in the Royal Family is no surprise, the fixation on engagements and weddings is an interesting one, considering that, these days, fewer and fewer couples are making the decision to walk down the aisle. In fact, a recent study by the Pew Research Center showed that the percentage of American families passing on marriage is steeply rising, so much so that the institution of marriage may be at risk of becoming obsolete.

So what’s all the hoopla about?

Simply put, no one can resist a storybook ending, especially one with a gin-u-wine Prince. People are looking for the high of glitz and glamour, so they can experience, even for a moment, a real-life fairy tale.

While certainly entertaining, the problem with the media’s obsession with engagements and weddings is that people are actually buying the illusion they’re selling. When a couple becomes engaged, the focus automatically shifts to the wedding details—the venue, the honeymoon, and of course, The Dress. This may explain why so many celebrity engagements end in divorce: everyone is so busy planning a fabulous wedding, they forget about what comes after—Marriage.

According to the Talmud, Adam and Eve were one soul, split into two bodies (hence the term “soul mates”). Their reunion represents the Jewish ideal of marriage: two halves coming together to form a complete, unified whole. In Jewish tradition, the wedding is the holiest day of a bride and groom’s lives, a day when all of their previous sins are forgiven and they begin a new life together with a clean slate.

A Jewish wedding, therefore, requires significant preparation, and we’re not talking deejays and place cards. In order to truly prepare for marriage, both bride and groom are encouraged to spend their time of engagement doing mitzvot, learning Torah and praying to G‑d to make them ready for this lifelong commitment. To ensure optimal time for personal reflection, the bride and groom do not see each other or speak directly to each other for the week before the wedding. Even at the wedding itself, the bride and groom receive their guests separately, in different rooms, and do not see each other until right before the ceremony itself.

In the Jewish world, weddings are most definitely a big deal, and can be as beautiful as any of you would see in a magazine. Unlike celebrity nuptials, however, a Jewish wedding is the vehicle for two halves of one soul to reunite, where the foundation for a Jewish home is laid.

So for those blessed brides-and grooms-to-be out there who are striving to recreate the “perfect” celebrity nuptials, just remember that the most beautiful wedding pales to nothing compared to the beautiful marriage that comes after.


© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
1000 characters remaining
Email me when new comments are posted.
Sort By:
Discussion (10)
April 19, 2011
Be on the lookout...
I am so grateful every day that I met my soulmate. And it truly was divine intervention that we met. The odds were so staggering against us ever meeting, yet we did. And I turned around and started to walk away without even thinking twice about the momentary chance encounter...until he reached and grabbed my wrist to stop me from going. A 4 hour conversation later and we exchanged phone numbers. And then on our first date, I had a quiet moment of meditation while he sipped tea and and a still small voice intruded on my silence to tell me this was it. I actually argued with the voice for a moment b/c (in my mind) I was too young to settle down...LOL. But after a few moments I conceded and...well...12 years later...
In spite of being a very private person, I share this story because I want you to realize you may only have a moment to recognize your soul mate. Be alert, be flexible, be ready to love and be loved. (If only Camilla/Charles had done that years ago...)
Anonymous
Blacksburg, VA
February 6, 2011
marriage
i do not know who to thank for this quote but i like it:
thank you for inviting me to the wedding
please invite me to the marriage
signed G-d
chanaeps
January 31, 2011
soul matters
Soul does matter and this is about, soul matters. In response to Katherine, I know so many people, not Jewish, Christian and others, who do so totally believe in the concept of soul mates. In fact, a lot of stores sell hearts that are cut in half, and in friendship and also for love, for that special someone, a mate, people do exchange the halves of hearts. For this has deep symbolic content.

I bet there are Jews and non Jews who do not fully embrace this concept, but in the world, there are just so many, who do, who totally know what one is saying when one says, Have You Met Your Soul Mate?
ruth housman
marshfield hills, ma
January 31, 2011
Two Halves of A Soul
I had no idea what my professor meant when she said to me that its possible to be successful and still have half a soul because you lack your soul mate. Now I do understand. Yes, I'm a gentile; she is Jewish. The truth is gentiles don't always see their mate as half their own soul. I've always thought of the definition of soul mate as someone whom I love deeply, that has a lot in common with me, but not necessarily the other half of my soul. They say G-d doesn't like divorce but they do not explain why. I think if more people thought of each other as two halves of a soul that become reunited they would be more likely to stay together. The problem is that this only makes sense in a Jewish context. I wonder how I would be able to convince another non-Jew that this concept may be true. This article and all your comments were thought provoking for me. Thank you. I'm so glad I have such a caring teacher and wise people to look up to, albeit on the internet. This has changed the way I see dating
Katherine
January 28, 2011
Marriage
I understand why marriage is declining, women are tired of being solicited like prostitutes. I asked a man why he would marry and he stated the reasons like he was quoting ingredients for a recipe--for companionship and to take care of the woman. Nothing about making a home or starting a family or extending his commitment to G-d. Marriage these days is about what the individual can get from another person not about sharing a good life. I guess fairy-tales are cheaper and less thought proking.
Karen
Bowie, America
January 21, 2011
marriage
I think it's all about love.
Debra Weinberg
FortLee, Nj
chabadfortlee.com
January 21, 2011
life arcs
The sad reality, is that even storybook romances that do continue, that are so profoundly loving, about growing together, as tree limbs do grow together, as we do, hug, well, even these stories, often turn to the sadness of boughs bent in the winter of our days. The beauty of winter is also within the poignancy of all that's cold, frozen, and white.

I had a good friend Dayana, whose van had a license plate that read Lady Di. She was, of course, referencing that storybook princess. Then Lady Di, died, surely an echo of her name, and we were all shocked by the sudden nature of a tragedy.

The "other Dayana" was a nurse who worked with me in a Clinic, in Crisis Services. She was a truly wonderful humane person, who later worked in the ICU of a hospital with preemies, and she so loved, in all respects. But love didn't treat her well, and she suffered from an incurable illness. I miss her.

I find the agony of love, how we die for love, somehow part of a greater picture about LOVE itself.
ruth housman
marshfield hills, ma
January 20, 2011
What Was
The wedding of Charles and Diana nearly thirty years ago was a storybook fantasy also. Look how quickly that fairytale turned into a nightmare. The princess was shattered when she discovered that her prince had never gotten over his love for another woman. Better to get married in jeans by a callous clerk with a cheap dimestore ring and have the wholehearted love of one's spouse forever.
Anonymous
Far Rockaway, NY
January 19, 2011
A Royal Wedding
Wedding is for a day,,,,,marriage is for life. The real Royal weddings are the ones , in my opinion, that are made before GOD and witnesses.. and include HIM the rest of their lives, and bearing seed after their kind [Godly] to which their inheritance will be the Messiah ...............and live for that purpose. Shalom
Raymond Bastarache
Plaster Rock NB, Canada
January 19, 2011
the king & queen
It's always a story about Before & After. It seems people are addicted to celebrities and I wonder sometimes about this since we are all of us the Kings & Queens of our own castles and it's surely how we reign that matters, how a heart is united & how we unite others with our hearts.

And when it rains, as it does, we need to share our umbrellas. This is how we are great with LOVE and grateful for that privilege!
ruth housman
marshfield hills, ma
What's the latest news? For that information, check your local or national news outlet. In this blog we will discuss the "why?"

Not "why did this event occur?" but "why did I find out about it?" There must be a reason. It must contain a lesson I can use to better myself and my surroundings. Together we will find the lessons...
FEATURED ON CHABAD.ORG