She was new to New York, and new to Shabbat. The first time we met, she as my guest for Shabbat dinner, she seemed overwhelmed. Early morning arrival in Manhattan from her home town with a population of 5000, she'd come to NY to do some shopping for her newly acquired position as department head in a small accounting firm. She needs to dress for success, she was told. And Manhattan was where she was going to find her success style. Tired of trying on suits and shoes, she took an hour's break to have coffee and a book in Barnes and Noble, and in the travel section encountered her first chassidic man. My husband felt her stare - he in black hat, suit and beard perusing the Alaska travelogues - a conversation about travel ensued. It was Thursday afternoon, and an invitation for Shabbat dinner was soon proffered and accepted.

She'd never seen so many people in one place in her life; nor so many books under one roof; nor so much light as that of the Shabbat candles. Searching for fashion to make her professional statement, she discovered Shabbat was her soul statement. And so her journey began. She read and studied and listened to lectures and made friends. Learning about Shabbat and kosher and prayer and tzedakah, she learned about her soul's desires...about her real dreams and hopes and future.

Two or three years pass, and I hear from her. She is in Manhattan, this time to find her bridal gown; the wedding is very soon, he's her dream come true, and when they return from their honeymoon might she come over to introduce her beloved to me? He's the most wonderful man, she said, and I'm sure to be gloriously happy. But, this now in a softer tone, he's not ready for all my spiritual stuff; can we talk to you about it?

Two weeks later I open the door, and a burst of sunshine - wait, no, it's's their smiles that I mistook for the sun - he's holding the door for her...they are unremarkable until you look at their faces. The face of love.They enter, and she smiles as the music reaches her ears...Hayden's Trumpet Concerto, she says, playing when I first encountered your husband in the Alaska section of Barnes and Noble....trumpets herald her first musical association with Judaism...trumpets heralding her new life, married ....

He is sweet, and very polite. No doubt less than completely comfortable, he nevertheless projects an easy manner, and is unapologetic about his feelings. Refreshing. He, like his wife, was raised to feel proud to be Jewish; completely integrated into American culture with no real connection to Jewish history or tradition or law, he felt awkward with her newly discovered Jewish life. Shabbat, him these were quaint ancient practices, and although he'd heard that there were people living in modernity with these practices, he'd never met one. And felt very much alien to it.

His beloved soulmate, however, felt very much at home with it. How could they a marriage relationship build? Having discovered, finally, her Jewish identity, she could not abandon it. Yet, he never had thought to, nor was he now willing to, commit himself to the laws and practices governing Jewish life. And now the tears began to flow...she can't choose between the two, she sobbed. How could she choose between the love of her life and the love of her people? I'm not kosher, he said, and don't intend to be. Nor do I intend to keep Shabbat, or the holidays. And I never implied otherwise. The gentleness of his tone and the pure love in his eyes were all the assurance I needed to know this was going to work. All we needed was a program.

And so we spent the next few meetings working out a plan. Recognizing that each person's soul experience is unique and specific, and that no one person can impose her or his experience upon another, we discussed her love of G‑d and Torah and his love of her. And knowing that each Jewish soul finds its individual connection to G‑d, and that her yearning for conscious and deliberate spiritual living was not his yearning, we discussed how, in their mutual love and respect, she could live Torah without his feeling burdened by it.

We began with the three basic mitzvot of a Jewish home: She was committed to observing Shabbat. He wouldn't be confined by it. The decision was that he would support her Shabbat observance, would be present whenever possible for candle lighting and Shabbat dinner; would accompany her when he was so inclined to shul; and throughout Shabbat would do nothing to interfere with the spirit of Shabbat in their home. Kashrut - their home would be kosher. She, committed as well to keeping strictly kosher, would not impose that upon him; he would make his own decision about what and where to eat, but when they were dining together, at home or elsewhere, it would be kosher dining only. And although not committed to his own keeping kosher, he would do nothing to sabotage the kashrut of their home. And finally we discussed mikvah. This was her mitzvah. Out of love for her, he would respect it.

Six weeks later they visited again. Some cloud cover outside, but they brought with them brilliant sunshine. She handed me a CD of a once-only recording of Haydn's Trumpet Concerto by the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ozawa. Your husband specifically remarked on this one, she said; we played it at our wedding.