At Jewish weddings, I’ve seen this dance where people stand facing each other in two lines, and then run toward each other and meet in the middle, then run backward to their original places, only to do it all over again. Is there any meaning to this dance?


The wedding dance symbolizes the rhythm of a healthy relationship. In any loving relationship, a couple experiences moments of closeness and love, as well as moments of distance and tension. It is not possible for two human beings to share intimate space and not go through some rough patches. If a relationship is to be real, it probably won’t be smooth.

But this tension is exactly what makes love so powerful. Every moment of tension in a loving relationship is an opportunity to get to know each other better: “Why are you upset? What did I do to hurt you? Where did we misunderstand each other? What can we learn from this episode?”

The only reason couples retreat from each other is in order to come close again. They take a step back in order to then rush forward. The divide that was created by their little falling out provides the fuel for the two to come back together, closer and stronger than ever.

As we dance around the newlyweds, we give them a powerful message: In your lives together, it will invariably happen that each of you will make mistakes. There will be times of misunderstanding and distance, when you feel you have drifted apart and the love is strained. The secret is to never turn your back. Even when you are retreating, always face each other. If you do, the tension itself will propel you back toward each other.

Never fear those moments of tension in your marriage. Rather, see them as doorways that lead you to a deeper connection. In the dance of love, the good times bring you close, but the tough times bring you even closer.