My husband and I just celebrated our twelfth anniversary. Reflecting on the life we've made together thus far, I got to thinking about how it all began, and the impact of that blessed proposal on all that has followed...

It was sometime after 11:00 pm. The fog had started to pool around our dark cul-de-sac like dry ice vapors seeping out of a picnic cooler. If there wasn't so much romance in the air, it probably would have felt really creepy to be out. It was a brisk Southern California night in late February cool enough to warrant a wool sweater, even though we were just twenty-five miles north of the warm, Mexican border. The streetlight above our heads flickered like a shiver, awaiting resolution to the mounting tension pulsing beneath her glow.

My stance is distant, almost defiant, like a dare, and I am cryingI am drama incarnate with fists balled, my silver hoop earrings, peasant skirt and leather cowboy boots. My stance is distant, almost defiant, like a dare, and I am crying. "As time goes by does it get more or less clear to you that we're meant to be together?" The sentence rushes from my lips anxious and pleading.

"Marry me, Sarah," he said, with the confidence of a prize fighter. "Just marry me."

"What?" I squeaked, as I twisted my hair around my finger with sudden urgency.

He didn't speak again. He just looked at me and smiled his sweet, soft smile that I had come to love. I stared at him awe-struck as his smile gently morphed into a more decided look of expectation.

Maybe there were coyotes howling from the canyons behind our house, maybe there were rowdy teenagers drinking cheap beer at McElroy field just a block away. I didn't see or hear anything else but this moment. I saw only this man who proposed to love me and marry me, silhouetted by all that I knew as a child, and all I ever hoped I'd be when I grew up. It was a dizzying and wonderful moment.

His back was facing my bedroom window. The same place where so many tales and invitations to romance were spun in my little, dreamy head. His back was turned to that window, in defiance of all that laid behind me. He only looked towards the future, our future, and he was sure that he wanted me to walk towards it with him.

"I'll let you know after the weekend." The words just fell out of my mouth.

What a lame response to a marriage proposal. Was that hurtful? Did I just blow this? Drawing a quick breath, silencing the critics in my head, I folded my arms around my waist and practiced standing as casually confident as he did.

His back was facing my bedroom window where so many tales and invitations to romance were spun in my little, dreamy head"Okay. I'll wait," he said, still smiling, unreasonably adorable, and apparently unfazed by my clumsy reply.

He'll wait.


Everyone who is married has a proposal story, and although the details of our stories will vary in flash and flare, the core bid is always the same, "I want you to be my partner in this world. Please join me."

Our Sages teach, that when G‑d created the world, He similarly sought a partner in creation. He wanted to marry us. The mystics relate the time period from the Hebrew month of Elul through the High Holidays of Tishrei to the courtship, proposal, marriage, and union of G‑d and the Jewish people. Rosh Hashanah is the time where G‑d puts "Himself out there," gets down on His proverbial knee, and proposes marriage to His people. Like so many brave grooms, He is confident of our affirmative reply.

Master Kabbalist, Rabbi Issac Luria writes, "During the night of Rosh Hashanah the consciousness animating the universe goes frail and weak." I never really understood this concept until I reflected on my own marriage proposal. My husband to-be, although ultimately optimistic that I would accept his proposal, had to make himself wholly vulnerable to the uncomfortable possibility that I might say "no."

Every Rosh Hashana, G‑d allows us the same opportunity. G‑d reinstates our marriage vows. Ever faithful in our mutual desire, He gives us the choice to come into this marriage on our own accord, with our own free will. His confidence in us is staggering. On the eve Rosh Hashanah, the entire universe, weak with anticipation awaits our answer to His grand proposal. We have been granted the power and the choice to make G‑d wait.

Rosh Hashanah morning, we gather in congregations on all corners of the globe. We dress up. We search ourselves, and try to make ourselves worthy vessels with which to receive this mammoth blessing. We pray from our depths, and we inhale deeply. We exhale to the tune of a simple, piercing, and primitive cry. It's the call of the shofar. That's our answer.

"Yes, my Beloved, My Groom, My Eternity. Yes, I will marry You."

Every Rosh Hashana, G‑d allows us the same opportunity. G‑d reinstates our marriage vowsIn my personal story, it took me a couple of days, but eventually I let the quiet "yes" that had been throbbing steadily inside my heart since the day we met, overwhelm me. I needed time to come into a clarity that I had yet to experience in my mere twenty-one years, that this man was undeniably, my husband. Blessedly, he gave me that time of reflection that I needed to step out of my past, and walk into my future.

I've found that both in my earthly marriage and my spiritual marriage to my Creator, both of my partners are consistent in giving me the time and space I need to choose. It's that freedom that allows me to reinstate my "yes." I choose this life, this love, this path. It is a choice I make every day, and for that opportunity, I am ever grateful. Together, My husband, My G‑d and me have lived a lot of life together. We have survived rupture, endured repair, and we have risen through it together.

Most of all we have risen.