That simple gold wedding band with which every couple starts off their married life can sometimes take on a life of its own.

It has to be simple and unadorned, but its significance isMy wedding band was the one ring I almost never removed far from simple. We’re told that the Torah was the wedding ring with which G‑d “married” the Jewish people at Mount Sinai, signifying our devotion and fidelity to each other.

My wedding band was the one ring I almost never took off. Because there was no stone in it, it didn’t get too dirty, nor did dough get stuck inside it. My diamond ring was kept for Shabbat, holidays and special occasions.

However, as our family grew, I noticed that with each pregnancy, my fingers started to swell. And the swelling started earlier and earlier with each child. By the time I was expecting number six, I had to take my ring off by the fifth month. I felt distinctly uncomfortable being ringless. My ring was white gold, and I bought a cheap silver-plated one instead so that my finger didn’t feel so bare.

Months after our child was born, I could see that my finger still hadn’t returned to its pre-pregnancy size and showed no signs of getting any smaller, so I resigned myself to having my wedding ring resized. I was hoping it could be stretched, but that wasn’t possible, as the amount it needed to be widened was simply too great. The jeweler explained that they would have to add a piece that would not be identical to the original.

“Never mind,” I said. “I just want my own ring back on my finger. I’ll position the new section at the back of my finger so no one will notice it.”

The jeweler didn’t make a very good job of it. The extra piece was uneven and badly soldered, but at least I had my ring back.

All was fine until a few years later one Friday afternoon, when in my haste cutting the vegetables for the Shabbat cholent, I cut my knuckle on my ring finger quite deeply. Being in a hurry, I applied firm pressure to the finger for a few minutes, then bandaged it up tightly. The blood still soaked through for a while, so I pulled on some rubber kitchen gloves so I could carry on cooking. Eventually, the bleeding stopped.

Later on, after I had lit the Shabbat candles and finished setting the table, I gently unwrapped the bandages and stared at my finger. The knuckle was twice its previous size, and the rest of the finger was starting to swell. I decided it would be best to remove my ring—but it was too late. There was no way I could get it over that nasty, swollen knuckle.

I spent the evening sliding my ring around and around my finger just to check that I could still move it—but when I woke up on Shabbat morning, it felt distinctly tighter; I could hardly move it at all.

I was beginning to panic.

One of the shul members was a doctor, so I walked to shul and my husband asked him to come look at my finger.

He too moved the ring around my finger and warned me to keep checking it, and if it got any tighter I should go to the emergency clinic to have it cut off before it cut off the blood circulation to the finger.

He said he’d come around to my house later to check up on it again.

By the time he arrived, I was gone.

Panic? Fear? Who knows.

The doctor in the emergency clinic looked at my finger and tried to move the ring—he couldn’t. I almost breathed a sigh of relief. At least he won’t think I’m a hypochondriac.

“Why did you wait so long?”

“Well, it’s Shabbat. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to come,” I said defensively. (Here in Israel, even the secular doctors understand what Shabbat is.)

He got out a horrifying-looking saw. I closed my eyes. I felt a slight pull on my finger . . . then, “Shall I throw it in the garbage?”

I opened my eyes cautiously, hoping he wasn’t referring to my finger. I slowly looked down, relieved to see the digit still there and the doctor holding my sad-looking ring.

“No, that’s my wedding ring. You can’t just throw it away.”

I grabbed it from him and put it in my pocket.

Once the bandages were off, my large old substitute metal ring came back on while the finger slowly shrunk back to its normal size—but not enough. Eventually, I realized that it had become as small as it was going to, and I had to accept that this would be its new normal size.

So off I went to a jeweler. After he had measured my finger with the ring gauge, I produced the two pieces of my sad-looking wedding ring from my pocket.

“I’d like you to stick my ring together and add as much white gold as necessary, please.”

The jeweler looked at the pieces of the ring, then at me, then back down to the ring.

“You know, a new ring won’t cost much. This ring has had it. I can see it’s been mended once already. It will look awful.” Israeli jewelers are honest, if not tactful.

“I don’t care. I want it mended. It’s my wedding ring, and I don’t give up on it easily.”

The jeweler looked at me, still unconvinced. I was about to take"I don’t care. I want it mended. it from him and just bring it to another jeweler.

“We’ve been through a lot together since the day my husband gave it to me under the chupah thousands of miles from here. You know the words Harei at mekudeshet li be’taba’at zu kedat Moshe ve’Yisrael,‘With this ring you are consecrated to me according to the laws of Moses and of Israel,’ are the most beautiful words a girl ever hears—and it’s THIS ring he gave to me, and I don’t ever want to replace it.”

My tone must have been convincing. He took it from me without another word.