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Happy 56th! 

12/03/2020 03:38:41 PM


Rabbi Aryeh Feigenbaum

I have developed a practice over the last several years, when congratulating a couple in shul upon their 50th anniversary, to encourage people to approach the couple and ask them for their secret to a long, happy marriage. I have yet to find a couple that did not cherish the opportunity to share their valuable life lessons with anyone who asked. 

This practice recently became very personal to me since, this past August, my parents moved to Dallas to be close to us. It has been quite a while since we lived together, and so it is a joy to share both everyday occurrences with them, as well as special occasions that we might have had to share in a limited way long distance.

And so, when my parents marked their 56th wedding anniversary last Wednesday, it was very special to us to celebrate with them, despite the fact that there was no fanfare, just a small barbeque and a cake. 

What made it special for me was that, rather than the quick, perfunctory Mazal Tov phone call that would have occurred had they been separated by long distance, I spent time with them. And I asked myself the question I have become accustomed to suggesting to others to ask: what is their secret? As a son, I have been privileged to watch them my entire life, both up close and from a distance.  Whatever their secret is, it certainly would be branded into my essence. And so, as a lifetime observer of my parents, I felt qualified to answer the question.
And this is what I realized. Their secret is dedication and commitment, and it does not matter if it is to each other, to their family, or to their community. There is nothing they will not do for each other or their children and family. No excuses ever get in the way. They are never too tired, nor is it ever inconvenient for them to do what is needed. This extends well beyond their immediate family to their community, whether it was Milwaukee, Louisville, West Hempstead, or now, Dallas. For example, growing up, I recall that we almost always had guests at the Shabbos table. Kiruv may not have been the official term, but they were always looking for a way to make a difference to the other.

 My parents have been blessed with 56 beautiful years together-kein yirbu- may they be blessed with many more. My father commented to someone over Shabbos that “when you stand under the chuppah you aren't thinking about 56 years later.” Longevity is, indeed, a gift from Hashem. The gift my parents gave me and all who know them is the model of dedication and commitment.

Thank you Mom and Dad and Mazal Tov!!! 

Sun, July 21 2024 15 Tammuz 5784