It has been a week of LOVE, LOVE, LOVE…
On Sunday night, the eve of Tu B’Av in the Jewish calendar, my spouse and I attended a study session at the Neshama Interfaith Center with Rabbi Michael Bernstein on the love poetry of Rumi, Rilke & Rav Kook. I cannot summarize the entire lesson, but one thing that we learned is love brings with it both suffering and joy. Perhaps my favorite text we read, which is just a taste of the wisdom of Rumi, is this: “If it’s true that the rules rise from love, it is also true that lovers pay no attention to the rules.”
Later in the week, Rabbi Rebecca Schorr shared a lovely story of her son’s discovery of love at summer camp. Ben’s experience in middle school this year, which she describes with heartbreaking honesty, left her less optimistic about his romantic prospects: “One of the things that makes Asperger’s so difficult is that Ben is aware of his differences. He knows kids his age are pairing off. But he isn’t clear how, or even why, that happens. He knows that it has something to do with love and with marriage in adulthood and in junior high, with the ability to talk to girls and pass his Communications class….So when he cries at night that he wants a girlfriend or that no one will ever love him, it is an expression of his fear that he will be alone…And like most teens, he doesn’t feel soothed by his mother’s reassurances.” She goes on to share her elation that Ben not only has a girlfriend at summer camp, but is able to describe her using figurative language. Be sure to read the entire piece in The Jewish Week’s The New Normal blog.
Finally, I spent the morning packing up wedding gifts that I made in the studio this summer. One couple will be married this coming Sunday, and my spouse and I will stand with them at the huppah to recite one of the seven blessings: “Praised are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who created man and woman in Your image, fashioning woman from man as his mate, that together they might perpetuate life.” It’s a hopeful blessing; one that extends the wish that marriage will bring this new couple the joy and abundance known by the first couple in the Garden of Eden.
I LOVE weddings, even more than love poems and stories of teenagers in love.
How lucky I am to have a week in which I get to enjoy all three!
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE…
I cannot make this assertion with certainty, yet with some confidence I would suggest that The Beatles were right.