Greetings from Rabbi Morris J. Allen

“Mitzvah Gedola lihiyot b’simcha tamid – it is a great Mitzvah to be filled with joy continually.”

On behalf of Beth Jacob Congregation, I want to say to each of you Mazel Tov on your upcoming Simcha. This is a most exciting time for you, your family, and indeed for the Jewish community. As you look through this guide you will come to appreciate that while the two of you are at the center of drama indeed this is a moment of great meaning for your families, for your friends, and for us as a community.

If you have not already contacted the shul regarding your upcoming Simcha please do right away. After you have reached Sean Murphy you can contact me via email, or through the office (651-452-2226). I look forward to meeting with the two of you, and discussing the importance of this moment in your lives to ensure that the sacred is always present in the midst of festive celebration.

Before you address all of the wonderful ways that Judaism celebrates this moment let me just suggest a physical lesson for you—what I think of as the “Physics of Wedding Planning.” You will fill the time you have to plan the wedding. In other words, if you are planning to be married in six months the wedding planning will take six months. If you are planning a wedding in a year, you will fill that time as well. It will be a special time regardless of the time between today and your wedding. Enjoy the time! Read this guide with an attentive eye, begin to think about the meaning your wedding ceremony will have in defining the values of your marriage, and most of all celebrate with one another that you are fulfilling one of God’s greatest dreams for us-that we find another with whom to partner.

The proper Hebrew expression of joy upon hearing this news is “B’sha’a Tova,” which literally means at the “good hour,” meaning that this is indeed the time to be planning this wonderful event in your life, and it should be filled with many good hours of preparation. I look forward to meeting with you and please be in touch at your earliest convenience.

May you be privileged to be filled with joy continually, and may this guide help to make that possible.

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