There was a wedding this week in Toronto -- apparently a beautiful one from the looks of it on onlysimchas.com. It was certainly a very beautiful bride and a handsome groom.
The bride wore an extra-heavy veil on top of her own, truly not seeing her way down the aisle, and being lovingly guided by her parents.
The groom wore not a suit, but a silk bekeshe, and his black hat sitting elegantly atop his head.
This is perhaps not such a special couple -- they are typical types in the frum world. I have no idea as to how they met, who the shadchan might have been, how long the courtship was before an engagement was announced.
I think the couple might not be so special, but certainly their parents are. These people are products of Aish HaTorah, having come up the ranks, so to speak, in their Yiddishkeit with the help of the wonderful organization.
I remember well over 20 years ago when I attended an Aish-sponsored lecture in Toronto, with the guest speaker, Elie Wiesel. But of course before the main speaker, there were several others, one who was this bride's mother. She spoke of what impact Aish HaTorah had had on her life, having gone from being a bagels-and-cream-cheese-Sunday brunch type of Jew to one who began to follow the mitzvot and found meaning in them. This was a girl who'd gone to my public high school when I left the day school system, and was in my year, if not in my classes. I didn't know anything of her then, but I certainly learned about her that night at the lecture.
I remember seeing her, as well, in my shul countless years ago, when she was still in a learning mode. She had a fervor about her, but consulted with other shul goers about where to find the pages in the chumash or siddur; she was being given small tips re. bending, bowing, walking three steps backwards then forwards when davening.
She certainly has come so far, as has her husband. They certainly are frummer than I am, and look and dress the part better than I ever could. To think that just 20 some years ago, this couple were basic, traditional Jews and are now very frum Jews raising a large family is a beautiful thing to watch, and certainly a beautiful thing to have aspired to.
I'm sure that the bride's parents extracted postive aspects of their own Jewish traditional familiar life, with which to move into their future of frumkeit, and the bride herself has taken postive aspects of her frum past with which to move into her future as a wife...and G-d willing, later a mother.
Yichus/pedigree shouldn't always have to mean that your ancestors had to be rabbis and great scholars; they could have been simple people who took it upon themselves to take their Yiddishkeit a step or many steps further, as this bride's parents did. That, in itself, is a most beautiful yichus.
Mazel tov to the bride and groom, and to both sets of parents. May the young couple be zoche to build a bayyit ne'eman b'Yisrael.