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11: Mistakes

07/19/2019 03:00:00 PM


Having officiated a lot of them in 20 years, I can tell you that weddings are a time of tremendous joy.

And, now and again, they’re a time for a Rabbi to make a mistake.

I once was in traffic for four hours, and arrived super-late in such a schvitzy state that it took me forever to relax. 

I once picked up a Chassan on my shoulders, and injured him.

I once picked up a Chassan on my shoulders, and injured myself. 

I once said a D’var Torah, for which the words were translated literally from Hebrew to English, and they were words that made everybody blush. 

I once messed up writing on a Ketubah without bringing a backup copy.

Yet, somehow, it always worked out in the end.

My favourite experience was the time at the end of the Chuppah when I gave one last message to the couple, and called the Kallah by her sister’s name. 

(I happened to be looking at the sister while I was talking, and I’d also recently performed her wedding—so, that was the name on my tongue.) 

The whole hall quickly corrected me, and my faux pas was joked about during most of the speeches. 

Still, even though I wanted to put my head in the sand, another Rabbi in the room said that he was jealous of me. 

“HaShem has just given you an opportunity to feel ashamed,” he said.

“Understand why you had these feelings—and how much shame we will get from the One Above when it really counts, when you really deserve it.

“The more shame you can capture in the world, the more you can cleanse yourself before this journey is over.

“Don't look for shame. But, if it finds you, then embrace it big time.”

Since then, I’ve taken a more spiritual outlook when it comes to my mistakes. 

And I hope that you can do the same for yours. 

Sat, May 25 2024 17 Iyyar 5784