“Ribbono shel Olam (Master of the Universe), I am nothing without You and the gifts with which You grace my life. I cannot honor another and can only turn to You. Use me as a vehicle for the blessings of others, and I shall be grateful for the opportunity to serve.”
The ritual of a marriage is not simply a social event: it is a crossing of threads in the fabric of fate. Many strands bring the couple and their families together and spin their lives into a fabric that is woven on in their children. The interweaving of human fate is part of the cosmic curtain of destiny that hangs before the Throne of Heaven. All meetings and marryings are ordained to accomplish particular ends or prepare the way for others. (Nuptial ceremony of the Portuguese Jews from Ceremonies et cootumes religieuses … by B. Picart, 1733.)
The diverse names of God revealed three periods of human history. First was the “natural period,” characterized by God’s revelation to the patriarchs as Shaddai (SnDY), God of Might. Secondly, in the period of the Torah (Instructions), God communicated to Moses as YHVH, the Tetragrammaton. The third the period of grace, during which the letter shin (Sn), representing Logos (the word of Christ), was added to the Tetragrammaton to form YHSnVH, Yehoshua, or Jesus. Whereas God revealed as YHVH was ineffable and unpronounceable, Jesus represented the coming of an accessible and knowable Deity, whose name could be spoken.
The greatest art of all is the art of living ——- and the best preparation for the art of living is the cultivated heart. The cultivated heart is in the human being who knows and appreciates our heritage and our history; who can absorb and understand and translate this understanding into action in the present and also into action for tomorrow.