First posted on The Times of Israel at: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/shmini-scheduling-joy/
Netziv Leviticus: Shmini
“Tranquil pleasures last the longest; we are not fitted to bear the burden of great joys.” – Nevell Bovee
Weddings are generally happy events. The bride, groom and their families prepare for months, investing great time and money to ensure that every garment, dish, flower, tablecloth and picture will be to their and their guests’ liking.
There is joy, dancing and merriment. It is thought to be among the happiest moments of the couple’s life. The Netziv on Leviticus 9:1 throws cold water on that concept. He comes to his conclusion from the Jewish experience upon receiving God’s law.
When the Jewish people receive the Torah on Mount Sinai, there is fire, lightning, trumpet blasts – a bright and loud show. Only when the Tablets that Moses brought from Sinai are placed in their permanent home, in the Tabernacle, do we see the Jewish nation celebrating and feasting.
The Netziv compares the event at Mount Sinai to the wedding night. There is excitement, perhaps even giddiness, but the bride and groom are too nervous, too anxious to truly experience joy. When the Tablets are placed in the Tabernacle is when the bride and groom come home. Only at home can they truly celebrate. Only at home can they truly experience a serious, tranquil, long-lasting joy.
May joy always be a part of our lives.
To those that invest time and money in after the wedding.