I

t was a perfect spring day in June. The temperature was in the lows 80s, and there was a cool breeze coming off the Hudson River. As the sun peacefully set, it served as the perfect backdrop for the chasunah of my son Aryeh to his bashert, Tova.

As my wife and I led our youngest son to the chuppah, a feeling of euphoria came over me that can only be described as ethereal.

I looked up and saw the kallah approaching with her parents. At a prearranged distance, Tova and her parents stopped, and Aryeh descended from the platform, and together the chassan and kallah came under the chuppah. As the kallah began her seven hakafos, my mind relived so many moments in the life of my youngest son.

There were times when his nonconformity to standardized classroom settings and his aversion to allowing his inner creative self to be repressed by the artificially constructed social norms so pervasive nowadays made me wonder if he would ever reach this day.

The holy words of our Sages: “A man who lives by the labor [of his hands] is greater than the one who fears Heaven,” were prophetically written just for Aryeh, as he lives these words every day.

Aryeh is a true chassid of Dovid Hamelech as he practices daily, “If you eat the toil of your hands, you are praiseworthy, and it is good for you — ashrecha v’tov lach” (Tehillim 128:2)

Aryeh worked hard to be successful in real estate management, all the while quietly doing chesed and giving tzedakah in ways few know about.

Hashem blessed me with five sons.

Three out of my four already married sons honored their roshei yeshivah with sidur kiddushin. My second son, Nesanel, honored (at my insistence) his father-in-law Rabbi Yaacov Haber with being mesader kiddushin.

Aryeh was my last unmarried son.

As the realization of my own mortality has grown with age, I wondered if my secret, never revealed nor enunciated dream of officiating at the wedding of one of my own children would ever be fulfilled.

My older sons had already married. My two daughters would most likely be privileged with the rebbeim of their respective chassanim as mesader kiddushin. My final hope rested with my youngest son.

When Aryeh and Tova asked me to be their mesader kiddushin, I was filled with elation and happiness.

As a rabbi, I have had the privilege of being mesader kiddushin for many couples.

As a father — and I never take this for granted — I have been present at the marriage of my four older sons.

Still, I longed for the privilege to be mesader kiddushin for one of my children, as I had done for countless others.

There is an expression, “always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” I was beginning to feel that I was “always the mesader kiddushin but never for my own children.”

Of course, I never mentioned my dream to anyone. Only as my beard whitened was I able to admit to myself this profound desire.

Dreams do come true.

As per the request of the chassan and kallah, at the conclusion of the seven circuits of the kallah circling the chassan, I stood alone under the chuppah with Aryeh and Tova.

Hashem is faithful to His word, as “ashrecha v’tov lach” can be translated as “you shall be happy, and all will be good with you.”

As I held the becher and pronounced the brachah sanctifying the chasunah of my youngest son Aryeh with his wonderful kallah, Tova, I was filled with blissful joy.

Indeed, “I was happy, and all was good.” (Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 719)