On Marrying Off a Daughter

Three weeks ago my wife and I reached a new milestone. Our eldest child was married. I had always pictured that I’d be like Steve Martin in “Father of the Bride” when this time arrived; nervous, sad about “losing” my daughter, and suspicious of this new person taking her away. In reality I felt none of these emotions. I truly feel like I’ve gained a son and not that I’ve lost a daughter.

While I didn’t have a lot of the “Father of the Bride” type emotions, I did feel a sense of relief and pride. As a BT raising a frum child I often worried if I was going to be able to get this “religion thing” passed on to future generations. As my children got older and I saw them developing strong, and unique, religious sensibilities of their own this concern of mine definitely waned. Still, seeing my daughter, at this stage of independence, covering her hair, studying and implementing the laws of taharat hamischpacha, and setting up a kosher home I felt a strong sense of accomplishment.

As a BT I had the additional concern of worrying how I would be perceived and accepted by an FFB son-in-law and his parents, if they too were FFBs. Well, not only are my new son-in-law’s parents FFB, but his father is a renowned headmaster of a large Yeshiva and his grandfather is a streimel-wearing Chassid! We are very fortunate, because if our being baalei teshuva was an issue for our new mechutanim it was certainly not apparent during the 5 weeks they spent here in Israel prior to the wedding.

We thank Hashem that everything went so smoothly; from how the couple met (Yes, they actually met each other in the Old City of Jerusalem. It’s a great Hashgacha Pratis story. (You can see it on Only Simchas in my son-in-law’s own words.) to the comfort we feel with our new son-in-law and his parents. We consider it a big Z’chus to have been able to celebrate the marriage of our daughter in Jerusalem so soon after making Aliyah.

22 comments on “On Marrying Off a Daughter

  1. Thank you everyone for the good wishes. The bris was this morning and his name is Donniel Moshe. May we all continue to share Simchas!

    (If you are really bored there are more pictures at http://www.lipkinfamily.com. And Steve, my e-mail address is there if you want to talk “shop”. -msl-)

  2. Mazel Tov!! It must be so exciting to see your family expanding! A cousin of ours, shortly after becoming a grandmother for the first time, saw a pillow at a flea market embroidered “if I knew how good being a grandparent was, I would have cut out the middleman”.

    Enjoy your family, and wishing you much nachas from all.

  3. Your daugter and son-in-law look like they are about 16. So who’s the real religious fanatic? :-)

    Mazal tov!

  4. Of course once you marry off a child there is always the possibility that you’ll become a grandparent sooner or later!

    Well it’s sooner, Baruch Hashem, and I happily announce that yesterday my daughter and son-in-law had a beautiful baby boy.

    I’m planning to go by the name “Saba” (grandpa in Hebrew) as it doesn’t sound quite so old. Which is important since I’m way too young to be a grandfather. Actually, I’m ok with being a grandfather. It’s being married to a grandma that’s really weird!!!

    I posted some pictures of the kid on my web site, http://www.lipkinfamily.com.

  5. Thanks to everyone for the warm wishes.

    Steve,this daughter made it quite easy. She found her chatan herself and fortunately his parents were very easy to deal with.

    Stay tuned, my next daughter will be going a more “yeshivish” route, which could prove more challenging.

  6. Your experience is a beautiful inspiration. A big Mazel Tov to your entire family. Your chasan’s family must be very special as well. Here’s hoping we all merit to marry off our children in simcha, shalom and naches.

  7. What a wonderful, heartwarming story. Mazal Tov to you and may we all be zoche to have such nachas from our children!!!!

  8. Fishel – I did mean Bnos BT – Ben FFB

    I agree that the labels and artificial group forming is often divisive.

    This blog is primarily intended for people who were not Torah Observant and now are. When we reference this group, what do you think we should call it?

    We have a great post coming up tomorrow which addresses this issue.

  9. Firstly, I hope Mark meant Bnos – Ben. We don’t condone same sex marriages in this religion.

    Secondly, Menachem, having gone through that myself a few years back (my first child married was my daughter as well), also to an FFB, I accept NO credit. It was a deal my wife apparently worked out with HaKodesh Boruch Hu, cause I would have just screwed it up.

    Btw, I so dislike the BT/FFB labels. Althogh my wife and I are both BT’s and all our kids are FFB’s, why perpetuate the differences? I must admit, I’m not a reader of this blog going way back in its history, and you may have addressed this issue, but, it seems to accentuate different backgrounds that usually are meant in a negative sense.

  10. Mazal Tov Menachem. May you Bnos BT – Bnos FFB wedding be a sign of the joy we can achieve when we focus on where people are heading and not just where they came from.

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