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.