Mark-Thanks for the wonderful update! We were so happy that so many people who have shared a role in our Avodas HaShem participated in our simcha.Although thanks to the construction on the BQE we got home very late and we are running on a lot of post Chasunah adrenaline ( and coffee) , I am constantly replaying the entire evening. It felt sort of surreal as we greeted guests before the start of the Kabbalas Panim and Tish. After we took our pictures, my mchutan and I went upstairs to the Tish. At that point, I felt that I had been hit by a proverbial ton of bricks. All of the planning, etc seems otherworldy, especially when your wife and machantenesta do all of the planning, until you sit down with your mchutan, your son or son in law the Msader Kiddushin and the guests. Once my dear wife and my mchatenesata broke the dish, our escorting the chasan for the Bdeken, our brachos and the walking into the Chupah were just as spiritually uplifting and awesome an event that I have ever experienced. When Chazal spoke of the importance of the mitzvas simchas chasan vkallah, there is no doubt that they were not exaggerating in any way, shape or form. As Mark pointed out so beautifully, the atmosphere was enhanced by the presence of so many RY from RIETS, chaverim of the chasan, Torah pioneers in Queens such as R F Schonfeld and R J Grunblatt as well as the special Ahavas HaTorah and Chasivus HaTorah of the chasan and kallah who arranged for the publication of a Kuntres of Divrei Torah L Zecher Nishmas R F Wagner ZTL, the rav of the YIFH , a talmid chacham and a rebbe of both the chasan and kallah.
It was a special zchus to have both RHS and R Stolper , who are the two most prominent influences on me for Msader Kiddushin and the Brachah Achritah. R Stolper’s amazing drashos and ability to show me the relevance and beauty of Shabbos, etc were and are a major hashkafic influence on me.R Stolper was one of the earliest pioneers in kiruv long before it was fashionable to think about it within the Orthodox world (except for Chabad) and was encouraged to stay there when the future was nowhere as promising as it is today by his rebbe and RY R Hutner ZTL. Despite much skepticism within all sectors of Orthodoxy, R Stolper travelled the breadth of North America to create a national movement of teenagers who were interested in exploring Torah, Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim.As a teenager back in the late 60s and early 70s, the most formative events as a BT were the NCSY Shabbatonim and National Conventions. FYI, R Stolper also had the Brachah Achritah at our chasunah 28 years ago.
RHS undoubtedly has had the major influence as a rebbe on our entire family along with many of his talmidim. It is not a matter of coincidence that when I was unable to attend RHS’s shiur, that my mchutan started attending, that our son in law attended NCSY’s Camp Sports and Kollel programs prior to attending Yeshivas Orh Yerushalayim.
May we all be zoche to share many simchos and a Ksivah vChasimah Tovah.