As we know, Pharaoh refused to let the Jews go from Egypt, whether because G-d hardened his heart for some of the plagues or he just couldn’t bear to see his Jewish slaves free through the final knock-out rounds. Through ten plagues that destroyed Egypt and much of their people, including their first born males in the tenth plague, Pharaoh is intransigent and suffers the terrible consequences….Aside from Pharaoh, perhaps the second most stubborn individual in the Torah is Bilam, who was asked by Balak, the king of Moav, to curse the Jews….even though each and every time, G-d instead blessed them.
In both cases, it is clear that no individual, whether a king or a prophet, can go against that which G-d has decreed!
The lesson is clear: it is best to try to see what direction G-d is leading us forward in and to follow Him all the way, not only because that is the path of least resistance, but because that is what we are meant to do and where we are meant to go in our lives.
Sukkot is the Jewish Festival of Shelter and of Ingathering.
In these challenging times of coronavirus and before this eventful election, more than usual, we need G-d’s blessings to shelter and protect us, and to bless both the United States of America and the State of Israel that they should be safe for all of us and that the “ingathering” be not only of the harvest, but of all the exiles from the four corners of the earth to G-d’s Promised Land for the final redemption.
Blessed are you, Hashem our G-d, Sovereign of all, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.
Let me express today my complete joy and thanksgiving to G-d for bringing us to this sacred time, when we join the handsome chasan, Naftali (Nafi) Meles to my beautiful daughter, Michelle (Minna) Blumenthal.
I was blessed with my wife Dossy to have two absolutely beautiful and incredible daughters, Minna and Rebecca. All three of these women are the loves of my life and the apples of my eyes. They are beautiful outside of countenance and most importantly, inside in their neshamas (souls).
Now as well I must thank the Almighty for blessing me with two amazing sons, both after my namesake. My Hebrew name is Abraham Naftali, and 3 years ago we were blessed to have Itzchak from Israel come into our lives and marry my daughter, Rebecca and become a son unto me. If you remember in the Torah, Itzchak was the son of Avraham and also he married Rivkah (Rebecca).
And again, today, Hashem has shown me his blessings and mercy and brought Naftali into our lives to marry our daughter, Minna. My middle name is Naftali and again, I welcome my namesake Naftali Meles into our family as my second son.
So truly I am blessed and have so much to be grateful for, bli ayin harah, with now 2 lovely daughters and 2 wonderful sons.
Both Minna and Nafi are the mezinkahs, Minna in our family, the Blumenthals, and Naftali in the Meles family—the last child of each of our families to be married off, so this is a great and truly joyous occasion.
I want to tell you a little about Minna and Nafi today.
Minna is an incredible young woman. She is a deeply religious person with a heart of gold, who always looks to do right by Hashem and others. Minna is also thank G-d celebrating the completion of her Master’s Degree in Communications just a few months ago, in June, from Georgetown University and she has been working for Homeland Security, since she was just 16 years old. She has brought us so much nachas and please G-d this is just the beginning for many more accomplishments in her life.
Nafi, who I have come to know this last year, is an incredible young man. Nafi is a wonderful Jew who learns weekly with a Torah partner, and is dedicated to making a wonderful Jewish home with Minna. Just last month Nafi completed a highly prestigious internship with the Department of Defense, and is moving forward, please G-d, with his career ambitions as a permanent government employee and rising star. As many of you know, Nafi is also an accomplished drummer and he comes to us in Rockville with drum set and all. I think eventually they’ll need a bigger apartment.
Minna and Nafi are joining together today to build with G-d help a bayit ne’aman B’Yisrael, a lasting house in Israel. They have a wonderful love and understanding for each other and with Hashem as the 3rd partner in their marriage, I am confident they will be very successful in building their home and family.
I want to take the opportunity to thank the Meles family for having such a wonderful son as Nafi to share with Minna and us, and for joining our families together. I pray that Hashem will bless this beautiful loving couple with many, many years of health, joy, parnasa, and peace! And of course grandchildren for all of us! Amen!
I also want to thank each and every one of you for joining in our simcha today. Unfortunately Covid has limited the quantity of the attendees, but it allowed us to focus on the quality instead! Please G-d many more simchas with all of you in the future!
Every little thing that Hashem provides for us is truly a big deal. It’s so easy to become complacent, arrogant, and overconfident in all that we have today. But if we just remember that without every little thing we have, we could be in some big, big trouble tomorrow.
Our bodies, minds, and spirit can be strong, but without the ingredients we need to survive, we are all just dust and ashes. Before the High Holidays, when we ask Hashem to forgive us, and we try to make amends, and pray for a good New Year, now is a great time to appreciate every little thing!