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Mazel Tov Haim & Belinda

Rabbi Bernath's perspective from the Chuppah at Haim and Belinda's Chuppah ceremony.

Mazel Tov Haim & Belinda.

Hashem has a plan for us, if we’re brave enough, crazy enough, to follow it.

To follow Hashem.

Belinda you were that person.

You were doing everything “quote-unquote” right.

But for some reason, Belinda, at some point, you decide that it’s not enough.

You leave your job, your family and comfort zone, and travel to Israel. You go to study, and something changes inside of you.

You come back to Montreal, and can’t go back to the corporate world. It doesn’t mean anything to you anymore.

You now want to dedicate yourself to the community, make a difference, impact people’s lives. Even though it doesn’t pay like corporate, you set your eyes on a new highest value in your life. The value of giving back.

For the past 8 months, I, and my colleagues at Chabad NDG, have watched you Belinda selflessly give back by discovering a new talent and passion of yours: matchmaking.

The Talmud in Sotah tells us that since creating the world, Hashem is busy with making matches - and some of them are as hard as splitting the sea. Matchmaking can be hard, thankless work. You have to deal with people’s shtick, endless amounts of shtick - whatever problems they have, the matchmaker is going to have to deal with it. Take the blame when something goes wrong too - and then, there’s the occasional magical moment that makes it all worth it - when you’ve given someone the ultimate gift, a life partner.

Matchmaking is difficult work, but it’s G-d’s work. You don’t choose it, it chooses you, and it chose Belinda. Boy, did it choose her. I’ve never seen anyone stay that focused for that that long in my life.

And then, lo and behold, a fine young gentleman named Haim appears.

Yes, Haim, now it’s your turn…

Haim you are subtle and understated - a truly fine man through and through. You take care of your family, humble, hardworking, not a show-off.

You’ve been patiently looking for your bashert, and now you’ve found her.

Is this all a coincidence?

I’d like to quote for all of you a passage from a book called Hayom Yom. Hayom Yom was written in the 40s by the soon-to-become Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Schneerson who we’re all familiar with. It is a Chassidic calendar of sorts, with important information about every day of the Jewish year. And for every day, the Rebbe also quotes a golden tidbit of Chassidic wisdom from his father-in-law, who was then the reigning Rebbe of Lubavitch.

Haim & Belinda during their Henna

The quote is as follows:

“One of the Alter Rebbe's – the founder of Chabad’s – short teachings from the year 5555 (1795) in Lyozna: "The reward of a mitzva is the mitzva." This means that the mitzva itself, in its ultimate essence-state, is itself the reward. However, this essence will only be revealed in the World to Come. This is the "enduring principal - Keren HaKayemet - of the mitzva." However, man also "eats of its fruits in This World," each mitzva according to its particular nature. When man - or woman - has that particular need connected to that particular mitzva, he or she is answered.”

This quote means that when we give a lot of charity, we’re investing principal into our mitzvah bank account. But it’s like a savings account - we can’t touch that investment until after 120 years or when Moshiach comes. But the investment accrues interest, and that interest is our reward in this world. What is the reward we receive in this world? Whatever the mitzvah itself was. By giving charity, you help your own livelihood. By honoring your parents, you help that others should honor you. And by becoming a matchmaker, it follows logically that you should be rewarded by... receiving your own match.

What a beautiful concept.

By the way, I mentioned that these quotes from the Lubavitcher Rebbes were on a daily agenda, the book Hayom Yom, following the Jewish calendar. Would anyone like to venture a guess, as to the day on which you can find the above quote? The quote that says that the mitzvah you dedicate yourself to is the mitzvah with which you will be rewarded?

You can find it in the entry for the 25th of the month of Iyar, chof hey Iyar, which happens to be TODAY.

You see, Hashem had a plan, he just needed Belinda to be brave enough to follow it, even though it wasn’t what wider society expects from us. You have to be crazy to leave a high-powered job you love to pursue spiritual and communal pursuits… but sometimes, that’s how you can find your own destiny.

Mazal tov to the happy couple, and may you have a binyan adei ad, a long life of many happy years together.

(Haim & Belinda met on

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