As we continue to probe the lessons from the salt covenant, we now inquire into our part in the covenant.
For years, when I visited my father-in-law's home in Jerusalem on the Sabbath, we would break bread and bless the bread with the traditional blessing – "Baruch Ata Adonai Eleheynu Melech HaOlam Ha-Motzi Lechem Min Ha'aretz" – which translated means,"Blessed are You Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has given us bread from the earth". After the blessing, my father-in-law would take salt and sprinkle the challah bread as he broke and passed it to everyone at the table.
In Israel, couples are married beneath a "huppah", which is a beautiful canopy under which the ceremony takes place. The word "huppah" means "covering" but also, a "chamber" or "marriage room". So the canopy is a reminder that the marriage chamber is the most important room in the house for a husband and wife because it's the most intimate room. The huppah emphasizes marital intimacy and reminds us that even if we have the most luxurious mansion in the world, neglecting the place of intimacy spells deep trouble for our marriage.
One minister tells of a wife who came into his office full of hatred toward her husband. "I do not only want to get rid of him, I want to get even! Before I divorce him, I want to hurt him as much as he has hurt me!"
Here's another interesting Hebrew word parallel. The Hebrew word for "love" or "affection", "chiba", is formed by the same root letters as the word, "chova", "obligation", "debt", or "duty". In Hebrew, the only difference between these two words is a few vowel points. But you say, "Isn't love the very opposite of obligation !?" Well, yes and no. The Hebrew language has a wonderful way of relating concepts which seem incompatible.
If you are not familiar with Jewish tradition, this is fascinating. There are two principle figures in the ancient Hebrew marriage. The "Khatan" is the Bridegroom and the "Almah" is the virgin who becomes the bride. Almah also means the veiled one, the one who keeps herself hidden…
In his book, A Spiritual Clinic, J. Oswald Sanders wrote about the lasting family legacies of two families from New York.
In a traditional Jewish marriage, a contract known as the 'ketubah',(which means 'that which is written', in Hebrew) is signed be both the bride and groom. Originally, it included the price of the bride, the promises that the groom must keep and the rights to which the bride is entitled.
I've known my wife for almost thirteen years and it would seem that I know her pretty well. But every once in a while, she says or does something that surprises me — and I think to myself "Wow, I guess I didn't know her as well as I thought!" The more time I spend with her, the more I get to know her — her heart, her character — the more we become intimate.
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Have you ever noticed that when people are in love, they tend to forget everything else? Everything becomes secondary — cars, houses, money — nothing […]
Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. After our very small wedding in Jerusalem, my wife and I planned to have the big ceremony she'd always dreamed of, in Havre De Grace, Maryland. Rivka had it planned it to the tee. It […]
2 Corinthians 4:8-10 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. I cannot […]
Phillipians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. For those of you who didn't get that title, it's a well known children's Suzuki violin rhythm. Not long ago, I came across an old issue of Homemade, where Dr. Ernest Mellor writes […]
Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. The faithful man of God that led my wife to the Lord is here from America with us this week and it's such a blessing to have […]