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This week’s picture is a reminder that no matter what is happening in the world, there is always room for optimism, happiness, love and new beginnings – and that we can always choose to make lemonade when the universe gives us lemons. 

That’s exactly what Robert M. Beren Yeshivat Machanaim student Nathaniel Tebisl and his bride, Moriya Greenbaum, chose to do this week. Like so many other couples throughout Israel who found their special day affected by the protective social isolation guidelines, they found a beautiful alternative location for their chuppah, which was conducted by Machanaim’s rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Shlomo Vilk.

Rabbi Vilk relates: “When the groom made the blessing ‘Shehehecheyanu veKiyemanu vehigi’anu lazeman hazeh, (Blessed be He who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this time)” I asked him what he would give up about this particular period in time, the coronavirus? The fact that he had to have a sparse makeshift wedding? That they would not be receiving any gifts because there were no guests? The groom’s reply was ‘I wouldn’t give up anything, this is exactly what we needed and all that we needed. We have been blessed to have been granted this life and to have been sustained and enabled to reach this time and to experience all that comes with it.'”

In the past five days, Rabbi Vilk has conducted three such weddings for students beginning their new lives in the shadow of the coronavirus, including the wedding of Yonatan Cytryn, who in his capacity as an IDF tank commander is now in charge of many of the Machanaim yeshiva’s newer military recruits. 

Mazal tov to all the new couples! May Hashem keep them all safe from harm and bring healing to the world. 



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