My future husband is loving and touching and endearing and sweet. He's thoughtful, determined, kind and encouraging. He relates to God as though God were his eternal bride, much as the Rav speaks of his own romance with the Creator. His words are laden with sincerity. He's genuine and real and when he speaks, he means what he says. He has never lied to me. He has never broken his word. He cares deeply about God, about me and about us. There is a depth and a quality to his caring that is remarkable. It strengthens and emboldens me. I feel empowered because of him and because of his belief in me. It reminds me a little of the scene in "Finding Neverland" where everyone is urged to assert: "I do believe in fairies- I do- I do!" and to clap loudly in order to ensure that Tinkerbell survives. There are some people who never become what they truly are unless they are believed in, for that belief is the blood that flows through their veins, the elixir that strengthens them and allows the pink flush of health to warm their cheeks. I am such a person.
He is also playful. I am playful, too. The two of us have raced each other across opposite Moving Walkways in O'Hare International Airport, gotten stuck in an elevator together at the Marriott Hotel, lain on a blanket of grass underneath a starry night sky and sipped wine from champagne flutes, driven to Connecticut to observe a shechita, had water-fights with hoses in industrial-sized kitchens (Camp Stone's kitchen, to be precise), tried on lots of different wigs (ranging from rocker to bright pink to orange) in Abracadabra, eaten dinner and sipped Cokes on open rooftops, taken a tour of Pomegranate at 10PM, accidentally ended up in Queens one evening and purchased ice cream from Max & Mina's, have eaten Shabbat meals consisting mainly of cookies, have attended segregated Shabbat meals where we spoke with our eyes across a very long table, challenged one another to rhyming duels, avidly defended our interpretations of films, wandered through Barnes and Noble and Macy's while he's wearing a hat and bekishe, include double entendres and special meanings in nearly every conversation while suppressing the urge to break into hearty laughter, walked through Fort Tryon park together and so on and so forth.
He has many tones. I like the way his voice unconsciously sweetens when he speaks Yiddish to his younger siblings; he doesn't even realize it. He's made a habit of locating various and sundry chocolatiers in an effort to ply me with every single type of chocolate known to man (he likes to give me gifts for no reason) and a wicked twinkle comes into his eye when he stoutly informs me that he has a "surprise for me" (it's a book from my favorite series).
Well-meaning people used to call me to ask what I was looking for in a husband. At first I was flummoxed by the question- I couldn't describe what I was looking for because I was interested in so many different types of people! But at some point I came up with an answer (and it was my stock answer) and it went like so:
"In Bereishis, when Avraham sends Eliezer to look for a bride for Yitzchak, Eliezer asks for a sign. The sign should be that when Eliezer asks a maiden to allow him to drink, she not only gives him water but also waters his camels. Now, why was that an identifying sign? Because it shows Rivka's kindness. She was kind, not only to a stranger, a wayfarer, but also to his beasts of burden, who were also tired and thirsty. So we see in the Torah itself that the quality that one should look for in a partner is kindness. The most important thing to me is that he should be kind. Kind, honest, loyal and truthful- but most of all kind."
And that is the essence of Heshy. If Heshy is your friend, he will give you of his time, his money and his devotion without qualms- because to him, friendship is a sacred bond of the spirit. He is utterly loyal. And he is also very kind. Heshy's perception of the world and of people is that it is a world of growth. It is our job to grow, to work on ourselves, create ourselves and recreate ourselves so that we grow and become better people. He is very realistic about his expectations. He doesn't expect himself or those he cares for to change overnight. He realizes that to grow takes work, hard work, and effort and skill. People must want to change and change happens gradually. Heshy rejoices in this rather than feeling frustrated by it. To him it is a marvel, just as all of God's creations- and His world- is a marvel. When Heshy walks outside, he sees a beautiful world: one that is full of potential.
At the same time, Heshy has a very strong attribute of justice. He deals with people as they have dealt with him. Measure for measure and middah kneged middah resonate strongly with him. His personality is such that he could officiate over disputes- he is not swayed by emotions but rules via logic. To him, justice and righteousness are synonymous. You may love someone very much, but that does not make them correct. It's interesting that the same lips can speak words that act as paintbrushes, creating the markers and streetlines that one sees on the pavement, borders and boundaries. Out of his lips come these yellow and white painted markings on the black concrete...and then, light words that sparkle also come from his mouth. It only depends on his focus at that moment in time.
My future husband has been handed equal measures of sweetness and justice and he must determine which quality is correct according to the time. The seat of power is the tongue and all that it expresses.
I feel lucky that God bound me to a man who is so understanding. It's unique for one and the same person to be logical, kind, playful and loving. He balances me when I am caught up in dreams I never realize by pointing out that the mundane practicalities of life are important and, alongside him, could even be made fun. I love his complexity and the secret parts of his personality, the depth that is hinted to but never fully realized. I admire his ability to comprehend my attraction to darkness and to validate how I feel even if he disagrees. There is in Heshy a boundless ability to give. All the stars spinning throughout the milky way, the vastness of the known universe, the ineffable nature of God- none of these metaphors could express how much he is willing to give and how deeply he cares for others.
Which is why I'm lucky: because he's my destiny.