Four years ago, a kind and thoughtful blogger wrote a flattering review of my efforts on this blog. He linked my site to his. I was seventeen. Little did I know that the stage had just been set for my impending happiness. For in 2009, a singularly interesting person happened upon that kind and thoughtful blogger's webpage and found that rather overly complimentary post about me. Curious, he clicked to my blog, and intrigued, he began to read.
He read for a while without writing to me, fascinated to find that despite the differences in our respective backgrounds- mine, that of a Chicagoan Jewess who upheld the ideals of Yeshiva University, that institution which is known for its staunch belief in Zionism and Torah U'Madda, and his, that of a Hasid raised in Boro Park who was instructed in Fear of God and the primacy of Torah learning, our value systems and beliefs appeared to be on common ground. Externally, we probably couldn't be more different, but in terms of the people we were inside- well, there there was no distinction.
One day he wrote to me, and as I have done with many others before, I decided to meet him. He was fascinating. Born into a community that prides itself upon being insular, he had ventured beyond it while remaining true to its ideals. A Hasid, in his view, should be joyous, spiritually involved with God, truth-seeking and otherwise open to different ways to serve Him. And he was all these things. The mixture between curiosity, exploration and pride in his particular heritage made him unique. It would have been easy to simply determine that the lifestyle he had been given was flawed and therefore decide to do away with it completely. But he wears his hat and jacket/langeh rekel with pride, takes pleasure in explaining his background and its philosophical reasoning to others and works on himself without falling prey to simply excoriating all those who differ from him.
Which leads us to April 26, 2010, the day upon which our beloved protagonist asked me to marry him.
He did it brilliantly. I've always been Belle, as the longtime readers of this blog can attest, and he is very aware of it. There is a pivotal scene in the Disney rendition of "Beauty and the Beast" where the Beast has determined that he desires to give something precious to Belle. Cogsworth and Lumiere suggest flowers and chocolates but the Beast finally determines to offer Belle his library- a place which will fascinate and fulfill her. This is the scene in question:
After scouring New York for various places that would suit me or wherein he could propose, his efforts were rewarded. He decided to recreate that scene from "Beauty and the Beast", renting out the breathtaking and grand Astor Hall in the New York Public Library, replete with medieval gothic candelabras and otherwise elegant ambience. The physical beauty of the hall is reminiscent of the style in which fairytales appear, and the fact that it is a library makes the parallel to "Beauty and the Beast" all the more prominent.
(Here's a picture of Astor Hall taken from the New York Public Library website:
Aside from ensuring that the ambience and decor were in accord with my Fairy Queen nature, he also knew that my favorite flowers in the world are roses. So he hunted down the most beautiful, gorgeous, deep dark red longstemmed roses and when he led me inside (after telling me to close my eyes, in keeping with the scene), I opened up a box which revealed them:
And thus it was that in the midst of this spacious, grand, elegant, breathtaking hall, lit by candelabras and inlaid with beautiful patterns, my true love proposed to me. He spoke of many beautiful things, then asked me to marry him and offered me the ring (which is exquisite). And I said yes. And I was happy and there were pictures and then we danced off to Abigael's and inhaled a sumptuous meal with various delicacies in the style of "Be My Guest." And made lots of phone calls.
This entire situation fills me with a sense of appreciation that borders upon wonder. Consider how many things had to fall into place so that everything could work out just so to ensure that I would meet him. My love story was set into motion when I was 17, totally unbeknownst to me, through the kindness of a person who decided to write something sweet about me. He certainly did not know the impact his words could have. It is also amazing that the people I met during the course of my time at Stern and Revel were those who enabled me to understand, appreciate and properly comprehend the various fantastic qualities that my fiancé possesses. There are many more details which I choose not to discuss in this forum, but suffice it to say that the hand of God is evident in this match, as it is impossible for myself and my future husband to have existed under any but the most perfectly orchestrated play constructed by God.
It is similar to the life story of a diamond ring. A diamond may originate as a piece of carbon, and only through many trials and ordeals is it formed into its sparkling essence, heated in the fiery furnace until it radiates light. Yet a diamond alone is of no value. A diamond must exist within a setting, within the ring that gives it form and shape. Without its setting, a diamond is beautiful, but feels lonely; the setting, while also possessing a lovely form, feels purposeless. When they unite, they abandon loneliness in pursuit of a happy togetherness and achieve their purpose. And perhaps it is precisely because of this that it is that symbol of regard which one generally bestows upon one's future wife.
So I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the incredible and awesome power of God, who arranged details in ways I could never have envisioned, and also thank the many people who were a part of this, whether their roles were small or large. To those who have influenced me in various ways and whom I have loved, you are wonderful friends and mentors and I have gained much from you. You have enabled me to be the person who could marry someone as remarkable and unusual as my future husband is. And to he who found it within himself to write some words of praise and create a gateway, I think you should be aware that God clearly sees that you are a very special person, for it is only special people whom God uses as gateways and vessels. It's akin to the prophets, in fact. And for those who encouraged me to see past the externals that blinded me, I also offer thanks.
It is a rare and lovely day when one can see clearly their moment in the tapestry that God has been weaving, and such moments afford a mental clarity and beauty that offers inspiration and hope, which is our gift to all of you. I feel blessed and lucky and am well aware that there are many others who still wish to find their happiness or desire to achieve success. May God bless you as He has blessed me; it is my wish that you too find your moment in the tapestry.
With wishes for the continued health, success, personal growth, happiness, fulfillment and felicity for all of you, we remain,
The Hasid and the Fairy Queen
We are so THRILLED for you! Mazel tov!!! What an incredible account of a magical experience! Wishing you heaps of mazel, bracha, and joy from all of us!
Chana, what an amazing story!
Mazel tov to you and your hasid! Wishing you both happiness . What a combo! Wow!!!!
Hey Chana, mazel tov! Chicago Jewish Community was buzzing with this great news last night. Well, your parents did a great job nurturing spiritualiy and all else that counts ,quite frankly-in you and the rest of your sibs. What fantastic news! Wishing you and your chasan happiness and fulfilment of your dreams!
This is some news!
Mazel and bracha to you both! I always wondered who you would marry....,so many guys and all. Glad you are happy!
~ A secret admirer....I guess no more.
I'm so excited for you Chana!! Mazel Tov!!
What a beautiful story... a real-life fairytale. We're so happy for you!!!
Are you going to tell us who the blogger was?
Ah....,the news I've been waiting for. Congrats, dear one!
Once upon a time you met & shared much love & laughter
May your Engagement continue the fairy tale Happy Ever After!
What a magical story!
Very happy for you and your Hasid. I bet you he is even more special than you describe him to be. But then again, anyone who knows you is perfectly aware of your long search for Mr Right. And here he is!
azel tov and lots of brachas for a great future together!
Mazal tov! What a perfect proposal for you!
Mazal Tov!! That's wonderful news!!
May the two of you be eternally happy together and build a bayis ne'eman b'yisroel.
Beautiful story. I love how the good news was revealed in story form.
I'm happy for you Chana and just a little bit sad for me. I had the pleasure of meeting you, but you decided that we can only be friends. All is well, not to worry.
You'll make a fantastic wife! I wish you and your Hasid loads of happiness together. Mazel tov to both of you!
Congrats to the Hasid and the Fairy Queen on their magical engagement! May you be blessed with a good life together!
true beauty is acknowledging that true beauty is G-d
Chana you are beautiful!
many more simchas!
you should build an everlasting edifice amongst the Jewish people!
As an occasional reader both here and elsewhere, I have been moved by your story many times. Even when I have disagreed with you wrote, I have always respected your passion and integrity. That your story should end up at this place seems both magical and not the least bit surprising. For those of us who are hopeless romantics, it is nice to see that sometimes fairy tales do come true. Mazel Tov
Mazal Tov, Mazal Tov! Outstanding! חסדי ה
The Faerie Queene's knight has at long last succeeded in his quest!
May you be zocheh to build a home of toras chaim and ahavas chesed and continue to build klal yisrael through your unique and much needed gifts, especially your storytelling.
May your life together continue with beauty and sweetness!
When's the blogging engagement party? I have my costume ready.
hahaha i guess that "yeshiva bochur" (who asked you to marry him on the eve of ur b-day masquerade)'s wish came true!! :) mazal tov, i am so fortunate you are my sister! :) ;) you both should enjoy only health, wealth, and most importantly- love- and IY"H build a blossoming bayis ne'eman biyisroel! i love you so much!
i should add that i don't think this chasid was necessarily the "yeshiva bochur" on ur b-day masquerade post, but either way, it came true, so that was a rather fitting present! :)
Congrats. Wow, that’s an incredible story! Who’d a thunk? May you be zoche to build a bayis ne'eman b'yisroel. Mazel Tov!
Wow! Mazal Tov!!! I had no idea this was in the works (though by twist of fate, I'm always the last to know anything about anyone for some reason), but I must say how I am absolutely overflowing with happiness for y'all. Such unexected (are these things ever expected?), yet very welcome good news!!! This is just such fantastic, heart warming news that my reaction really can't be expressed in words! And, as many have already commented, your delivery of the announcement was impeccable and utterly engaging (pun intended).
May y'all be zoche to build a bayis ne'eman b'yisrael with only bracha and hatzlacha in both the ruchniyus and gashmiyus in all areas of your lives together.
I have always said that I expect great things from you, and now that you have finally found your other half, I am very much looking forward to the things y'all will accomplish as a spiritually imbued, inspirational unit. I am certain that y'all will be a wonderful source of nachas for family, friends, and all of klal yisrael!
Down to eyes tichel?
Chana, you are an amazing person, no doubt about it.
A huge Mazal Tov to you both! May you have the most wonderful things in life together!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous April 27, 2010 4:02 PM:
Down to eyes tichel?
Your comment is entertaining. I'm sure The Hasid and the Fairy Queen will find it amuzing.
One of the things I first liked about this blog is that it wrote positively about the RW world, while it's author was educationally rooted in the YU world. I thought this was important because it was a factor in increasing online harmony to whatever extent such writings could have an effect; however I now see that appreciating the benefits of others can lead to benfits it more ways than one!
Mazal tov and much hatzlacha to you and your chasan !
Mazel tov, Chana!!! I'm so happy for you!
Mazel tov to you and your chasan! I hope you'll continue to write amazing and informative posts. I love reading your blog.
Mazal Tov (again) to the future Mrs. Hasid!
I thought you'd like to know that I shared your post with "The Girls" at my workplace--and they were besides themselves with excitement at your story. :)
Mazel tov Chana!! After traveling the most adventorous trail alone, you have finally reached your destination. may you continue to walk down the next part of your life,together with your new partner in much happiness. Mazel Tov!!
That was a truly heartwarming post to read, to see how two souls are brought together, remaining true to themselves and their roots. Beautiful, and I bless you both with nothing but joy, health, success in all your endeavors together ad bli dai.
Mazel tov again!
mazal tov!!! :)
What an amazing story!
Shetizku livnot bayit ne'eman beyisrael, in heath and happiness.
Chana - Mazal Tov! May you and your chosen one build a happy and healthy life together.
ירושלים מסמלת יחוד וזווג של בחינות שונות, של יראה ושלום הרמוזות בשמה ירו-שלם. "ירושלים לא נתחלקה לשבטים", משום שהיא מאחדת בין כולם, היא נקראת "עיר שחוברה לה יחדו", שמחברת בין ירושלים של מעלה ושל מטה, ושעושה כל ישראל חברים זה לזה. ולפי זה מקבל המשל של לזווג חתן וכלה לבונה חורבה מחורבות ירושלים עומק נוסף, שמקום שבו שורה השכינה הוא כוח מאחד נפרדים להיות אחד.
Jameel & co.
Mazal Tov! Mazal Tov! What an amazing experience - may this be only the hallway to a banquet room filled with Torah and love.
Mazal tov!! she tisku la'alot mechayil el chayil!!
May you and your husband-to-be build a בית נאמן בישראל.
(I'll get more details from your dad.)
Mazal tov! May you build a bayit ne'eman b'yisrael, and be blessed with many happy and healthy years together.
Mazal tov! Mazal tov!
MAZAL TOV!!! SO happy for you and for your chosson!
This is just absolutely awesome on so many levels.
Wishing you a lifetime of love and magic together!
Very nice! Mazal Tov.
HOW WONDERFUL !!! MAZAL TOV !!!! MANY MANY HAPPY YEARS AND BLESSINGS AND HATZLACHOT TO YOU BOTH ...
(Heated in the fiery furnace ?? a diamond???? !!! to the best of my knowlege only metals are heated :)
The Friedlander chasidim , Boro Park
OH YEAH BABY!!!!!!!!!
I'm just dying of curiosity, wondering how you two eventually, actually MET.
Wow, what an amazing story!!! Mazal tov! I feel inspired by the entire story. My first reaction was awwwww.
May you be zocheh to build a BNB together! Mazal Tov!!!!!!
Mazal Tov Chana!!! What amazing news!!! May you build a Binyan Adai Ad!!!
oh, and i also want to meet him, he sounds absolutely fascinating!!!
Wonderful. So long as Mr. Curious lets you blog.
I find this fascinating. So hows it going to work? Are you going to become chassid? Is he leaving chassid? Somewhere in the middle? (although, I have trouble imagining what “somewhere in the middle” would mean with respect to chassidus)
Unlike all your friends i'm not jewish.
i came by from Carl in Jeruzalem,he's got your link on his blog.
it's a beautiful love story and yes sometimes God go's that extra mile to connect people.I was lucky to have been lead to my partner by a comment on a blog also only we were on different continents but true love can conquer everything.
I wish you both great happiness and strong health.May the world with Gods help become one day a better place for all people.
That is a beautiful story. I am so very happy for you! Mazal tov! May you and your choson be blessed with health, happiness and a wonderful family.
Awesome! Beautiful! Mazal Tov!
And thank you for such a beautiful telling of the tale.
mazel tov, Chana
I kept checking the blog every so often to see if one day i would read of this particular saga in your life. this wonderful special saga. glad i came on today. glad i saw it. happy to share the joy. wishing you an amazing, special, fruitful life ahead - you and yours. x
mazel tov to you and your chassan. and all the best in your life together
an occasional reader who's happy to have happened on this post today!
re dustfingers comment
re: comment above
thats credit to the sartorialist.com
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