What should a person think when he’s under the chuppah?
He should think about Hakodosh Boruch Hu. Because the gemara says that when a man and woman are married, a third party descends and participates in that union. איש ואשה, when a husband and his wife are married, then שכינה ביניהם, the Shechina is there too. You don’t see Him, but He’s more real than you are — more real than your bride too. He’s more real than all the guests. Don’t let the number of people present at the wedding make you forget about Hashem. They’re only dreams; shadows that pass in the night. Sooner or later everybody disappears. And just like the hall will empty out — at 3 o’clock at night, if you visit the hall, it’s dark and quiet. That’s how this world is — everybody disappears eventually. The only One that remains is Hashem.
And so, you and your wife are now joining in a contract with Hashem: “We’re going to be loyal to Him forever and ever. Together we’ll serve Hashem.” That’s what marriage is for. You’ll make it your business that you and your wife will try to please each other like Hashem wants. And you’ll live according to that principle and you’ll live forever. Your union will be not only in this world; when your time is up you’ll go together in the World to Come forever and ever. Because anybody who’s connected with Hakodosh Boruch Hu is eternal. Like the woman said to Dovid when she blessed him: והיתה נפש אדוני צרורה בצרור החיים עם השם אלוקיך – The the soul of my master Dovid should be bound up in the bond of life forever with Hashem. And so, if you’ll think about Hakodosh Boruch Hu then you’re going to be forever.
TAPE # 555 (June 1985)