It has been a rough summer for the Jewish people. Fifty days of war in Israel. Dozens of deaths and injuries. Thousands of rockets. Millions of people running to bomb shelters for cover for weeks on end. But FINALLY there’s some good news to come out of this situation. As religious Jews, we always like to find a way to say “gam zu l’tova” (this too is for the good) even in the most difficult times.
Michelle Beck, a twenty-three year old makeup artist and hair stylist made aliyah from Toronto to Ramat Beit Shemesh with her family three years ago. As a young Orthodox Jewish woman, she had been dating for a couple years already, but had still not found Mr. Rightstein. But then, her best friend’s husband set her up with a nice Israeli guy named Shmuel Shtessman, a twenty-five year old electrical-engineering major at Bar Ilan. The couple dated for some time. Each one was feeling like they wanted to move the relationship forward, but didn’t know how to. “I wanted him to meet my family,” Michelle explained, “but I was nervous to bring it up.”
Well, on July 13, Michelle got her wish, but not in the exact way she was expecting. Shmuel had just pulled up to her house for a date and texted her “I’m outside.” As Michelle opened the front door to leave, air raid sirens began to sound. “Shmuel didn’t even notice at first,” Michelle laughed. “I motioned for him to come inside, and together we ran to the ma’amad (bomb shelter).”
The twist, of course, was that Michelle’s family – her aunt and bother – were also there. For ten minutes, as they waited for it to be safe to leave, Michelle sat there squirming as she watched this impromptu meeting take place. Shmuel, on the other hand, was super cool and totally hit it off with both Michelle’s aunt and brother.
“Our ‘bomb shelter date’ broke the ice,” Michelle said, “It was just natural at that point for Shmuel to say ‘Do you want to meet my family now?'” Michelle did later that week, then Shmuel met the rest of her family soon after. A few weeks later, the happy couple was engaged. In a nearby park with one of Shmuel’s friends playing “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?”on a laptop and candles which spelled out “Marry Me,” Shmuel popped the question. A November wedding is planned.
May this cute couple know many years of health and happiness together with only fireworks (and no more air raid sirens) to come. Mazel tov!