Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Things I've Learned Since I Got Married #4

One of the strangest, yet seemingly most evident things that I've learned since ASoG and I got married is the stark reality of what it means to be married and living in your own domicile (in our case, an apartment in Washington Heights).

At first, it all seemed like we were kind of playing house together, albeit in a fashion quite a bit different than your standard childhood endeavor. Things need to get done around the apartment, errands have to be run, and responsibilities that didn't exist a few days before suddenly come to the forefront of reality.

The one thing, or perhaps the biggest eye-opener, was the notion of how "real" life was when I was saying birkas hamazon one afternoon following lunch.

I reached the section following the lengthy list of horachamans wherein you offer a blessing for your host and/or others present. After mindlessly speeding through this section for many years, either mentioning (as appropriate) my parents, my hosts, and those around me, I'd never had the realization that now I'd have to change my standard bentsching phraseology.

Instead of say "Horachaman hu yevoreich es ba'al habayis/avi moi v'imi morasi," it dawned on me that I needed to say "osi, v'es ishti, v'es besi, v'es kol asher li." I now ask G-d to bless me, my wife, my home and all that is mine.

The experience was mind-blowing.

I was no longer some kid in college, unattached and off on my own, but I had a home with a wife! Life (and bentsching) would never be the same again - in a good way.

Even with this epiphany, I still mess up almost every time I open the bentscher after a meal, starting off with "es" before realizing it needs to be "osi." It's hard to change such a well-ingrained pactice, I guess. It also goes to show that I need to work on being more attentive to the words I'm saying, actually reading each and every one of them from the bentscher itself instead of mostly saying it by heart and using the bentscher to make sure I don't lose my place, etc. After all, the Gemara in Brachos tells us we aren't supposed to simply toss blessings from our mouths, but instead focus and concentrate on what we're saying.

So while new wording in bentsching isn't the biggest deal in the world, it does represent the biggest thing in the world for me - my new life with ASoG.

May everyone not yet stumbling over their personal horachaman in bentsching get the opportunity to start doing so soon!


  1. Great post. Thanks for sharing your married-life learning experiences with us!

  2. Shortly after I was married, my wife and I was a guest of someone whose practice was to name each person present out loud in the harachaman. Since then, my wife and I mention each other and offspring by name, raising our voices so we can each hear. It's quite nice.


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