A Little Something Uplifting


Right now, the world is full of a lot of hate.  Not only has the attack on Charlie Hebdo changed France forever, but anti-semitism is growing and racism is on the rise.

But I want to remind all of us that the world also is full of love, generosity, kindness, passion — the good things in life.  This story, from CNN, is the story of a miracle: a miracle of love.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and I hope you smile.

 

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(CNN) Briggs Fussy doesn’t remember much about walking down the aisle 20 years ago with the woman who would eventually become his wife.

“I don’t really remember the wedding part at all,” Briggs said. “I didn’t even talk to her.”

A groom not remembering the wedding could undoubtedly crush a bride, especially a bride like Brittney Fussy, who admits she’s been planning her wedding since she was a little girl.

But Brittney Fussy said the only thing she remembers about their trip down the aisle was her partner’s unique name.

“I don’t remember too much about being a flower girl,” she said.

Briggs and Britney Fussy took their first walk down the aisle when they were just 3, as a ring bearer and flower girl in the wedding of Briggs’ godmother. The couple took their second walk down the aisle Saturday to become husband and wife.

The couple, who failed to leave an impression on each other at their first wedding, reunited years later in their ninth grade in a government class at Blaine High School, north of Minneapolis.

Briggs had just transferred to Brittney’s school; she said she knew the moment she heard the teacher say his name that it had to be the same Briggs who walked her down the aisle all those years ago.

“I confirmed it with my mom,” Brittney said before she said anything to Briggs and then the couple laughed about how both of their moms had pictures of the pair hanging up at their respective houses.

They didn’t become a couple until junior year and eventually separated to attend college in separate cities — Briggs to the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse, and Brittney to Minnesota State University, Mankato.

A few years into the long-distance relationship, Briggs returned to Minnesota State to be with his beloved.

“I knew I was going to marry her,” he said.

Before they tied the knot over the weekend, the couple viewed the video of themselves in the wedding.

Briggs called it “hilarious.”

Brittney said she was the “obnoxious flower girl,” who can be seen on wedding video weaving in and out bridesmaids. At one point, she pauses in front of the bride to look up at her. Briggs, on the other hand, stood calmly in the same place for the entirety of the ceremony.

“I’m such a rule follower — I’m sure someone said ‘stay still,’ and I never moved,” Briggs said.

Brittney promises she’s a rule follower now, too, but contends she and her groom can both be “pretty weird and outspoken” sometimes.

The picture of the two of them at age 3 is now framed in their own home, and they even reenacted the photograph at their own wedding.

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Here’s the same couple — this time, they’re the ones getting hitched.

“I’m pretty cheesy when it comes to love stuff, I’m not going to lie,” Brittney said.

Briggs and Britney, who are both finishing up their degrees in economics and elementary education at Minnesota State, Mantoka, said they didn’t really understand what all the fuss was about regarding their story at first. But they said they have known all along that they were meant to be.

“It’s all a part of God’s plan,” she said, “All fate for sure.”

As for their second time down the aisle, the couple said it’s far more memorable than their first.

“It was wonderful,” Brittney said. “As close to perfect as you can get.”

 

Happy Hanukkah


Channukah

This is the festival of lights. Eight nights and eight days that bring us right to the magic and beauty of this festival. It is a holiday of warmth, candlelight, songs, games, presents and delicious foods. It is also the remembrance of the first war for religious freedom.

The Hanukkah menorah, or candle holder, has eight separate places for candles. The flames of the lights must never touch. It also contains one place is for an extra candle called the Shammash. This candle lights all of the others. It combines the earthly strength with heavenly light.

This time of year, Jews are celebrating a battle, fought against the Syrian king Antiochus IV, who was trying to force Jews to worship the Greek gods. A Jewish man and his sons won this battle. Mattathias and his sons were called the Maccabees. They were a small group of men who won the battle against an enormous army from Antiochus. They fought with farm tools, stones,and sticks.

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How the Maccabbes actually won is a mystery and magic. They knew Syria much better but they were desperate to fight and save their people and they felt that Adonai was with them. This is a true story of magic and is cherished by the Jewish people.

When the Maccabees returned to Jerusalem, they were looking forward to a celebration and they found the Temple. It was  filthy with blood and debris, dirt and ashes. All of the candlesticks, Torahs and books had been stolen.

Most importantly. there was only enough oil for the seven-branched Menorah to burn for one day, when the Menorah was meant to burn continuously, as an eternal light illuminating the way to God.  Even worse, it would take eight whole days to make more oil for the lamps .  The Jews did the only thing they could think of — they used the last bit of oil.  And they prayed.  The end of the first day came, and still the lamp burned. The oil kept the lamp alight for a second day, and a third. In all, the oil lasted for eights days and nights, enough time to make more oil. For the Jews, it was a miracle, and that miracle is remembered each year on the  eight days of  Hanukkah.

Hanukkah means Feast of Dedication, and the Maccabees rededicated the Temple to what is supposed to be. It was a holy place in which to celebrate great days.So each year, we pray, light candles and remember the miracle that happened once a long time ago. Jews laugh, eat, play Dreidle, sing songs and give gifts to others.

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The Menorah is lit at nightfall so the lights will shine in the darkness and even the babies will see the ritual.  The lights of the menorah are not to work by but to remind everyone of the miracle of the oil. (Source: The Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays by Malka Drucker; Little, Brown and Company”)

A Blessing Over the Candles

“You abound in blessings, Source of Light, Our G-d, Ruler of All Worlds,

Who has made us holy with Your Commandments,

And has commanded us to kindle the festival lights.”

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