יום רביעי, 30 בינואר 2013


An [slightly edited] email I received regarding this post.

Notwithstanding the misleading phrasing of a fair percentage of the news sources I looked it up on:
The number of couples that actually divorced in Israel in 2012 was 10,694. (INN, JPost, Israel HaYom... in fact pretty much every news source I checked.)
And I'm becoming increasingly confident that 88,055 is the total number of cases of any sort opened with the בית דין, not only divorce cases. (Data: Ambiguous/does not state "divorce" cases when using this stat: JPost. Others who use that number explicitly state otherwise; for instance: "In 2012, some 88,055 new cases were opened in rabbinical courts, up from 80,636 in 2011. Of these cases, 9,045 involved divorce issues, 4,237 involved clarifications of religious status and 3,640 involved inheritance issues." [Israel haYom] 
And it's more than double the number of couples married in a single year (35,887 in 2010 according to Haaretz), so I suspect (strongly, but not absolutely) that whichever news source the rav read this on had misinterpreted the report from the Rabbinical Courts Administration.
End of email 
I saw the statistic on the news site Kikar Shabbat. Whatever the correct statistics are - even one divorce is too many. 
I thank the sender very much:).

Quotable Quotes - Laugh!!

“The best way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it once.” -H.V. Prochnow

"A man's wife has more power over him than the state has."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

“My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God, and I didn't.” -Unknown

“My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.”
-Rodney Dangerfield

“Getting married is a lot like getting into a tub of hot water. After you get used to it, it ain't so hot.” -Minnie Pearl

"Behind every great man there is a surprised woman."
-Maryon Pearson

“They say love is blind...and marriage is an institution. Well, I'm not ready for an institution for the blind just yet.” -Mae West

"I haven't spoken to my wife in years. I didn't want to interrupt her." -Rodney Dangerfield

“A wedding is just like a funeral except that you get to smell your own flowers.” -Grace Hansen

“If nature had arranged that husbands and wives should have children alternatively, there would never be more than three in a family.”
-Lawrence Housman

"Can you imagine a world without men? No crime and lots of happy, fat women." -Marion Smith

“Why does a woman work ten years to change a man's habits and then complain that he's not the man she married?” -Barbra Streisand

"There's a way of transferring funds that is even faster than electronic banking. It's called marriage." -James Holt McGavran

10 Rules Of Marriage

The Ten Rules Of Marriage - Sent by my mother:)

Rule 1
Marriages are made in heaven.
But then again, so is thunder and lightning.

Rule 2
Don't try to change your husband. The last time a woman changes a man is when he is in diapers.
Rule 3
Marriage is grand -- and divorce is at least a 100 grand! 
Rule 4
Married life is very frustrating.
In the first year of marriage, the man speaks and the woman listens.
In the second year, the woman speaks and the man listens.
In the third year, they both speak and the neighbors listen. 

Rule 5
When a man opens the door of his car for his wife, you can be sure of one thing:
Either the car is new or the wife is.

Rule 6
Marriage is when a man and woman become as one;
The trouble starts when they try to decide which one. 

Rule 7   Before marriage, a man will lie awake all night thinking about something you said .
After marriage, he will fall asleep before you finish.

Rule 8
Every man wants a wife who is beautiful, understanding, economical, and a good cook.
But the law allows only one wife. 

Rule 9

Marriage has no guarantees. If that's what you're looking for, go live with a car battery

Rule 10
A man is incomplete until he is married. After that, he is finished.

יום שלישי, 29 בינואר 2013

Over 88 Thousand Tragedies - In Just One Year

UNBELIEVABLE. It was reported in the news that 88,055 couples went to the Israel Rabbinate to register for divorce in the past year, up from from 80,636 last year. That means that in the last 2 years - close to 340,000 couples opened up files for divorce. In addition, even in the Charedi sector the numbers are rapidly rising. WHAT IS GOING ON OVER HERE???

There are numerous reasons for this phenomenon but whatever they are - it is tragic and disturbing news.

Parents And Spouses

What is Kiddushin? Kiddushin is the talmudic term for marriage. But how odd to use a word that brings up associations of sanctifying a korban to the beis hamikdash. I mean, no man plans to bring his wife as a korban....:).

Tosfos [Kiddushin 2b] explains that the essence of Kiddushin is that this woman is separate from the rest of the world and thereby bound to her husband. You cannot buy an object by saying "This sweater is mekudeshes to me". First you acquire it and only then it becomes forbidden to the rest of the world. Marriage is the opposite. First she becomes forbidden to the rest of the world [like hekdesh to the Beis Hamikdash] and only then she becomes set aside and special to her husband. This is expressed in the bracha made on Kiddushin. First we say שאסר לנו את הארוסות and only then והתיר לנו. First she is assur to the rest of the world and then she is bound to her husband. [In brachos we never mention what is ASSUR to us making the bracha on kiddushin an anomaly].

The Torah already defined marriage as יעזוב איש את אביו ואמו ודבק באשתו  - A man [and woman] must leave their parents and cling to their spouse. [I recently read an article where a person claimed that the notion of seeking "chemistry" between a couple is a modern phenomenon in the religious world. I ask: The pasuk advises us to "cling" to our spouse. How is it possible to cling to someone to whom you don't feel connected?! Of COURSE there must be chemistry].

נער הייתי וגם זקנתי - I have been around the block a few times [probably because I have a very poor sense of direction] and have yet to see where the intervention of a parent is helpful to a marriage [OK - I know of one extreme case which is the exception rather than the rule]. Parents and in-laws should stay OUT. The job of the kids is to keep them out. Don't share intimate details of your marriage with your parents. If you need to talk - find someone else. The job of the parent is to encourage the child to become independent, both emotionally and financially. That means that the checkbook should be open [when necessary to help the child stand on his own two feet] and the mouth closed. Parents are far too subjective to be helpful. On the contrary - they usually do more harm than good when overly involved.

If a girl is buying a new sofa and wants her mother's advice on where to shop or a boy is debating whether he should invest his extra money in the stock market or elswhere and his father is a professional money manager - these are areas where parents may be involved. But when it comes to the spousal relationship parents should be in the dark [unless the couple needs money for counseling or the like].

It goes without saying that the children must ALWAYS show their parents the utmost respect. [On shmatsabaitzlusa we have an article coming out on the topic this week אי"ה.]

When there is tension between a wife and mother in-law [when isn't there:)] it is the job of the husband to show FULL SUPPORT for his WIFE. When the husband complains about HIS mother the wife should NEVER agree and say that "Yes, your mother's picture SHOULD appear next to the word 'annoying' in the dictionary." She should rather validate her husbands feelings and then try to gently find some merit for the mother. The reason for this is that the son will ALWAYS love his mother. If he hears that his wife feels negatively about her then he is torn between the two of them. Not a pleasant situation to be in. He should feel that his wife loves him AND his mother.

LADIES - Remember. Your husbands are very sensitive. Very. Women don't have a monopoly on sensitivity. So be careful to try to always make him feel loved and cared for. He left the most important person in his life for you.

His mother.

ע' בקונטרס לחתנים מהגר"ש וולבה זצ"ל ובס' האיש מקדש עמ' תנג

יום שישי, 25 בינואר 2013

Keeping A Marriage Alive And Vital

From a recent article in the New York Times. Thanks to Rabbi Rami Strosberg for sending.

According to studies by Barbara L. Fredrickson, a social psychologist and professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a flourishing marriage needs three times as many positive emotions as negative ones. In her forthcoming book, “Love 2.0,” Dr. Fredrickson says that cultivating positive energy everyday “motivates us to reach out for a hug more often or share and inspiring or silly idea or image.”

Dr. Lyubomirsky reports that happily married couples average five positive verbal and emotional expressions toward one another for every negative expression, but “very unhappy couples display ratios of less than one to one.”

To help get your relationship on a happier track, the psychologist suggests keeping a diary of positive and negative events that occur between you and your partner, and striving to increase the ratio of positive to negative.

She suggests asking yourself each morning, “What can I do for five minutes today to make my partner’s life better?” The simplest acts, like sharing an amusing event, smiling, or being playful, can enhance marital happiness.

יום שלישי, 22 בינואר 2013

My Interest In Cooking

Quite often I hear women [particularly those who reside in my humble dwelling] talking about food. How they prepared it, how it came out etc. These topics interest me slightly less that the color of the socks that the Defense Minister of Great Britain wore as a child. Recently, when I heard a culinary discussion taking place, I made a facetious comment indicating my "interest" in the topic.

My daughter, the Holy Gila Shoshana, said "זה לא מעניין אותך כי אתה לא מכין את האוכל" - You aren't interested because you don't prepare the food. I said "Gila, you're RIGHT! If I would prepare the food it would be much more interesting for me."

Why should this story interest YOU?

What is כבוד? What does it mean to respect your spouse?


I shouldn't be interested in cooking because my purpose is in this world is to be a cook. I should be interested in cooking because my wife is. That is KAVOD. What is important to you is important to me.    

Try it.....


עי' בס' האיש מקדש עמ' עח

יום שני, 21 בינואר 2013

Another Reason To Stay Married

From The Washington Post:

Numerous studies are now revealing that children of divorce overall are less religious when they grow up, with clear implications for the vitality of the churches. In one study, two-thirds of young adults who grew up in married parent families, compared to just over half who grew up in divorced families, say they are very or fairly religious. And, more than a third of people from married parent families currently attend religious services almost every week, compared to just a quarter of people from divorced families. Given that about one in four of today’s young adults are grown children of divorce, and that more than 40 percent of American children are now born outside of marriage, how these younger generations approach questions of spiritual meaning and religious involvement will influence broader trends in the churches for years to come.

יום שישי, 4 בינואר 2013

Continual Becoming

As soon as the love relationship does not lead me to me, as soon as I in a love relationship do not lead another person to himself, this love, even if it seems to be the most secure and ecstatic attachment I have ever experienced, is not true love. For real love is dedicated to continual becoming.
Leo Buscaglia
Source: Love : What Life Is All About, Page 116

Love And Faith

Love means to commit oneself without guarantee, to give oneself completely in the hope that our love will produce love in the loved person. Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.

Erich Fromm (1900 - 1980)

Love Heals

You may seek companionship and warmth, for example, but if your unconscious intention is to keep people at a distance, the experiences of separation and pain will surface again and again until you come to understand that you, yourself, are creating them. Eventually, you will choose to create harmony and love. You will choose to draw to you the highest-frequency currents that each situation has to offer. Eventually, you will come to understanding that love heals everything.

The journey may take many lifetimes, but you will complete it. It is impossible not to complete it. It is not a question of if but of when. Every situation that you create serves this purpose. Every experience that you encounter serves this purpose.

Gary Zukav
Source: The Seat of the Soul, Page: 121

יום חמישי, 3 בינואר 2013

Change You

My 2 year daughter is cute [I know that I am biased...]. Beyond cute. She is now at that stage where she is learning a new language. It's called "English". In very original ways she manages to say things that make us laugh. For example: She'll say things like "Change you". She hears her mother saying "Do you want me to change you" and doesn't know how to say "change me" so she says "change you". Her brothers name is "Shmuli" but for her it's "Ulli". Another brother is Simcha whom we call "Simchal'e" and she transformed to "Galei" [I guess from the "chal'e" part of his name].

Why doesn't it bother me that my daughter doesn't speak properly? My son's name is NOT "Galei". "Galei" is a word in our shalosh regalim davening. "Galei kavod malchuscha aleinu".

The answer is that I respect the fact that she is two and quite enjoy it. I don't have very high expectations of her. When I give her something and say "Throw it in the garbage" and she does, I celebrate with her. I accept her for who she is.

We can learn from this a very important lesson about marriage. Your spouse is different than you are. Don't lament the differences. Celebrate them. Enjoy them. Your husband may not be as cute as a 2 year old boy but you can good naturedly laugh at his shortcomings. Humor is healthy. We are all human and are FILLED with shortcomings. They are quite comical at times if you think about them. You can laugh at your own, too. They don't HAVE to annoy you. You don't have to suffer or forgive your spouse for who he or she is.

You can also open yourself up and see that there are different ways of doing things and viewing things from which you are accustomed. Embracing differences and respecting people for who they are is an experience that will transform your life.

[The basic idea was based on האיש מקדש page 195]