The Give and Take of Marriage – The Real Reason Why Marriages Fail and People Don’t Marry

Falling in Love – Fact or Fiction

It’s called Falling in love. I’m in love. It’s a tactic to get people to marry.

OK. Sometimes it happens. Sometimes it does not.

Let’s examine the situation. It is a Mitzvah – commandment – from the Torah for Jewish Men to marry and have children. It is a Mitzvah from the Seven Noahide laws from the Torah for Gentiles to populate the earth. Thus getting married is a Mitzvah for most people.

Searching for the Cold Truth

Some have it tough finding the right mate. Some have it tough once they are married. So let’s understand the purpose of marriage.

Have a question? Want the Truth? Ask a person who is well versed in Torah. The general reason for getting married in Judaism is to be able to do kindness to one another – to ultimately become a kind and good person.

The Foundation of Torah

Once a man wanted to convert to Judaism. He went to the great Torah sage Shammai and asked – “Please teach me the Torah while I stand on one foot.” He wanted to learn the foundation that the Torah is built upon. Shammai thought he was mocking him and drove him away with his measuring stick.

Then the same man went to the great sage Hillel and asked – “Please teach me the Torah while I stand on one foot.” Hillel said “Whatever is hateful to you – don’t do to others. This is the whole Torah – everything else is related details.” Rabbi Akiva said “You Shall Love your fellow as yourself is the great foundation of the Torah.”

Doing Kindness to Others Starts at Home

If that is the foundation of the Torah – then the commandment of Loving your fellow is also, intrinsically related to Marriage. When I get married I have an opportunity to do kindness every day to my wife or a woman to her husband, and kids. People forget this principle.

The reason – because I am more concerned about the other’s responsibility towards me – than my responsibility towards them. Many a time a date started off by one partner wanting to take from the other. The man had desires. The woman had emotional relationship desires – marrying would serve to fulfill both. But their reason for marriage was to Take.

Are You a Giver or a Taker – or both

They say it was love – but it was really “fish love.” “Fish love” is when a person says “I love fish.” The honest person would retort that comment – “If you loved fish – you wouldn’t pull it out of the water, let it die, scale it cut it up, cook it and eat it. You don’t love fish you love yourself.” An honest person should see where are they holding – is their main intention to give or to take?

The Torah says – the foundation of marriage is to give. If each partner put their sights on giving – rather than taking it’s much more likely the marriage would last. That is one thing young people should be taught before marriage. Your job is to give. Your job is to become better. Your job is to give to your spouse to better yourself.

Some Don’t Marry because they go into the marriage with the Hashkafa / outlook of the Society – rather than the Hashkafa of the Torah. Society says “You have RIGHTS!”. The Torah says “You have responsibilities.” Society says “Take”. The Torah says “Give.” They look at what they want to receive in a marriage. They do not look at what they can provide in a marriage. I want a rich man. I want beauty. I want a professional. I want a romantic person. Keep dreaming. Better to find someone who is similar in Torah values. Someone with whom you have potential to build a Torah family.

Torah Truth in Marriage

In Torah we want to reach truth. Truth trumps. If you are right according to Torah and I am wrong – I should follow you. A person should be on the level to accept truth even if it is not convenient. Thus I tell couples to send their Children to Torah day schools – because there they get a good Torah education as opposed to public schools. Torah schools teach Torah values – Public schools teach decadence. I was outside a public elementary school. They were singing a Disco song from the 80’s. Yes – that is how a parent wants to educate their children – with Disco songs?

I also recommend to Intermarried couple – in which one of the spouse are Jewish – for the non-Jewish spouse to convert to Judaism with an Orthodox Jewish conversion that will be accepted by the government Beit Din of Israel. Why?

Firstly – look at truth. What is the true religion of G-d. All major religions agree that the Torah is True. So they agree on that point – the Torah is true. [If you don’t accept that point – look up Discovery seminar of aish.com] What they don’t agree upon is – Did G-d change his mind? The others say – Yes G-d “changed His Mind”. Judaism says “No. G-d did not change His mind. He did not change the laws of the Torah.” What makes more sense to you?

Secondly – a person who keeps his religion – apparently agrees with their religion’s past transgressions. Other religions were notorious for persecuting Jews. Imagine being in a relationship that non-Jewish partners has an “ax to grind” with the Jewish partner. No thank you.

Bearing Insult for Peace

For the man – who craves honor – should be ready to bear insult to make things work. To the woman – who craves appreciation – should be ready to bear non-gratitude – to make the marriage work – until each reaches the level to understand and provide for the other’s needs.

My Chevruta – Torah Learning Partner – who learns in the same building of the Jewish Beit Din [court of law] resides told me of a story of a newlywed couple that divorced. The mother of the bride told her daughter to step on the foot of her husband under the Huppah – marriage canopy. Some say that it is a segulah – to assure that the stepper will dominate in the marriage. The girl listened. The boy didn’t appreciate it. He went to the beit din to break the marriage. Three mistakes – the mother got involved in the relationship of the couple. Two – the girl listened. Three – the man wasn’t willing to bear insult.

Self-Improvement through Marriage

But it is not really bearing insult for a man – it is using the ques of the wife for self improvement. A man thinks – wow – look how my wife disrespected me. According to Torah a woman at times mimics the man’s actions. If he disrespected his employee that day – his wife may do the same thing to him – because Hash-m made the world in a manner that the nature of things is measure for measure. What you mete out you get back. So if a man instead of wanting to retaliate when his wife insults him – he should first introspect to see if he did something similar to someone else what his wife is subjecting himself to now.

The Book “Garden of Peace” for a man – talks about this concept. G-d asked Avraham, our forefather – why did his wife Sarah laugh when an angel said she was going to bear children at the age of 90. Did G-d want create discord in their couple? No. G-d was basically telling Avraham – if your wife is skeptical about having children at such an advanced age – then she must be reflecting a imperfection of skepticism in your outlook.

Obviously each gives and takes to a certain measure. The question is are you trying to develop yourself to becoming more of a giver or more of a taker?

Give up your lofty expectations. Become a giver and see how your marriage will improve.

Accepting G-d Into Your Life – Making Your Life Easier

Good G-d – the similarity of beliefs

Most people believe in a guiding force in the world – which we would call G-d. They pray to Him for guidance and goodness. He gets them through the day, getting them over problems – big and small, helping them over obstacles – short & tall. He is their source of belief that all that occurs is for the good. He is the source of strength to the tired physically and emotionally. With Him they feel they can break through barriers. And even if they fail they know it is for a good reason – because G-d / Hash-m is guiding the world with good.

A positive first step.

Religion – The differences of beliefs

Believing in a good G-d is where similarity between people ends. Some  believe in organized religion – some do not. Their concepts of G-d differ – some see G-d as a powerful King – others as a kind father. Some believe in Torah – others not.

Everyone can arrive at G-d’s Truth through logic

Logically every normal person can arrive at G-d’s truth – that He exists, what he wants – what He doesn’t want, what is good and what is bad. If that were not the case no one could be judged for when a person reaches the next world they would be able to say – no one told me it was forbidden to steal. Apparently you can figure out what is right and wrong. Any average person can.

There is one true Law

Logically there is only one true law that was given by G-d.

Why? Because if that was not so – there would be no right and wrong in the world. Let’s take a simple example. Judaism says it is forbidden to kill innocent people. Other religions say it is good to kill infidels. Look at the history of religions – The church killed millions in the name of their religion. Others religions killed in the name of their religion. According to Torah it is forbidden to kill. According to other religions it is permitted.

You could say – a person will be judged according to the religion that they follow. But that is illogical – because G-d is not going to punish one person who stole because he belonged to one religion and not punish another person who stole because he belonged to another religion.

Thus you must say that there is a standard law that applies in the world.

Judaism says that the Torah is the True Law of G-d because it is the only divine law that was heard from the mouth of G-d by millions of witnesses. All other belief systems may include G-d or exclude him – like communism and socialism.

When Judaism’s Values Shaped the World’s Values.

Before Torah was given to the Jewish people the world’s values degenerated to allowing – child sacrifices, murder, idolatry, polytheism, incest, Judaism, slavery, bestiality, harassment, slave labor, homosexuality, and more.

The Torah taught the concept of Monotheism. There is only one G-d / Hash-m that guides the world with goodness. It taught about the rights and responsibilities of humankind. It taught the concept of tolerance. It taught the rights of laborers. It taught property rights. It taught the rights of women. It taught respect of women’s privacy and laws against harassment and improper speech.

The Torah Civilized the world. Yet the world has a long way to go. Either the world will learn – from intelligence and Torah true ethics. Or the world will come into a state of turmoil that will threaten a large part of the earth’s population.

True Civilization Starts with the 7 Noahide Laws for all mankind.

Where Today’s Values & Judaism Differs

The question that each person should pose themselves is – if the Society’s values say one thing and G-d’s values – as found in the Torah (Written & Oral) – say another what should I follow?

Most people are followers. The see what is popular in society and follow suit. The IPhone – popular – I have to have it. So it is easy to follow society.

The challenges occur when G-d’s word is different than society’s values. Let’s take a current example.

Understanding the Superiority of Torah Values

Let’s take the case of same gender marriage. Many in society have embraced this value as a positive thing. The Torah – considers homosexuality as an abomination. (Vayikra  / Leviticus 18:22 & Vayikra  / Leviticus 20:13)

What’s society’s reason for accepting – same gender marriage? Though society says it is because of tolerance – the real reason is decadence. As will be seen.

Difference Between Tolerance and Decadence – Why Judaism Has it Right

Tolerance is accepting and respecting a person regardless of their moral status. That is tolerance – meaning – if a person is a thief – you act respectfully towards that person – even though he or she engages in theft.

Decadence or debauchery is accepting a value regardless of how immoral it is. Society has accepted a long held prohibited value and made it acceptable and permitted. That is debauchery.

Let’s say society accepts theft as a permitted value – that is decadence.

OK.

Let’s examine the Torah position. The Torah says give respect to all individuals – regardless of their morality. That is true tolerance.

Regarding Same gender marriage and homosexuality – it is an abomination.

The Negative Consequences of Immorality – The Microcosm & Macrocosm

Let’s look at some of the consequences for society of these practices. In a macrocosm, These practices engender a tremendous drop in population growth. As is obvious –  Men cannot have children without women and vice versa. In the microcosm, the same gender unions will forever be deprived of sharing a the beautiful cries of a common baby. As long as they remain in such a union.

They will relinquish having a normal father and mother family life.

The people who support or condone it may end up with children with the same values and their “tolerant” values may cause them to bereft of the great pleasure of having grandchildren.

One of the reason’s Rome fell was the lack of population growth due to the lack of morality of the country. They ended up relying upon mercenary soldiers – whose loyalty and expenses – greatly taxed the country and lead to their downfall.

Same Gender Marriage was chosen to illustrate that Jewish Torah Values are better than societal values for Society and the Individual in the long run. But the examples abound.

Repentance / Teshuva

In Torah – anyone can do teshuva / Repent. Condemnation of the acts of Homosexuality does not preclude a person from becoming a Baal Teshuva – a person who sincerely  repents and becomes a Torah observant Jew. Any person can do teshuva for any sin and ultimately be forgiven. The first step though is recognizing one’s sins. (See Starting Over – Wiping the Slate Clean in Judaism)

Making One’s Life Easier with Torah

The Torah gives man an opportunity to live life to the fullest and accomplish the most from life. The average person wants to get married – raise a family and leave a legacy. The Torah guides a person to fulfill that dream in the best way possible.

How to More Easily Establish a Family

Today, people date for fun. What happens? Many end up in a dating relationship for lets say a decade and break up. They remain without children – 10 years older and have a more difficult time finding a Marriage mate in their 30s than in their 20s. The Torah says – put dating for fun on the side and put your efforts into dating for marriage.

When one looks to get married – their requirements for a mate differ than when they date for fun. Qualifications include a responsible individual, that will be loyal to family and raise the family according to Torah values.

How to More Easily Maintain a Family

The Torah expects us to put children into an Orthodox Torah Day School. The children learn respect of parents, respect for Rabbis, Love of Torah, Love of Fellow Jews, Honesty, Loyalty, respect for others, respect for G-d and all good values.

Though a Torah Day School costs money – This investment is the best investment on can make in their lives – because it helps you to have happy, balanced, children that will enjoy a feeling of fulfillment and purpose in life.

How to Better Appreciate Life

There are two steps to eating an apple:

Eat an apple. Throw away core.

The Torah makes it into 4 steps:

Say a blessing on the apple [to thank G-d and appreciate it]. Eat the apple. Throw Away core. Say after-blessing. [Making you a thankful, appreciative individual].

In the long-term you become a better person – just by eating an apple. Your mundane act of eating elevates you, the food and gives you purpose & meaning just by eating and saying a blessing. In Judaism – An apple a day keeps ungratefulness & lack of meaning away. [see Free Food Blessing Card]

How to More Easily Deal With Challenges

A Torah Family has the Torah as a guide – so it is not an anything goes situation. Husband and wife are expected to act in a respectful manner and maximize their opportunities to bond and grow – through Shabbat meals and learning Torah.

The Torah – like in Pirkei Avot – teaches us how it expects us to act to live a more balanced life and to overcome challenges and to prevent uncomfortable situations from occurring to begin with.

Being Thankful for All Your Lives

It’s good to be good. Do good. Get Good. Don’t do it to receive good – but even if you do – that’s still good.

Be thankful. Be thankful for your life.

Your life. What is your life?

  1. The fact that you are alive. Be thankful to Hash-m that you are living today. Every morning we wake up and the first thing we say is Modeh ani / I am thankful …. It is said to thank G-d that we were able to wake up to another day. It In Judaism we have a special blessing for certain events – like when you get a new suit, or for a new fruit that you taste he first time in the year or when we arrive at a new Jewish Holiday. It is called Shehehiyanu – That you made us live. It goes – “Barukh Atah ….. Shehehiyanu VeKiyemanu vehigiaynu lezeman hazeh” / “Blessed are you Hash-m … that you made us live, and you established us and you made us arrive to this time.”
  2. Your Family Life
  3. Your Work Life
  4. Your Spiritual Life
  5. Your Social Life
  6. Your Recreational Life
  7. Your Educational Life

All these are organized for you personally by G-d to help you get the best out of life. If you think about it – without Divine intervention, it is virtually impossible to meet a fitting mate. for there are millions of potential mates for each person. G-d organizes that you are at the right place at the right time to allow you to meet your mate. He organized that you find the right job. That you find the right business deals. That you are at the right place at the right time.

When we say thanks we become more appreciative. This is one of the reasons for the blessings on foods and all the blessings we have to make in Judaism – to be more appreciative to G-d and more appreciative of life.

For the good times and challenging – we thank Hash-m – because all He does is for one’s good.

Positive Living & Avoiding Negativity

In Parasha Vayetse, the great Ohr Hachaim hakadosh explains – the reason why Yaakov was upset at Rachel’s pleading to him of “Give me children” lest she die (Bereshit 30:1) was twofold. Firstly She should have said “pray for me to have children”. Her words implied that it was in Yaakov’s hands for her to conceive. Yaakov told her it is only in Hashem’s hands.

He was also upset about her expression Lest she die. a person should never say negative things – “Al tiftach pe le satan” Don’t open the mouth to the Evil force – Lest it come true.

Daven to Hashem and think and talk positively.

Awareness of Yourself – Thinking Outside Your Interests

you’re getting annoyed.

your child is knocking down things in your home office.

your office report is due.

people are relying on you for the report.

just then your child starts nagging and crying.

“i am justified in getting angry. let me belt out a yell and put things in order” – you think.

You lose it. You scream and scare the kid. then you realize he pulled your papers off the desk because he wanted to get his bottle.

he was thirsty. you got angry. you yelled at a hungry child.

poor child – no milk. no food. and he’s getting yelled at by his mother (or father).

let’s re-frame the situation.

the same happens –

on the verge screaming and scaring the kid. you realize he pulled your papers off the desk because he wanted to get his bottle. he was thirsty. you refrain from getting angry.

“What does this child want from me? Perhaps he is hungry.” Now your anger turns to mercy. This child didn’t eat all the time I was engrossed in my report.

you put the report on hold and feed the hungry child.

this happens frequently. One acts. We react. We react based upon – what is in my best interest.

The idea is to see the other person’s best interest as well.

both gain when we think for two.

Not just you.

Stop Taking Care of Business – Enjoy What You are Doing.

Want to be more productive?

One rule of personal effectiveness is start the day with the things you would rather not do.

Some do. Some Push these off. But pushing off challenges leads to mediocrity – in the aspect you push off. Push off your fund-raising – one usually ends up with mediocrity in donations. Push off your Job search – one usually ends up with mediocrity in income.

Ok. Now you choose to do the task you dislike in the morning. Cleaning the potatoes. Cleaning your room or the kitchen. Paying your bills. Cold calling. Getting your daughter ready for school.

So you can dread it. But you have already dedicated time for it. So instead of dreading it, enjoy it. You have to do it. So you might as well learn to enjoy it.

Getting Organized – Tips for a More Productive You

Getting Organized –  tips for effectiveness

My office was in disorder. What can I do?

It being in this state was causing me to procrastinate. A clean room allows a person to better concentrate. I had to do something great. So I would not hand things in late. I didn’t want to be relegated to fate. So I had to start with a clean slate. (and desk for that matter)

Ever wonder where the quote of “cleanliness is next to godliness.”

In Mesilat Yesharim  / the Path of the Righteous – Rabbi Moshe Haim Luzatto teaches the path of how to achieve “cleanliness is next to godliness.” Here is the quote:

 

“From here Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair derived: Torah brings to watchfulness; Watchfulness brings to Zeal; Zeal brings to Cleanliness; Cleanliness brings to Separation; Separation brings to Purity; Purity brings to Piety; Piety brings to Humility; Humility brings to Fear of Sin; Fear of Sin brings to Holiness; Holiness brings to the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit brings to the Revival of the Dead.” … 

 

When i go to study in the Beit Midrash / House of study – the first thing I try to do is to clean and clear the desk. This way i can concentrate better.

Here are some tips to run a cleaner office or home.

One-time rule

Encountering things you don’t need constantly? Use the one time rule – deal with it and file it away or discard it.

Remove everything rule.

Decide on a corner or area to clean. Remove everything from one corner put it in a box and then put the things you need back. it’s easier than deciding whether to keep or throw away everything when everything is on your desk.

Remove distractions

Put a cap on internet, email, whatsapp, face book etc.

Get an online Dropbox account

Dropbox allows your files to be synchronized on all your computers, phone and/or tablets. it saves time from you updating every file every time.

Connect or un-connect

Should you have an attached (with cable) mouse or keyboard or unattached (bluetooth). it depends. are you someone who tends to lose things. it is better to have a cable. or several mice (in case one is lost)

Use things for their purpose.

I have a filing cabinet. For many years i used it to store tools. Then I figured it out. Perhaps it is better to use it to file folders. I had much paper lying around. I filed them away and made things less cluttered.

Don’t fall back into messiness

Make procedures that your clean desk does not become a mess again. Each thing should have its place. also clean desk once a day or week.

Electric notes.

Tons of little paper notes? File them on a note system – like Evernote or another cloud note system

Light.

Light can make you more efficient. One because you become more cheerful. Secondly you see things better. Add light to a room or desk.

Bigger monitor.

Get a bigger monitor if you work on a computer. You use a laptop? Get a monitor to attach it to when you are at home office or work.

Frequency of access

A common sense rule is – what you need frequently keep close and easily accessible. That you use infrequently can be put away farther.

Get shelves and plastic storage boxes – label each box

Delegate
Delegate to others the task of filing papers

Once you determined the categories of your files by putting initial clean-up files in your filing cabinet.

Label it

It is good to have a quick label printer to label things quickly. Make address labels or label folders or places where you put things. You might want to purchase a dymo 450 turbo label printer.

Definitely Keep – Definitely Throw – Definitely Give

Once you put everything in your drop box – take out the things that you definitely want to keep, throw or give. Make those three piles.

There will be little stuff left. Small things put in a ziplock bag to deal with later

Put ideas and other random notes on notepad program

Type them there – it might be easier to copy and paste to other programs afterward than to be distracted by other features of programs.

 

Serenity in Life & the Sukkah

The Torah says: ‘In Sukkot you shall dwell for seven days… so that your generations shall know, that I hosted the children of Israel in Sukkot when I brought them forth from the land of Egypt… [Vayikra / Leviticus 23]

One of the reasons why we build and live in the Sukkah is to remember the clouds of glory with which Hashem protected us when we were traveling in the desert after the exodus from Egypt. Living with this idea ,believing in G-d’s constant protection, allows us to live a more serene life.

Getting Rid of Whatsapp for a Bank Fee – When Persistence Pays Off

It was a late Friday afternoon – close to the start of Shabbat. After it starts – for about 25 hours – I don’t use a phone or engage electricity.

Earlier that day, I made an Amazon purchase. I put it on the wrong debit card.

If Amazon debits the card I get an overdraft fee. I had to make a deposit and quick to avoid the fee. One Small Concern. I had no check to deposit.

What now?

Relegate myself to another $35 overdraft fee? No way. I’m not giving up so easily.

I ask a parent for a check. Sorry, they brought no checks. I asked other family members – no check. Time is ticking. Shabbat is approaching.

How about checking the mailbox.

Wow. I find a check sent in the other other day.

Now to deposit the check – that’s no problem I just borrow a phone with the bank app. I borrow phone. Sorry the camera is working intermittently and now it decides not to work. Last resort – reload the bank app that i uninstalled on my own phone. But there is no space. Which app should I choose to lose?

Whatsapp takes a lot of space. How about I get rid of it. I do it. I load the bank app and deposit the check.

The way you want to go – G-d will help you.

We just have to choose the right path and be persistent. G-D WILL HELP.

Enough Already. Stop Blaming G-d or Anyone Else for that Matter.

It is a beautiful day. You are on the beach at sunrise. Alone. The cool breeze wafts by your face.

The perfect day.

You remember the good times as a youth. You glance back. And feel thankful you are alive.

Whose doing? G-d.

He created the sun. The earth. You. The sand. The sky. Air.

What G-d Really Does for You

Nice children – G-d.

A decent job – G-d.

Nice friends – G-d.

A nice home – G-d

Everything good that you have -G-d.

Breaking potential

I know a person. A nice person. A good person deep down. He has two points that broke his potential in life

1. Seeking pity and

2. Blaming others.

He could have been an aeronautical engineer. But his self pity kept him blaming others instead of going forward.

Don’t Criticize, Condemn or Complain

Each one of us – may have this aspect of blaming others in some small way.

When we blame – we feel less culpable – but on the other hand we lose our potential.

Instead of improving our situation, we sulk, blame and do nothing about improving our lot.

Some blame g-d. Some blame others. Some blame both. Some blame Jews. Some blame parents.

G-d gives Challenges to help us Improve

G-d puts us in a situation to help us overcome challenges.

To help us become the best we can be.

Some blame G-d for the holocaust and divorce themselves from the responsibility of following Torah. Others blame him for childhood difficulties.

What about looking at all the good Hash-m / G-d gives on a constant basis?

A blamer should ask – am i blaming because it is really the other’s fault and there is nothing i can do about it or is it just a convenient excuse to shirk my responsibility to excel.

The mediocrity of blaming

Many blame the Jews. What comes out of it?

Mediocrity, hatred and waste of time. But the propagators of the hate gain by keeping the haters occupied while they run away with the cash or shift the blame of problems they are responsible for on someone else. They found a scape goat and people to follow their propaganda.

The haters and the hate propagators don’t achieve. They played a trick on themselves. The hatred caused them to destroy rather to build. The first one that they destroyed was themselves.

One Problem of Lashon HaRa / Derogatory Speech

Don’t fall for it when a friend tells you a negative story of a fellow Jew.

You become a hater. You lose your potential. Perhaps you could have done a good business deal with that person. Perhaps you could have learned from him.

This is the trick of the Yetzer Hara / the Evil Inclination. Get a person to speak lashon hara / derogatory speech and three people fall. The person who says it. The person who heard it and the person the derogatory information is about.

Have pity on your potential and purpose in life.

Build. Don’t blame.