Recycle Life – Uplifting Yourself with the Bad of Your Past

There is no One that does not sin. Really only 4 people never sinned. So if you are not one of the 4 – like me – what can we do when we realize that we didn’t live up to our standards or the Torah standards?

Uplifting Yourself – Regretting the faults of the past

King Solomon – the wisest man in history – says (in Mishlei / Proverbs) – Sheva Yipol Tzadik ve Kam – Seven times does the righteous person fall – yet gets up. Apparently one of the differences between the wicked and the righteous is that the righteous saw that they fell – took themselves in hand and decided to improve. The wicked fell and either said to him or herself – “i’ve fallen and i can’t get up” or let me justify my behavior.

No one wants do do bad. Even robbers justify their behavior – “I am helping to save my family by stealing.”

So they spiral into worse and worse behavior. They lose self-esteem. They downgrade themselves, and society and unfortunately may inflict damage on either.

Torah tells us confront the failing. Apologize to Hash-m. Make a resolution to not repeat it. And stick to it. (see the Jerusalemlife.com article – “starting over – wiping the slate clean in Judaism“)

Some will go to the opposite end of the spectrum. If they faulted through acting inappropriately through drinking – they take upon themselves not to drink. (Drinking liquor is not forbidden in Judaism – as long as it is Kosher.)

So we learn from our past and become better. We learn from our sins and learn to avoid it. If we change and do teshuva / repent through fear of G-d – G-d will forgive our sins. If we do teshuva becasue we love G-d and feel badly we let him down – our sins turn to mitzvot. Why? Because, our sin was an impetus to get us to become better.

Stop The Self Destruction

In the Parasha / weekly Torah reading of Pinhas – The Jews were enticed to sin with the Midianite women. A plague started that killed 24,000 men who were involved with these women. Pinhas – courageously got up and killed the leader who was brazenly defying Moshe / Moses and the Torah. This stopped the plague. It then says “And the plague stopped. [Space in Torah] then it says “Count the heads of the Children of Israel.” The hebrew word for count used is “Se’uh” – meaning lift up.

So the episode teaches us – if a person falls into sin. Stop. Don’t continue and justify the behavior. If suffering occurs – there is a time to stop ruminating on the past and going ahead to improve and to lift your head up. The fact that you want to improve is praiseworthy.

It says in the Talmud (Berachot) someone who says “Ashrei” (Happy is the One Who Hash-m is their King…) – One of the Tehillim / Psalms of David HaMelech 3 times a day is assured of a place in the World to come (meaning a place in heaven). What does this mean – a person who just recites these verses will be forgiven of his sins?

Talking with a friend, I was informed that Rabbi Shimshon Rafael Hirsch – says that the word in Hebrew for happiness –  Ashrei – comes from the root  “Ashur” – which means Acceptance – connotes advancement.

Apparently a person who just chooses to advance and improve themselves – instead of falling into despondency –  will be likely to receive a place in the next world.

Dear Rabbi – Why Can’t I Find Love?

People Love You

People Love You.

Look Around. Your Father. Your Mother.

You Should Love Yourself.

Hash-m / G-d Loves You.

He Love’s You More than You Can Imagine.

Why Can’t I Find My Soul Mate?

But Apparently the Question is – Let me Rephrase it –  “Why Can’t I Find My Soul Mate?”

I hear once that a man has 7 potential mates that are his soulmate. One is called his Bashert – the one that will help him the most to reach his potential in his Torah and Mitzvot and Avodat Hash-m/ Service of G-d.

Personally, it took me about 10 years to find my soul mate. I started in a home with a traditional lifestyle. Observing Shabbat, Kashrut / Keeping Kosher, going to Orthodox Shul on Shabbat. Torah was good to learn. I had my period of movies, discoteque, bars, dancing and the like – while I was traditional. Slowly I became more Shabbat Observant. I became more Kosher and started placing more emphasis on learning Torah – meaning making it a regular part of my daily life.

When I decided to go to a Yeshiva to learn Torah – I met my soul mate.

Reinforcing Yourself in Torah Spirituality

Apparently, Hash-m waited for me to reach a certain level of Torah observance for me to meet my bashert. That was my path. Others follow different paths.

But I do recommend a person strengthen their Torah Judaism before getting married – to get a mate that has their main focus on family growth through Torah – than going to ball games and fancy vacations.

Why Torah?

Torah is the word of Hash-m.

Torah will Bring You What You want to Be – Yourself.

Torah will Bring You Where You want to Be – Your Potential.

That act of Torah growth might be the clincher that Hash-m awaits.

But then again there are many people who have achieved significant growth and are still looking for love.

Not Finding – What to Look For – the Proper Criteria

What is their solution?

Apparently is to have proper criteria – to search someone from a good family, that has good character traits / middot, that will raise a family in Torah & mitzvot, that will send their children to a Torah day school, that will appreciate growth in Torah.

But once that is in order – now what?

Find someone that you can get along with. That you can talk to. Someone that you feel shares your values, goals and interests spiritually and materially.

I know of people who were on the verge of getting married – wedding invitations sent – and broke up last minute. Why? They realized that they had different goals. G-d sometimes allows a person to meets someone to learn something from them – but they are not in their ballpark of getting married. Perhaps the mate is too materialistic – but has a positive outlook in life. Or they act kindly – but have bad character traits.

Don’t Be Surprised

Do your research before you get married. Don’t be surprised after marriage.

I heard the divorce rate in the Jewish Torah community is around 10% as opposed to 50% in the secular world. Why? Apparently one reason is their method – they do research on the potential mate before meeting them. They treat dating as seriously as one would search for a key employee in their company. They get resumes, call references, call friends, family rabbis, school teachers – the works. Then if all is in order they decide to date. More research – less surprises latter on.

What is Love? Defining Love

Before finding love or anything for that matter – define what is love. Love is appreciation of the other for what they are and not for what you can get from them. The love of “this guy or girl can get me a diamond ring” or “will impress my friends” and the like is not love it is “self-interest” which can quickly come to an end when the significant other doesn’t produce. See Pirke Avot – or search for “fish love” on this site.

Robust Design – Good Middot

I studied quality assurance in university. One aspect of quality in product quality is called “Robust Design”. A long time ago – for my consulting company called mc2 – (mc squared) – I wrote a paper explaining 114 ways for a company to improve its quality. Number 53 sates:

53) Use Robust Designs – this is a method of designing products that allow for variations in parts without decreasing performance.

Many quality concepts can be used to improve an individual. We use Mussar / ethical works – like Pirkei Avot – but apparently you can also learn from quality assurance to become a better quality individual. A person with good middot will let things pass. They won’t demand control, materialism, respect, or other things. They will yield / be mevater. That is similar to robust design. Take shock absorbers they function to allow a car to hit a pothole without breaking the wheel. A person could take example – allowing slights to themselves without breaking the relationship.

Searching for worked on People

Meaning search for good middot.

Finding a person that you can appreciate helps you to find love. If what you discover from the partner turns you off – it might mean that your initial choice was not a best choice. Or maybe it was and G-d gave you a challenging mate to help you become a better person.

How to Write – the Right Answer

Some write and give you the answer to your question in the first paragraph. Some will give you an intro to allow you to absorb concepts before you get your answer. Here is one answer to the question:

Why Can’t I Find Love?

I was recently at a Jewish wedding – where we make Seven blessings for the newlywed couple. The rabbi said a beautiful Dvar Torah / Torah word on Marriage. He said in the Sheva Berachot / Seven blessings we make – the fifth and sixth blessing (In Talmud Tractate : Ketuvot 8a) are:

The fifth blessing is: Bring great joy to these loving friends, as You gave joy to Your creations in Eden in ancient times. Blessed are You, Lord, Who brings joy to the groom and bride.

 

The sixth blessing is: Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has created joy and gladness, groom and bride, delight, exultation, happiness, jubilation, love and brotherhood, and peace and friendship. Soon, Lord our God, may there be heard in the cities of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem the sound of joy and the sound of gladness, the sound of the groom and the sound of the bride, the joyous sound of grooms from their wedding canopy and of young people from their feast of song (see Jeremiah 33:11). Blessed are You, Lord, Who makes the groom rejoice with the bride.

Friendship in Marriage

He said that the fifth blessing starts with friendship and the sixth ends with friendship. He mentioned that the blessings express a progression in the relationship of the couple. First It calls their relationship – “loving friends.” The relationship progresses from being loving friends to joy and gladness, then to groom and bride, on to delight, exultation, happiness, jubilation, love and brotherhood, and peace and reaches its peak at friendship.

The Torah that expresses the essence of a thing – calls the pinnacle of a couple – friendship.

So? It teaches us that one’s spouse – to be a successful marriage – is also to be their best friend. If their is no friendship – apparently more work needs to be done to achieve the proper attitude in marriage.

Another major point is – sometimes I suggest a potential mate to a person. Some answer – “No – I can’t marry them – they are my friend.” Perhaps they are giving me a nice answer to say they are not interested. But if their lack of interest is really because “they are friends” – that is exactly what the Torah considers as the foundation for a successful marriage. I then express that “I think that good friends make good marriage partners.” Unfortunately – it usually falls on deaf ears. Unfortunately many remain single till today.

I criticize not. I just think that a person should widen the scope of their considerations once the basics are met – as mentioned above.

Hash-m Guides the World

To help a person find the right mate – one should pour out their heart to Hash-m expressing their desire to build a beautiful Jewish home. And beseech Him to help you find the right mate to achieve your goal.

G-d’s salvation comes in the blink of an eye. Believe and G-d will help you achieve.

In the synagogue today – I found a pamphlet named “NO LONGER ALONE” from Breslev – that mentioned several things a person can do (accompanied by sincere prayer) if they are having difficulty in finding a mate:

 

1. Recite the Torah reading of the Nessiim / Jewish princes (Numbers 7:1 through 7:89) and then pray with your heart to find a proper mate in Hash-m’s Eyes.

Take to heart the advice of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, “A person who finds it difficult to get married should recite regularly the passage of the offerings of the princes of Israel.”

and/or

2. Read The paragraphs on the splitting of the sea / Az Yashir Moshe (Exodus 15:1-15:19.)  daily and then pray with your heart to find a proper mate in Hash-m’s Eyes. It mentions:

Every morning in the Shacharit prayer, we recite “Az Yashir,” the song that the Jews sang at the Splitting of the Red Sea. When you say this
poem, read it with intense feeling. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov said, “A person who is having trouble finding his marriage partner should recite ‘Az Yashir’ with great feeling.”
When you recite this song, imagine that you
are standing at the Red Sea at the time of the
splitting, and that in gratitude to G-d for this
miracle you begin to sing to Him.

The Zohar praises this song, saying, “Az Yashir
is greater than all other songs. The Zohar also
points out the mystical depth of “Az Yashir” in its
statement, “This song was woven of the twenty-
two letters of the Hebrew alphabet, corresponds
to the Ten Commandments, and expresses G-d’s
holy Names.”
Therefore, sing this song to G-d daily as though
you are standing among all the Jews at the Splitting
of the Red Sea. At that time, our Rabbis: say, “G-d’s
presence was revealed in the aspect of a young
man, so to speak. Then, “the righteous women
were the first to become aware of His presence.”
Recite this song exactly as though you are
now standing at the Red Sea shore. Then
you will merit to find your marriage partner.

and/or

3. Sincere Prayer -pray with an outpouring and sicnere heart to Hashem.

My dear sons and daughters! Please be
strict with yourself and pray to G-d every
day. The worth which prayer is accorded in
heaven is unsurpassed, and beyond human
comprehension.
In particular, when a person cries, his
penetrates all veils and shatters all walls. Our
Rabbis say, “The Gates of Tears are never locked.”60
The Tanach testifies that Hannah “prayed at
length’ “( I Samuel 1:10.) for a son, whom she was granted. Our Rabbis conclude, “From here we see that whoever prays extensively is answered.”
Again, our Rabbis state, “The prayer of
righteous people is comparable to a hind. Just as
a hind’s horns continue to split as long as the
hind is alive, so also, as long as righteous people
pray, their prayers are heard.”(. Yoma 29a.)

A couple more points – a person should not pray for a particular person to marry. He or she should pray that Hash-m finds them the best mate for them in Hash-ms eyes that will help them to reach their potential in serving Hash-m.

Once we were about to buy a house. I agreed on the price with the seller. I signed all the papers. I delivered the papers to the seller’s lawyer. My lawyer and his lawyer had a disagreement – and the deal was off. Shortly afterwards we found a much better house for a similar price.

Have faith in Hash-m, pray, make your effort and He will help you.

Judaism Will Free You

I was speaking with my uncle from Madrid, Spain. We were talking about the parasha / weekly Torah reading of Hukat. It talks of the Para Aduma / Red Heifer that purifies the impure.

It talks of Healing – through looking at a snake. The Jews were being bitten by snakes. To be cured – they looked at a large copper snake. The object of their ailment was part of their cure. One major principle in medicine.

It talks of the death of Ahron, haCohen / the High priest. Men and women cried when Ahron died. He used to make peace between people and couples. He would go to one upset party and say your husband feels terrible that he hurt your feelings. He went to the husband – and said the same thing about the wife. When they saw each other they would make peace. Ahron knew that making peace was not based upon logically explaining the other’s position. A quarrel is an emotional discord – not a logical one. So he healed feelings with feelings – by sometimes stretching the truth to make peace.

I told my uncle – how can we apply it to ourselves. We let things pass. Let things go or not bother us. It’s not ignoring a problem – but giving people the benefit of the doubt. Not taking things personally. Looking at the other’s point of view. Not being hyper sensitive. Having a healthy level of self esteem.

If a person calls you a donkey – it does not mean that you are one. The Torah goes on to say “If someone calls you a donkey – put a saddle on your back.” Meaning don’t take it personally.

Somehow he told me a story about in a forum of around 600 people in a university in Spain they had a debate. Someone chided him and said why do the Jews deserve to be called the Chosen people. He replied – we Chose to represent the Ethics of G-d to the world. For that we were persecuted by others – because people don’t like the goodie goodie – he reminds them of their ethical failings. We took the hits for other people’s lack of ethics. If a person wants to be a part of the chosen people – he can choose to do so. He or she can convert – but with taking this status comes responsibility. People applauded his answer and candor.

He mentioned to me something that I overlooked in Judaism. We regularly mention the exiting from Egypt in Judaism – that G-d with a strong arm took a once slave nation from a mega-power nation.

He mentioned the birth of the Jewish people starts with freedom. When we were liberated from Egypt. A person’s quest to become closer to Hash-m / the definition of spirituality – starts with freedom. Wanting freedom from one’s problems. Freedom from the subjugation of society. Freedom from the subjugation of the media that to sell you a product employ spin doctors and false news.

Though we became subjugated to Hash-m / we became a people with free minds, free choice and free of personal addictions and vices.

Torah is what will free you.

Food Prices Flying – Dealing With it the Jewish Way

Prices are flying. Eggs – someone told me – doubled their price. Good for you vegans. But for the non-vegans – what to do? Become vegan?

It seems like one of the prophesies of the time of Machiach is revealing itself – wine will be expensive.

Save? Hoard? Go on a diet?

The wisdom of Torah is greater than other wisdoms. Other wisdoms will tell you what to do from logic and point of view of the physical world. The Torah will explain what to do taking into account the metaphysical and spiritual world.

We explained before that – there is a physical nature in the world. A spiritual nature also exists. Do good – get good back. What goes around comes around is a Torah concept. It’s called Midah Keneged Midah.

Want to get – give. Want G-d to be generous – be generous with others.

Think of it. It is 180 degrees from what one would expect. If you only think of the physical world – it makes sense to reduce your spending on others. Torah it tells you do opposite. Spend for charity. Spend for the poor. You need two things also. Faith in Hash-m. Belief in the concepts of the Torah.

Obvious you are not obligated to go overboard. 10 percent to 20 percent of one’s income is the recommended average and maximum giving for for charity. What is spent for shabbat, Torah education and yom Tov is not included. Meaning if in Heaven they declared he or she would get 100K that year. They will get it. But if he is going to spend 20K for Shabbat and 40K for Orthodox Torah Day Yeshivas – he will receive $160K.

But let’s bring it down to be able to understand this concept on the physical or material plane. I told some people – an accountant or a bookkeeper should not be a company President or CEO. Why? Because if the company loses money – their obvious advice will be to reduce spending, use cheaper materials, cut corners.

The Marketing people will say – spend more for marketing, for salesmen, for better quality products, invest in new products. Spend more. Making less? Spend more.

If a person is losing money – check out his tzedaka giving. Obviously you should know what is charity. Someone will say good – I will give 10% to animal rights. Tzedaka has a very specific definition. It is for worthy, needy  people according to Torah, for Torah causes, for hachnassat Kallah – for helping to pay for a Kosher (not just the food) wedding for a couple in need.

 

What a Single Person Needs to Know to Get and (a married person to) Stay Married

I know many singles . Some Older. Some Younger.

I am sure they went on dates.

Why didn’t it work out? I don’t know.

The Dating Purpose

Firstly, When I would date – it would be strictly to determine if the person before me would be suitable to spend my life and raise my kids with. My intention was not to have a good time, pass some enjoyable moments together and then somewhere down the line see if we could tie the knot or not.

No the date is not like a job interview. It is a date to find out about the person who is in front of you. It is a platonic date to see if you share similar attitudes, Torah values, hashkafot / outlook, mentalities and more. Obviously it is not an intellectual exercise – but a pleasant way to honestly know if you are fit for one another.

The Dating Attitude

I’ll tell you my attitude – I don’t know if it is right or wrong.

When matched with a potential mate for marriage I would take the proposition seriously. I wouldn’t brush it off. Sometimes G-d introduces you to a person not for you to get marriage – but to learn how to better yourself. Obviously G-d doesn’t want to waste your time – provided if you yourself don’t want to waste your time either by dead end relationships.

G-d wants you married – so the people who are proposed to me are probably in the ballpark of marriage material.

I did have certain criteria. The girl would have to be from a similar cultural & Jewish  background – because similar mentalities make for a better marriage in general – so I think. In my case I wanted a Moroccan, Torah Observant Jewish Girl , that came from a good family and has good character traits (Middot) that would appreciate someone who learns Torah regularly.

So this is the attitude that I am unsure about. In general, I would try to go out with the girl until she would reject me. Unless I saw that it was totally off, I would try to continue dating until it became obvious to one of us it would not work out for marriage.

Even though in the back of my mind I thought “Who would ever reject me!?” It did happen more frequently than I would have imagined. Once I was about to marry a girl. I gave her a ring. She called me that evening and said can we see each other tomorrow. I said sure. When we met – she explained nicely that she didn’t think it would work out and gave me back the ring. No. I wasn’t devastated.

My reason for the attitude was that I knew that it is Hash-m is in control and He will help me marry the right one. The rejection was not a devastation – but G-d telling me – there is someone more suitable for me.

Obviously you have to have the proper criteria in place and discuss those criteria with a competent Orthodox Rabbi to get Daat / Guidance of Torah. But once those are in place an the person is in the ballpark – so go ahead.

In Judaism we have this concept that brings the validity to the term Soul mates. There is a soul. It is split in two – a male part and a female part. They enter two separate bodies – a male and a female. Marriage is the bringing back together of these souls that are in 2 different bodies. One reason the Torah forbids intermarriage between a Jew & a Gentile is because a marriage of souls that don’t match don’t achieve their purpose in life. Another reason is that a gentile mate might turn the children away from Hash-m / G-d and the Torah. Also it causes confusion in the children.

Recently I read that the Divorce rate among Orthodox Jews is about 10% while the Divorce rate of Intermarried couples is over 40%.

But back to the subject.

Improve Yourself Get a Better Mate

I give this advice to Jewish singles. Before you get married – reinforce yourself in Torah & Mitzvot. The more your raise yourself spiritually and in terms of middot / character traits the better mate you will merit. A man may want to chose a woman that is higher level in Torah than himself. Although men can influence woman to raise their spiritual strivings – usually a woman influences a man more than vice versa. A woman can bring up or down.

There is a story about a pious man who was married to a pious woman. They had no children. They divorced. He went and married a wicked woman. She made him wicked. She went and married a wicked man and made him righteous. To teach you that a woman influences the spirituality of the spouse more than vice versa.

Staying married

If a person has a particular attitude it may lead to an unsuccessful marriage. The attitude is “You are here to serve me.” It might reveal itself in several forms. I want you to clean the house. I want you to make the money. I am the one you should please. You are here as an object for my happiness. The attitude to marital problems.

So what is the proper attitude – Let’s serve Hash-m together. Let’s bring up a healthy family following Torah & Mitzvot. Let me do all that I can to make my wife or husband happy. I want to do things that make my mate happy. I want to spend time with them. I want to connect. I want to have peace. I must be humble.

Here are some messages I heard from Rabbis:

Attraction is Not Primary

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, zt”l – has a book on Shidduchim / matchmaking. They asked him how important is attraction. He said something to the effect – that it is secondary. I would add that as long as the person is not repulsive to you – or their looks pushes you away – it is not a reason to reject someone.

Rabbi Kanievsky wrote about Shalom Bayit / Peace at Home:

ובספר “אורחות יושר” (למרן הגאון רבי חיים קניבסקי שליט”א) כתב: “…ובאמת כל המריבות בבתים ושאין שלום בית שמצוי מאד בזמנינו רובן ככולן באין ע”י גאוה ואם כל אחד היה מחזיק בענוה ולא היה איכפת לו על כבודו ועל גאותו היה רוב המחלוקות מסתדרים בשלום דוק ותשכח שהענוה אמיתית היא רפואה בדוקה ואמיתי לרוב הבעיות שיש בזמנינו והשי”ת יערה עלינו רוח טהרה ממרום שנזכה לענוה אמיתית”.

And in the book “Orchot Yosher” (by Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky Shlita) he wrote: “… and really all The quarrels in the houses and the lack of peace in a house that is very common in our time, most of them are due to Pride. and if everyone held humility and did not care about his dignity and pride, he would settle Most disputes with peace. and forgotten is that true humility is proven medicine to most of the problems that exist in our time and Hash-mת May He be Blessed, shine upon us a spirit of purity from on High that we will merit to achieve true humility. “

Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein – on torahanytime.com he mentions that most times when couples come to see him – they say the same thing. The wife complains the husband doesn’t love her. The husband thinks that love is bringing the money home. She says “My father pays my bills also.” Love is establishing a true connection together.

The basis of the Torah is to help a person establish a connection between family, friends, oneself and Hash-m. Like R. Akiva said “VeAhavta LeReacha Kamocha” – You shall love your fellow like yourself is a foundation of the Torah.

Rabbi Yosef Palacchi on torahanytime.com brings the Pele Yoetz – a sefer book on great Torah advice – talks about having a strong love for one’s mate.

Here is a quote from the Yanuka – Rabbi Shlomo Yehuda Be’eri in a Recent issue of Ami Magazine (ISSUE 564, AMI MAGAZINE, APRIL 13, 2022, 12 NISAN 5782)

MESSAGES FOR BNEI CHUTZ LAARETZ
Again, Reb Yanky taps me on the shoulder, so I finish by asking the Yenuka for a message for the Jews in America. Throughout our conversation, Rav Shlomo Yehudah has emphasized the importance of achdus (unity) and harmony. This is something that comes through in his learning, too: he is fluent in a wide variety of limudim (Torah learning), from the writings of the Gaon through the Tanya and even Rebbe Nachman, and often tries to harmonize their teachings. The Yenuka continues now with his message of shalom (peace) and unity, saying, “People should try to look out for each other. People should help each other in business as well as in other areas.

I stress this more for bnei chutz laaretz because they live among non-Jews. The main thing is to lift your eyes toward the heavens and connect to Hashem.” Rav Shlomo Yehudah is quiet for a moment and then adds another message.

“There is a problem with shidduchim (matchmaking) today. I don’t think the hashkafah (Jewish outlook) of a boy and a girl have to be exactly lined up. For example, I am a grandchild of the Arizal and my wife is a granddaughter of the Kedushat Levi. Of course, there are gedarim (boundaries) if he wants to live a certain lifestyle and she doesn’t, then it won’t work-but it shouldn’t matter if a girl is a little more chasidic than a bachur, (young man) or if he adheres
to teachings of the Gaon and she enjoys Tanya,” the Yenuka says with a smile.
“The important thing in shidduchim is that they get along and have free-flowing conversations. If two people don’t have an easy time conversing, there is no future. An easy and comfortable feeling and flowing conversation are the things that
count.”

The Yenuka was married at 20 years of age and today has a son and three daughters. “Bachurim should get married at 18,” he says. “Waiting around creates an unnecessary nisayon (ethical trial). Some say that a bachur should get married later, that he should first learn for several years without distractions. This is only correct in a few select cas-
es. I have read the same from Ray Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg. Most boys learn just
as well when they are married. There are those matmidim who learn yomam valay-
lah, and for them, learning for longer as a bachur is beneficial. For all others, it can
cause harm.”

A Secret to Save a Marriage on the Rocks

Many years ago, I spoke with a man who was in the process of divorce. He had some kind of argument and he mentioned the word “Divorce.” The woman didn’t take kindly to it. The woman changed her attitude from one of tolerance to one of vengeance. One word triggered her.

Is Divorce always the man’s fault? I think that a man can usually save a marriage. Is it his fault? His wife also does damage. That could also be the man’s fault because he could have did more research or soul searching before he married his wife. He could have looked into how she deals with people (and vice versa) and made a decision with his mind rather than his heart or desires.

A man recently wrote a book on the subject. The article about is is called “This is How your Marriage Ends.” He mentions some of the concepts above.

A man is usually less insulted by slights than a woman. So taking a slight to his honor – may be easier for him than a slight to woman. Also they get insulted in different ways. A woman considers a man who does not consider her needs – as a slight – even if he said nothing. If the man does nothing – it is not nothing. A man who wants to save or maintain his marriage is obligated to help around the house.

A man who answers the question on a date for marriage – will you help around the house – with a snide remark, or a hesitating yes or a not really – is starting off on the wrong foot.

A man who seeks to feel where the woman is coming from is starting on the right foot. Even though a man may consider trivial what a woman considers as important. He should understand that like a child is so upset for a candy that he or she did not get – it behooves him to take seriously her wants and needs – emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Yaakov / Jacob Avinu spends much time convincing his wives that it was time to leave their father’s house and go to Israel. Until they felt it in their hearts – he kept on explaining.

Empathy and feeling for a wife’s challenges will help a man maintain a healthy marriage. This can be done by understanding her. He can repeat what she says like – if she says “I had a hard day at work.” He can say “You look like you had a hard day today.” so that she will feel that the husband understands where she is coming from. Parroting words – while including feeling her travails with your heart – will reinforce a marriage.

Let her insults slide off you. Don’t respond to her insults with yours. You are interested in calming the situation. The person who is in emotional control has the upper hand. Your goal is not to win a fight or to show your right. Your goal is to have peace at home.

We mentioned in another article that – having peace with a wife is a positive Torah commandment. A wise man will think “Is it better for me to respond to her insult? or is it better to refrain and accomplish a positive commandment from the Torah

6 Rules for Good Relations – With Spouse, Kids & Friends

I walked in to the Inauguration Reception for HaChaim VeHashalom Beit Midrash / House of [Torah] Study. I see a Rabbi that I faintly recognize. It was Rabbi Bousu – the Grandson of the Baba Sali. He was discussing the subject of “Shalom Bayit” with some men. I listen in. “It is a positive commandment from the Torah to have peace with your spouse! It’s not enough to just do some kind things to her. You should try to assure that she is happy. If she is happy you will be happy. Think of ways to make her happy. Pray to find things and Do things to make her happy. If you do so you will have success!” said Rabbi Bousu. He mentioned why a person will have success in business, materially, spiritually and learning Torah. “Because where there is peace – the Shechina [Divine Presence] dwells. Where the Shechina dwells there is success.

I asked him the source : He said it was in Sefer Chareidim. I looked it up – but was not able to find the source he said. But I tried to figure out what it was on my one. This is what I found:

סֵפֶר חֲרֵדִים – פֶּרֶק ד – מ”ו
[תְּהִלִּים פֶּרֶק-לד-טו] סוּר מֵרָע וַעֲשֵׂה טוֹב בַּקֵּשׁ שָׁלוֹם וְרָדְפֵהוּ: – ‫דְּאוֹרָיְתָא‬‫ הִיא‬ ‫דַּאֲפִלּוּ‬ ‫בִּשְׁעַת‬ ‫מִלְחָמָה‬ ‫צִוָּה‬ ‫י‬ת’‬ ‫לְהַקְדִּים ‬‫שָׁלוֹם‬ ‫שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר‬ ‫ {דְּבָרִים כ:י} כִּי-תִּקְרַב אֶל-עִיר לְהִלָּחֵם עָלֶיהָ וְקָרָאתָ אֵלֶיהָ לְשָׁלוֹם: ‫וּמִנָּאֶה‬ ‫סְמָ”ג‬ ‫בְּמִצְוַת‬ ‫עָשָׂה‬‫ וְכָל‬ מָקוֹם ‫שֶׁיֵּשׁ‬ ‫שָׁלוֹם‬ ‫אֵין‬ ‫הַשָּׂטָן‬ ‫יָכוֹל‬ ‫לְקַטְרֵג‬ ‫שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר‬‫ [הוֹשֵׁעַ ד:יז]  חֲבוּר עֲצַבִּים אֶפְרַיִם הַנַּח-לוֹ: ‫צִוָּה‬ ‫הקב”ה‬ ‫לִמְחוֹת ‬‫שְׁמוֹ‬ ‫הַגָּדוֹל‬ ‫שֶׁנִּכְתַּב‬ ‫בְּקָדוֹשׁ’‬ ‫עַל‬ ‫הַמַּיִם‬ ‫לָשִׂים‬ ‫שָׁלוֹם‬‫ בֵּין‬ ‫אִישׁ‬ ‫לְאִשְׁתּוֹ‬ ‫וְהָרוֹצֶה‬ ‫לִזְכּוֹת‬ ‫בְּמִצְוָה‬ ‫זוֹ‬ ‫יִזְהָר ‬‫בְּמִצְוָה‬ ‫אַחֶרֶת‬ ‫וְהוּא [אָבוֹת א:ג]‬ ‫וֶהֱוֵי דָּן אֶת כָּל הָאָדָם לְכַף זְכוּת ‫תָּמִיד‪,‬‬‫מִמִּנְיָן‬ ‫תרי”ג‬ ‫‪:‬‬

Sefer Haredi – Chapter 4 – 46.
[Psalms Chapter 34:15] Depart from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it: It is a Torah Commandment that even during the time of war Hash-m commanded to start off by offering peace as it says “When you approach to a city to battle it – call out for peace.” (Devarim/Deut 20:10) And the Smag [Sefer Mitzvot Gedolot] counts this as Positive [Torah] commandments. And any place that there is peace – the Satan cannot accuse – as it says: [Hosea 4:17] Ephraim joined to idols – let him be: [Athough they were sinning – G-d said let them be – because they maintained peaceful relations] The Holy One Blessed Be He commanded to erase His Great Name written in Holiness with water [in Sota Ritual] to place peace between a man and his wife. And one who wants to merit this mitzvah – should be careful of another Mitzvah [Pirkei Avot 1: 3] “And judge every man favorably” [lit, on a scale of merit] always – from the count of 613 Mitzvot.

Rule # 1 – Be proactive in pursuing peace – meaning be yielding – seeking peace not arguments.

Rule # 2 – Judge people favorably

I heard and interview with Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein – z”l. In an interview he was asked “What is the most important thing that one should do for a healthy family?” His answer: Give them time.

The children want to connect with the parents and the spouses also want to. The greatest detriment to this is : Technology. My family wants to connect – instead I am on my cell phone, computer, watching videos. A big turn-off. They want to connect and you would rather connect with that video or whatsapp message.

Rule # 3 – Search for ways to make others happy.

Rule # 4. Give them time and be there for them.

Rule # 5 – Help out and Be present.

Rabbi Eliyahu Benhaim – said “Better than giving your wife a diamond ring – offer her to do the dishes.”

Rule # 6 – Be happy. Smile and make others happy.

Show a Bright face not a sad face. A face is part of the public domain – don’t “damage” people with your scour.

Learning to Give Compliments from a Rabbi

Featured

A New Book by Artscroll Publishers, “Yedidi – Rabbi Shmuel Berkovicz, whose warmth and caring inspired people to strive for greatness by Rabbi Yechiel Spero” is about a Congregation Rabbi that lead with love.

Recently, in the Weekly Mesorah Heritage Foundation’s Torah pamphlet called “AT THE ARTSCROLL SHABBOS TABLE – WEEKLY INSPIRATION AND INSIGHT ADAPTED FROM CLASSIC ARTSCROLL TITLES” Acharei Mos / פרשת אחרי מות / כייט ניסן תשפייב / 5782 / APRIL 30, 2022 / ISSUE #88 – it talks of his all compassing love for others.

Here is a quote I found particularly Helpful in the quest to make others feel good.

It Doesn’t Cost Money
Shlomo Hamelech / King Solomon teaches (Mishlei / Proverbs 25:11), “Tapuchei zahav be’maskiyos kasef davar davur al ofnav” Like golden apples carved on silver plates, so is a word spoken in its proper place.” Rabbi Berkovicz was the master of saying the right thing, at the right time, in the right place. He understood the power of a compliment and did not hold back. No one was too smart or too simple, too old or too young, too chashuv or too insignificant for a compliment from Reb Shmuel. As he always said, “Es kost nisht kein gelt. It doesn’t cost money to make someone feel good!”

Pursue & Practice Pleasantness

It’s a challenge to always be nice and pleasant.

I feel you can say almost anything to a person in a nice way. I try – but it doesn’t always work. So how can one learn?

Emotions get in the way. One first step is getting control of one’s emotions.My rebbi used to say a person’s mind should control their heart not the other way around.

Another is practice talking nicely and weighing one’s words.

Another is learning works of mussar / Jewish ethics – like Duties of the Heart (Chovos ha-Levavos R Bachya ben Joseph ibn Paquda) and Pirkei Avot.

Duties of the Heart – talks about how a Jewish person is to act, feel, think. It is a good start.

In the introduction to the Sefer / Book we read:

Inward service, however, consists of the fulfillment of the Duties of the Heart such as: to acknowledge the Unity of G-d in our hearts, believe in Him and His torah, to undertake His service, that we revere Him and humble ourselves before Him, that we love Him, trust in Him, and give over our lives to Him, that we abstain from what He hates, devote our actions to His Name, that we reflect on the benefits He bestows, and similar things which are performed by the thoughts and sentiments of the heart but do not associate with activity of the visible limbs of the body.

Belief & Trust in G-d is also an important aspect of being pleasant. When a person believes in G-d – knowing that all that comes from Him is for the good – his or her reactions are different than one who lacks trust. A person who trusts Hash-m will understand that all that happens is for the good. Keeping that in mind at all times is a challenge. To do so one can read books like the series “Living Emuna – Living a daily life of Trust in Hashem” By Rabbi David Ashear illuminates practical stories of how simple people who trusted Hash-m were able to overcome many difficulties.

Practice smiling.

Practice connecting.

Become better every day.

The Census of the Israelites – Lift Up Your Fellow & Yourself

The Parasha / Torah reading of Ki Tisa Hash-m / G-d tells Moshe “When You count the heads of the children of Israel – you will take an atonement for their souls. And their shall not be a plague among you.” (Shemot / Exodus 30:12)

The Torah does not use the Hebrew word for “Count” it uses the Hebrew word “Tisa” which means uplift. Meaning when we encounter a person – it is up to us to uplift them. Help them reach a higher level spiritually. Say a nice word. Smile. Teach them some Torah thought.

In Pirkei Avot (1:12) it says “Be like the Disciples of Aharon HaCohen (Aaron – Brother of Moses) – Love Peace and Pursue Peace – love the creations and draw them close to the Torah.” That’s how we lift others up – by drawing them close to Torah.

Making others feel better makes you happy as well. It works both ways – we should be happy – and that will overflow to others. But also when we rejoice others it makes us happy. Why? Because doing a mitzvah (of making others happy) gives joy to the soul.

The Jews would count by means of each person giving half a Shekel coin. They would then count the coins. Thus the eye would not be focused on the people but on the coins. Something that is counted limits it and limits the blessing. When the blessing is limited the “Evil Eye” can affect it. Thus by counting coins instead of people – it prevents a plague from happening to the people.