- Choose LIfe
MK Moshe Feiglin
- How Israel MIght Look Next December if Abbas Succeeds
Dr. Tuvia Brodie
- Egyptians’ Have Lost The Right to Protest
- Magical Thinking and the Doom of Nations
Dr. Peter Vincent Pry
Global Agenda 12:14 AM 12/13/2013
Middle East 1:14 AM 12/13/2013
Inside Israel 3:15 AM 12/13/2013
MK Moshe Feiglin
Dr. Tuvia Brodie
Dr. Peter Vincent Pry
The Tovia Singer Show
Tamar & Tovia Dynamite
Baruch Gordon founded the Arutz Sheva-IsraelNationalNews.com website in 1995 and directed its English Media Department for 14 years. Baruch studied and taught at the Bet El Yeshiva Center, later serving as Dean of its Program for Overseas Students and Program for IDF Veterans.
Baruch is certified by the Dor v'Dor Institute to counsel married couples and prepare hatanim for marriage.
The "Ask the Rabbi" section of the Bet El Yeshiva's Hebrew website has become the premier venue for secular Israelis seeking rabbinic counsel on the internet. Below is an exchange from this week.
First my background: I got married two years ago and am a traditional Jew. We do not yet have children.
My wife insists that we go out together [by car] on the Sabbath for the sake of strengthening our marriage relationship. . I am not willing to violate the Sabbath in this fashion.
What is preferable: to drive on the Sabbath and thereby preserve our marriage or to get divorced? We both know that my refusal to ride in a car on the Sabbath means that we have reached a dead end in our relationship. We must resolve this before we have any children.
I await your reply.
Shalom Dear Amit,
I am sorry to hear of the tensions between you and your wife, and the difficult trial that faces you. This issue is very, very complex, and I can only imagine the hard feelings involved.
On the one hand, your faith and your observance of the laws of Sabbath is of great import. It is your special connection with our Father in heaven – something that you truly believe in and connect with. To compromise your belief is tantamount to the destruction of your ideals and your inner faith. It is a departure from your inner essence.
On the other hand, you are married to someone that you love, someone with whom you believe that you can build your future, have children, and establish a family.
This dilemma is not an easy one, albeit it is one that unfortunately I come across occasionally in various forms, though not always in such an intense, yes-or-no scenario.
A person often feels he is torn between opposing forces and must choose one. Which should he forfeit?
However, from my experience and studies, I have learned that the truth is not to be found by giving up one side of the equation, but rather by navigating a middle road and building a bridge between the two sides.
Often times, when a person abandons one of the values he is grappling with, feelings of great frustration settle in and negative thoughts occupy his mind leading to a sort of breakdown, in the wake of which he can lose everything he has achieved. This "black and white" approach is therefore not helpful in the end, because it can break a person until he abandons everything.
Only a serious, wise solution.can extricate him from his predicament.
For example, in your case, it is important for you and your wife to engage in cool, relaxed discussion about this topic. The exchange must be held when you are feeling good with each other, and love and affection are in the air.
The stated subject of the conversation should be, "How can we preserve the beautiful relationship between us without destroying other values which are important?" This goal should be clear and defined, and the conversation should focus on this topic, with no beating around the bush.
If you forget for a moment the target of the negotiation, it is liable to deteriorate into an argument from which there is no way out. A fight will only leave more mental scars and hard feelings. Therefore, keep focused on the stated goal.
In this conversation, it is important to define the various aspects of the dilemma and explain why lack of a solution presents such a problem.
Lastly, you should try and find the golden mean, for example, remaining close to home without car travel, but giving your wife the full attention and affection that she needs, such as taking a long walk together. Also, seek out enjoyable outings such as concerts that do not oppose Torah law, yet are not old-fashioned.
In most cases, people discover that it is possible to bridge between the sides, and in hindsight, see no reason not to continue in this path. To the contrary, they find a deepening of their bonds and an increase in peace of mind.
Give it a try, and I will be happy to be a partner in the search for good and creative ideas that will fill your hearts with joy and strengthen the the relationship between you.
Much success in your endeavor,
Yitzhak [A Bet El Yeshiva rabbi]
The Ask the Rabbi section of the Bet El Yeshiva site has become the main venue for secular Israelis to reach out for rabbinical guidance. The letters provide a fresh perspective on Israelis seeking the spiritual roots of the Jewish nation.
I am a woman who recently became a Baalat Teshuva (returnee to Jewish observance), and I have many items that I stole from companies that I worked for. My question is, how can I return money for things that I stole? My particular concern is that I no longer know who runs or owns the company, and I am afraid that if I send a check to the company, it might reach the wrong hands, and then my teshuva (rectification) will not be complete.
I am sorry to bother you with this but I have no one else to ask, and Rosh Hashana is approaching, and I want to resolve this beforehand. What practical steps should I take?
What a merit it is for me to hear of the path you have embarked upon, and the transformation you have made in your life. I encourage and bless you to continue in this way, and reveal the exhilarating light that is hidden in every mitzvah, and in every righteous act.
According to halacha, a person must return what he stole. The best way to perform this is to return the money directly to the person you stole from. In your case, you can return money to the company, without their knowledge. Since the manager doesn't know that you stole from the company, you can rectify your deeds also without his knowledge.
If you want to send the company a check, you can send it in registered mail, so that the manager himself, or someone reliable will open the letter. Even though this costs a bit more, it is worth it to ensure that the check reaches the right hands.
Good luck Revital, and I will be happy to help you in any way I can. Feel free to turn to me, and I am always glad to assist.
On a recent trip to Manhattan, I spoke at a synagogue that boasts a majority of singles. One of my talks was on Dating and Marriage, and in the course of the weekend, the subject arose in several private conversations.
Many people feel, and I think that I am becoming one of them, that there is a serious epidemic which has spread amongst single religious guys aged 24 and up. The ailment is known as "fear to commit."
This Jewish single nearly drowned in the swamp
and was rescued at last minute by this article
Many girls have dated guys extensively only to have the relationship ended by the guy for what usually seems to be no reason other than he didn't feel they were a match.
In 1983 when I started going out on shidduchim [blind dates pre-arranged by a matchmaker], Rabbi Shlomo Aviner of Bet El published a book called Pirkei Ahava on dating and marriage. In the first few pages, he lays down a principle that changed my attitude towards shidduchim to the point that, coincidentally or not, I married the next girl that I dated. For me it worked. My wife and I have been married for 26 years, and the love and commitment has increased with each passing year (Though, I sometimes wonder if my wife feels the same).
Rabbi Aviner opens his book with a young girl and guy who have met extensively and are grappling with the decision to wed because of the real fear that maybe this isn't "the one." Based on reason alone, there is a green light for marriage because the girl has good character traits, her aspirations in life match his, and they get along fine together.
But the heart refuses to comply because his attraction to her is not steady. Sometimes he feels crazy about her, but most of the time he simply enjoys her company, in the same way that he anticipates he would enjoy the company of many girls. Despite some attraction to her and the joy of each meeting, there is no strong sensation that this is the one. To the contrary, there are many others, and maybe one of them is this guy's beshert [heaven-ordained match].
Lacking a feeling of certainty, the guy cannot commit. He tells her, "You are a nice girl, and thank you, but we are not a match."
The devastated girl goes to weep on her pillow, and the guy tells the matchmaker, "Next, please."
Rav Aviner explains that a person must approach the shidduch with emunah [faith]! He must have faith that if G-d has made this shidduch materialize, and...
Question: Huh? Does Rav Aviner expect me to automatically say "yes" and walk the plank blindfolded?
Answer: No, rather he is saying not to investigate and probe ad infinitum.
Think about it. The alternative is absurd. The only way to really be certain is to meet every single eligible Jewish girl on the planet before making a decision. Until then, you may be haunted with the doubt that there is another girl who is more suitable.
Question: Still, Rav Aviner sounds a bit trigger happy. Am I supposed to jump into a lifelong marriage relationship with a woman for who there is only "some attraction?"
Answer: Rabbi Aviner elaborates:
"The reason is that the core building of a marriage relationship is done through work [after the wedding]. Therefore, there is no need for a gush of attraction and burning love beforehand. If there is burning love, it may not remain. If there isn't, it can appear through [post-marital] work, because the essence of this world is human endeavor and toil… Therefore, a man need only check [before proposing] that a love relationship can develop, or check that there is no repulsion, and then plough ahead."
It is healthy and natural that there be some attraction to the girl. Therefore, if after meeting several times, there is no anticipation for the next meeting and no attraction, then reason dictates that you should end the shidduch.
But if there is some attraction, don't wait for the burning love of the movies or the special feeling that this is the one. That feeling will come as you build your relationship with your beloved partner.
Let's summarize: Rav Aviner is saying that if your date has good character traits, her family is normal, and your aspirations meet, then you must check that there is no blemish that will hamper a love relationship from developing – that is, no physical or character blemish that will stand in the way. If there is no repulsion, and there is some attraction, keep dating, and then - go for it.
Question: Do you love your fiancé?
Answer: I like her. She has a lot of great qualities, and I see nothing that will stand in the way of a true and deep love from developing as we build our marriage together.
Question: In other words, you are going under the chuppah [Jewish marriage canopy] with a girl who you don't love?
Answer: I have faith in Hashem that this girl is meant to be my wife, because I love many things about her, and therefore I love her. I cannot say that I have a burning love for her or state with certainty that this is my heaven-ordained match. But, I have faith in Hashem who brought about this shidduch that if I invest much love, patience, and consideration, then a wonderful, robust love relationship will develop. I have faith that my fiancé is meant for me.
If a guy is seeking a level of love and certainty that by definition can only appear after the wedding, he will spend many years as a frustrated bachelor, and be the cause for rivers of tears from many girls, one of which may have been his beshert.