Happy Chanukah from the Worlds Largest Menorah at the Port of Tel Aviv, Israel
Yesterday (Wednesday) I used my other server..The email is entitled "not sure yet" Please check your spam box if you didn't get it or email me as you may not be on my second server's list. I will do this each Wednesday for awhile to check it out. Please let me know so I can add you.
Jewish wisdom defines marriage as the commitment a man and a woman make to become one and to pursue together common life goals. Marriage is a means and not an end. No realization is more important than the awareness that marriage in and of itself is not a life goal, but rather a supremely potent vehicle for achieving life goals with a drive, energy and effectiveness not available from any other source. It creates an expanded sense of being and potential while providing a wellspring of insight into self, others and life.
People think that marriage is a goal that brings with it happiness, contentment and most everything that life in the single's lane is lacking. Untrue! A person who is depressed, aimless and single and who then marries will be depressed, aimless and married. To be married without having life goals is like being all dressed up with no place to go. To be married and to share a vision shaped by common ideals and dreams is to embrace a path of boundless potential.
Besides sharing the same goals, and having the necessary chemistry, what character traits should one look for in a spouse? Three of the most important traits to look for in a potential spouse are kindness, loyalty and honesty.
Kindness means to be unselfish and genuinely concerned with the needs of others. It is indispensable in a prospective marriage partner because the essence of marriage is the fusion of two human beings into a new unified being. The presence of the trait of kindness is an indicator that the person you are dating has the capacity for this expansion of self. It's just not possible to build a life with someone whose world view contains little more than him or herself.
Loyalty means you can trust, rely and count on someone. When you are looking for someone who is loyal, it means you are looking for someone who understands that the commitment of marriage is forever. Without loyalty there is no meaningful relationship. There are just two lone travelers temporarily sharing the same quarters awaiting a disaster.
Honesty means that you must truthfully represent the kind of person you are. Lying creates an illusory world in an attempt to avoid consequences. It is devastating in marriage. It distorts the relationship, it's manipulative and it will almost always be discovered. Once uncovered, dishonesty creates an atmosphere of suspicion and doubt that drives away the possibility of intimacy. Both trust and genuine communication depend on mutual honesty. Without it, life becomes a charade.
There are 3 questions that need to be asked before asking someone to marry you. If you can't answer "yes" to all 3, then you are heading for trouble!
1. Do I respect this person enough that I want to be more like him/her?
Respect is crucial in any relationship, particularly marriage. The litmus test for respect is determining if you want to emulate this person. What qualities do you respect in this person? Would you be happy if your child turns out like him/her?
2. If his/her personality and habits stay exactly as they are today, will I be happy 20, 30, 40 years down the road?
Never marry potential. If you can't be happy with the person the way he or she is now, don't get married. Don't expect to change another person. You'll be frustrated and they'll be resentful. Can you accept this person exactly as they are, for the rest of your life?
3. Do we share common life goals and priorities?
Sure, chemistry and common interests are important. However, make sure you share the deeper level of connection that comes through sharing life goals. To avoid growing apart after marriage, figure out what you're living for while you're single and then find someone who independently came to the same conclusion as you.
A soul mate is really a goal mate -- two people who ultimately share the same understanding of life's purpose and therefore share the same priorities, values and goals.
The majority of marriages today end in divorce. Those who answer "yes" to each of these 3 questions have a good chance in succeeding to build a happy marriage. Those who cannot answer "yes" to all 3 questions are likely entering a marriage that will leave them disappointed, unhappy and single again.
Love Yehuda Lave
During Chanukah party week it is time for a little fun. I visit the Great Rav Kook's home in Central Jerusalem, the place of much of the beginning of Zionism with friends from the Orthodox Union and Emuna and take pictures of lights on the first night of Chanukah