Sunday, January 29, 2012

Life After Marriage

I'm not going to lie.
Engagement time wasn't fun. I couldn't wait for my engagement to be over, and I recently half jokingly told my husband "I never want to be engaged to you again."
Married life, however, is way better than engagement life. Baruch HaShem Yitbarach Shemo L'ad!!!

While nearly every chatan and kallah want a nice wedding, they must keep in mind that it's not the ikkar. The wedding is just one (extremely important) day; marriage, however, is what needs the real planning, work, effort, time, and investment.

What can I say about marriage?
well there's still a lot to learn, but so far, my favorite dvar Torah about marriage is as follows:

In Masechet Kiddushin, Chazal teach us about the kinyan of the isha. A man can "buy her" (buy - read: acquire) through three ways. From where do we learn this concept of kinyan?
From Avraham and Efron. Avraham purchased maharat hamachpelah from Efron, in order to bury Sara, his beloved wife, in Hevron.

How does that make sense?
We learn MARRIAGE from Avraham buying a GRAVE?
(that is already begging for a marriage joke!)

So, what's going on here?
The answer is very beautiful and applicable. Avraham and Efron were both happy and satisfied with the deal they made. Avraham was happy because he purchased a valuable plot in Eretz Yisrael where his dear wife, himself, and future relatives would be buried. Efron was happy because he got his money.
So too...
A HUSBAND AND WIFE - BOTH - need to feel like they got the best deal ever. They always need to be happy and satisfied. The husband should think "wow, my wife is the best. She's so beautiful, holy, smart, understanding, etc." and the wife should think that her husband is such a wonderful tzadik.
At first, some might think this seems unrealistic -- afterall, doesn't everyone have flaws?
Yes, everyone has flaws, but common advice that was given before: "while dating, keep both eyes open. While married, keep one eye closed." Just because a spouse has flaws doesn't mean that you should focus on the flaws. The key is focus on the positive attributes. The key is to remember why you married that person in the first place. The key is to feel happy and know that HaShem sent you the best zivug ever.
There is nobody like your zivug in the world, and there never was and never will be.
So too with every Jew. YOU are unique. There was NEVER anyone exactly like you before, and there NEVER will be anyone like you. You're the only one who can carry out your life's mission, and you are the only one who can be yourself.

Pretty neat, eh? :)

Sooo, there's a lot to say about life. A lot to say about marriage. A lot to say about Israeli politics. And fruit in sushi. Perhaps we'll add that to the "To be continued..." list.

Shavua tov to all :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dating Advice

I wrote this post a while ago. These concepts are from a wonderful shiur by Rabbi Eliyahu Kin. I found it very helpful, and I hope y'all will as well.

Before a person dates, (s)he needs to be ready. There're three prerequisites a person should fulfill in order to be ready:
1. Not be picky (being particular about a certain look, financial income, etc.)
2. Not purposely delay marriage. (For example: I'm not dating now -- I'm too busy with my masters. When I finish my masters, I'll date.)
3. One must examine his deeds and make sure he's done his best to keep the Torah and mitzvot.


Because there're many individuals whom you can be compatible with, but there's only ONE who is best for you.
People are only shaliachs. HaShem is the One Who makes the shidduchim. Only He knows which 2 individuals match well together.
If a person isn't acting on their "best" behavior and working towards growth, then that person will not receive the best possible zivug. You're matched based on your current deeds. HaShem sends you the best possible match at a given time.

Now, let's say all 3 conditions are met. What do we do now??

1. PRAY!
Chazal quote a pasuk that says one should always turn to HaShem. One should pray because prayer can change any degree, regardless of what a person's mazal is.

One should pray that HaShem should please send him the best possible match; the right person who will also be a good person.

During Shemah Kolenu and the "yehi ratzon" at the end of the amida, a person should have zivug in mind, but he doesn't have to word it out.

Simple concepts a a man should have in mind:
-I want a wooman who will be an eshet chayil, who will be a good mother to my kids, and someone with whom I can build a bayit ne'eman b'yisrael.

Sefer Hassidim teaches to pray for your children to have good zivugim.


Hishtadlut shows HaShem that we are serious about finding our spouses.

The Chazon Ish taught that tefillah is more important than hishtadlut.


Men should give tzdaka at Shul when they go for minyan. Women should give tzdaka before lighting candles for Shabbat.
Charity can hasten the results; it makes a person's tefillah be heard all the more so.

4. CRY

The gates of tears are never locked.
Tears are an expression of the emotions of the heart.

And most importantly, NEVER give up. Ye'ush (despair) is one of the most crushing emotions an individual can experience.
Daven. If the situation gets more difficult, daven harder. If it's nearly unbearable, daven x100000000!