I was one of the participants in the conference-call shiur you gave our group who are working on trying to break free from sex addictions. I can't thank you enough. For a long time, I was really down on myself and the more depressed I'd get, the worse I'd mess up. You were so positive, encouraging and non-judgmental. I feel like you threw me a rope to help pull me out of the muck. You should know that you helped a lot of us, because the head of our group said that this was a record-breaking shiur with hundreds of people listening in. Thanks so much and may you blessed with continued strength to keep doing what you do. From the heart, Srool the Tool
I deeply appreciate your email, but the credit goes to my teacher Rav Shalom Arush, Breslev Israel an Emunah Outreach, for everything I do is under their auspices. You guys are heroes - keep up your good work, and you'll bring Moshiach, for sure. With blessings always, LB
Six months ago I wrote you about my husband's spiritual slide, that he shaved his beard and stopped putting on tefillin in the morning. We exchanged a few emails and you told me that I was being too zealous and too "frum", always nitpicking at small details rather than stressing joy and emuna. I must be honest that you really upset me, and my heart (really my Yetzer Hara, but I didn't know it at the time) told me that you're just some NaNach-BT-Breslever parading as a rabbi and spiritual guide. But, when my husband opened up divorce proceeding in the Beis Din, I got a wake-up call from above that I had better listen to you. Other rabbis here were telling me to get a divorce. They said that my husband would ruin our three boys spiritually, and that I'd be better off on my own. You said the opposite. Despite the way I insulted you, you answered with patience that I should stop criticizing him and stop yelling, and that I should pray for him at least an hour a day. I did, while doing my best to control my temper and to be attractive at home. Better to be a meshiggina Breslever than an arrogant single parent. (I can't believe how arrogant I was in thinking all the negative about you - please forgive me).
The patience paid off. After Succos, my husband cancelled the divorce file. This has been the best Chanuka ever. Like it says in "Women's Wisdom," I give him nothing but positivity. It has paid off big time. He is doing all sorts of things to earn more love and respect, which he is thriving on. Not only is he back to davening with a minyan, but he now has a Gemara chavrusa between mincha and maariv every day. He is spending much more time with our boys too.
I don't know how many families Rabbi Arush and you have saved, but ours is one of them. I just want all your readers to know that Yiddishkeit with joy - and not zealotry - is the way to go. Forever gateful, Miriam from Queens
I don't remember that you insulted me but of course I forgive you anyway. Thanks so very much for your letter. Happy Chanuka and blessings for another simcha in the family this year, LB
Dear Rabbi Brody, I'm not a religious person, nor am I Jewish, but I've been a fan of your blog for almost 5 years now and feel so much better about myself ever since. Anyway, I'm going to be married in 3 weeks after 36 years of bachelorhood. I remember reading somewhere about someone who asked a Jewish wise man to teach him the entire Torah while standing on one foot, and I guess I'm asking you for the same thing. Even so, could you please give me a few general guidelines for insuring future happiness in marriage? I appreciate your time and attention. Tom S., North Carolina
First off, I suggest you read Rabbi Shalom Arush's classic book that I had the privilege to translate, The Garden of Peace. You won't be sorry.
In answer to your question, yes, there are some basic guidelines that work for any marriage, despite religious or cultural background. If you follow these simple points, you'll have a happy wife and your relationship will blossom. Real love comes with real commitment, and that begins only after you've taken the vows. Here are a few pointers that have never failed (if you follow them, I'll guarantee you a happy home until you and your wife reach 120):
1. Never criticize your wife, no matter what. In an environment free of criticism, she'll blossom emotionally, and she'll do everything in her power to please you, so ultimately, you won't have anything to criticize. 2. Never make a negative remark about her parents or family. Call your inlaws once a week. If you develop a good relationship with them, your wife will forever hold you in high regard. 3. Never say "no" to your wife; if she asks for something that you can't afford, tell her you'll get it for her as soon as you have the money. 4. Spend a minimum of 30 minutes a day listening to your wife - not talking, just listening. Show her that her life is important to you. If possible, you should set aside an hour a day for quality communication time together (sitting in front of the TV with beer and pretzels is not quality communication time!). 5. Make her first-priority in your life, above everyone else. 6. Agree on a mutually-acceptable third party (a clergyman you trust, etc.) to air your differences. 7. Never say a derogatory word about your wife to anyone. 8. If your wife is displeased with you, don't be angry; she's your mirror and she's reflecting you. It's also usually a sign that The Almighty is displeased with you. Rather than arguing with her, do some soul-searching, mend your fences, and you'll see how things work out for the best. 9. Smile always, and try your best to speak softly to her always. Nothing makes a wife nervous like an angry husband. 10. The more you develop your emuna (complete faith in G-d) and your trust in G-d, the more you'll develop inner strength. Wives love nothing more than a husband with inner strength that they can lean on. They hate when their husbands are emotional weaklings that lean on them. Emuna makes you strong.
I guess you can call the above list "The ten commandments for a husband". Thanks to you, Tom, we've finally written them down. I wish you and your bride all the happiness in the world. Blessings always, LB
People complain that they have trouble finding their soul-mate.
Sometimes, a person's nose might be a bit too high in the air...
When one’s nose is up in the air, it’s ever so hard to make proper judgments. The higher you go, the thinner the oxygen. The brain needs enough oxygen to function properly. In regard to shidduchim (matchmaking or dating, loosely translated), the individual with the high-elevated nose overestimates himself and sorely underestimates a match that might be perfect for him. His or her power of judgment is sorely impaired.
So, one should keep one's nose at low altitude, to avoid missing the train to his or her own wedding.
My cherished wife Yehudit deserves the credit for everything Hashem enables me to do. She inspired the following two-minute clip - it gives us all a goal to shoot for. Have a wonderful new week. Don't ever be discouraged because Hashem loves you just the way you are.
People are always trying to impress each other, especially since modern society places such an emphasis on the exterior. That's why clothes, cosmetics and coiffure are so lucrative. If you're looking for a soulmate, focusing on the facade could be a fatal flaw.
Look beyond the mask. Go deeper. Does he or she have a good heart? Don't focus on their appearance. Close your eyes and listen; discern whether you hear a tone of compassion and caring or a tone of egotism and blemished character. If you listen carefully, you'll be able to hear it. Don't be fooled.
Before a date, the best thing to do is to pray for Divine guidance, that Hashem should show you if this person is the right one for you. Don't go it alone - Hashem will be happy to help, just ask Him!