57 posts categorized "Marriage and family"

Joy, not Zealotry and Anger

Dear Rabbi Lazer,

Broken Heart
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 the Shalom-Bayit Shabbaton that you and Dr. Zev Ballen did here in LA this past October, my husband cancelled the divorce file. This has been the best Chanuka ever. And like you said in your lecture to women, I now 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. By the way, we hope that the Shalom Bayit Shabbaton will turn into an annual event here. Forever gateful, Miriam

Dear Miriam,

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  

Mi Adir, Shloimie Daskal

This post is in honor of Sara Techiya Litman, whose father and brother were killed in a terrorist attack last week, and her fiancé  Ariel Beigel, who are getting married tonight at Binyanei Hauma in Jerusalem. The Beams, Emuna Outreach and Breslev Israel wish them every blessing in the world!

With all the turmoil around us, let's not forget that there's much to rejoice in, such as our young people getting married. In Jewish tradition, as the bridegroom enters the wedding canopy or chuppa, we sing a moving melody entitled, Mi Adir, or "He who is mighty". Here is my special friend Shloimie Daskal singing Mi Adir with the inspiring "You Raise Me Up" melody by Josh Groban. Enjoy, and sing along. For your convenience, you'll find the lyrics in transliteration and translation below the vid:


Mi adir al hakol,
mi baruch al hakol,
mi gadol al hakol,
mi dagul al hakol,
hu yivarech es hechasan
hu yivarech es hakallah
hu yivarech es hechasan v'es hakallah


He who is mighty above all beings,
He who is blessed above all beings,
He who is great above all beings,
He who is distingui​shed above all beings,
May he bless the bridegroo​m
May he bless the bride
May he bless the bridegroo​m and the bride.

First, Be Friends

During the Jewish wedding and each festive meal of the subsequent seven festive days, we bless the bride and the groom, Sameach Tesamach Re'im ahuvim, "Be happy and rejoice, friends and lovers!" At a superficial glance, this blessing seems odd. If the young couple are lovers, then why say friends? Isn't that superfluous? The answer is simple. In order to be lovers, you have to be friends first. In fact, friendship is the foundation upon which a true and lasting relationship is built.

How does friendship manifest itself in a marriage? When you have a good friend, you enjoy spending time together. A husband's attention to his wife, walking together, dining together (not with the newspaper or TV, but with your partner), and especially learning together are superb expressions of friendship. Any act that constitutes a statement of, "I want to be with you!" is a beautiful compliment that warms the heart and cements a relationship. This type of friendship is a prerequisite to love.

Those couples who work on their friendship do a much better job of weathering the days of physical separation during the monthly cycle of Jewish family purity. Even more, during the clean days, a normal woman is disgusted by the mere thought of physical contact if it's not preceded by friendship and love. Friendship is great for the body and the soul. Shabbat takes on an entirely new dimension when a husband and wife learn the laws of Shabbat together. Nothing is more intimate - and healthy - than a husband and wife taking a long walk together and sharing each others secrets. When you make friendship a priority in your marriage, then your relationship will blossom like the Spring flowers, even in the winter.

Want to learn more?

Join us in LA this coming Shabbat:

Oct 30 31 LA

How to Reduce Your Phone Bill

Phone bill
A woman wants to feel that her mate is her best friend, a father, a mother, and a confidant all rolled into one. She needs the security that she'll be loved and accepted no matter what she does. She feels calm in knowing that even if she makes a mistake, he won't criticize her. She certainly doesn't need the type of husband that acts like the state's witness – when she tells him her troubles, he points an accusing finger at her, blames her, and belittles her. Soon, she won't share her thoughts with him and their lines of communication will be severed; he can only blame himself for the subsequent crisis that will surely arise.

Caution – as long as a wife seeks the ear of a girlfriend, it's a warning sign that she can't pour her heart out to her husband. As long as she needs the constant backing and encouragement of her parents, it's a warning sign that she doesn't get enough love and support from her husband. As long as she spends hours on the telephone, it's a warning sign that she lacks an attentive and receptive ear from her husband.

Beloved brothers, give your wife at least a half hour (barest minimum!) of quality one-on-one time every day with a listening ear; you'll not only have a better marriage, but your phone bill will be at least 30% less. Try it!

By the way, cellular phones were created for shalom bayit, for marital peace, so a husband can call home twice a day and tell his wife that he's thinking about her. You can't imagine what this will do for your marriage.

Have a great week. If you're in LA, join us for the "Shalom Bayit" Shabbaton this coming Shabbat, Oct. 30-31.

Oct 30 31 LA