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In our turbulent world, it sometimes seems difficult to forge and maintain the bonds of a committed, loving relationship. In The Committed Marriage, Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, esteemed teacher, counselor, and matchmaker, helps even the most pressured modern couples find harmony and unity, guided by the timeless wisdom of the Torah. Starting with the first stagesof finding a soul mate, and continuing through the challenge of learning to communicate with compassion and understanding, whether debating parenting ...
In our turbulent world, it sometimes seems difficult to forge and maintain the bonds of a committed, loving relationship. In The Committed Marriage, Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, esteemed teacher, counselor, and matchmaker, helps even the most pressured modern couples find harmony and unity, guided by the timeless wisdom of the Torah. Starting with the first stagesof finding a soul mate, and continuing through the challenge of learning to communicate with compassion and understanding, whether debating parenting issues or how to grow old in harmony, these real-life success stories reflect the practicality and endurance of traditional values. The anecdotes and true-life stories will speak to your heart and mind, while the Rebbetzin's faith and depth of understanding will inspire you and strengthen your marriage.
|1||Finding Your Soul Mate||1|
|Part 1||A Good Eye||19|
|2||Developing a Good Eye, Becoming That Desirable Mate||21|
|3||Marriage Is Here to Stay||35|
|4||Start Your Family with a Legacy of Song||47|
|Part 2||A Good Friend||63|
|5||When the Market Drops and You Hit Bottom||65|
|6||How to Build a Loving Relationship||77|
|Part 3||A Good Neighbor||93|
|7||Being Your Own Person||95|
|8||Be Your Own Advocate||107|
|9||Growing Together--Growing Apart||123|
|Part 4||Projecting the Future||139|
|10||The Hazards of Divorce||141|
|11||Communicating Without Hurting||159|
|12||When You Win, Sometimes You Lose||177|
|Part 5||A Good Heart||189|
|13||A Good Heart||191|
|14||The Power of Kind Words||215|
|15||Growing Old Together in Dignity||227|
|16||Hang in There||245|
|18||Postscript: Time to Grow Up||265|
I was sixteen when I made my first shidduch (match), for the elder sister of a classmate. It never occurred to me that there was anything remarkable about that until Nadine Blackman, a reporter who was writing a story on matchmaking, expressed her amazement.
"Why would a sixteen-year-old be concerned about making matches?" she asked. For a moment, the question took me aback. I grew up in a home where chesed (acts of loving-kindness) were a constant goal. In accordance with our tradition, there can be no greater kindness than to enable two people to meet their life partners. Our faith teaches that G-d Himself is occupied with this mitzvah (commandment), for, ultimately, it is He who makes every match. Nevertheless, in His infinite kindness, He invites us to join Him in partnership and act as facilitators. Now who would not welcome such an awesome privilege? Of course I would jump at the opportunity to make a match! To demonstrate further the extent to which matchmaking is part of our tradition, I shared with her a very personal and painful experience that I have often related.
My husband, who had always been in the best of health, overnight succumbed to the deadly disease of cancer. Although he was meticulous about having regular medical checkups, the tumor was not detected until it had metastasized to the entire wall of his stomach. In six agonizing weeks, he underwent three procedures, each bringing him closer to death's door.
I was sitting in the waiting room while he was undergoing his last operation, reciting psalms, looking at the clock, watching the door, waiting for the doctor to appear with some news. There was something surreal about it all. Surely, it was a nightmare from which I would soon awaken, and awaken I did, but not to news that I wanted to hear.
"I'm sorry," the surgeon said bluntly, "but I'm afraid he won't make it. He may have a few more days, perhaps even a week. If you wish, you can see him in recovery now, but don't stay long. He's heavily sedated." And with that, he left.
This surgeon was not someone I knew. He had been highly recommended by our own physician. I had no doubts about his competence as a surgeon, but his matter-of-fact way of delivering a death sentence made the news even more painful. But then again, I tried to be fair and asked myself, Is there a nice way to deliver such news? I just stood there, unable to breathe. Yes, I had suspected all along that I would hear such words, but it's one thing to suspect and something else again to be informed with such finality. I braced myself and buzzed the door to the recovery room. A nurse came and showed me to my husband's bedside. It was devastating to see him that way, lying there attached to myriad tubes. I took his hand, he opened his eyes, and I tried to smile as I fought to hold back the tears. "I just spoke to the doctor," I whispered. "He assured me that you'll be all right."
My husband's eyes filled with tears. "Let's talk emes -- honestly. Let's talk about things that are possible," he said. "Do you see that doctor over there? He's a very fine young man. He needs a shidduch. Find him a nice girl." I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. It's been more than six years since that day, and that incident has played and replayed in my mind. On each occasion, I have come to a greater appreciation of my husband's words. A man who knows he is dying has choices -- to be despondent, to give in to fear, or to look around and search for one more mitzvah, one more act of kindness, one more act of love to perform before he departs from this world. My husband chose the latter. Matchmaking is not something out of Fiddler on the Roof. It is a mitzvah that takes on gigantic proportions, because it's more than just helping two people: it affects generations to come.
Although I made my first match at sixteen, my first experience with matchmaking came immediately after the Holocaust when I was nine. We were in a displaced-persons camp in Switzerland and my parents were desperately searching for news of family members who might have survived the flames. We learned that on my father's side, with the exception of one sister who had been with us in the Bergen Belsen concentration camp, the entire family -- grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins -- had perished in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. It was a terrible time. Our grief was beyond words. Before the Holocaust there had been more than eighty-five rabbis by the name of Jungreis in Hungary (my maiden name was also Jungreis -- I married a third cousin), and now, overnight, this great rabbinic dynasty that traced its roots all the way back to David, king of Israel, was consumed in the flames. How did my father go on in the face of such a catastrophe? How did he deal with this unbearable pain? He gathered orphans, showered them with love, and, for those of marriageable age, he made matches. And that is how, at the age of nine, I learned that matchmaking is more than introducing two people. It is tikun olam -- bringing healing to the world, establishing homes, building families.
When we arrived in the United States in 1947, my parents continued their mission. Countless young survivors found their way to my mother and father, who readily assumed responsibility for them. My father accumulated dozens of notebooks, which he filled with names, addresses, telephone numbers, family history, and little tidbits of information that only he could decode. Wherever he went, those notebooks went with him ...The Committed Marriage
Posted July 9, 2008
You can read this book over and over and will always gain insight on how to improve yourself and your life. It is full of Torah wisdom that can be applied to everyday life situations for all kinds of people. Truly eye opening and needed. Tell everyone you know...They will thank you! FIVE STARS, A MUST READ. If you have the oppportunity to see the Rebbetzin at Hineni LIVE, it will enhance your life and your relationshipsWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.