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Committed Marriage: A Guide to Finding a Soul Mate and Building a Relationship through Timeless Biblical Wisdom

Overview

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 ...

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The Committed Marriage: A Guide to Finding a Soul Mate and Building a Relationship Through Timeless Biblical Wisdom

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Spirituality and Health magazine
Taking in the wisdom contained on these pages, we realize that marriage is a perfect venue for working out the purpose of our lives.
Spirituality & Health magazine
Taking in the wisdom contained on these pages, we realize that marriage is a perfect venue for working out the purpose of our lives.
Spirituality and Health Magazine
Taking in the wisdom contained on these pages, we realize that marriage is a perfect venue for working out the purpose of our lives.
Publishers Weekly
Traditionally, many Christian denominations have held fast to the belief that those who confess God's saving grace from sin will be rewarded with eternal life while those who reject this grace will be damned to eternal perdition. Such a belief, according to ministers Gulley and Mulholland, fails miserably to acknowledge the real message of Christianity: that God's gracious arms are wide enough to hold every person, regardless of shortcomings or sins. The authors did not always feel this way, and their little meditation on Christian universalism is as much autobiographical confession as theological treatise. Using stories from their own lives and ministries, Gulley and Mulholland devote a chapter to each of the words in the sentence "why God will save every person." In a seamless voice, they tell of people's struggles to accept teachings of the church that keep them from closeness with God. They also recall events in their own lives where they stood in the way of God's grace operating in personal relationships. For example, when one of their ministerial friends declared his homosexuality, they realized that-despite their former judgmental stance on homosexuality-this person deserved God's love and grace as much as any other. Salvation, they argue, is simply being freed of every obstacle to intimacy with God. Gulley and Mulholland's stirring manifesto on the central role of universalism in Christianity will provoke traditionalists and encourage new ways of thinking about the nature and purpose of the Christian faith. (July) Forecast: The controversy that has surrounded this book is almost certain to help its sales. Gulley, one of the CBA's leading fiction writers, lost his contract with his evangelical Christian publisher when the house learned of his theological views on universalism. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Jungreis, a Holocaust survivor, descendant of generations of rabbis, devoted matchmaker, and noted lecturer, writer, and Torah scholar, here offers advice on building a strong marriage using religious principles. Her advice is to develop five major qualities, each a subdivision of the book: develop a good eye (i.e., see life in a positive way), become a good friend, become a good neighbor, anticipate the consequences of your actions, and, finally, develop a good heart through acts of loving kindness. Because scriptural quotes and encouragement to engage in Torah study figure prominently, the author's intended audience is certainly young Jewish people; however, her advice is practical and optimistic, so readers of other religions could find wisdom in her words. Recommended for larger public libraries and especially Judaic collections.-Kay Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills, MD Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060937836
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/11/2004
  • Edition description: First Harpercollins Paperback Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 981,835
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis was born in Hungary and is descended from a great rabbinic dynasty that traces its lineage back to King David. Founder and president of Hineni, an international out-reach organization with centers in New York and Jerusalem, she writes a weekly column for the Jewish Press, has a weekly television program, lectures extensively, and has been featured in numerous national publications, among them The New York Times, Newsweek, Time, and People. She lives in New York.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi
1 Finding Your Soul Mate 1
Prelude 17
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
17 Shteiging--Growing Step-by-Step 259
18 Postscript: Time to Grow Up 265
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First Chapter

The Committed Marriage
A Guide to Finding a Soul Mate and Building a Relationship Through Timeless Biblical Wisdom

Chapter One

Finding Your Soul Mate

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
A Guide to Finding a Soul Mate and Building a Relationship Through Timeless Biblical Wisdom
. Copyright © by Esther Jungreis. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2008

    A reviewer

    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 relationships

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