||THE GEMORA'S FORMULA FOR PEACEFUL MARRIAGE, PART ONE: THE BASIS OF THE "FORMULA"
- Thursday, October 4, '01 - Chol Hamoed Sukkos 5762
This is the beginning of a nine-part series which is primarily based on a statement in the Gemora which constitutes what I call "the Gemora's FORMULA for a peaceful marriage." By studying, elucidating and elaborating upon it; a sincere couple can learn much about how to establish a peaceful life together, to establish values and priorities that will incline them to peace and to enable them to study each other so as to devise ways, customized to their personalities and relationship, to conduct themselves so as to actually live a life of practical shalom bayis [peaceful marriage].
There are several enigmas and questions in the statement from the Gemora which will be fundamental to studying and analyzing it, and discerning from the statement how it constitutes a formula for peaceful marriage. Therefore, after bringing the quote from the gemora, I shall list the questions. The answers will be strewn throughout this nine-part series and will come together like pieces of a puzzle that, after assembling, will come together to make a clear and pretty picture. The discussions in this series will stem from both my Torah learning on the subject matter as well as my practical experience working with people (as a counselor and doing programs with live audiences around the English speaking world). I will bring you the quote from the Gemora and then furnish the questions. You might want to print this section out and retain it, so that the following sections provide optimum meaning, understanding and, most important, practical usefulness.
THE GEMORA QUOTE
"The man who loves his wife as himself and who honors her more than himself...to him scripture refers when it writes, 'And you will know that in your home is peace'(Joeb 5:24)."
Let's look at this. Right away there are several major questions. When we consider that the Talmud is the oral tradition given by G-d to Moshe, together with the written Torah scrolls, these questions are profound and serious indeed. The answers are the wisdom of the Creator, Who is teaching us how He created the human being. We're being told, in all Torah teachings on the subject, how marriage was created and how to manage marriage successfully "right from the source." Consider the Torah to be "inside information" on life!
These questions are interdependent and require my developing themes progressively towards a conclusion which ties everything together.
- Why does the teaching address itself to the man? The ultimate goal is peace which requires participation by, and which impacts upon, both the husband and wife.
- Why love as much as self?
- What is love?
- Why honor more than self?
- What is honor?
- How does this add up to peace?
- How (if it starts only with the husband) do we get to where the peaceful results end up equal and reciprocal?
- What is peace?