Photo Credit: UCN
Rabbi Shmuley and Debbie Boteach were honored as New Jersey's Parents of the Year for 2012.

At the Bat Mitzvah celebrations we have had for our daughters I have given each the same blessing. “There are those who seek attention, and then there are those, so strong in themselves, that they never require the validation of others. There are those who live life in the spotlight and those who, possessed of so much inner light, instead shine it on others rather than spending their lives absorbing it. My blessing to you is that you grow up to be like Mommy. Be one of those who radiates, and never pilfers, the light.  Grow up to be like your mother and you will make me the proudest father alive.”

She has been the light of our family’s existence ever since.

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There are three reactions to seeing a beautiful snow-covered peak. The first is the utilitarian. The mountain is so beautiful, to what practical, selfish use can I put it, like charging people for a chair-lift ride to the top. The second is the reaction of insecurity that leads to craving dominance. Look at the enormity of that mountain. I feel so small in its presence. I better climb it to prove my superiority. But the third is a reaction of pure awe and wonder. To simply sit back, behold the mountain in all its majesty and allow it to render you passive with its grandeur.

These are the three stages that we men go through in our lives with women. First, recognizing a woman’s beauty we seek to possesses it. Second, recognizing the power and hold the feminine has over us, we feel challenged and weak and therefore seek to dominate it. But then we reach a point in our lives, recognizing the awe-inspiring majesty of the woman who is our wife, that we just sit back and behold, amazed and grateful to Almighty God that, though we were never worthy, He gifted us men with soul mates so that we are never alone.

“I give praise you oh Lord, that in my affliction, you have sent a salvation.”

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