web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Marriage


Magill-031612

What’s more important – love or money? Let’s hear what a 90-year-old woman sitting in front of two elevators in a nursing home had to say. I asked her, “If both elevator doors opened at the same time, and out of one came the richest man in the world, and out of the other came the nicest man in the world, who would you want to marry?”

She thought about it for a good while and then answered, “Both of them.”

Yes, in marriage love is important, but so is the ability to buy life’s necessities and even some nice things. However, I don’t think that two people who love each other and are committed to a religious life together should put aside the chuppah because they’re not wealthy enough to buy all those things that other newlyweds seem to be getting.

Also, I don’t think a person should choose their marriage partner based on how much money he or she brings to the table.

The Torah offers interesting lessons on what qualities one should look for in a potential spouse.

Yaakov fled from his brother Esav who had murder on his mind. He headed to his mother’s family in Charan to look for a wife. According to a Midrash, Esav’s son intercepted Yaakov along the way, and although he didn’t have the heart to kill him as his father had sent him to do, he did take his material possessions.

What kind of marriageable man would Yaakov be now? And how did he feel, as he most probably knew that when his grandfather, Avraham, had sent his servant Eliezer to the very same place to look for a wife for Yitzchak he had sent him with very impressive gifts laden on ten camels?

Imagine this scene. Yaakov comes to the well at Charan, penniless. A lesser person might have put off the pursuit of a wife, reasoning that he had nothing to offer a prospective mate. But Yaakov did have something of GREAT VALUE TO OFFER – far greater than any material gift – and that was his exemplary middos, his good character traits.

Yaakov sees Rachel at the well where she has come to get water. She would have to wait there until enough men came to move the stone off of the top of the well. But Yaakov didn’t want her to have to spend any more time there than she had to. He himself moved the stone and watered her flock, no doubt making a deep impression on Rachel.

When it came time to marry her, he was willing to work for seven years. Yaakov’s gifts to Rachel were not material in nature, but rather came from a higher place – his entire being.

Another example. When Ruth, a Moavite accompanied her mother-in-law Naomi back to her homeland, it was a great kindness. She was under no obligation to do so. No one would have expected her to. Eventually, she bears a child with Boaz, and many generations later would come David, and we believe that Moshiach will ultimately descend from this union. What was there about this Moavite woman that attracted Boaz to him and would cause such great lineage to come from them? HER KINDNESS.

When making a decision to get married, it’s important to have emunah. You cannot predict the future; you can’t know that all will be well. You need to have faith. I know of a man who was engaged to a woman whom he was deeply committed to. Both of them had jobs, but the man wished he was making more money and as he got closer to the wedding and began to think of all the upcoming expenses he began to wonder if he was financially stable enough to get married. He called a friend who was a rabbi and expressed his concerns. The rabbi responded, “You have to be like Nachshon ben Aminadav who walked forward into the Red Sea before it had split, until the water was up to his neck and then the water parted.”

The rabbi’s overriding message was that before everything is in place, have the courage to go forward with what’s important to you and know that things have a way of working out. The man was heartened by these words and better opportunities for employment have come their way since they were married.

I remember hearing the following story from my parents, may they rest in peace, when they were recounting my father’s proposal to my mother. I asked my mother what she answered. “I asked him,” she said smiling, “if he had the two dollars for the marriage license.” It was said partially facetiously, but there was some truth to it. Money was hard to come by for them at the time. But they saw in each other a life-long commitment and they were married for 50 years until my father’s passing. And they never wanted for anything.

They worked, bought a house, put children through college, bought nice furniture, went on vacations, etc. Sometimes, being with the person you love motivates you to work harder to get the money you need.

But far more important than the money they eventually built up, was the love and dedication to each other.

When my mother was ill, it was my father that studied the different medical procedures so that she didn’t have to be running back and forth to the hospital. Sometimes doctors would call my father for advice on how to do something to help my mother. When my mother, ill with cancer, saw an ad from a Jewish agency asking for volunteers to help newly arriving immigrants adapt to their culture, it was she who encouraged my father to do it. She didn’t want him spending every minute of his retirement with her; she wanted him to pursue a personal interest. She had an aide a certain amount of hours a week and she had relatives and friends dropping in. Without my mother suggesting it, I doubt my father ever would have done it. But he did volunteer, and it opened up a very fulfilling chapter in his life. And of course, he was there for my mother, always, when it really counted.

So, if you’re on the precipice of a marriage and if you’re wondering if your potential spouse is the one for you, it certainly is important to consider financial needs. But also consider whether you would enjoy being with this person day in and day out. And try to project to decades later – would that person be giving you and would you want to be giving back the support and love needed to get through good times and bad.

Marriage is far more than a beautiful chassanah, a beautiful face, and beautiful possessions. It’s for the long haul and a deeper beauty that goes beyond what you SEE and what you HAVE and transcends to what you want to GIVE and SHARE from the depths of your heart. Those qualities are priceless.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Marriage”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Gidon Saar Resignation Announcement
Minister Gidon Saar Unexpectedly Announces Resignation
Latest Sections Stories
Ganz-091214-Fifty

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

Goldberg-091214

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

Women's under-trousers, Uzbekistan, early 20th century

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

Maybe now that your kids are back in school, you should start cleaning for Pesach.

The interpreter was expected to be a talmid chacham himself and be able to also offer explanations and clarifications to the students.

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

“On Sunday I was at the Kotel with the battalion and we said a prayer of thanks. In Gaza there were so many moments of death that I had to thank God that I’m alive. Only then did I realize how frightening it had been there.”

Neglect, indifference or criticism can break a person’s neshama.

It’s fair to say that we all know or have someone in our family who is divorced.

The assumption of a shared kinship is based on being part of the human race. Life is so much easier to figure out when everyone thinks the same way.

Various other learning opportunities will be offered to the community throughout the year.

More Articles from Alan Magill
Lessons-Emunah-logo

The simple act of kindness should be the reward itself. Anything more in the form of a reward is gravy.

Lessons-logo

Patience seems to be in such short supply these days, yet it can make a world of difference. This is particularly so in certain kinds of stressful situations whereby we think we only have time to act in a knee-jerk way instead of acting thoughtfully.

I recently heard a Pirkei Avos shiur in which the speaker said that our spiritual DNA derives from our patriarchs and matriarchs. The great tests they withstood and for which they gained ever greater prominence was witnessed by the Jews who followed them, many of whom succeeded in overcoming great challenges as well. It seems that an individual’s great effort helps the spiritual strength kick in.

The first and only time I said I was a rabbi was also the first and only time I had a gun pointed at me. What led me to that moment was my need to stay on the Upper West Side for a Shabbos and a hospitality committee that arranged for me to stay with a man who lived in the former janitor’s apartment on the fifth floor of a synagogue.

It is very important for Jews to first help family, then other Jews close to us, then Jews not as close. Next, if possible and appropriate, Jews should help those of any race or creed.

The five-year-old boy was in a church in Puerto Rico with his parents. As they and his grandparents were Catholics, that made him Catholic – as far as his young mind could figure.

I was preparing a shiur to honor the memory of my father, Paul Magill, a”h, on the 20th anniversary of his passing, and I was looking at that week’s sedrah, Parshas Re’eh. I was struck by the words, “See, I present before you today a blessing and a curse. The blessing: that you hearken to the commandments of Hashem, your God, that I command you today. And the curse: if you do not hearken to the commandments of Hashem, your God, and you stray from the path that I command you today, to follow gods of others, that you did not know.”

Feeling more alone than at any time since arriving in New York, I looked inside myself for anything that could anchor me to bring me back to who I was, to move away from illusions of romance to my central sticking point. Suddenly and unexpectedly, being a Jew meant more to me than anything else in the world.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/marriage/2012/03/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: