web analytics
September 24, 2014 / 29 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘chassan’

My Machberes

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Tefillin Declared Unfit

The Badatz of the Eidah Hacharedis has declared all stam (sifrei Torah, mezuzahs and tefillin) written by “SK” as unfit. (Please see the Jan. 27 My Machberes column for full details.)

 

Dushinsky Rebbe

Dushinsky Rebbe Visits New York City

Rabbi Yosef Zvi Dushinsky, Dushinsky Rebbe of Jerusalem, arrived in New York City on Wednesday, February 8. On Wednesday evening, February 13, the Rebbe will be participating in the wedding of a grandchild of his brother-in-law, Rabbi Yesochor Dov Katz, Williamsburg Dushinsky Rav.

The Rebbe will remain in the area for several weeks; a schedule, however, has not yet been released.

The Dushinsky Rebbe is the son of Rabbi Yisroel Moshe Dushinsky, zt”l (1921-2003), Dushinsky Rebbe and seventh chief rabbi of the Eidah Hacharedis of Jerusalem (from 1996 to 2003) and grandson of Rabbi Yosef Zvi Dushinsky, zt”l (1865-1948), who was Galanta Rav, Chuster Rav and later served as the third chief rabbi of the Eidah Hacharedis of Jerusalem (1935 to 1948).

 

Boyaner Chassunah

Boyaner Rebbe

On Tuesday evening, February 14, at the Royal Garden Hall in Petach Tikva, Dovid Moshe Friedman married the daughter of Rabbi Nochum Dov Brayer, Boyaner Rebbe in Jerusalem. The chassan is the son of Rabbi Dov Beryl Friedman, Chortkova Rav in Antwerp. A huge tent was erected to accommodate the huge crown. The aufruf was held at the Bernstein Beis Medrash in the Geulah neighborhood of Jerusalem. Shabbos Mishpatim sheva berachos, as well as sheva berachos on Monday, February 20, will be held in a huge tent in Jerusalem near the Boyaner Beis Medrash.

The chassan is the grandson of Rabbi Dovid Moshe Friedman, zt”l (1914-1988); son of Rabbi Dov Ber Friedman, zt”l (1882-1936), Chortkova Rebbe in Vienna; son of Rabbi Yisroel Friedman, zt”l (1854-1933), second Chortkova Rebbe and author of Ateres Yisroel and helped establish Agudath Israel; son of Rabbi Dovid Moshe Friedman, zt”l (1927-1903), founding Chortkova Rebbe and author of Divrei Dovid; son of Rabbi Yisroel Friedman, zt”l (1797-1851), founder of the Ruzhin-Sadiger-Boyan-Chortkova dynasty, a grandson of the Meseritzer Magid.

Rabbi Dov Ber zt”l was the son-in-law of Rabbi Yitzchok Friedman, zt”l (1839-1917), Boyaner Rebbe; son of Rabbi Avrohom Yaakov Friedman, zt”l (1819-1883), Sadigera Rebbe and author of Emes LeKaakov; son of the founding Ruzhiner Rebbe.

Rabbi Nochum Dov was declared third Boyaner Rebbe on Chanukah, 1984, succeeding his maternal grandfather, Rabbi Mordechai Shlomo Friedman, zt”l (1890-1971) second Boyaner Rebbe who emigrated to Palestine in 1927; son of Rabbi Yitzchok Friedman, zt”l (1839-1917), first Boyaner Rebbe; son of Rabbi Avrohom Yaakov Friedman, zt”l (1819-1882), Sadegura Rebbe; son of Rabbi Yisroel Friedman, zt”l (1896-1840), Ruzhiner Rebbe.

Rabbi Nochum Dov is the son-in-law of Rabbi Meshulem Zysha Heschel, zt”l (1930-2003); son of Rabbi Avrohom Yehoshua Heschel, zt”l (1888-1969), Kapitchnitzer Rebbe. Rabbi Mordechai Shlomo was one of four sons and the only one to have survived the Holocaust.

 

Sadigura Rebbe

Sadigera/Lubliner Chassunah

On Wednesday evening, February 8, in front of the Sadigura Beis Medrash in Bnei Brak, Aaron Ber Friedman married the daughter of Rabbi Avrohom Naftali Eiger of Zurich, a direct descendant of the Lubliner chassidishe dynasty as well as of the venerated Rabbi Akiva Eiger, zt”l (1761-1837), chief rabbi of Posen and prolific author. The wedding was then celebrated by thousands in the Keser Harimon Hall.

The chassan is the son of Rabbi Yisroel Moshe Friedman, Sadigura Rav of London and only son of Rabbi Avrohom Yaakov Friedman, Sadigura Rebbe in Israel and member of the Council of Torah Sages.

The aufruf took place at the Sadigura Beis Medrash in Golders Green in London on Shabbos Bo. A second aufruf was celebrated in Bnei Brak, on Shabbos Beshalach, at the Sadigura Beis Medrash with the participation of the Sadigura Rebbe. Shabbos Yisro Sheva Berachos were held at the Sadigura Beis Medrash in Jerusalem. The Sadigura Rebbe came for Shabbos and led the tefillas and tisch.

 

Gravesite Of Rabbi Boruch Ber Leibowitz Found

Rabbi Boruch Ber Leibowitz, zt”l

Renowned as a Talmudic genius, Rabbi Boruch Dov Ber Leibowitz, zt”l (1864-1939) studied at various yeshivas and became an outstanding student and disciple of Rabbi Chaim Soloveichik, zt”l (1853-1918), Brisker Rav. “Reb Boruch Ber,” as he was respectfully called by his thousands of students, succeeded his father-in-law, Rabbi Avrohom Zimmerman, zt”l, who became Halusker Rav in 1890. Reb Boruch Ber was elected Slabodka Rosh Yeshiva in 1904.During World War II the yeshiva had to flee to Minsk, and then to Kremenchug in Vilna. The yeshiva moved to Kaminetz in 1926. Reb Boruch Ber died on Friday, November 17, 1939 (5 Kislev, 5704).

My Machberes

Friday, February 10th, 2012

The Red Strings Of Kever Rachel

Many question the alleged powers of the red strings from Kever Rachel. Supposedly, one who wears a red string that was wound around Rachel’s tomb is protected from the evil eye as well as other negative influences. Some men carry red strings in their wallets, and women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant sometimes wear red strings around their waists.

Kever Rachel

Dubious peddlers of Kabbalah promise all types of mystical powers for anyone willing to pay exorbitant prices for their red stings guaranteed to have come from Kever Rachel. These same impostors recently organized a “mystical” dance by men and women, Jewish and non-Jewish, together on the rooftop of Kever Shimon bar Yochai (Kever Rashbi) in Meron, where they also recited the Kaddish, making it into a mockery.

Some have likened the red strings of Kever Rachel to superstitious practices resembling idol worship as described in Tosefta Shabbos 7:1, where certain practices, including tying a red string around one’s finger, are prohibited because of “darchei emori.” The practice of having the string wound around Kever Rachel seven times is cited as “traditional,” with out any specifics.

In a responsum published in 1987, Rabbi Moshe Stern, zt”l (1914-1997), Debretziner Rav and author of Beer Moshe, responded to an inquiry regarding tying strings on children to ward of the evil eye. He wrote: “That was the common practice; they were careful to tie a red string on the carriage or the crib of a child because of the evil eye. All of these are the practices of elderly women, regarding which the Rashba wrote that we should not mock their words and practices, for they are certainly founded in the sacred origins, even if we have forgotten the reasons.”

In a letter to the editor of Der Blatt, the popular Satmar Yiddish weekly, a reader, responding to an article on the history of Kever Rachel in which the author stated that the segulah of the red string has no Jewish source and that the practice is a non-Jewish one, claimed to have asked a respected chassidishe rebbe about this and was given a number of citations, among which were the following:

Sefer Yesod Likra, by Rabbi Aryeh Leib Liphshitz and Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga Lipshitz-Halberstam, published in Jerusalem in 1927, and republished in 2003 by the Kever Rachel Institute: “The custom of winding red string around Kever Rachel becomes blessed and …it is an established segulah to ward off pains and the evil eye, for fertility, easy birth, and more.”

Sefer V’zeh Shaar Hashamayim by Rabbi Dovid Rozoff: “That it is an old custom to tie the red string around the neck or wrist, as a protection against many dangers, especially for pregnant women. First one should wind the string around the monument at Kever Rachel, thus transforming it to a segulah, proven effective time after time.”

Sefer Shut Meoros Noson by Rabbi Noson Geshtetner, zt”l (1932-2010), rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Ponim Me’iros and rav of Kiryas Agudas Yisroel in Bnei Brak: “Red string is wound around the monument of our Mother Rachel and is tied around the wrist for a segulah and for a yeshuah. It is well known that our mothers and grandmothers did so from the earliest times, and that it is a tradition passed down from generation to generation….”

Expanded Simcha Of The Vishnitzer Chassunah

On Wednesday, February 1, Yoel Yesochor Dov Berish Shneibalg married the daughter of Rabbi Meir Teitelbaum, son of Rabbi Yosef Teitelbaum, Neplemitzer Rav in Boro Park. Rabbi Meir is the son-in-law of Rabbi Yisroel Eliezer Fish, Biksader Rebbe; who is a son of Rabbi Nochum Zvi Fish, zt”l (d. 2003), Biksader Rebbe; son of Rabbi Eliezer Fish zt”l Hy”d(1880-1944), Biksader Rebbe and author of Shem Eliezer murdered in the Holocaust. Rabbi Yisroel Eliezer is a son-in-law of Rabbi Mordechai Hager, Monsey Vishnitzer Rebbe.

Monsey Vishnitzer Rebbe

The chassan is the son of Rabbi Yisroel Shneibalg, Chernowitzer Rav in Boro Park; son of Rabbi Moshe Shneibalg, Chernowitzer Rebbe in Williamsburg; son of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Shneibalg, Manchester Rav. Rabbi Moshe is the son-in-law of Rabbi Eliyahu Aryeh Terkeltaub, zt”l, Asho Rav. Rabbi Menachem Mendel is the son of Rabbi Dovid Shneibalg, zt”l (1894-1969), Vishnitzer dayan and rosh yeshiva in Grossverdein. Rabbi Dovid was appointed rosh yeshiva at the yeshiva’s inception in 1918. Surviving the Holocaust, he established Beis Medrash Machzike Hadaas in Manchester, England.

Rabbi Yisroel Shneibalg is the son-in-law of Rabbi Pinchas Hager, Boro Park Vishnitzer Rav and son of the Monsey Vishnitzer Rebbe. Thus both chassan and kallah are great-grandchildren of the Monsey Vishnitzer Rebbe.

My Machberes

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Editor’s Note: A photo Rabbi Tannenbaum included in last week’s My Machberes, of a meeting in Jerusalem between the Satmar and Belzer Rebbes, was, unfortunately, not authentic. The picture was obviously Photoshopped. Such a meeting did not take place. We regret our oversight in publishing it.

Rabbi Aryeh Malkiel Kotler

Lakewood Yeshiva Bans Smoking

The roshei yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha (BMG) of Lakewood have issued a wide-ranging prohibition forbidding smoking of any kind in any of the facilities of BMG, though smoking by BMG’s students has been banned for quite some time. Students include those married as well as those unmarried. The extended ban by Rabbi Aryeh Malkiel Kotler, Rabbi Yeruchim Olshin, Rabbi Yisroel Neuman, Rabbi Dovid Schustal and Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon now includes everyone, every type of smoking, in every facility. Further, the ban also includes electronic smoke. Additionally, the ban specifically forbids all smoking in public. The prohibition has been enthusiastically received.

 

 

 

Serdehaly/Toshnad Chassunah

On Tuesday, February 7, Mordechai Katz will marry the daughter of Rabbi Eliyahu Yitzchok Brisk, Toshnad Rav in Monsey, in Ateres Chaya Sarah Hall on South Madison Avenue in Monsey. The chassan is the son of Rabbi Asher Anshel Katz, eldest son of Rabbi Chaim Leib Katz, Serdehaly Rav in Boro Park. Rabbi Asher Anshel is the son of Rabbi Yehoshua Katz, zt”l (d. 1985), Sombotheily Rav; son of Rabbi Asher Anshel Katz, zt”l Hy”d (1881-1944), Serdehaly Rav and author of Ule’ashar Omar; son-in-law of Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Ehrenreich, zt”l Hy”d (d. 1944), Shomloyer Rav and author of Lechem Shlomo. Rabbi Chaim Leib is also a grandson of Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Pollack zt”l, Woodkerter Rav.

The kallah is the granddaughter of Rabbi Yehoshua Brisk, zt”l (1932-2010), Toshnad Rav in Netanya; son of Rabbi Aaron Zvi Brisk, zt”l (d. 1960), Tashnad Rav who immigrated to Natanya; son of Rabbi Mordechai Brisk, zt”l Hy”d (1886-1944), Toshnad Rav and author of Maharam Brisk; son of Rabbi Yehoshua Brisk, zt”l (d. 1914), Toshnad Rav; son of Rabbi Moshe Shmuel Brisk, zt”l (d. 1879), Nir’arad Rav; son-in-law of Rabbi Shimon Lieberman, zt”l, Shenya Rav; son of Rabbi Yitzchok Yehuda Lieberman, zt”l, Shenya Rav; son of Rabbi Shimon Lieberman, zt”l, Mahd Rav.

The celebrations begin with the Shabbos Beshalach aufruf, February 3-4, at the Serdehaly Beis Medrash in Boro Park, followed by a royal kiddush. In order to accommodate the large number of guests who will arrive to partake in the special Shabbos, chassunah, and sheva berachos, a special hachnassas orchim committee was formed to organize lodging. The Shabbos Yisro Sheva Berachos will be held at the Toshnad Beis Medrash in Monsey.

Nikolsburger Chassunah

On Sunday, January 29, Yitzchok Dov Jungreis married Tziporah Friedman, daughter of Rabbi Alexander Zusha Friedman, at the Ateres Chaya Sarah Hall in Monsey. The chassan is the son of Rabbi Mordechai Zev Jungreis, Nikolsberger Rebbe in Boro Park and Woodbourne. The simcha began with the aufruf on Shabbos Bo and continues with sheva berachos through Shabbos Beshalach. In order to accommodate a larger participation of chassidim, family, and friends, the tefillos, tisch and kiddush, led by the Nikolsberger Rebbe, were held at Beth El Hall on 15th Avenue in Boro Park.

Nikolsburg in Boro Park

The Nikolsburger Rebbe, a long time rebbe at Yeshiva Chaim Berlin where he continues to infuse his students with a passion for Torah and Yiddishkeit, established his beis medrash at 4912 16th Avenue, where he also conducts an evening kollel. The beis medrash exerts a magnetic pull and the Nikolsburger Rebbe has developed a lively following. Very much in the spirit of Rabbi Yeshaye Steiner, zt”l (1852-1925) – Keresturer Rebbe lovingly renowned as Reb Shayaleh Kerestirer – there is always a bounty of heimishe food on the tables in the beis medrash where the idiom “no one goes away hungry” rules. The Nikolsburger Rebbe has had much success with chassidishe youth-at-risk.

Immediately prior to the summer of 2010, the Nikolsburger Rebbe of Boro Park formally met with the dedicated administration of Woodbourne’s B’nai Israel Synagogue and, with their enthusiastic support, assumed summer leadership of the Woodbourne Shul. Though the shul had not been fully utilized for years, the board’s resilience in its maintenance is recognized as an important part of the shul’s successful transformation.

Nikolsburger Rebbe of Boro Park and Woodbourne

Nikolsburger chassidim upgraded the Woodbourne shul. In addition, they rented a home across the street that serves as the Nikolsburger Rebbe’s summer residence. With the shul’s downstairs refurbished and turned into a large second beis medrash, the shul accommodates more than one minyan at a time. Often, a third simultaneous minyan is held outside the front doors. The last minyan for weekday Maariv was scheduled for 11:45 pm, but minyan after minyan continued well past midnight.

My Machberes

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Belz – Satmar Reconciliation

On Monday, January 17, a distinguished group of Belzer chassidim visited the ohel in Kiryas Yoel. The group approached the gravesites of Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, zt”l (1886-1979), founding Satmar Rebbe and author of Divrei Yoel, and, his nephew and successor, Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, zt”l (1914-2006), Satmar Rebbe and author of Beirach Moshe.

At each gravesite the group gave charity, lit candles, recited Tehillim, and read aloud a letter from Rabbi Yesochor Dov Rokeach, Belzer Rebbe in Jerusalem, seeking forgiveness, as outlined in the Shulchan Aruch, Orech Chaim 606:1 and Rambam, Hilchos Teshuvah 2:9-10.

Included in the delegation were Belzer dayanim Rabbi Moshe Shimon Bineth, Rabbi Asher Eckstein, Rabbi Mordechai Galitzky, Rabbi Shimon Wolf Klein, Rabbi Shalom Pesach Langsam, Rabbi Wolf Ber Lerner, Rabbi Tuvia Watenstein; Belzer leaders Rabbi Ezriel Hecht, Rabbi Yosef Langsam, Rabbi Gavriel Menzer, and Rabbi Moshe Yosef Moskowitz. The letter was read by Rabbi Shimon Wolf Klein, the Rebbe’s gabbai.

Belzer Delegation at Kiryas Yoel ohel.

Though no explanations were given, much unofficial speculation has been offered. There is still anger over a speech given in Jerusalem by the Belzer Rebbe on Motzaei Shemini Atzeres/Simchas Torah 1981, shortly after the passing of the Divrei Yoel. The Belzer Rebbe was 33 years old at the time and had been serving as Belzer Rebbe since 1966.

 

Belzer Rebbe, Early Years

Born in 1948, today’s Belzer Rebbe married Rebbetzin Sarah, the daughter of Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Hager, Bnei Brak Vishnitzer Rebbe. At the time of the wedding, Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua’s father, Rabbi Chaim Meir Hager, zt”l (1887-1972), Vishnitzer Rebbe and author of Imrei Chaim, was still alive. The Belzer Rebbe resided in Bnei Brak for one year. In 1966, he moved his residence to Jerusalem, where he assumed leadership of the growing Belzer kehilla. In 1972, the Vishnitzer Rebbe passed away and Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua succeeded his father as Vishnitzer Rebbe in Bnei Brak.

Childless for several years after their marriage, the Belzer Rebbe and Rebbetzin visited the United States to seek the blessing of the Divrei Yoel and, presumably, to seek medical assistance. In 1975 they had a son, Aaron Mordechai, their only child. The two names are in honor of the child’s great-uncle, Rabbi Aaron Rokeach, zt”l (1880-1957), fourth Belzer Rebbe, as well as of the child’s grandfather, Rabbi Mordechai Twersky, zt”l (1902-1949) Bilgorayer Rav.

 

Belz-Eidah Hacharedis Differences

In 1981, the Belzer kehilla established its own beis din and kashrus certification. In effect, the Belzer kehilla seceded from the Eidah Hacharedis of Jerusalem, which was then a coalition of Toldos Aaron (today Toldos Aaron and Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok), Satmar, Dushinsky, etc. The move toward independence on the part of Belz and its then-realignment with the Agudah, Ger, Vishnitz, etc., was loudly condemned.

That year, when the Belzer Rebbe visited New York, the police, fearing violence, discouraged him from visiting Williamsburg. The Belzer Beis Medrash in Williamsburg had been ransacked and hundreds of chassidishe youths were stationed on roofs along the Belzer Rebbe’s expected route of entry. The Belzer Rebbe chose to forgo the Williamsburg visit.

The Divrei Yoel passed away on Sunday, August 19, 1979. In addition to serving as Satmar Rebbe, he also served as chief rabbi and president of the Eidah Hacharedis. The Beirach Moshe, as nephew, Sigeter Rav, and obvious successor, was not anointed as Satmar Rebbe until months later. In addition, until the first yahrzeit the Sigeter Rav chose to be called the Satmar-Sigeter Rebbe.

In 1979 the Divrei Yoel had invited Rabbi Yitzchok Yaakov Weiss, zt”l (1902-1989), Manchester av beis din and author of Minchas Yitzchok, to join the Eidah Hacharedis as rosh beis din. When the Divrei Yoel passed away, the Eidah Hacharedis appointed Rabbi Weiss as its chief rabbi. The position of president was given to the Beirach Moshe. Today, Rabbi Tuvia Yitzchok Weiss (no relation), former rosh beis din of Antwerp, is the chief rabbi of the Eidah Hacharedis; Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch is the rosh beis din, and Rabbi Dovid Soloveitchik, Brisker rosh yeshiva, is the current president.

Reportedly, the Belzer Rebbe has long sought to reconcile with his brother-in-law, Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, Satmar Rebbe. They are sons-in-law of the aging Bnei Brak Vishnitzer Rebbe, as is Rabbi Dovid Twersky, Skverer Rebbe. The old adage applies here: Those that know are not speaking, and those who are speaking do not necessarily know. Some are hinting that the Satmar Rebbe welcomes the Belzer Rebbe’s current outreach but declined to reciprocate until forgiveness was asked of the Divrei Yoel and the Beirach Moshe in accordance with the Shulchan Aruch.

Now that the Belzer Rebbe has formally, in adherence with Shulchan Aruch guidelines, asked forgiveness, many speculate that the Satmar Rebbe, who will be visiting Israel shortly, will openly meet with the Belzer Rebbe. Others maintain that Satmar will not warmly embrace Belz but will grant the same ceremonious cordiality as is given to Vishnitz, Ger, Modzitz, Boyan, etc.

The Need For More Marriage Education

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Are we doing enough to prepare our children for marriage? I’m not talking about matters of Jewish law which couples learn about with their chassan and kallah teachers before they get married. What I’m referring to is the lack of knowledge of effective communication skills needed to make marriage successful and relationship-building tools that can enhance feelings of love and camaraderie.

Couples in our community now face more demands than ever before. The typical complex marriage – managing two careers while rearing children – really requires that couples have very strong, well-established abilities to communicate, resolve issues, maintain mutuality and set goals. Without this foundation, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by stress and time pressures. Problems can intrude much more easily than most couples realize. Marriage preparation can function as an immunization that boosts a couple’s capacity to handle potential difficulties.

Overall, we need to give our young couples better skills so they can become successful in their marriages. Unfortunately, couples spend very little time learning about the art of shalom bayis before the wedding. And, unlike other professions such as law and medicine that test and certify their graduates, marriage – the most important and longest profession anyone can enter into – doesn’t require any specific training or certification. Therefore, many couples begin unprepared to meet the challenges that occur on a daily basis such as child rearing, financial pressures, and spending quality time together.

Think about it. A person spends around twelve years in school preparing to enter college which takes four years to complete. Yet, how many years do people train for marriage, which is supposed to last a lifetime?

To take the analogy one step further, if marriage would be placed side by side with other professions, how would it rank? Today, national statistics tell us that only about 50% of marriages are successful. Imagine a doctor who was successful only 50% of the time or a lawyer who only won half of his cases. At some point, there would be a national upheaval and public call to re-evaluate if these doctors and lawyers were truly prepared to enter into their professions.

I know that our community does not share these discouraging statistics. Yet, many of us believe that the divorce rate seems to be rising in the Orthodox world and that divorce appears to be more common than ever before.

All of this points to the need to address the challenges facing young couples and begin the process of pre-marital education. Couples need to learn marital skills and develop realistic expectations before the marriage takes place. Only then will they be prepared to cope successfully with the inevitable ups and downs.

Recently a new program called the S.H.A.L.O.M. Workshop (Starting Healthy and Long Lasting Marriages) was initiated to help engaged couples and newlyweds learn the skills needed to achieve successful marriages. In just one or two sessions the chassan and kallah cover important issues such as:

• Increased understanding and sensitivity to each other’s feelings • Communicating effectively through a sense of mutual respect • Promoting self confidence in each other • Financial Management

As their literature describes, “The S.H.A.L.O.M. Workshop teaches specific, easily learned methods for successful communication and effective problem-solving.” The goal is that participants will emerge with a deeper self-knowledge and the tools to build a happy, successful and long-lasting marriage.

It’s important to note that this workshop in no way replaces traditional chassan and kallah classes; rather it enhances the knowledge learned with easy-to-use and practical tools that can make marriage more enjoyable.

During the workshop, a couple will learn how to actively listen to one another, express their feelings in a healthy way and negotiate a power structure for making key decisions in their lives.

One workshop participant recently commented, “As I am getting married very soon, I think that my future husband and I will greatly benefit from the workshop. Taking the time to listen and let the other person know you are listening felt very validating, and actually enabled us to do something we both were too subjective to suggest doing with each other on our own.”

It’s time to expand the scope of educational programs offered to engaged couples to improve their chances of having a successful marriage and build a Binyan Adei Ad. A pre-marriage program like the S.H.A.L.O.M. Workshop is the place to begin.

To find out more visit their website at www.shalomworkshop.org.

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 9/19/08

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Dear Rachel,

I enjoy your column very much. Your advice to your many readers has helped me tremendously in my daily striving to improve my relationships with my own family and other Yidden.

Regarding your column of 7-25 (Love our way), a Chassidish woman wrote about her own experience with meeting her bashert. I have always been impressed by the Chassidishe derech in setting up shidduchim. I feel that having the parents meet the chassan before the boy and girl meet is very necessary.

I am not Chassidish; I am a giyores (convert) and my husband is a ba’al teshuvah. B”H, we have two sons (12 and 11) and a daughter (9). I realize my children are very young for me to think about shidduchim – however, I worry about the whole shidduch scene. I want to avoid the frustrations that many go through in the non-Chassidic world.

When my children are ready, I also would like to meet the prospective kallah or chassan before they meet for the first time. Do you think this is possible in the non-chassidishe velt?
Thinking ahead

Dear Thinking,

You are actually quite astute in thinking ahead. It is said that parents need to begin praying for their child’s zivug to be timely and appropriate and for the match to be successful just as soon as the child is born. After all, parents naturally pray for their children’s welfare from the day the little ones come into the world. So does it not stand to reason that our concern would extend into their adulthood as well?

Though frustrations are fewer where Chassidic mode is employed, the right match does at times take his/her time to appear. Mazel plays a big part even when couples date. Many encounter their zivugim without much hassle, though we tend to hear more about the difficult cases.

Will you be able to arrange a meeting with a prospective match for your child beforehand? It certainly is feasible – a shadchan (matchmaker) can make your desire known to the other party, and if the shidduch is enticing enough to begin with and is meant to be, I can’t see why the interested party would object.

By the time your children are ready, who knows what will have evolved or what procedures will be in vogue… Keep the faith and keep praying that they meet up with their soul mates with ease.

Dear Rachel,

The young Chassidishe female writer amazed me. I am married more than 40 years and cannot talk so freely with my husband. I know my married children cannot either for different reasons, and my single daughter is looking for someone with whom she would be able to discuss anything and everything. I don’t know if another such person exists.

Ten years ago we went to reserve a hall for my other daughter’s wedding. The lobby was rather small, 20-25 feet. We were leaving the office on one side of the lobby to take a look at the yichud room next to the chuppah room across the way when we heard the music signaling that the chatan broke the glass. So we walked slowly across the lobby, prepared to wait awhile.

When we got there, the kallah was already leaving the yichud room! My children and I looked at each other in amazement. To this day I wonder whether this couple is still together.

Impressed but skeptical

Dear Impressed,

Why the surprise? Certainly all marriages are not created equal – what works for one couple may not work for another. People are complex in their differing natures. There are those who can easily confide and share, and others who have a most difficult time communicating their feelings. Some couples wouldn’t dream of keeping anything from one another, while others instinctively know when a secret kept will serve to keep the peace and avoid turbulence.

Is one way considered wrong and the other right? Emphatically, no! For instance, a man can be a model husband: caring, responsible, giving and generous. Yet given his background and the manner in which he was raised, he may be unable to understand or tolerate another’s quirks. His wife is smart enough to know that while this lack of perception does not make him any less of a man or worthy spouse, it can trigger senseless arguing and lead to lashon ha’ra. Silence, in this case, is the golden rule to follow.

Interestingly, our Sages advise men not to divulge gossip they are privy to in the course of their day to their wives who may thereby be negatively influenced toward their spouse.

For readers who may not be familiar with the “yichud room,” this is a private chamber set aside specifically for the bride and groom following the nuptials, for a private tete-a-tete – ostensibly a first for the new couple. The Torah alludes to a husband and wife as “k’ish echad” – like one person. In the Yichud room, each focuses exclusively on one another, thus symbolizing their oneness – a unity sanctified by the foregoing ceremony.

Today, this brief respite is cut even shorter. Time is of the essence when the photographers who have the arduous task of amassing dozens of photographs of him and her and his and her sides of the family impatiently wait at the door, not to mention the anxious crowd eager to fete the bride and groom. So “yichud” is mainly symbolic and is not to be taken as the harbinger of a thriving relationship. There remains plenty of time to bond and grow together after the festivities are over. Reality is more apt to set in when the new couple is finally relaxed and alone, following all the excitement of the week long celebration.

I would advise you not to waste precious time fretting about not being able to tell your spouse everything. Shalom bayis (household peace), harmony and shared mutual interests are much more telling of a well-functioning marriage.

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 7/25/08

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Dear Rachel,

I really enjoy your column and it has helped me a tremendous amount in married life.

About a year ago (in your column of 6-13-07) you printed a letter from a frum girl who was engaged and didn’t know much about married life. She stated that she was uncomfortable with what she had learned.

You answered her very well and I was wondering if we could hear from her again. She should be married for about a year now and I am eager to know how she and other frum girls are faring in their married lives.

I too come from a frum home (chassidish) and never associated with a male until my marriage. I actually found the idea of not really knowing my chassan until marriage thrilling. After we married we had the chance to connect in such a deep way and to talk about things I had never discussed before with anyone.

The relationship exclusively between just the two of us made it so dear. I already loved telling him about myself during our sheva berachos.

I am curious to know if people have a hard time connecting or feeling comfortable with each other under the circumstance of not having had any previous experience. (I found this aspect exciting.)

I am married for a little over three years, Baruch Hashem, and still think that this is the way to go. My friends too seem fine, unaffected and happy. (We did everything the chassidish way.) I’d love to hear from others.

Love our way

Dear Love,

Thank you for validating the very purpose of this column, which is to provide a safe and anonymous forum for communicating, discussing or venting delicate issues that affect our daily lives.

In the column you cite, three young ladies – two engaged at the time – wrote about their apprehension at the prospect of finding themselves suddenly sequestered and having to be intimate with their other halves – virtual strangers up to then.

As clarification to the puzzled reader: In Chassidic circles, the concept of dating is a foreign one and, for the most part, frowned upon. The parents of children ready (at least age-wise) for marriage check out prospective matches before agreeing to have their son/daughter meet in a designated and supervised setting. Such an encounter (bashow in Yiddish) only comes into play once the boy has met the girl’s parents’ approval and the girl has successfully passed scrutiny of the boy’s parents.

The young ones do have their say and are, in fact, encouraged to voice their respective impressions of one another (to their parents in confidence following the bashow). Should they, for instance, feel no connection whatsoever and/or either of the young pair expresses a valid reason for refusal, the shidduch in tactfully nixed. (As one would expect under the circumstances, the boy or girl is spared the onus of having to turn the other down since at this stage the parents are doing the orchestrating.)

The number of bashows preceding the lechayim (which informally but officially signals the conclusion of a shidduch) ranges from one to a handful. Usually, two or three suffice, for if neither the boy nor the girl can by then come up with a solid excuse for rejection of the other, they are encouraged by their parents – who have already ascertained the viability of the match beforehand – to trust them and seal the deal of a lifetime. Often, to the delight of all concerned, the young ones take to one another like two peas in a pod, the chemistry between them sparking instantly.

The benefits of such an arrangement are not to be minimized. Just a few: Both the young male and female are spared the frustrations of dealing with shadchanim directly; fruitless conversations and awkward dates with unsuitable setups are avoided; the stress involved in having to reject someone is the responsibility of the parent. Plus, the appreciation of every milestone is elevated, every significant stage in life euphorically celebrated with a heartfelt hakaras ha’tov to Hashem. And as the writer above illustrates so purely and maturely, the sanctity of marriage is elevated when a couple unites as one without any preconceived notions of “love” and with no baggage, as in a “past,” to contend with.

As I had written to the anxious young lady in the column of last year: “You and your partner in life begin to “date” in earnest on your first day as husband and wife, with the newness and excitement of getting to know one another piquing your interest in each other on each successive day. The single who has been “hanging out” with the opposite sex long before even thinking of settling down may be streetwise, but her/his anticipation is short-lived and the thrill of togetherness will leave much to be desired.”

It would be nice indeed to get some feedback from other young couples of similar backgrounds (e.g., chassidish), to hear how they are doing – especially from those who had previously written, given their earlier trepidation and the traditional manner in which they first became acquainted.

Thank you for writing. May your enthusiasm and attraction to one another last a lifetime!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-112/2008/07/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: