Friday, January 13, 2012

MARRIAGE: The Rabbis on Shidukhim (Part 2/3)

In the matter of Shidukhim --finding the future spouse-- the Shulchan Arukh (eben ha'ezer 2:2) writes that one should be mindful of certain red flags in the family of the prospective candidates.

1. It mentions that it is not a good sign if a family is always fighting within themselves or with another family. One should look for a spouse that comes from a peace-loving family.  

2. It says that if a family is always trying to delegitimize other families is suspicious of being of an illegitimate ancestry (pesulim).  As a rule, our Rabbis asserted that when one is overly critical of others in one specific area, it is probably due to  his own guilt or remorse feelings in that specific area. For example, if someone is obsessively looking to prove that other people are stealing, it is possible that he himself is guilty of it.  The rabbis described this behavior with four words: kol hapoesel bemumo posel, "When someone [arbitrarily] criticize others, he is projecting his own flaws".  In our case then, if a family has an obsession for legitimacy, it is possible that they lack legitimacy.  (This pattern of behavior extends beyond the matter of 'legitimacy')

3. Furthermore, the Shulchan Arukh identifies the genetic setup of a Jewish person with the following words: Jews are innately compassionate, shy, and actively kind (rachmanim, bayshanim, gomle chasadim). So ingrained are these character traits in a Jew that the Rabbis declared that whoever acts with cruelty towards others, or does not show sensitivity toward other's suffering or does not have a minimal dose of decency or displays a shameless behavior, might not be of a Jewish ascendence. 

Back to Shidukhim, the more identifiable these three virtues are in a candidate, the stronger the case for considering him or her a suitable partner, and vice versa. 

Shabbat Shalom!

Candle lighting in NYC: 4:32 PM
Shabbat ends in NYC: 5:41 PM

I dedicate today's HOTD to my son Abraham, who yesterday became a Paratrooper (tzanchan) in the IDF. (See here a clip of the Paratroopers ceremony in the Kotel).