Tag Archive | Book

About Marriage and Ethics

One of my friends, A., recently bought a new bookshelf and did some sorting.  Since she’s a Ukranian immigrant to Israel, A. knows English, but doesn’t know it well.  (But, she already knows two languages well, so she’s quite forgiven.)  At any rate, A. and her husband have been collecting random books for years, and they have a few in English.  As part of her cleaning/sorting project, she decided to add to my already overstuffed bookshelves (we need to buy another one) and give me all her English books.  After all, they’re just taking up space in her house; once upon a time, she had time to sit, read, and translate the books, but right now, they’re just sitting useless.  And it’s pretty obvious that if she ever wants to read on, all she has to do is call up.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, Esther Jungreis, books, marriage, relationships, commitment, Judaism, the commited life, lifetime commitment, living together, eloping, judaism, marriage, parenting, children, grandparents, jewish life, jewish values, jewish women, women in judaism, hineni, outreachSo, we got a few new books.  And, because I’m a bookworm (so is Yitzchak, by the way) I spend time reading them.  They’re actually good additions to our library, for the simple fact that we don’t have a lot of “easy” reading around here.

Today, I decided not to get on the computer until around Shlomo’s bedtime.  (He is in bed, by the way.)  The book that I have been perusing for the past few days is “The Committed Life“, by Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis.  It’s a book I’ve skimmed before, but she’s an excellent storyteller and someone that I really admire.  So, without being paid for this, I am quoting two paragraphs that I think are right on target for today’s society:

. . . Pearl’s husband was a good man, devoted to his wife and children.  Because he couldn’t earn a living, he was held in contempt.  Were he a ruthless, nasty, but successful businessman, no one in the family would have suggested to Pearl that she seek a divorce.  There is something profoundly wrong with a value system that measures a man not by what he is, but by what he has. (pg. 65)

And then she says, later:

 . . . “Rebbetzin, I agree with everything you say, but if I don’t live with the person I’m seeing, I’m afraid he’ll walk out on me.”

” . . . You’re so afraid, so you give the guy everything he wants without any commitment on his part.  You move in with him, so now he has a girlfriend, a cook, a housekeeper, a companion – all free of charge with no responsibilities.  You convince yourself that you can trust him when he says, ‘Eventually we’ll get married, honey, I’m just not ready yet.’  A year goes by, then two, and then, as in your case, three years.  Meanwhile, your biological clock is ticking away, and with every year that passes, the prospect of having a family becomes more and more remote.  Should you bring up the subject of marriage, he puts you off with, ‘Not yet!’  Finally, if you really press, he may break up or agree, but even if he agrees, it doesn’t mean a thing, as you so well know.  At the last minute, after living together for three years, he suddenly discovers that he loves you, but there are some issues that separate you.  . . . countless couples who live together only to divorce after they were married.  . . . ” (pp. 262-263)

So, what do you think?

(This one is from December 30, 2012, but I think its message is timeless.)

Read this to me?

chibad hatalmud, kosher, rabbinate, studies to be a rabbi, talmud, talmud books, books on the talmud, books on kosher

from zbermanbooks.com

We have lots of baby books.  We have some big-kid books (i.e., not made of cardboard).  And we read them all (well, most of them).  But in the last week, Shlomo has been really funny: He takes the book above (different volume, same set) and brings it to us to read.  Huh?

You know what’s in the book?  Lots of words, in Hebrew.  And lots of pictures of cows’ and sheep’s esophagi(?), lungs, hearts, livers, etc.  In other words, gross pictures.  I bought this book for Yitzchak when we were engaged, thinking it would help him with his studies for the rabbinate.  (Part of the material studied involves how to differentiate between kosher and non-kosher animals.  Even if the species is kosher, an animal that has certain blemishes is not allowed to be eaten.)

And now Shlomo likes this book.  There are two other set-less books that he likes, too, but this is his favorite.  I’m guessing it’s because of the pictures, since the other two books that he takes from that shelf don’t have any.  When I read the book, I just skip the pictures and read words, hoping he’ll get bored.  Somehow, he doesn’t get bored.  When Yitzchak reads the book, he skips the words and explains the pictures.  Ew.  Just ew.

Just for clarification’s sake, Shlomo has other books, and we still read them.  However, for some reason, he has become interested in adult books, especially this one.  When I offer to read a book, I take one of the children’s (or babies’) books we have.  When he asked this past week, half the time it was for a children’s book, and half the time for this book with the gross pictures.