Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Fundamental Connection

Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt

Marriage, in a sense, also produces. If we are blessed, it produces the next generation. The entity of marriage is itself a product. As I once heard from Rabbi Dovid Gottleib: The equation of marriage is “i plus i equals I” — the entity itself is more than the sum of the parts. If we are wise and dedicated, marriage can also produce a better version of each individual in the relationship.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

It sounds so nice — that’s what we signed up for — and yet sometimes, when we go to a simchah or other public gathering and look at everyone’s smiling faces, it seems that everyone else is accomplishing these goals, while we’re wallowing in relationship challenges. Remember that it’s impossible to see the struggles that go on behind closed doors (which is good — it means that ours don’t show either!). Each marriage and situation has its unique difficulties, which cannot be discerned beneath an expertly made-up face and perfectly coiffed sheitel. What perspectives can help us deal with our struggles in this most important and private relationship? The metaphor of the tree and its comparison to a person, “ki ha’adam eitz hasadeh — for man is a tree of the field,” gives us a starting point. Tu B’Shevat, which the Gemara calls Rosh Hashanah la’ilan, the new year of the tree, is the time that the sap starts to rise in the trees of Israel. Visualize the sap rising through the trunk, fighting against gravity to nourish the entire tree. It’s a private battle, witnessed by no one. The results will show much later, in the quality of fruit that’s produced. It’s the effort to rise, or to raise ourselves, which brings results. We struggle against unhelpful patterns of thought and behavior that we or our spouses brought to the relationship. We have to fight against our knee-jerk reactions, against words that should never be said, so we don’t hurt the people we love. We combat the weaker parts of ourselves, whether it’s laziness, procrastination, or negativity as we work to keep it all together.


To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"