Ethics

For the week ending 26 May 2012 / 4 Sivan 5772

Setting an Example

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Question: A young man of my acquaintance started off his marriage on the wrong foot. The truth is that he and his wife are a compatible couple and the trouble is that he doesnt know how to properly treat her. What is the right thing to do in order to restore harmony to this home?

Answer: The same challenge once faced the saintly Torah scholar Rabbi Moshe Kliers, head of the Tiberias community. A young newlywed Jerusalemite left his wife after a blowout and made his way to Tiberias to get away from it all. The rabbi saw him in the synagogue and invited him to stay at his tiny home which consisted of one spacious room divided in two, with his family sleeping in one half and guests in the other. At daybreak this guest saw his host straining to set up a kerosene stove and preparing a cup of tea for his wife. When this scene repeated itself the next day the guest concluded that the rabbis wife must be ill in bed and insisted on moving out to a hotel so as not to impose on his host and family.

The rabbis reaction was to firmly deny that his wife was ill and that the cup of tea he brought her each morning was his way of demonstrating how much he respected her and cared for her. The Jerusalemite got the message and returned home a changed husband.

Take a cue from Rabbi Kliers for your own situation and invite your young man to spend some time with you so that he can learn from you how to treat his wife. This experience will be more effective than a thousand sermons.

And who knows, it may even have an indirect effect on you as well!

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