"Tur" is the first codification of Jewish Law as it applies in our times, is the
first code which breaks practical law into four categories and is the forerunner of the
Shulchan Aruch (the conclusive codification of Jewish Law).
In the introduction to Evven Ha'Ezzer, the
section of law pertaining to marriage, the Tur writes the verse (Psalm 113:2), "May
the name of Hashem be blessed forever," extolling the wonders of creation. The
pinnacle of creation is man and the pinnacle of man is that he is brought together with
woman in marriage.
G-d created all the wonders of creation
which each alone is so marvelous that it would reflect praise on G-d. During creation, G-d
created the species of animals. The male and female of each comes together to mate and
then they go their separate ways in the fields. Man and woman are brought together in
holiness and with commitment to fulfill the Creator's will to be fruitful and multiply.
The gemora (Kesuvos 61a) says that marriage
is for life and not for pain. Marriage can make the difference between living a genuine
life and suffering ongoing pain. If a marriage is painful, it is by definition not a
Jewish marriage. Marriage is designed by G-d for each spouse to give a life to the other
and to give life to children. The marriage should produce happiness and enable both
partners to fulfill their potential and G-d given mission in life.
The difference between something that is
called gadol [big] and something that is called koton [small] is that a thing which is big
gives to others and a thing which is small takes from others. The moon is called the
"small light" because it takes light from the sun. A child is called
"koton" because he depends on the table of others. A "gadol hador [biggest
of a generation]" is a leader and guide in Torah who the generation needs. The heart
is called a "big organ" because it supplies nourishment to the entire body
[Rabainu Yerucham]. In order to be ready to marry, one must be ready to be a gadol: one
who gives to and dependably supplies the needs of others; and not to be a koton: one who
takes from or depends upon others.
The Torah has given many commandments and
laws on how spouses are to conduct themselves with each other and the rabbis have
legislated many laws and taught many principles that promote satisfaction and peace in the
Jewish marriage. Pirkei Avos (chapter five) tells us to search through and through the
Torah as everything is in it.
When a couple needs guidance; whenever
there is a question, difference or dispute; the answer exits in the Torah. I repeatedly
tell couples who come in for counseling and to audiences of my lectures that their policy
should be, "We don't have fights, we have shaalos [Torah questions]."
By resorting to Torah instead of arguing,
by constantly working to learn how to live together on a sustainably happy and peaceful
basis, by establishing spiritual standards and priorities, by creating a steady Torah
atmosphere in the Jewish home and by parents duly considering and accepting responsibility
for the impact of behavior on their children, marital problems can be made to decrease or
This "Shalom Bayis [Peaceful Marriage]" section
is intended and designed to enable Jewish couples to reach into the vast and generous
supply of Torah teachings, which many people don't know about or apply, so that any Jewish
marriage can improve, function and succeed the G-d wants them to. The reader should seek
out a wise, knowledgeable, qualified, competent and experienced rov or rebbe to provide
guidance and to design and to steadily supervise the program for a peaceful marriage.
- The Crucial Trait of Kavod (Honor,
- Building a Strong Foundation For Your
- For the Jewish Husband
- For the Jewish Wife
- A "Tzadik's Eye View" of
Treating a Spouse
- Handling Fights And Anger In The
- Dealing With an Emotionally Abusive
- Torah And Family Issues When
- Heart, Personality and Externals:
A Good Marriage Depends Upon a Good Heart
- What Marriage Can't Last Without:
- Kollel: Opportunity For Torah -
and Marriage - Development
- For When a Marriage Gets