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KEEPING PACE

Rabbi Raymond Beyda

The human being is expected to grow intellectually and in maturity not merely in size and weight like other creations such as plants and animals. The character of a person should improve and refine with age like fine wines. And so G-d planned the world in a way that would be conducive to personal growth.

One of the built in training devices is called marriage. The Torah describes a man's mate as --"ezer k'negdo"-- a helper corresponding [opposite] to him. People are different one from another. Men are different than women and the differences are more than just physical. In any relationship one moves faster than the other. The trick to domestic tranquility is not that one must necessarily slow down or speed up to move exactly in sync with one's mate. The trick is really to learn how to react to the difference in pace. One great Rabbi in Yerushalayim was always ready to leave for a happy occasions before his wife was done getting dressed. In most instances he kept busy with learning or some other important activity while he waited for her to announce, "I am ready, let's go!" One time the couple was invited to the wedding of one of the Rosh Yeshiva's student's. The Rosh Yeshivah had a very pressing matter to attend to the same evening, therefore he requested from his wife, "Tonight we must leave no later than 6 PM as I cannot stay past 8PM and I must show proper respect to the groom and bride before I depart. Please be sure to be ready promptly at 6." Well, the well-intentioned wife tried her best but was not ready until 6:30. When she finally came to the door to leave the anxious Rosh Yeshivah accepted her apology and gave her an admiring look as if to appreciate every detail of her simple but dignified wedding suit. "Kedai", he said --"It was worth the wait".

Today when you can't handle a delay caused by someone close to you--especially your mate--stop. Don't blow up. Take a deep breath and react with an understanding statement. It only takes a minute but it is part of your growth process. A nuclear reaction only brings war while a reasoned response will yield shelom bayit.

DID YOU KNOW THAT

When one recites the Keriyat Shema one must have in mind the meaning of the words, and if one did not do so one must wait silently the amount of time it takes to say the first paragraph, and then repeat the first sentence again paying attention to the meaning of the words [one then continues to read from V'Ahabta][. One is not allowed to signal, not even for a misvah, even with one's eyes, while reading the Shema as it is a distraction from reading with intent. There is a leniency to signal with one's eyes in the second paragraph, but only for a misvah.

[Source Ben Ish Hai]


Text Copyright © 2003 Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Project Genesis, Inc.


 

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