By Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin MA
Director: Jewish Professionals Institute
New Series. Dedicated to my Children.
Nothing in the world is ever guaranteed. We are born, but we do not live forever. We grow up, but we are do not remain young forever. We have children,but they do not lives with us forever. We have careers, but we do not work forever. And so likewise we get married, build a Bayis Neeman BeYisroel, but with time and the passage of years, even our marriages do not last forever.
In some cases, spouses live long and healthy lives together, and the husband and wife live in peace for a long time. One day illness may strike, or a war, or some event that tears the formerly loving couple apart. HaShem has His Cheshbones, and He decides “Mi Lachaim, Umi Lamaves” as it says in the Yomim Noraim Davening.
The most important thing to strive for while our marriages are alive and vibrant and we live with our Bashert spouses is to have Sholom Bayis. This may sound easy and obvious, but it does not come easily or without major efforts. When a couple starts out as loving and caring young people, their lives are full of promise and potential. They are setting out on a long voyage into the unknown. Usually there are supportive friends and family. But with time, as children arrive and the burdens of Ol Parnosa (“burdens of livelihood”) and Ol Banim (“burdens of child-rearing”) set in, the relationship between the couple begins to be tested. Hopefully they will be able to maintain Shalom Bayis, peace, unity and loyalty between them, to ease the passage of making a living and raising the children in the ways of Torah and Mitvos.
But life does not work according to our preconceived ideas. Just as in Gan Eden HKB”H puts Adam and Chava in an ideal environment, yet there is also a Nachas that lies in wait to ambush them and ruin their idylic state of being.
Suddenly, a couple can be faced with a serious challenge they were not expecting. That will be the real test of how strong they are in creating real Shalom Bayis when the going gets tough.
To be continued…