By Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin MA
Director: Jewish Professionals Institute
Dedicated to my Children.
Part of a Series on Shalom Bayis
When Shalom Bayis problems break out, there are always lots of cooks spoiling the broth. Everybody becomes an expert about the problems a feuding couple is going through. Nobody cares about the truth, everybody has to have an opinion and get involved in things that they know nothing about.
Usually, Frum people are very private and they shun the way of the media. Yerei Shomayimdikka people do not advertise their lives on talk radio and reality TV or on Facebook. Yet in the normal course of life they have problems like all human beings. Sometimes a wife may be too talkative with the wrong neighbors, or a husband may Shmooz with the wrong Chevra in the Shtiebel. So people think they are experts and chime in with their half penny’s worth of “advice” when they should be minding their own business.
The best thing to do when someone you know is going through Shalom Bayis problems is have them talk to your local Rov or Rebbetzin right away. Every good Rov will know that he needs to refer the couple to a good family therapist. Avoid the temptation to be busy-body and voyeur!
The Rov must take the initiative and call in the couple for a discussion. Neutrality for a Rabbi is dangerous! Moshe Rabbeinu and our great Chazal were not neutral. The Nevi’im were not neutral for sure! People are hurting and suffering and it is Assur for a Rov to stay away, just as it is Assur for private people to get involved!
Regard a Shalom Bayis crisis like a car accident. The first thing is to keep the nosy crowds away! Make way for the experts, even if you have degrees and are a top notch professional do not assume you can solve complex problems between a feuding husband and wife.
And most importantly do not take sides, because you do not know the history of each person and what they have done or not done to get to the point of the problem.
To be continued…