A Healthy Marriage

Commentary by Dr. Ursula A. Falk


Love and Marriage

Nourish and Flourish


As human beings, as people, and as Jews, marriage and Jewishness must be nurtured as must plants.  Flowers die if they are not watered, not fed.  Even grass dies if no sun and no aqua is available. 

Marriages die if love is not freely given.  Love and caring are the essentials of a lasting and permanent union.  In a poor marriage there is death, a dying of the spirit, of the caring that is essential for its growth.  Not given, there is unhappiness and ultimately divorce.  The partner must often come before the self in the giving, the caring, the extending of oneself to the other.  There must be a meeting of the heart, the mind,  the soul.  Love is shown in doing for the other, of ignoring his/her flaws, the shortcomings.  The partner must give in good times and in bad, in age as well as in youth, in sickness or in health (as the blessings under the Chuppah are made, or the marriage vows).  So many couples have said them and so many have broken them. Each partner must find the other unique and special; “bei mir bisst du schön” - “in my eyes you are beautiful” - has to be felt no matter how the person impresses others.

The same is true of Judaism and Jewishness.  Without the culture, the inner feelings, the broches (blessings), the practices and ceremonies, the unique expressions,  “the mama loschen” -  “the language of mother” that has been a part of our life from its very beginnings cannot suddenly appear in one who is an outsider to the faith, of the very fiber, of the “Mensch” in question.

A healthy Jewish marriage is one of strength, of happiness, of feeling loved and cherished, of security.  Knowing that each can be him or her self, feel enhanced and accepted.

Historically, because of hatred, bigotry, and anti-Semitism, security was never one of the attributes that Jews had.  They were for the most part the FIDDLERS ON THE ROOF.  Anti-Semitism underscored this fact.  Many Jews attempted to change that by intermarrying, by joining their enemies, and believing what their aggressors had labeled them.  They went so far as to go one against the other, worsening the plight of their fellow religionists, their brothers.  “Hine matov umanayim, shevet achim gam yachad” (see how good and beautiful when brothers hold hands) had no meaning to them.  In short, they are self destructive.  They want desperately to be seen as “liberal,”  as “free.”  In truth, they hate their heritage, their parents, their forebears, and ultimately themselves.

There are many Jews who have supported with money, with votes, with propaganda, folks like Jimmy Carter and now Barack Obama.  These folks hate Jews.  They were ready to take the money and votes from the Jewish population.  These  enemies  want to destroy Israel, the only escape, the small plot of land Yerusholayim (Jerusalem) where  persecuted Jews can flee when battered and faced with death.

To be truly liberal, one must be able to accept humanity with all of its flaws, religions, and qualities. 

Good Jews must be good people; must be able to give to the needy, to respect themselves and others, to follow the ten commandments, and be loving in words and deeds.  Are not these same attributes what a good marriage is also about?!!


Dr. Ursula A. Falk is a psychotherapist in private practice and the author of several books and articles.

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