The Marriage Gamble
"Hare Ad Mikudeshis
"Hare Ad Mikudeshis Lee"
can be a blessing, marriage can be a curse.
It is meant to be two people whose love is great, or it can become a
misery with one partner dominating and controlling the other because the
marriage license protects them from public criticism.
On the surface, when the partner has found his/her love, he/she is
considered desirable, appreciated, and worthy.
A human of the opposite gender has found him/her to be special, worthy of
love. Both have bonded and have
achieved a very important goal in their lives.
They have found each other, mates for life.
The spouse is one who cherishes,
loves, respects, understands, assists, and protects from harm.
They have met and “fallen” in love. Marriage is something that little
girls used to dream about at a very early age and their feelings were reinforced
by their parents, especially their mothers.
Both parents talked about the “Chuppe” that the girl and their loved
one would stand under. He would be a “good Jewish” man who would adore her
forever, they would produce wonderful religious Jewish children, “Talmud
chochems,” learned “Menschen,” a pride to their family. The women would be
chochems also and in addition they would be able to cook and bake and make their
beloved a happy man. They would love
their Mischpoche and be accepted!
in our modern world frequently shows a different picture, a modern view.
Coming under the canopy with the man or woman is an accomplishment.
They have found their mate. They
“fell in love” because their “significant other” looked good.
They met through friends, perhaps at a social occasion, or possibly found
each other on an internet, or perhaps the discovery came after a ten minute
meeting through a dating service. He
looked good enough, had an acceptable job and occupation, was mannerly, and
appeared to be “a good bet.” She
was friendly, had a pretty face and had a
fairly “normal” figure, and seemed interested in him.
When they had their first encounter, they found each other acceptable to
some extent and eventually bonded, and after many months or years “tied” the
today's world marriage is a gamble. Jewish
marriage used to be considered a blessing. Parents
were delighted that they had succeeded in having kept their beliefs, their
religion. They had something in
common with their Jewish in laws; they believed that the union of their children
would last. Reality is different.
Men and women are considered equal. Each
gender wants to be the important one. Each
one “knows” what is best. Women
are in the work world, as are men. Women
are expected to cook, clean, and be responsible for keeping their spouses fed
and happy in addition to be good sex partners and have a sweet loving demeanor
at all times. Men are expected to
respect and satisfy their wives, bring flowers, be thoughtful, assist their
wives, and even cook at times, be satisfied with their “love” life, their
sexuality, and be “men,” whatever that concept means.
The reality is that divorce even among our Jewish brethren is not
unusual. Children are not very often totally raised by their mothers and fathers
but are sent to nurseries where paid personnel feeds and watches over them while
both parents are at work. Women no
longer are dependent on men’s incomes, since they have similar jobs,
professions, and opportunities that were the male's prerogative and opportunity.
Divorce is an everyday occurrence, and if either the male or female can
no longer be bonded, they divorce, creating a new “experience” for
is a story which demonstrates that which once was and that which we see in
today's world. Two older Jewish
women sit on a bus next to one another: Mrs. Genendel and Mrs. Hochnase.
Mrs. Genendel is wearing a necklace with a large shimmering diamond.
Mrs. Hochnase admires this jewel and says, "Where did you get this
beautiful jewel and what do you call it?"
It reminds me of the Hope Diamond in Washington.
The response: "My
diamond is the Genendel diamond. It comes with a curse." What is the
curse? It is Mr. Genendel!