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TorahAnytimes Newsletter Ki Tavo

Parshat Ki Tavo

Compiled and Edited by Elan Perchik


"The TorahAnyTimes" Newsletter    

Parashat Ki Tavo
18th of Elul, 5777 | September 9, 2017

Compiled and Edited by Elan Perchik

Mrs. Chaya Reich
Choose Wisely

Arguably so, the most important life decision a person will make is who he or she will marry. To find the right person with whom you are ready to make a lifelong commitment to always love and support is no simple task. Yet there are many tactics which can help one navigate through this oftentimes confusing maze. And one of those very important ways is learning what we should avoid and be careful of. If we can prepare our hearts and minds for what may catch our attention, yet may be best to steer away from, we are one step ahead of the game.

Let me share with you one example.

A girl once came to me in desperate need of marital coaching and counseling. She was 23 years old with three children and needed some crucial guidance and advice. As I often do when faced with such a situation, I inquired as to how her dating process went. I have found that rewinding and reviewing one’s attitude as they went about the process of looking for a prospective spouse is very telling. And so, the girl began with two stories.

She was very young when she began considering marriage. Her parents were unsure if she was ready to embark on this new phase of life, yet her grandmother knew someone whom she believed would be a perfect match. And so, after discussing it with her parents, the girl proceeded to meet the boy.

The boy was known to be sweet, gentle and considerate. He was in his last year of earning his degree towards psychology, and spent his nights learning with another boy. As he entered inside to meet the girl for the first time, he presented himself just as she was informed: sweet, gentle and considerate. He proceeded to walk with her to his car and, like a gentleman, politely open and close the door for her.

As they arrived at an ice cream parlor, the boy once again opened the door and brought her inside. Handing her a list of the different ice creams available, he told her to please choose anything she would like. “They even have an option of ‘making your own ice cream sundae,” he told her. Excitedly, she took the boy up on the offer and happily took a seat. “Tell me about yourself and your family,” he began. After she gave a brief description of herself and her parents and siblings, the boy began telling her about his life’s dream.

“I’ve always dreamed of opening a center for children ages seven through ten for play therapy. I think I would call it ‘The Wisdom of Oz,’” he said with a smile. “Those ages are often lost in the shuffle and if I could be someone who could help those children during these formative years, I would love to do so.”

The two of them then headed to a park, where the boy proceeded to teach the young lady how to skip rocks. It appeared as if they both were having a great time.

That was one boy. Now, the second. It was also arranged by the girl’s grandmother, except from the other side of her family.

The boy walked inside to pick her up… Taking a casual look around, he made eye contact with the parents and extended a firm handshake to the father. He was looking sharp. From top to bottom, he was dressed to kill. His pair of Ferragamo shoes and matching belt only complimented his slim-fit suit and trendy tie. Showing the girl outside, he led her to his Lexus and pointed her to the door. “It’s open,” he said, as the girl got into the car herself.

“I’m going to take you to my favorite restaurant,” the boy remarked, with an air of pride and confidence. The restaurant was a forty-minute drive away. As the boy continued racing down the street in his sporty Lexus, he pointed to a number of properties along the way which his family planned on purchasing. “I think we’ll be putting up four high-rises here,” he said. “Just like that one over there,” he added, pointing to a tall, plush building. The boy planned on entering his father’s business, and he would be ready to start in a few years’ time.

Upon arriving at the restaurant, the two of them were led to a table and handed menus. As soon as the girl’s eyes met the prices for the side dishes, let alone the main courses, her eyes nearly fell out of their sockets. The boy proceeded to order something for himself as well as for the girl, not asking if she had anything particular in mind which she wanted. For the next several minutes, he went on to tell her about his past summer vacation and summer house as well as the five-star hotels in Greece and Italy that his family planned on staying at for the upcoming holiday of Pesach. After the extravagant meal, he took her home.

Now comes the question. Who do you think she married?

If you guessed boy #2, you’re correct. She went on to live in a huge mansion, have full-time cleaning help and enjoy a life of luxury. When she later came to me, her children were ages four, two and just a few months old. Yet her husband was completely unavailable. He had become so absorbed in his job that seldom, if any, did he spend time with the family. The wife was beside herself. She may have been holding her Prada pocketbook, wearing her Chanel shoes and carrying her custom-made purse, but her eyes didn’t shine with that same glitter and glee.

She went on to detail the above two tales and explained how she felt after meeting each boy. “After I was dropped off by the first boy, I said to my mother, ‘I can’t believe it! He was wearing this old brand of clothing, his car wasn’t so elegant and he helped quiet down a young boy in the ice cream store! I don’t think he’s for me…’”

When it came to the second boy, however, she felt quite different. “He dressed so nicely and had such a comfortable car, and bought be a full-course delicious meal!”

The girl herself loved style and fashion and was taken by the boy’s class and elegance. But as she rather quickly realized, she had forgotten to note how his mannerisms and behaviors could use some refining. Only once she was married with children did this reality set in. She was ready and willing to work with her husband to improve their marriage, but one thing was clear: she was past the shidduch phase.

If there is one tip of advice to take away: choose wisely. Closely examine the person’s character and consider how he or she speaks, acts and carries themselves. If you make the right decision and find the right spouse, G-d willing, you can anticipate a wonderful marriage. But it all begins with a smart and contemplative decision as to who you wish to spend your life with. Think, think and think again. And after that is done, you will be on your way to building a beautiful bayis ne’eman b’yisrael.

A Short Message From
Rabbi Asher Vaknin

I once came across an important line which sends a subtle, yet important life lesson. “Bad things don’t happen to you; they happen for you.” While no human being enjoys a completely perfect life without any difficulty, we must always remember that Hashem knows what is best for us. Our Father in Heaven dearly loves us, and if He places a test before us, it is only for our own good.

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