Monday, December 30, 2013

Should the wife be sacrificed for the marriage or the marriage sacrificed for the wife's happiness?- there is a third way!

Guest post Ploni  December 27, 2013 at 7:13 PM 
update December 30, 2013 - Ploni added important clarifications that I put in the comments section
Michelob says:

" If a woman says she's done, very rarely will you be able to hold a gun to her head and live happily ever after. ... If she is not into it, and is dragged to the therapist kicking and screaming, you are both wasting your time and energy.

Michelob; Your words are very rational, BUT ONLY TO A CERTAIN POINT.

The fellow here does indeed seem to be faced with two very unpalatable choices:

A. Be over and done with it.

B. Fight for fairness, family integrity, reputation, the fact that someone so close to him is waging a smear campaign & using tools that clearly include some extremely serious Halachic & Hashkafic transgressions.

But in actuality, I think that there's actually a THIRD option, too:

To understand the third option, we need to "back up" a bit, and we need to ponder:

What's REALLY behind the current epidemic of broken homes. We read comment after comment of hair-raising מעשה רשעות. How can it be?

Men & women that have lived & built lives together for decades, been through so many joys and sorrows... to have everything disintegrate before their very eyes.... the men here grapple to understand the sudden change -  in reality & feel understandable wrath & frustration...

These women [usually] weren't evil when these men married them. What did someone surreptitiously put into their woman's drinks? What changed these women into veritable WITCHES? The man knows that he WASN'T abusive, and if he was, nobody's interested in telling him where he went wrong, and how he should fix it...

I posit that behind this phenomena there is usually ONE simple motivator:


She cried out & expressed her pain to others; perhaps relatives, perhaps strangers ... and those "helpers" connected her with "professionals", and those "professionals" based on their own inflated egos, personal vendettas, political agendas, etc. KNEW the source of the woman's pain.

The "professional" instinctively knew whom to blame:


These "professionals", trained in the art of influencing others, succeeded in changing the woman's world-view. The woman's friends, influenced by popular writings, easily concurred... empathized with her... offered her "resources" in her "plight"....

But they forget to hear the husband's side of the story..... So self assured were they in their world-view, that it wasn't necessary to hear his side.

But everything I've written thus far isn't really my main point, because even if they HAD attempted to mediate between the two... even if the woman HAD gone to therapy ... chances are that it would be too late - as the damage had already been done.

And this leads me to what I believe is the REAL solution....

Please read on...

Concerning men & women that have lived & built lives together for decades, been through so many joys and sorrows … & the woman was convinced that it’s time to go…. I posited that …

THE WOMAN IS SEARCHING FOR HAPPINESS, OR AT LEAST SEARCHING TO ESCAPE HER OWN EMOTIONAL TURMOIL, whether depression, anxiety, etc, etc. … and that her pain is being blamed on HER HUSBAND.

The woman’s mindset seems to be that “happiness” is something she needs to receive from the outside - her husband, or “someone” needs to “give” it to her, and that she “deserves” to receive it… Once the marriage is irrevocably broken, perhaps she feels that her husband CAN’T and / or surely doesn’t want to give it…..

Might she be mistaken?

Could it perhaps be that…?

… The only AUTHENTIC happiness she’ll ever have is the type she’ll find INSIDE HERSELF. Perhaps someone can convince her to stop looking OUTSIDE for something missing INSIDE?

Perhaps she’s looking for the wrong KIND of happiness… and the RIGHT kind is actually free for the taking?

Here are the 5 types of happiness, according to Martin Seligman (I’m cheating a bit, because he talks about well-being, while I’m calling them happiness).

Perhaps she should stop looking for types 1 & 3, and start looking for types 2, 4 & 5?

In fact, maybe they can still … look…. Together?!

1- Positive emotion: pleasure, rapture, ecstasy, warmth, comfort, and the like. A life lived with these aims; he calls the “pleasant life.”

2- Engagement: is about flow - being one with the music, time stopping, and the loss of self-consciousness during an absorbing activity. Engagement is different, even opposite, from positive emotion; for if you ask people who are in flow what they are thinking and feeling, they usually say, “nothing.” A life lived with these aims; he calls the “engaged life.”

3- Relationships: He doesn’t explain it here, but I think it seems self-explanatory.

4- Meaning and purpose: belonging to and serving something that you believe is bigger than the self. Humanity creates all the positive institutions to allow this: religion, political party, being Green, the Boy Scouts, or the family. A life lived with these aims; he calls the “meaningful life.”

5- Accomplishment: success and mastery. People try to achieve just for winning’s own sake 

DT. An example a couple came to me seriously considering divorce. The husband though a brilliant and successful talmid chachom and businessman was very focused on the lack of respect he got from his wife and children. He had become very controlling - insisting for example that the whole family sit attentively for a half an hour drasha every Friday night. His wife took the children's side when they got bored in the middle and left the table. The wife objected to the control he insisted over every aspect of her life and that of the children. At the same time he had become very hurt by her criticism and claims that he was unreasonable and out of touch with normal human feelings. In short the husband and wife blamed each other for their unhappiness and that of the children. The obvious solution was they should get divorced after 20 years of marriage. But they couldn't do that because several of the children were either looking for a shidduch or would soon start. 

Solution. I suggested that the husband was too focused on getting respectful for his genuine spirituality from his family in a manner which was inappropriate. I suggested he spend more time with genuinely spiritual people that would appreciate his insights and analysis. That he did and his need to control and demand respect eased up. At the same time he became more sensitive to his family and realized that he was not presenting appropriate material and issues for them to be able to appreciate. This backing off actually produced the respect he had been craving all along.

At the same time both the husband and wife felt that the other would let lose an emotional attack at inappropriate moments - such as at the Shabbos table or at a time when they didn't feel up to defending themselves. The normal response was to yell back which only escalated the conflict. I suggest a simple technique. No matter how strong their upset - they could not lecture their spouse if the spouse raised up an index finger to signal now was not the time - but later. Surprisingly that was really all that they needed to create a sense of control and respect and the yelling and screaming disappeared.

In sum, this family of genuinely loving and generous people  - who were imbued with deep spiritual feelings - was self-destructing because their spiritual and psychological needs were not being fulfilled through each other. A rather minor adjustment from 2 sessions created the proper conditions for mutual growth and appreciation. It didn't solve everything - but it did enable them to get nachas from each other and for the children to regain respect for their parents.


  1. Divorce is a privilege not a right. Not everyone is entitled to this privilege.

    1. It doesn't take genius to realize that attitude is not responding in appropirate fashion. Demanding custody of children plus a large amount of money for granting the divorce. If they really cared about their kids - why do they go into hiding--- for years! If they thought they had a valid case why don't they stay and work with a beis din or work through rabbonim?

      Pardon my stupidity but I simply can not imagine any rational explanation for that behavior that conforms with Torah. Perhaps you can explain how a talmid chachom could justify having his wife be an aguna for as many as 7 years- sometimes more?

    2. Ben Torah:

      Indeed 100% correct.

      In fact, most demands for a Get are by people not entitled to one. The type of situations where Halacha deems a spouse entitled to a Get are few and far between and those type of marital situations are extraordinarily rare.

      Spouses must accept these Halachic limitations and fully understand that they are not typically entitled to a Get.

    3. Yankel: ALL marital assets and funds belong to the husband. In fact, halachicly even the wife's income during marriage does not belong to her but is rather owned by her husband. Upon divorce the husband keeps all marital assets and funds, sans anything she owned prior to the marriage.

    4. Dr. Lake,

      What about what I said do you disagree with? I would venture to say that most people here, especially DT, agree with those words. Do you think that's never true?

    5. yankel; the reason why most of these women don't have gitten is not because their husband is holding them an agunah rather because of what they wrongly do to their husband thereby holding themselvs agunos so please stop blaming the husband because in most cases he's doing nothing wrong and if the wife would do what she should she would have a get very soon after

  2. The Torah and Halacha are clear. A man acquires a woman. The wife is in the husband's possession. She is obligated to obey his wishes and commands. She is not free to leave the marriage on a whim.

    1. Boy, am I happy that I'm not married to you. My condolences to your wife.

    2. but I assume u are married to torah. so its the same, unless you want to divorce yourself from toah

  3. RDE,

    Is your posting this guest post an indication of your agreement with its content?

    1. Raffi: RDE posts many opposing guest posts that he openly disagrees with. (I don't know his position on this guest post.)

    2. I agree that there is a need to focus on the goal of getting satisfaction from the marriage and to understand why the marriage is not functioning - and this is not the same thing as viewing the husband or wife outside the marriage. As Avraham 1 points out there are reasons other than happiness

  4. Sounds strange to suggest a standard reason for women wanting to leave a marriage. Another common reason may be that due to her dwindling physical attractiveness the husband may be treating her like a fifth wheel.

  5. This whole debate about divorce in this blog has a bias: most commentators don't accept the fact that the wife could have a good reason to leave the husband. Most commentators seem to think that they, as man, are perfect and do not need to change and that wives are pure evil for walking out on such perfect creatures as themselves.

    In reality, women seldom will consider divorce without good reason. In most cases divorce is prompted by years of suffering, unhappiness and inappropriate behaviour on the side of the husband. And the husbands did not even notice it over all those years. Which means that they were far removed from their wive's reality over years and did not care to look at it.

    commentators throw around invectives like "witch" (machshefa) and use "feminist" as an insult. This leads me to believe that they think it is their god-given right to oppress women in general and their wives in particular. (some of them give details how they never earned a penny through all their married years or how they do think that a wife should be a prisoner of the husband and how they condone spousal rape).

    the blog-owner states that divorce should be made as difficult as possible, and that personal disgust towards the husband is not grounds for divorce. Commentators add that mistreatment will not be recognised until it is PROVEN (I suppose with two kosher, non-related eidim, men over bar-mitzwa age).

    This is why I feel that the drift of this blog is to encourage oppression and domestic violence. The message towards the women is: shut up and suffer quietly.

    1. I agree. I read many Jewish blogs and this one, by far, has unacceptable misogynist posters. C'mon guys! We're all in this together. We are all concerned with defending halacha, preserving the Jewish community, and protecting the Jewish home. Most men and women do not behave abusively, however unhappy their spouses may be, and most impending divorces do not include media interference, physical intimidation, or get manipulation. Believe it or not, not all women who apply for divorce are "feminist". And what is "feminist" anyway? Is it feminist to insist that a husband not treat his wife like garbage? Don't you guys have daughters? Sisters? Would you want them to suffer miserably under a heartless, controlling husband as long as they're not considered "feminist'?

    2. Feminist IS an insult. Feminism is an anti-Torah and anti-natural phenomina developed in recent Western history.

    3. Feminist,Bunsa bayis--Thank you for stating what has been very clear from the moment I started reading this blog.
      Why is no one suggesting treating each other with respect due to the fact we are all human. It need not be a vicious attack by one spouse or the other during divorce, there is always the idea that compromise on both spouses part would be a good thing.
      I read one comment that the husband should never have to come home and his children not be there waiting for him, well I guess you could say he has the right to refuse the get but it does not automatically follow that that means the wife and kids will remain in the home with him. I think if she wants a divorce badly enough and he will not give it she will take the kids and move. Then everyone loses. Would it not be better to agree to give the get and work towards a rational custody and visitation agreement?
      In the end we all must stand before G-D and be judged so we should worry more about pleasing G-D then ourselves. Surely there is a way for compromise.

    4. Marriage is like a piece of cake, and not manna from heaven. You have to put in the right ingredients to do the right job, it needs to be kneaded thoroughly, you must not cheat because it will collapse on you. There are many different types of cakes as there are marriages, make sure you pick the right flavors, to each his own, and then you have a beautiful piece of cake to make a bracha on it.

  6. @Feminist - Thanks for demonstrating to us how delusional, victim oriented feminist "reasoning" is a major cause of family turmoil in the Western world.

    Nothing in the posting suggested or encouraged men to commit any domestic violence or oppression against women, nor did anyone suggest that men are perfect.

    Yes, Torah values require that divorce be made difficult. It is wharped, hellenistic, feminist values that are cruel and oppressive, not Torah Judaism.

    Yes, women who destroy their families without halachic justification and due to feminist influences are acting like "machshefas" (witches).

    1. Thank you for demonstrating how delusional you and your fellow commentators are.

      Women do not walk out of marriages because "evil feminists" tell them to.

      What do you say about a position like this one:

      "The Torah and Halacha are clear. A man acquires a woman. The wife is in the husband's possession. She is obligated to obey his wishes and commands. She is not free to leave the marriage on a whim."

      Obviously, if it had shocked you, you would have commentated on it. You did not. So basically, you agree, as does the blog owner. this is why I state that the blog owner and commentators like you facilitate oppression and domestic violence. Because you create a situation where the wife has no way out, so she will put up with the oppression.

      And yes, I have seen women being sent back to violent husbands by well-meaning rabbis, even back to life-threatening situations.

    2. @Feminist - "Women do not walk out of marriages because "evil feminists" tell them to" - You're absolutely right! Women do not walk out of marriages in many cases.

      Instead the multitude of "evil feminist" DV legal groups, some of them calling themselves "Jewish" or "Orthodox", advise the women to obtain Orders of Protection and toss their husbands out like garbage, then sever the father's relationship with his children and then use the sperm donor in lieu of a father as a child support/alimony slave.

      This video might enable even some dwarf feminist brains to learn about true sexism, oppression, and abject cruelty that is occurring constantly in the US as a result of feminist political tyranny:

      Excerpts of the video:

      "I personally participated at a meeting as an advocate for a father at the ACS office...participating from Ohel was a case worker and her supervisor...basically it was a Kangaroo Court where a decision was made in advance to get the father out of the house...they insisted on going to court (for an order of protection against a Jewish father) Erev Shabbos...I found the Ohel case worker to be a liar and prevaricator...this was very terrible, very many cases they do terrible things...the more they show a need for their services, the more government aid they can apply was decided by three black women...when I asked who is the order of protection against...the Ohel supervisor didn't know how many people in the household the order applied was really, really throw out the father right before Shabbos...the whole thing is a bluff."

    3. @Feminist - "the blog owner and commentators like you facilitate oppression and domestic violence" - Can you show one posting by the blog owner, myself, or any serious regular commentors on this site that ever advocated that men should commit any oppression or domestic violence against women? No you cannot show any such postings.

      And no, halacha requiring a Jewish wife to comply with her husband's reasonable requests is not oppression, except in the minds of delusional feminists. A Jewish husband also has many obligations towards his wife. Feminists who reject the concept of women having any obligations towards their husbands, and who only marry to use their husbands as sperm donors to be disgarded on a whim, are wicked, oppressive women.

      Feminist reasoning abilities are rather limited. Did the oxygen masks on their broomsticks malfunction at high altitude?

    4. Feminist, are you willing to consider that men can also be hurt? And that unilateral divorces can seriously hurt the other and the entire family (cf Rabbeinu Gershom's gezeira, which was meant to help women against unilateral divorces).

      No one here - certainly not the writer of this post or the blog owner - are advocating to keep women in violent relationships. Try to relate to the issues more objectively...

    5. I am absolutely willing to consider that men can also be hurt. But I am quite struck by their lack of insight and ability to view themselves with a critical eye.

      They seem to be ready to do marriage counseling only when their wives (or ex-wives) are past this point.

      One commentator on this blog stated that he is withholding a get because his wife refuses to see a marriage-counselor with him. He stated that they were married over 20 years and that his wife had waited until the children were out of the house before filing for divorce.

      How come that over all those years where his wife was dissatisfied, but did not leave for the sake of the children he could not change his behavior? Why does he want a "second" chance after being given years and years of second chances and never seizing them?

      This same commentator stated that his wife not only did bring up his children, but also worked to provide for the family, while he himself preferred to sit in kollel.

      He stated that his wife somehow inherited money and that the reason she wanted to divorce is that she did not want to spend the money the way he wanted to spend it.

      I completely understand this wife and I think that withholding a get is unethical.

      However, the husband seems to consider it his holy duty to withhold a get.

      Do you understand that something has to be wrong with the system when people draw such conclusions, apparently in good faith?

    6. "some of them calling themselves "Jewish" or "Orthodox", advise the women to obtain Orders of Protection and toss their husbands out like garbage,"

      Well, you see, when police grants an order of protection, I would assume that there is some reason for it.

      So cursing "orders of protection" in general is exactly akin to promoting violence.

      What you are saying is "Wives are forbidden to take orders of protection".

      If you were only against unjustified orders of protection, you would state it explicitly. And let me add. Most orders of protection are justified, few of them are not, and some are invalidated later because the wife pardons the violence and does not want to go on suing her husband who DID commit violent acts.

    7. Feminist - are you by chance speaking of the case I wrote about? If so, I have no idea where you got all the claims of which you speak!

      "How come that over all those years where his wife was dissatisfied, but did not leave for the sake of the children he could not change his behavior?"

      Whichever case you are referring to - it's amazing the jumps of conclusion you are making. How do you know she wanted to leave earlier, but did not do so for the sake of the children? How do you know that it was his behavior that was causing any distress she may have been having? And finally - how do you know that he was "satisfied" and blissfully unaware of her problems? Perhaps he too was aware of various conflicts between their personalities and value priorities, but nevertheless worked on himself as a mentch to do his best to love his wife and build their family, which by and large worked very well... until.


      All it takes is one big "until", and a few problematic advisors, and demonization kicks in.... and another Beis Midkash maat is burning....

    8. No, I did not allude to a case brought by a commentator called "Faithful". But the fact that you thought I did shows that many cases are alike.

      If you say that in this case there were conflicts, problems all along, what makes you say that there was a single cause (evil external advisor) that brought the marriage to an end?

      This is a contradiction in terms, can't you see it?

    9. @Feminist - "Most orders of protection are justified" - They may be justified under feminist police state laws, but they are certainly not justified under Torah Judaism. Halacha considers Jewish wives who moser their husbands to have no share in the world to come, they are not part of Klal Yisrael, and mitzvas bein adam l'chavero do not apply to these women (Sefer Ahavas Chesed, by the Chafetz Chaim Chpt. 3).

      Your eager support for throwing out Jewish husbands like garbage demonstrates that your cruel, wicked, controlling, hypocritical feminist religion is completely contrary to Torah Judaism. May all the feminists get on their broomsticks and fly away.

    10. @truth or no truth for yakov?
      So a woman should take threats and violence and not defend her life and limb?

      And that, according to you is what the torah mandates?

      This is the reason why I say that you promote domestic violence.

      By the way, I wonder why the blog owner let your comment pass unrepudiate, since he dedicated a whole book with several volumes to the fact that any jew is allowed to go to the police if threatened, and that there is no inyan of moser in such a situation.

      you asked before where you facilitated domestic violence in your comments. Now this comment, where you state that a wife should never take an order of protection even if her husband is violent, is a good example.

    11. Feminist, this post started off with a comment on the post I had written. That's why I asked.

      I agree that many cases are similar.

      Regarding your question of why I don't see the contradiction in how a marriage could have a history of ups and downs and at the same time an adviser could be the cause of a breakdown - well, you just need to think a little less in a linear fashion and realize that MOST marriages have ups and downs, which are the result of BOTH sides having quirks they need to work out in their personalities, and that the general rule to a successful marriage is that the couple works together on helping one another learn about and smooth out these quirks.

      However, if at a particularly vulnerable period of down there steps in a wise guy who is eager to spin things and place the blame in one direction - then all hell can break loose. At that point there's a need for a real, expert couple's therapist.

      It doesn't always work, but for those who believe in the sacred responsibility of two Jews married for extended period with loving and highly religiously functional children to do all they can to maintain that gift - working with such a therapist is a MUST before throwing in the gloves.

      Btw, if the wife of which you refer had an inheritance that he wanted to use contrary to her wishes - I fully agree that this is reason to consider divorce. I nevertheless suspect that you may not have all the facts right...

    12. 1) If the external advisor was the straw that broke the camel's back, you cannot make him responsible for all the load that was charged on the camel's back before this person even arrived at the scene. That is why i find it unfair to blame him (or her), while the spouse who prompted the walking out refuses to take on responsibility.

      2) I am happy that you think using the wive's heritage in a way she does not want to is grounds for divorce. Unfortunately, there are many commentators here who do not think like you. You will find several of them even in this thread.

      3) It might be that I did not get all the details of the situation right, the commentator kept changing his story and would not give all the details. Let me just tell you that he thinks:

      a) the wife should provide for husband and children, not vice-versa. (they agreed to such an arrangment for the beginning of the married life, but contrary to the agreement he was never able to find work and provide for his family).

      b) That a husband has a right to determine how the family money is spent (even though it is earned solely by his wife).

      c) That he has no responsibility for his wife walking out on him once the children were grown.

      d) That he is entitled to a new chance and that he will not give a get unless his wife agrees to marriage counseling...

    13. 1) I agree that advisers who function like backbreaking straws should not be blamed for all the problems in the marriage. Still, I don't get why you don't see such advisers as playing a critical role in making molehills into mountains, and that once you replace them with solidly qualified couple therapists - there might be hope to the marriage. Certainly a husband interested in examining that possibility shouldn't be labelled "irresponsible". As opposed to a man who wants simply to maintain status quo, if a husband claims there is a reasonable way to repair the conflict - THAT is called responsible.

      2) I'm glad we agree on something, but I think your rendition is not accurate. A husband abusing a wife's personal funds is certainly grounds for divorce. But this must be verified by a proper Beis Din, namely that a) these funds in fact were from her inheritance, b) he actually used them (and didn't merely suggest to do so, which frightened her), c) she clearly had not given him permission to do so, and d) he was unrepentant.

      3) I would like to see the post of the husband who claims, as you say, that his wife MUST provide for the family and not him. Perhaps it was she who had offered from the outset to do so, as in many kollel marriages, and only later had trouble with this and began to demand from him to work. Even then, the question would be if he outright denied his responsibility to replace the wife's wage earning role in the family, or just could not find a job, or if she had even asked him to do so (perhaps she's angry about something else, or has interest in another man, and is using that as an easy "get out of jail free" card (according to her perspective).

      4) Re the issue of who decides on how to spend the money that the wife may bring in - it is pure halacha that the man does. Sorry. None of us made that up. This is not about her inheritance, or money she had before the marriage, but money she is earning while married to him. If you want to battle this one, take it to the poskim...

    14. Finally, about your last two points:

      "c) That he has no responsibility for his wife walking out on him once the children were grown."

      I don't understand why grown children should make a difference. Kosher spouses have no right to walk out on one another - period. If there is a conflict, they must pursue a serious professional counselor, just like they would seek out a good doctor to heal gangrene. Only if a truly reasonable effort has been made to find such doctors is it time to consider the amputation called divorce.

      "d) That he is entitled to a new chance and that he will not give a get unless his wife agrees to marriage counseling..."

      And here is the big issue. You seem to have a problem with the idea that marriage b'kedusha is a responsibility for both sides to maintain, and that whenever one simply wants out - YES, the other side is "entitled" to not participate. This is not "withholding" anything, rather healthily not participating in a dangerous change of status quo.


      What does she have to lose?

  7. Feminist you cannot rewrite the way a marriage is contracted in halocho no matter how many gittels and tamars and their mamzer offspring you can produce. That is why no one commented on the mishna.

    We are not in this together. Yiddishkeit men and families have been destroyed. Many abusive and passive abusive and control ing women out there

  8. Yes, the Torah gives sole right of initiating and concluding the divorce to the husband. The Torah also nowhere mandates chewing with your mouth closed or using cutlery when eating pasta.
    Doesn't anyone remember the phrase "naval b'rshus haTorah" anymore? Sure its a man's prerogative to give the get but withholding it can easily make him a naval even though he's within his rights.
    There are mature and immature men and women. Each marriage each unique and to set down rules as to who causes the problem, what a person wants, is futile. There are wives who leave marriages on a whim and others who leave after years of abuse and failed attempts to make things better. There are men who drop a get with almost no forethought and others who suffer for years before finally giving up. You cannot generalize.

    1. You are missing the vital point that there is no reason to assume that if a wife wants a divorce that it is automatic that she is to receive one at some point. There are cases where she should not ever receive it merely because she wants it.

      I want to be a Kohen. I want a million dollars.

  9. The poster has a point that some women do divorce and later regret it because they realize they were looking for all their happiness from their spouse. There is a recent NY Times "modern love" column about this, about a family, in Wisconsin I think, which broke up.

    However, whenever a wife wants to leave the Torah way (as when anything bad happens) is to inspect your own deeds. Is her behavior a divine punishment for a sin you have been committing (looking at other women, laziness, etc.), or a lack of proper behavior toward the wife (refraining from criticism, not being controlling, listening to her tell you all her experiences each day without criticizing or giving advice, etc)? Or perhaps this was given as a test so that you will turn to Hashem in intense prayer and thus achieve an elevation in your connection to Hashem? It's not good to assume that the man always has something to do with it.

    Regarding the controlling man, DT gave very good advice. In fact, controlling behavior -- a man's insistence that everything has to be just the way he wants it -- is perhaps the most common type of spousal abuse and makes many families miserable. Anger and authoritarian behavior results when men get annoyed because things don't go exactly how they want them. But who says everything should always go as foreseen? It is our task to refine our character traits, getting rid of our anger and impatience and being kind and flexible toward others.

    The obsession with getting respect from one's children and wife are very harmful, as Rabbi Shalom Arush describes in his chapter in Garden of Peace on "being a man."

  10. Considering that Rabbeinu Gershom gave wives the right to refuse unilateral divorce from their husband, it is obvious and clear that husbands have the same right to refuse a unilateral divorce demand by their wife.

  11. Part 1)

    My comment (which DT turned into a guest post, with my permission), was most definitely NOT meant to add fuel to the war being waged on this blog between the sexes.

    My post was meant to be gender-neutral. I’d appreciate it if DT added this clarification to my guest post:

    My goal is to point out that the highest goal of ANY relationship, including marriage, is to have BOTH PARTIES attain what philosophers call “Positive Liberty”.

    What’s THAT, you may ask?

    “Positive liberty” is the ability to fulfill one's own potential, including freedom from INTERNAL constraints & biases. Contrast this negative liberty, which is freedom only from OUTSIDE, external restraint.

    Liberty can be explained many ways. Possessing “Positive Liberty” according to Charles Taylor, means that one is not internally constrained; he or she must be able to act according to their highest self – according to reason.

    An analogy: Suppose a rich and powerful actor is also a drug addict. This actor has very little Positive Liberty, since he doesn’t have a mature state of decision making, free of internal or external restraints (e.g. free of weakness, fear, ignorance, etc.) (Source: mostly wiki article).

    I used Seligman’s construct about happiness to illustrate how WE ALL tend to go off track – both men & women. We seek happiness #1 (pleasure), but ignore the much more beneficial types of happiness’s / wellbeing of types #2 (engagement), #4 (meaning) & #5 (accomplishments). Let me repeat; BOTH men & women do this.

    This practice, caused by our various biases, is SELF DEFEATING. As Seligman notes, (based on the research of Chris Peterson at the University of Michigan and Veronika Huta at McGill University), happiness that is based on #4 (meaning) & #5 (Accomplishment) IS significantly predictive of life satisfaction, while happiness depending on #1 (Pleasure) IS NOT. This happens to match the traditional religious view. (Source:

    Why was I stressing the woman’s mistake, since both sexes are equally guilty? The subject of the ongoing discussion here was about women who leave marriages, even long-term marriages. I was pointing out that in many cases, women’s advocates are doing a disservice TO THE WOMEN THEMSELVES, by counseling radical solutions based on their ignorance of the real underlying CAUSES; i.e. lack of life satisfaction – on the part of BOTH husbands & wives - and instead focusing on symptoms.

    That’s why I wrote (in my earlier post): “maybe they can still … look…. Together” – I meant that BOTH need a full “paradigm shift” – they need to REDEFINE HAPPINESS & then start the journey towards attaining AUTHENTIC happiness – TOGETHER!

  12. Part 2)

    Some commentators mentioned OTHER reasons for divorce – I see them all flowing from the same source:

    Avraham1: “Another common reason may be that due to her dwindling physical attractiveness the husband may be treating her like a fifth wheel”. My comment: True. Would you disagree with the observation that if the husband finds another POWERFUL source of life satisfaction, this could greatly diminish his concern regarding her dwindling physical attractiveness?

    Feminist: “In most cases divorce is prompted by years of suffering, unhappiness and inappropriate behavior on the side of the husband.” My comment: Part one – True, part two - Sometimes True. I agree to the first half: Divorce is usually prompted by years of the woman’s suffering, unhappiness, but she may very well misplace the SOURCE of her unhappiness, as I’ve attempted to explain. But regarding Part two: That in most cases it because of the husband’s “inappropriate behavior”. Nope. I’ll be neutral and say it’s 50/50. But it makes no difference – IF both parties are ready to do the HARD WORK that AUTHENTIC happiness entails. He might have acted inappropriately, she might have acted inappropriately. Both can do “Teshuva” – and accept the "paradigm shift" that I mentioned.

    Authentic happiness isn’t a “zero sum” game – neither party needs to lose anything for the other to gain, but rather EACH needs to ENCOURAGE each other in identifying and fully developing their unique, G-d given strengths and experience the TRUE joy of #2 “engagement”, #4 (meaning) & #5 (accomplishments). All based on the Torah laws & Hashkafos.

    Each will still need to learn how to be “mentsclich” to the other. It’s just much easier to do so when each has a strong sense of well-being, so that they can be “givers”, instead of “walking wounded”.

    We also have a Torah for defining: 1. what is “mentsclichkeit”, 2. what is considered “controlling” vs. what is justified hard & soft paternalism, 3. limits on traditional gender roles. But that’s not for this post.

  13. When I did a similar blog post on how women could save a marriage - by learning intimacy and communication skills, being responsible for their own happiness I felt a little uneasy because it could be construed as a cop-out for men for being the one primarily responsible for shalom bayis. Man was put into the Gan Eden to serve , when he looked for a wife , he was not looking for a companion but somebody whohe could be of service and help him in his service of G-d. Imho a man's commitment to a wife is not just physical but a commitment to her emotional needs and happiness. A woman who feels loved and honored will respond in the same way and show trust. The following piece confirms my feelings

    Two people recommended the same book on marriage, The Garden of Peace by Rabbi Shalom Arush, within a week of one another.
    One reading of the book and I felt the rug had been pulled out from under me. Suddenly I was able to see my situation in an entirely different light. All the confusion I was experiencing about my marriage became crystal clear. I realized that underneath all of my blaming, criticizing and finger pointing, there lay a fundamental truth. The true reason for all my marital strife was me.
    The true reason for all the marital strife was me.
    How could it be all my fault? There must have been things my wife did to contribute to the breakdown of our marriage! What about all of her miserable behavior?
    The Ketubah, the Jewish marriage contract, clearly states that the husband is ultimately responsible for his wife's happiness and hence the husband is primarily responsible for Shalom Bayis. This was a complete paradigm shift for me. It may not be politically correct, but I believe it is the truth. It is the men that need to initiate the giving, especially when it comes to giving honor. As the Talmud says, "There is no blessing in one's home without the wife's honor." All the blessings a husband receives are in the merit of his wife.
    When a husband honors and loves his wife, she feels invigorated and will respond in kind. The complaints and nagging are now almost non-existent, and the frustration and tension with matters related to intimacy are dissolving. We have never felt this close and secure in our marriage, and just about all of it has to do with my wife seeing and feeling consistent, deep rooted changes in me.
    Shalom Bayit is one of the most important mitzvahs of our lives; the worth of a man is largely dependent on how he treats his wife; not just in public but also behind closed doors. Perhaps an analogy would be to view the husband as the sun, and the woman to a flower. If the flower isn't blooming (the woman is acting negatively, withdrawing, complaining, nagging, or being passive aggressive), the first place to examine is to see if it’s getting the proper amount of nourishing sunlight.

    1. It may not be politically correct, but the halacha is a wife must obey her husband's wishes and requests. And the halacha is she must respect him as her King.

    2. Tuli, it is not the husband's obligation to see to it that she do so.

      When the husband is concerned with her obligations rather than his, the marriage is over.

      ben dov

    3. @Allan Katz - "The Garden of Peace by Rabbi Shalom Arush" - A copy of this book that I reviewed (a while back ago) stated that the wife is the General in the household, and the husband is a private who has to obey all the General's orders.

      Can you please cite even one authentic Torah source that claims that the husband is a private and the wife is a general? If you can't, that's proof that the book is feminist psychology, not Torah Judaism.

      "the first place to examine" - Your theory might have some validity if there was no powerful very well organized feminist movement (both in the "Orthodox" community and outside it) that implements draconian police state divorce laws and encourages women to divorce their husbands and destroy them in archaos. But instead you take the easy route and gang up on the men.

    4. ben dov:

      Actually it is his right to see to it that she follow her obligations to him. This point is Jewish Law.

      He should be concerned with his obligations to her and she should equally be concerned with her obligations to him. Obviously they both have very different obligations towards each other.

    5. That quote from The Garden of Peace was taken out of context. If you read R' Arush's book, you would know that he was talking about household matters: running the kitchen, decorating the home, dressing the kids, etc. When it comes to these issues, the wife is in charge and her husband should keep his critical comments and orders far away. That's the key to maintaining harmony in the home. It's common sense, really.

    6. @Bunsa Bayis - "the wife is in charge and her husband should keep his critical comments and orders far away" - I don't own the book, but what I remember is NOT what you're claiming here. The book is not just saying the husband should avoid critical comments as you claim.

      The book's method of creating "shalom bayis" seems to involve relegating the husband to the level of a private who must follow ALL the orders of his wife the general.

    7. then reread the book.

    8. "The book's method of creating "shalom bayis" seems to involve relegating the husband to the level of a private who must follow ALL the orders of his wife the general."

      If you are so outraged, this idea might be able - in the past or in the present - to save your marriage.

      Let me tell you that it is not easy for a wife to put up with a husband who thinks that she is his property and should obey his every order...

    9. It is natural for a wife to want to follow her husband's desires and obey him. Even aside from it being halacha.

    10. When we men treat our wives as Hashem wants us to, they rarely want out. Sure it happens but it's unusual. Blaming feminism and other scapegoats is a convenient way to dodge our responsibilities.

      bem dov

    11. And it is natural for a hsuband to want to follow his wive's desires and to do what she wishes. This is called love.

      If the love, the respect, the fullfilling of wishes is just one-sided, a marriage will most probably not work. One side will remain dissatisfied and this could prompt a reaction like walking out on the long run.

      I am quite worried by the great number of male commentators who insist on the authority and superiority of the husband. They should concentrate on their mitzwos: provide for the family, respect their wives "yoter mi gufo", consider her "ateret baala" (i.e. above themselves).

      But they chose to speak about their wives and women in general with disrespect, call them witches, etc. I would not be astonished if their wives walked out on them.

    12. @Feminist - I am not outraged. I am attempting to separate authentic Judaism from feminist nonsense being sold as Judaism. I never claimed that Jewish husbands should consider their wives as property. The Gemara (maybe Kesubos) clearly states they are not slaves.

      But Chazal clearly states that a Jewish wife is under her husband's authority. Of course feminists will condemn this idea, but in fact "controlling" husbands treat their wives with far more compassion than the controlling feminists who take Orders of Protection and have their husbands jailed for objecting verbally to something the wife said.

      "She (a daughter) is under the authority of her father until she enters the authority of her husband at marriage." (Kesubos, Perek 4).

    13. Let's give it up, Feminist. Some men are so much more concerned with throwing around their authority than they are with building a home with love and harmony. Maybe they don't get respect from other men so they must assert it at home. Since they don't have what it takes to earn respect, they must demand it as their halachic/hashgafik right, or they won't have it at all. That's what poor self-esteem contributes to a marriage.

    14. well said, bunsa bayis.

    15. Feminist, a wife has no right to walk out on her husband unilaterally and without just cause as recognized by our Mesorah. If she does, she should not be too surprise if he rightfully denies her a Get.

    16. Eesseh lo ezer kenegdoJanuary 1, 2014 at 5:11 AM

      Bunsa & Feminist, I like the way you both play ping pong with each other. First let me explain what is a feminist. It is Lesbian beloshon nekiya. Neither has to, nor should get married, and from your comments it definitely sounds you are not. If so, you are disqualified adding your two sense, since you have no clue about marriage chemistry what it takes and when it gives. Reminds me of the story where he said, in my house, I wear the pants, but she tells me which to wear. You have money and power issues, and that is all you care. A marriage is not like a Fire truck that has a back seat driver as well. Both need to contribute, drive in the same direction, listen to each other, help out each other, and make the best of it. Bemilei dishmaya is his call, bemilei dealma is her call. When you disrespect, threaten, want everything your way, do the world a favor stay home, and don't destroy worlds. And you two, stop patting each other on your backs.

    17. you have a filthy mind. Actually, I've been married for over twenty years with six children. My husband is bipolar and doesn't like to take his medication. The only reason he is still frum (he doesn't believe in Hashem) is because I told him I would leave if he wasn't. I sweat every day to make this marriage work. No beis din in the world would blame me if I asked for a get, but I don't - not because he won't give one to me (he would because he is not evil), nor because it would hurt the children (actually, his erratic behavior hurts them more), but because when he is depressed or irrationally angry I remind myself that in the good times he is kind, loving, and respectful. Ultimately, the reason I work so hard in the marriage is because he doesn't take me for granted, treat me like property, or throw around his "G-d given" rights and authority.
      I assert that every word I have ever written on this blog is true and based on my age and experience. A peaceful home needs spouses who are loving and considerate - not hung up on being bossy.
      Oh, and I'm moichel you your crude aspersions.

    18. "I remind myself that in the good times he is kind, loving, and respectful."

      Kol ha'kavod. That's what makes the world go round. Perhaps he too has issues with you and would walk out if not for having the same attitude. Staying focused on the essence of the connection makes all the difference. It's called "v'ahavta l'ray'eicha k'mocha"/

      May G-d grant you the strength to stop thinking that you're doing him a favor to not walk out...

    19. "First let me explain what is a feminist. It is Lesbian beloshon nekiya"

      Interesting that the blog-owner let this comment pass. I think it shows his bias, since he is an avid censorer...

    20. Bunsa bayisJanuary 1, 2014 at 10:02 AM
      "you have a filthy mind."

      hmmmm..... do I?

      @ Feminist: January 1, 2014 at 6:29 PM

      this uncensored Bunsa postulate sits well with you?

      "I think it shows his bias, since he is an avid censorer..."

      rather think of it as unbiased and equal treatment...

      This is an opinion, and most people agree because 1) of their aggressive behaviour, 2) they are unhappy with their 'goral' in life being trapped in a womans body, 3) they even look masculine, therefore, are 4) very angry against Kivyachol 5) veTorato, 6) and express it at every opportunity, how Das Moshe veYisrael and Das Yehudis Rules and Regulations are unfair and unjust. They huddle with ORA fixing the Torah, leveling the playing field, revising, reforming to their hearts content, Megaleh Panim baTorah shelo Kehalacha etc. as Paskened by R' Elyashiv, Gedolei Poskei haDor, as well as B'Datz, matir eishes ish leshuk, manufacturing mamzerim. Did you contemplate being a General as second in command, or maybe Publishing your own "Feminist Torah Edition"?


      "I assert that every word I have ever written on this blog is true.."

      "The only reason he is still frum (he doesn't believe in Hashem)"...

      Since when is there such a briah as a Frumer Apikorus?

      " I sweat every day to make this marriage work."

      Why would you sweat for a marriage that he is not Maamin be'emunah shleima? What has ORA said about such, does it sit right with them? And what about the children, you say that such an environment hurts them.

      "(actually, his erratic behavior hurts them more)".

      Do you trade in your Yiddishkeit and your children "for the good times"..

      "but because when he is depressed or irrationally angry I remind myself that in the good times he is kind, loving, and respectful"

      Does he believe in G-d and his Rights or doesn't he?

      "he doesn't take me for granted, treat me like property, or throw around his "G-d given" rights and authority."

      My dear lady, I have a hard time making out your case and your rationalisations, you do sound somewhat confused. However, after reading your life story, I do feel your pain and very much sympathize with you, just please... stop being sooo.. angry.

      "Oh, and I'm moichel you your crude aspersions"

      And Oh' yes, guess what, I reciprocate and moichel you wholeheartedly, just as well.

    21. You are beyond despicable for attacking bunsa bayis in the way you do it after what she told about her life.

      Again, I am taken aback that our avid censorer blog-owner let this pass.

    22. It appears there is a definite connection between feminism and lesbianism.

      (Note: I am NOT accusing any women bloggers here of being lesbians.)

      "According to Judy Rebick, a leading Canadian journalist and political activist for feminism, lesbians were and always have been at the heart of the women's movement, while their issues were invisible in the same movement"

    23. Feminist:
      Passed the same way you are mechane shem. I did sympathize with her having a tough life. May Hashem hold his right hand over her and children. She was brave to give me a rain check upfront and granted mechila, I extended the same. I firmly believe that deep down her yiddishe kishke pounds a warm heart, and hope she accepted the mutual exchange. All is well, if it ends well. As for your most recent attack, in the same spirit I moichel you just the same, veSholom al Yisrael.

  14. What does the Torah say?

    On the one hand, men don't own women & women don't own men.

    As the Rabeinu Yona states - Jews should not subjugated to ANY other person:

    קסז. עם הקדוש שהם עובדי השם יתברך, אין להם להכנע לבשר ודם, ואינו מן הראוי להיות מורא בשר ודם עליהם אלא לש"ש. שנאמר (שם) כי לי בני ישראל עבדים, עבדי הם ולא עבדים לעבדים. ..תהיו לי ממלכה שכולה שרים שלא יהיה עליכם עול בשר ודם.

    There's a famous story about a Rov who was asked to mediate in a bitter dispute about a parcel of land. He suggested "asking" the land in question! So he put his ear close to the ground and announced: "The land says that I own BOTH contestants". Are wives & husbands an exception? No!

    On the other hand, it is EVERY Jew and Jewesses obligation to see that other people of the Faith follow ALL Torah laws. Let's see that same Rabeinu Yona again - you'll notice ONE exception where we SHOULD subjugate others - The exception is, in order to serve Hashem:

    קסז. עם הקדוש שהם עובדי השם יתברך, אין להם להכנע לבשר ודם ... אלא לש"ש. שנאמר (שם) כי לי בני ישראל עבדים, עבדי הם ולא עבדים לעבדים.

    The two Mitzvohs concerning this obligation are: תוכחה, ערבות. The issue isn't IF one is obligated, but rather HOW to successfully do so, when to ignore transgressions that can't be corrected, etc. (There's a difference of opinion if ערבות applies to women).

    The Torah has different types of laws, some are RIGHTS that people have, vs. other people, some are OBLIGATIONS, both vs. Hashem and vs. other people.

    We can give up our rights vs. other people - husbands don't HAVE to demand wive's wages, but they have a RIGHT to do so, if the wife expects מזונות.

    AUTHENTIC happiness, as defined by religion, means FINDING MEANING WHILE STRIVING TO DO HASHEM'S WILL - whatever that may be. When we find MEANING in the mundane, that's because we VALUE being able to fulfill Hashem's will.

    But this takes work. A LOT of work, and focus, and constant reappraisal... The best gift one spouse can offer another is THIS:

    The essence of every Jew, is his Neshama. The Neshama constantly seeks to connect to its Source. When we visualize the greatness of the Creator, by focusing on the grandeur and vastness of his creation, we become awe-struck by our insignificance in relation to Hashem's greatness.

    When we understand the immense gift handed to us in that Hashem gave us the ability to cause satisfaction to HIM - such a GREAT Creator, not withstanding our inherent insignificance - we become filled with humility & gratitude.

    As mentioned, feeling VALUE in being able to fulfill Hashem's will takes work: It's hard work, but it's worth it. And It brings AUTHENTIC happiness.

    By virtue of the husband's role as scholar vs. the woman's role as being in charge of domestic matter, Hashem gave him the "lead role" - but by no means the only role - in the most worthy endeavor of "spreading" authentic happiness. He often forgets, she often forgets, WE ALL often forget...

    So we're supposed to remind each other.

    Everything I wrote here is based on RISHONIM, not some new-fangled theory on happiness.

    The idea of subjugating others for this is Paternalism. Often, paternalism is justified, often not.

    Everything that brings AUTHENTIC happiness into a home

  15. Emeslaya'akov ,
    Don't worry - you will always have the last word in your home - ' Ken motek'

    1. @AllanKatz - No, I never claimed nor do I believe that the husband should always have the last word in the home. I'm only questioning whether the apparent feminist statements in the book you're quoting are based on any authentic Torah sources. You've provided no answer to my question, but that's also an answer.

      Even if the book claims to rely on the Zohar, what about the Shas and poskim? Are they now irrelevant in the age of feminism? I was never able to confirm with any Torah scholars that the Zohar actually states what the book claims.

  16. Rambam (Hilchos Ishus 15:20): And thus our Sages have commanded that the woman honor her husband to an extreme degree and the fear of him should be on her and she should do all her deeds according to what he says and he should be in her eyes as a ruler or king. She should orient her activities according to that which he desires and stay away from that which he hates. This is the manner of the daughters of Israel and the children of Israel who are holy and pure in their marriages. In this way the community will be pleasant and praiseworthy.

    1. So suddenly you go with the rambam?

      But when he says that she is not a slave, you refute him?

    2. And the Rambam holds that you need to give a Get by Mous Alai, & he holds a Get that was forced shelo k'din doesn't produce mamzeirim. So hang your hats on a Rambam.

    3. Fem, the two Rambam's are not a contradiction. Correct, she is not his slave and also correct that he is her King. There's a difference between her not being his slave but her being his subject.

    4. @Feminist - Do you feminists like the Rambam's psak on forcing Gittin?

      Then feminists will love the Rambam's other PSAK:

      "A man may marry even 100 wives...his wife may not object to this, provided he can provide each wife with her fitting subsistence, clothing, and conjugal rights." (Hilchos Ishus 14:3)

      "Every wife is required to wash her husband's face, feet, and hands, pour him beverages, make his bed, stand before her husband and serve him..." (Hilchos Ishus 21:3)

      "A wife who refrains from performing her obligated tasks (Bais Din) may compel her with a rod" (Hilchos Ishus 21:10)

    5. None of the activities you mentioned is she allowed to do when she is a niddah. That is because those actions are what a woman does to show her love. She performs the same duties for her children and they are not her master.

    6. Yet it is her legal obligation, which is court-enforceable, that she do those required duties of her.

    7. Tuli - go back to chosson shiur. Those are specified tasks that she is forbidden to do for her husband when she is a niddah. Legal obligation? Court-enforceable? You throw around those words as if you think you know what you are talking about.

    8. I was referring to the above: "Every wife is required to wash her husband's face, feet, and hands, pour him beverages, make his bed, stand before her husband and serve him..." (Hilchos Ishus 21:3)

    9. you are blasting off anything in your sight and anything that moves. bet you, they can't even polish his shoes, regardless of time.

  17. Tehilim (45:11-12):
    Listen, daughter and consider, and incline your ear. Forget your own people and your father’s house. And the king will desire your beauty. Because he is your master and you shall bow to him.

  18. Why does "criticism" get such a bad rap here?

    Accepting criticism is an extremely POSITIVE character trait. It's part of a "growth" mindset.

    Here's a list:


    By Ploni - Based On the Work of Carol Dweck
    Note: I believe “growth” mindset is similar to Torah View, as noted.

    Fixed: Capabilities are primarily seen as inborn talents which are hardly changeable.
    Growth: Capabilities are seen as mutable by effort & effective learning strategies.
    Torah View: When we “invest” effort & effective learning strategies, G-d greatly expands our abilities.

    Fixed: To try to appear as capable as much as possible
    Growth: To try to learn & improve as much as possible.
    Torah View: Constant improvement is a mandatory, never ending process.

    Attitude to Challenges:
    Fixed: Challenges are avoided because in case of failure, they can give an impression of lack of talent
    Growth: Challenges are embraced because it’s possible to learn from them & they can lead to growth
    Torah View: Accepting challenges is in itself a positive commandment, as is learning from them.

    View on Effort:
    Fixed: Is seen as an indication of a lack of talent
    Growth: Is seen as a normal & necessary step to growth
    Torah View: Effort is normal & necessary, and we are rewarded for the effort, regardless of outcome.

    Response to Adversity & Failure:
    Fixed: Failure is seen as an indication of a lack of talent, often leads to giving up.
    Growth: Failure is seen as an indication that more effort and / or better strategies are needed.
    Torah View: Failure indicates more effort / better strategies - in worldly matters only if “normative”.

    Response to Criticism:
    Fixed: Self-defensiveness; mistakes are not recognized & admitted.
    Growth: Inquisitive & interested, eager to learn & open to feedback & suggestions.
    Torah View: We are to appreciate corrective feedback & willingly accept it.

    View on Success of Others:
    Fixed: Is seen as a threat because these other people might be viewed as more talented.
    Growth: Is seen as inspirational because lessons can be drawn from it for further learning.
    Torah View: Like growth mindset.

    Development of Potential:
    Fixed: Potential is under-utilized, thus confirming one’s fixed mindset.
    Growth: Potential is developed, thus confirming one’s growth mindset.
    Torah View: Like growth mindset.

    Effect on Other People:
    Fixed: Can impede cooperation, feedback & growth.
    Growth: Can invite cooperation, feedback & growth.
    Torah View: Like growth mindset.

  19. Ploni,
    William Glasser - Choice theory Glasser has a list of 7 deadly habits of external control that destroy relationships:

    Criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging , threatening , punishing, and rewarding to control – even praising could be interpreted as stroking or trying to control – thank you for doing what I want you to do

    Chazal , Mesach Huchmah etc have already said that people don't know how to offer criticism and certainly take criticism
    so instead of criticism why not invite the other party to solve problems in a collaborative way and start with getting a clear understanding of their concerns before you present yours .

    1. Do we have a מחלוקת between Dweck & Glasser here? whom the Poskim hol like?

      Let's see - תוכחה is a Mitzvah, קבלת תוכחה is also a Mitzvoh. The Poskim say that the Gemara in ערכין you quote that people don't know how to offer criticism and certainly take criticism isn't changing the Halacho, only guiding us on HOW to say תוכחה..

      Guess what - inviting the other party to solve problems in a collaborative way is EXACTLY HOW Chazal say we should be מוכיח...

      Does that bring us into agreement? No...

      Because your "autonomous" spouse can decide "I'm not interested, because he / she has been poisoned by a culture of "fixed" mindset OR he / she may want to re-write WHAT needs to be accepted by putting the onus on the מוכיח to motivate, while our Holy Torah says that בחירה בטוב is Step #1, which the person MUST accept valid תוכחה, or he is considered a לץ!!!

      And since Deci only believes in intrinsic motivation - which doesn't work for beginning stages, as Chazal say מתוך שלא לשמה בא לשמה - דוקא, you will NEVER get the person to do moderately difficult tasks in combination with habit forming reinforcements using top-of-the line strategies - so he / she never gets to self-efficacy & mastery.

      And the cycle continues endlessly... Nobody changes....

  20. emesleya'akov,
    You have already been answered - it is common sense or even da'at
    The whole of sefer bereishit is teach people how to use their divine intelligence to reach conclusions about behavior which the seichel is me'chyev - see Reb Iaasac Sher on the Torah - also Rav Wolbe on da'at - something that comes from your inner depths -

  21. Watching from the sideDecember 31, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    I read many of the comments here with utter dismay. So many people have missed the point completely. When a case of divorce is brought to a beis din or a court, the judicial body needs to examine the technicalities of the case, and make application of the halacha or statutes respectively. But a huge chunk of the issue is being obscured. Midos. Yes, character, menchlichkeit.

    Perhaps a marriage that is "over" is over and should result with the get and divorce process. And maybe halacha requires it, or maybe not. But what is the "proper" thing to do? I have zero interest in listening to the rantings of the misogynists or the feminists, as these are produced by what people desire, and are essentially narcissistic pursuits. Can anybody take such a case, strip it of all the anger, rage, and hate that dominate the process, and preserve the issue of moral right vs. wrong? Have we forgotten that ultimately, the mitzvah of menchlichkeit precedes Torah (I believe the Netziv claimed it was unwritten but in the white space before the first line of Bereishis)?

    I am personal witness to many divorces which were carried out with a full helping of bitterness and combat. While one might keep score and consider any of the warring parties winners of certain battles, everyone summarily lost - time, lots of money, and countless chunks of time wasted in misery. Such wars continue, with the arenas often being the batei din, and rooms of secular courts. No one seems to learn. Lawyers love this combat (they call it litigation or "negotiation"), and so do toanim. They bill by the hour and get rich quick. Both parties of the divorce (and often their respective families) lose, big time.

    In divorce, the issues of right versus wrong need to be evaluated from the moral perspective, before looking at halacha. There are wealthy resources in Torah to help make such determinations. However, I would never pose this question to anyone who could benefit from prolonging the agony.

    Lastly, I also bear considerable witness to recalcitrant husbands, statistically equal to women who seek to crush their husbands, extort money, deny children, etc. I always wondered how these people get through Yom Kippur.

    1. The "right" thing to do, the mentchlich thing to do, the proper thing to do, is to preserve the marriage. To work full-throttle on maintaining the marital relationship.

      That is the right thing to do.,

    2. Watching from the sideJanuary 1, 2014 at 1:36 AM


      You are correct. But that is obvious. But let's get real. There are marriages that cannot be repaired. And it is beyond futile to look for who is at fault. In reality, the person who does not want to stay married to you will not be pleasant company, even if one used all the tools to prevent a get. Speak to therapists experienced in marital therapy/counseling. Sometimes the marriage is beyond repair.

      Let's take an example. Suppose a husband was unfaithful. There is no halacha that forbids him to his wife. Nor does halacha require him to go to therapy. Whether he does teshuvah is not the concern of any human, including beis din. What if he wants to "work on the marriage"? How about this guy having had an affair with a married woman, or having shared STD's with his wife that he brought home from brothels? No halacha requires a get. And he wants to "work on the marriage"! This wife would rival our imahos in tzidkus if she would agree to remain in this relationship. The best "full throttle" work could not preserve (actually rescue) such a marriage. I know I used extremes, but there are countless scenarios that lead to impossible situations.

      I would dare you to find a Rov with a conscience who would insist that this wife be ordered to stay in the marriage. And let's make the name public. That individual would be in the same category as those rabbonim who defend known molesters.

      There is a fifth Shulchan Aruch, and those requirements of menchlichkeit are found there. I am among those who believe in cherishing marriage and doing anything to save one in trouble. But there are just some that cannot be saved. Admit it.

    3. Watching from the side:

      Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! I love you but it is your attitude that you just expressed that is the problem!!

      "There are marriages that cannot be repaired."

      This almost never true. This is dead wrong. Virtually every marriage on the rocks CAN AND SHOULD be repaired.

      "And it is beyond futile to look for who is at fault."

      Who cares who is at fault. Fix the faults. Move on. Is marrying another sucker after divorce going to be any better?? It may be worse!

      Let's even take your biggest extreme example you gave. Yes, he was unfaithful. This is repairable! Yes this terrible situation can and should be fixed. (Assuming there is no incurable STD, in which case I would concede you are correct in that very limited circumstance.) If he seriously and earnestly wants to work on repairing the marital relationship he should! It is NOT a cause for divorce if it is fixable and he demonstrably commits to fixing his problem.

      You do not need a Rov to insist she remain in that relationship. It isn't a "cause" under halacha to give her the right to a Get. The fifth Shulchan Aruch never override the first four chelokim.

      Is his later remarrying another woman somehow better than him remaining married to his longtime wife?!?

      Yes, sometimes a marriage cannot be saved. Those are excruciatingly rare circumstances. They do exist though.

      How for over 3,000 years our zaidas and bubbes had very rare divorce cases, I would guesstimate less than 1 in 1,000 marriages ended in divorce throughout our long and glorious history in golus. Did they not have marital problems? Did they not have infidelity? They had all the same problems we had, perhaps to a lesser degree but they had them. AND THEY WORKED ON THEM. And fixed them. And divorce was excruciatingly rare until the sexual revolution of the '60s.


    4. "In divorce, the issues of right versus wrong need to be evaluated from the moral perspective, before looking at halacha"


    5. @dress:

      So you think that a man who had an extramarital affair should withhold a get and force his wife to stay with him, even if she does not want, because she feels that her trust has been irremediably broken.

    6. why do you equate the non-granting of a Get with forcing her to remain married?

      She is married. No one forced her. This is a contract she opted into. If she now wants out, without the agreement of her partner, it is SHE who is trying to force matters.

      Just go study the contract.

    7. Watching from the sideJanuary 1, 2014 at 5:42 PM


      You're so wrong it's pathetic. I will disclose a few things about myself. I am a mental health professional with advanced degrees and extensive training. I have been practicing in the field for several decades. I have worked in concert with numerous other professionals, many of whom are renowned in their expertise, as well as batei din and rabbonim from all walks of the community.

      The idealistic statement, "any marriage can be saved", is simply not realistic or practical. Where I do concede is that marriages that can be saved are often discarded into the trash heap, and this is most disturbing to watch. But there are likewise many situations in which it is simply bizarre to expect a wife to remain in the marriage, and it is plain menchlich to set her free. Here are some examples from my casebook.

      1. The above mentioned infidelity of the husband. Re-establishment of trust is either impossible, or there continue to be recurrent violations that render trust unwise.
      2. The husband is being sentenced to an extended prison term for crimes that will impact heavily on the wife and children for years to come.
      3. The husband is convicted or otherwise verified to have abused one or more of the children.
      4. Husband suffers from an addiction (any of many), and staunchly refuses to establish abstinence or seek treatment.
      5. Husband deteriorates in his Yiddishkeit, having negative effect on the children and the home. He refuses all help or intervention.
      6. Husband insists on violating the laws of Taharas Hamishpocho.
      7. Domestic violence, even if never resulted in actual injury. Examples include ongoing verbal and emotional abuse, preventing her from having contact with her family, friends, or professionals who might actually help her tolerate abuse and act on self protection. Attempts at physical harm that missed (threw heavy objects at her but missed). You get the gist.
      8. During marital separation, husband engages in Parental Alienation, interfering with mother's ability to raise the children.

      I can continue for pages from my case records, and others in the field could add countless others. These are marriages that cannot work. It is herculean to expect a woman who is so violated to overcome the hurt and damage. Yes, the husband has the control over the get. But if we approach this without a moral compass, can we claim that our decisions are even remotely consistent with Ratzon Hashem?

      Let me add one point. I do not advise anyone to end a marriage. That is not my goal. But when it becomes impossible, the couple reach that decision on their own (often in my presence) and we then move into the mode of helping them part ways with the least amount of bitterness. Most all of my colleagues take a similar position - not to push for divorce. That is purely the choice of the couple. And here is where the question of igun enters the discussion.

    8. Watching from the side:

      "Mental health professionals"/therapists are probably the biggest cause of divorce and the most destructive responsibility of marriages. Especially those with "advanced degrees". Couples should avoid them like the plague and work on bettering their marriage rather than seek these oil snake salesman who will inevitably sell them a Bill of Divorce regardless that it wasn't needed. Yes, the PUSH for divorce, most often subtly but sometimes openly.

      People should seek the right Rabbonim who work to maintain marriages rather than shove divorce in people's faces.

      In every single one of your above examples, as long as the spouse is seriously willing to work on themself and correct their behavior, the MARRIAGE IS SALVAGEABLE.

      Again, every case if there is a serious desire to improve and correct, ITR CAN BE DONE. PERIOD.

      Again, there are some very rare cases of where a marriage cannot be salvaged and it must end in divorce. Those are very rare. The vast majority of the time it can and should be salvaged. The divorce rate is currently unacceptably high in the Jewish community and it must be lowered. Every marriage we must fight to save.

      This is the Ratzon Hashem.

    9. @Dress - "Mental health professionals"/therapists are probably the biggest cause of divorce and the most destructive responsibility of marriages" -

      I think you're absolutely correct here, except for the minority of mental health professionals that adhere to Torah values.

      Much of so-called science nowadays, including psychology, is in fact heavily politicized and "paganized" pseudo-science, lacking any verifiable scientific basis. Witness all the popular atheist "scientific" books claiming the Universe created itself somehow. In areas where psychology and Torah seem to overlap, then I believe psychology can be useful to save marriages.

      "The vast majority of the time it can and should be salvaged" - Again I agree with you 100%. Most of the Orthodox Jewish divorces today are avoidable unless of course either or both spouses are homosexual, psychotic, or truly violent (not according to feminist DV laws, but actual violence).

    10. BTW, according to Shulchan Aruch (does anyone here no hold of S"A) even if a husband is violent, Beis Din has to give him multiple warnings to correct his behavior, and allow him the opportunity to stop his violence, before they can require him to divorce his wife.

    11. ELY - you keep making sweeping statements about various areas, feminism, MO, science, psychology etc etc. It is clear that you are a tortured man who has suffered or seen close ones suffer from divorce. However, what expertise do you have in science, psychology, and sociology - ie the study of marital breakdown, to make such grand statements about everything?

    12. @Eddie - Here you go with your nonsense again. You don't know me at all. I'm not a "tortured man" at all, except in your imagination. I'm just attempting to help my fellow Jews based on knowledge I've gained from learned rabbanim, and also knowledge I've gained from some wise non-Jewish scientists with intellectual honesty.

      So you and your MO sheeple friends are annoyed at Chareidi "fanatics" who refuse to drink up Slifkin's evolution nonsense that man evolved from an ape? Then enjoy your chest beating and knuckle dragging.

    13. ELY- it might help if you start with basic knowledge of being able to read. If you have not seen anyone suffer from a bad divorce, on what are you basing your statements? You write with the anger and rage of someone most tortured - more than anyone else on this blog.
      I asked you what expertise you have in scientific matters - and you give a wishy-washy answer , that you have gained some knowledge from scientists - ok what kind of knowledge? are you a practicing scientist? In what field? What makes you qualified to talk about psychology, evolutionary biology, as well as being an expert in marital breakdown?
      Next, where did i write anything about evolution from apes in my post? In fact that statement of yours betrays how little you know about what Evolution claims. It claims that man evolved from a common ancestor of the apes, but a different branch. Not that man evolved from an ape. And your other mistake is to associate me with Evolution, as I am neither a believer or disbeliever in it.

  22. URGENT: Please make a new separate posting about Rabbanut corruption.

  23. Watching from the side. I commend you on getting most of it. What you fail to understand is that the withholding of a Get is an extreme measure which although completely halachically tenable has only come about to the extent it has in the last 30 or so years since women have gone to court to destroy their husbands in every way they possibly can. Men cannot be crushed and women be allowed to move on with their lives as if nothing happened. Men have no say in the divorce proceedings. frankly it's the women you need to lecture to.

    Yes there is always a 1 in a 1000 SOB who is only doing it for spite. But that is rare these days given how unfair the court system is to men.

    1. Watching from the sideJanuary 1, 2014 at 6:02 PM

      In divorce cases, it is most often both sides that behave unfairly. Breakup of marriage, which was entered with expectations of love, harmony, companionship, plus others is painful, and leads both sides to employ their most vicious traits in the process. This creates parnosoh for toanim and lawyers, all of whom facilitate the fighting.

      Your "1 in a 1000 SOB who is only doing it for spite" is a serious underestimate. From my own caseload, I rate things much closer to 50-50. The withholding of gittin is described in responsa of Gedolei Yisroel for generations. There certainly are women who exploit the court system to destroy their husbands. I am involved in such cases right now. There are as many that are the opposite. I challenge your statistics.

  24. Ploni,
    You asked why people have a problem with criticism - your answer is pretty judgmental of people - they don't have a growth mindset - maybe it is more about what chazal say - the judgmental nature of criticism , the way people go about it is controlling and doing to people When we offer neutral feedback and are supportive . Deci like Rav Dessler, Rav Iaasac Sher say extrinsic motivation is dangerous ground , when the lo lishmah is lishmah , a person needs the lo lishmah to help with his goals , the lo lishmah is self -determined then the lo lishmah may have a change . The person will have to at least see that the task has value . Deci acknowledges the powerful nature of extrinsic motivators to get something done , but their research has proved that the lo lishmah does not reinforce - you can't promote ruachniyut by giving value to gashmiyut - take a re-read of Rav Dr Benzion Sorotzkin The reason why there is so little IM is because everything is driven by the lo lishmah . Criticizing is using the lo lishmah - the control and people don't like to be controlled by others but be supported Your growth mindset will never occur with the focus on the lo lishmah . The growth mindset is a second pass explanation - the first passs is what criticism is by nature

    1. I see Heuristics (mental shortcuts) in action here.

      "the judgmental nature of criticism" - which criticism? let's change the wording to "positive feedback". Better?

      Would you go to a trainee bank teller that didn't have an experienced watching her every move and..... "offering constructive feedback"?

      Does the context make a difference - namely WHAT is being criticized.

      Will your child have the right to stick his finger in fire until HE DECIDES that you genuinely love him?

      Are you aware of cognitive biases, distortions, justified paternalism?

      All of Torah is justified paternalism.

      You're putting yourself in the untenable position of having to IGNORE TONS of Chazal .. based on misinterpreting Rav Dessler, and Rav Iaasac Sher.

      Please quote one instance wher Rav Dessler says that autonomy means what SDT does it does - which seems to matche Stuart Mill's definition - which is Kefira.

  25. And another phrase that keeps getting tossed around here: she must respect him like a king. Shaul Hamelech did not have absolute power. Remember what happened to him? Or Dovid Hamelech. He got punished for acting on "kingly" privileges. In modern times, we have the Glorious Revolution, American Revolution, French Revolution, Russian Revolution....Being a king doesn't mean abuse of power. You just get to sit on a fancy chair in fancy robes. But if you don't listen to your advisers, you're a fool.

    1. Neither abuse was about Kavod , Shaul did not follow Hashem's commands of killing Agog and the sheep, David tempted Bat Sheva. Hovering under kingly privileges is an umbrella much to big for your size

    2. Bunsa - it depends WHICH issues we're talking about. later on I posted the Gemara in Baba metzia about this.

  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. Dress - a divorce could be a successful end to an unsuccessful and unhappy marriage. There are plenty of unhappy marriages and this worries me more than the divorce rate. We had a ' Bobba' here telling her sad, sad, story of her life.

    1. An unsuccessful and unhappy marriage should be worked on to become a successful and happy marriage.

    2. The Bobba was in an abusive relationship and did not have the strength or the money to leave

    3. Allan - I suspect that your flippant approach to divorce is a direct result of your embracing SDT.

      As I alluded earlier, SDT seems to define "autonomy" as philosopher Stuart Mill did:Mill writes ""With respect to his own feelings and circumstances, the most ordinary man or woman has means of knowledge immeasurably surpassing those that can be possessed by any one else".

      Allan - THAT IS KEFIRA.

      The Torah approach, is that we are inherantly biased toward our נפש הבהמיות. We need to train ourselves so that מוח שליט על הלב.

      This isn't a man / lady thing. All of us.

      Once we have other sources of happiness, we men find it easier to do the dishes... and women find it easier to have supper ready in time...

      Many ancient philosophers embraced a similar philosophy.

      Aristotle: man has both a rational and an irrational system in his psyche,

      Socrates & Plato: We pick up our values from our parents, our friends or our culture, and we don’t think about them. This can be psychologically and morally damaging, because some values and beliefs are toxic, and will make us sick. Philosophy teaches us to ‘take care of our souls’. It teaches us to examine the beliefs and values we carry around and see if they make sense. -

  28. R' Issac Sher - mi'toch - from within the lo lishmah find the lishmah and work on that

    1. Please quote verbatim ONE instance where he says NOT to do Lishma. You're misunderstanding them.

      He's saying to strive for Lisham even while doing Shelo Lishma. That's not a chiddush, c"H says the same in שער הבטחון פ"ד.

  29. About Glasser = Choice and Reality theory . You made an equation Dweck= Chazal and Glasser not. Well Glasser's work is very central to the Refuah coaching institute – a chareidi organization here in Israel , so the equation Dweck and Glasser are consistent with Chazal.
    I have written about a growth mindset , important for helping a person expose his vulnerability We can help our spouses; children and students embrace vulnerability by modeling vulnerability, being authentic, showing empathy and not being judgmental. We can show them that mistakes are our friends and essential for growth. This enables them to really step into the arena
    Criticism and judgment push people in the other direction – when you ask why criticism gets a bad rap here , difficult to see people interpreting your words as neutral feedback

    1. I'm not very familiar with Glasser's work, though I've glanced at it.

      Of course we have Choice, and we need to work for intrinsic motivation to do good.

      Chazal don't leave it at that, and neither does public policy in the areas of finance, health, criminal law.

      As Baumrind rightfully said:

      "When certain forms of behavior produce an aversive outcome, children are motivated to initiate the self-controlling mechanisms that will enable them to avoid the negative outcome. Such self-regulating mechanisms result in reliable internalized habits of pro-social conduct that then become strengthened, not diminished, as a result of external incentives. Provided that parents are also responsive and intellectually stimulating, firm parental control and high maturity demands promote rather than under-mine self-efficacy and intrinsically motivated engagement in difficult tasks".

  30. @Bunsa and Feminist - "Some men are so much more concerned with throwing around their authority than they are with building a home with love and harmony" -

    Building a home with love and harmony is a fine ideal. However, on the issue of authority in the home, yourself and Feminist continually accuse men of the exact faults that you yourselves commit.

    In this case, I was responding to constant recommendations that men should accept the alleged "Torah" teachings in "the Garden of Peace" book. This book seems to state that the husband is only a private in his home who must obey all orders of his wife the "General". Here we have a perfect example of a controlling feminist ideology that women are demanding men must accept.

    When men respond by quoting classical Torah authorities that state the exact opposite of that book, you then accuse the men of being overly concerned with their authority, when in fact it is the feminists who are continually attempting to control and subjugate men.

    The fact is - most men today do not need nor are they demanding the level of authority mentioned in the Rambam. Unless men are completely emasculated (which is the goal of feminists) they normally need to feel they have some authority in their homes.I realize that feminists and submissive men like Allan Katz will find this anathema.

    We cannot allow feminists to invent a feminist religion and call it Judaism. We must at least take into consideration our authentic Torah teachings.

    1. Emes,

      FWIW, you come across in nearly every single one of your comments as someone who is obsessed with the mandate for male-based authority. I challenge your perception that men 'need to feel' that they have some authority in the home.
      People come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments. Your statement is a wide generalization, and the way you so consistently rail against 'feminists' paints you as the one with the issue. For what it's worth.

  31. Here's authentic Torah for you: Hakadosh Baruch Hu requests that we erase His name in order to restore shalom bayis (sotah). The message for us is twofold: one, that ego is incongruous with shalom bayis, and two, that shalom bayis trumps personal kavod - unless, of course, you think husbands deserve more kavod than Hashem.
    Also, you shouldn't comment upon a book that you yourself have admitted to not remembering well nor owning a copy.
    BTW, Allen Katz is not a submissive man. He is secure enough in his manhood to espouse what is proper behavior.

    1. Sorry to smash any idols here, but DT commented in regard to "Garden of Peace" by referring to the brilliant Gadol Rav Menashe Klein ZT"L":

      Daas Torah October 23, 2012 at 1:44 AM

      "Actually there was a book written in the 1970's Hanhagos Habayis by Hirsh Travis that has exactly that approach (the approach of Garden of Peace). Rav Menashe Klein wrote an 8 page teshuva שו"ת משנה הלכות חלק ט סימן שיא attacking it as feminist psychology which had nothing to do with Torah. "

    2. Later I quote The Rosh in Nedarim that explains that Chazal a bit differently.

  32. The husband is the authority in the home. He should consult his wife before he makes decisions.

  33. @Feminist - please stop writing as if you are in a college dormitory or an army barracks

  34. Watching from the side. Your comments about withholding a get are pure, unadulterated nonsense and given your purported claims to be involved in divorces it is hard not to conclude they are not being made to deliberately mislead the naive reader for the following reasons.

    If the world was so full of agunah's then why can the jewish press only conjure up a list of 10-15 men at a time? Even assuming that some women don't want their business spread all over it still wouldn't in all likelihood increase the number significantly. If you claim otherwise prove it. Furthermore there are numerous men on the list whose wives went to secular court, they refused to go to bais din and they are me'agen their husbands.

    On the other hand the vast majority of purported frum women go to courts today and in the majority of cases you won't deny they are awarded custody. And what exactly do they do in court other than badmouth their spouse and try and limit his access to the children and do in fact limit his access. A very standard visitation schedule is every 2nd weekend with maybe a few hours one midweek, no more. And for the man to even obtain that visitation he is made by the woman to jump through a million loops.

    If what you mean that the man doesn't give the get immediately while the matter is in court - you must be joking. the men receive very limited access to the children, unlimited liability for their expenses and often for their spouses expenses as well and the machashefa receives a get at the end. I challenge you to prove that their are so many women out there who at the end of the litigation process they invariably initiate and perpetuate don't receive a get.

    You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time. frankly i find your remarks outrageous.

    1. Watching from the sideJanuary 1, 2014 at 7:57 PM

      In contrast to many of the extreme generalizations in yours and other comments, I absolutely refuse to take an opinion that is led by emotion and personal desire to claim anything. I make observations on a huge number of cases, and my experiences include insight into countless other cases in which my involvement was only tangential (but information was nevertheless accurate).

      You are correct in noting that there are women (many) who exploit the courts unfairly, and seek to destroy their husbands. I am presently involved in several such situations. No, this is not okay, and I personally support the husbands' efforts to combat the machsheifos to preserve what is theirs, legally, halachically, and morally. I only pointed out that the broad generalization that lays all accusations at the feet of the evil women is grossly misstated, and not factual. There are many evil men just as there are evil women.

      Many husbands are unaware that they can employ the courts to preserve their parental rights and visitation without breaching restrictions of arkaos. I have personally assisted quite a few men to insure that the withholding of children be blocked by the court. Gedolei poskim also recognize that there is no halachic basis to litigate visitation matters in beis din, and that one may go directly to family courts for this. And I also watch women try their evil best at sabotaging the efforts of a father to see his children. What is outrageous to say that there are plenty of men who are abusive and cruel, handling their end of the divorce without a trace of the midos that characterize Am Yisroel? I do not place blame on either gender. Just at the feet of the perpetrator, regardless of whether the husband or the wife. Sorry, but if being realistic and empirical is outrageous, I struggle to grasp your understanding of just what truth is.

  35. The story goes that after 120 years when men go to the other world there will be 2 lines - one for men that the wife was the boss in the home and the second line where the woman was the boss. Now all the men stood in the line where the woman was the boss and one guy was in the line where the man was the boss. So all the men asked this guy – how did he do it ! He answered – simple , my wife told me to stand there.
    Emesle'ya'akov ,
    Authority is like beauty – it is in the eye of the beholder . You can't give a man authority , it something that evolves from the relationship and the era that we live in . People don't have the control and authority over people like they used to have – Husbands or even parents don't have the instruments of control over their wives or children. A parent can shout – ' kibud av '- hold the shulchan Aruch in front of the kid- it is to no avail. The respect has to be earned by the parent showing unconditional love , guiding the kid, helping him set limits and meeting his needs. It is his trusting relationship with his kid that gives him influence and authority. It is about parent- child harmony and the same goes in a marriage – husband-wife harmony
    Our apartment building here in Israel is going through renovations – there was a vote and basically the woman in each household made the decision , except for 2 families out of 28 the husband overruled the wife . My wife said about them – they don't care a sh12 about their wives ( in Hebrew of course )

    1. This is complete rubbish. The natural, legal and Torahdik marriage is that the husband is the ultimate authority in the home and marriage.

    2. You're wife needs her values checked out. She is okay with the wife being the boss but she is not okay with the husband being boss? She is quite mixed up. Even if she is a "we are all equal" feminist, why should wives be the boss? Why is that more okay than the husband being boss? That's rubbish. At minimum if its ok for her to be boss, you must equally agree its ok for him to be boss. Especially since not only does the Torah and S"A say so, but it is the laws of nature the the man is boss.

  36. Part 1)

    1) Chazal are very sensitive to hurting another person’s feelings, ESPECIALLY the feelings of someone’s wife:

    (במ נט.) “אמר רב לעולם יהא אדם זהיר באונאת אשתו שמתוך שדמעתה מצויה אונאתה קרובה פרש"י: פרש"י: באונאת אשתו. באונאת דברים לצערה: אונאתה קרובה. לבא פורענות אונאתה ממהר לבא:
    "א''ר אלעזר מיום שנחרב בית המקדש ננעלו שערי תפלה ... ואע''פ ששערי תפלה ננעלו שערי דמעות לא ננעלו ... אמר רב חסדא כל השערים ננעלים חוץ משערי אונאה ... א''ר אלעזר הכל נפרע בידי שליח חוץ מאונאה ... א''ר אבהו ג' אין הפרגוד ננעל בפניהם אונאה" פרש"י: כל השערים. של תפלה ננעלו: חוץ משערי אונאה. הצועק על אונאת דברים אין השער ננעל בפניו:

    2a) Yet, SURPRISINGLY, Chazal – on the SAME Daf - tell us that that there are times when men should NOT listen to their wives; namely, when the wife’s counsel contradicts Torah values, as Achov did when he listened to his wife Eizevel and worshipped עבודה זרה:

    ואמר רב כל ההולך בעצת אשתו נופל בגיהנם שנאמר {מלכים א כא-כה} רק לא היה כאחאב וגו' ... א''ל רב פפא לאביי והא אמרי אינשי איתתך גוצא גחין ותלחוש לה". פרש"י: רק לא היה כאחאב סיפיה דקרא אשר הסתה אותו איזבל אשתו: [אתתך גוצא. אשתך קטנה כפוף עצמך ושמע דבריה]:
    לא קשיא … הא במילי דשמיא והא במילי דעלמא

    2b) In fact, Chazal tell us NOT to listen, even if the wife is extremely persistent, as this caused the חטא עץ הדעת:
    (ב"ר יט-ה) וַתִּקַּח מִפִּרְיוֹ וַתֹּאכַל (בראשית ג, ו), רַבָּנָן אָמְרֵי הִתְחִילָה מְיַלֶּלֶת עָלָיו בְּקוֹלָהּ

    3) Along the same line of thought, women are obligated to correct their husband’s transgression whenever they have the power to do so. Rav Chanina Ben Tradyon’s wife was severely punished for not doing so – although her husband was a great tzaddik!:
    (ע"ז יז:-יח.) אתיוהו לרבי חנינא בן תרדיון ... מיד גזרו עליו לשריפה ועל אשתו להריגה ... ועל אשתו להריגה דלא מיחה ביה מכאן אמרו כל מי שיש בידו למחות ואינו מוחה נענש עליו

    4) Hakadosh Baruch Hu requests that we erase His name in order to restore shalom bayis (sotah) ONLY in order to clarify whether an עבירה was transgressed, NOT in order to allow transgressions. Sorry Bunsa. But you’re right about the ego thing.
    (רא"ש נדרים פ"ג ס"ב) הא דאמרינן גבי סוטה ומה לעשות שלום בין איש לאשתו אמרה תורה שמי שנכתב בקדושה ימחה על המים ... להוציא מידי ספק ומידי אסורא...

    5) The real problem is – the concept of WHAT is a mitzvoh & what is an עבירה has become so muddled and confused, that petty arguments over the color of the furniture have become elevated to the level of Mitzvohs and יסודי הדת like this list that the Rabeinu Yonah mentions, have become totally forgotten. Here’s a list of the Mitzvohs the Rabbeinu Yonah considers MOST IMPORTANT:

    (שערי תשובה - שער ג' מאמר יד. - יח.) "כמו א) מעלות הבחירה ... ב) ותלמוד תורה ... ג) ולכת בדרכי ה' ... ד) ושלמות הבטחון ... ה) והתבונן בגדולת ה' ... ו) וזכרון חסדיו והתבונן בהם ... ז) וקדשה ... ח) והעבודה ... ט) והיראה ... י) והאהבה ... יא) והדביקות".

    Here’s where he explains the importance of these “affective” mitzvohs:
    (שערי תשובה - שער ג' מאמר יד. - יח.) "המעלות העליונות נמסרו במצות עשה ... ובעבור מעלות האלה נברא האדם ... ומה תקות הנברא אם לא ישים עמל נפשו ועיקר עסקו בדברים שנברא בעבורם".

  37. Part 2)

    Alan means well – SDT endorses Aristotle’s theory emphasis of support for of eudemonia, or flourishing. So do the Rishonim. Aristotle and SDT are divorced from Torah in on the details.

    Alan, you’re looking in the wrong places for the right answers. The devil is in the details. I agree to many of your – and Dr. Sorotzkin’s – goals. But, I think you need to spend more time clarifying what’s מילי דשמיא – and not open to negotiation - and what IS open to negotiation. Once we’ve got that off the table, spend MUCH MORE TIME on the “HOW” to get the good stuff facilitated. There are TONS of great Torah True ideas that aren’t being used by the masses – because they don’t know about them.

    It isn’t new, Western culture choose to ignore this approach, since it didn’t mesh with the scientific model. Of late, many mainstream experts have come to the opinion that it’s time for a paridgm shift…

    My solution isn’t an easy one – It’s not a destination, it’s a journey. The journey ITSELF is the solution. I humbly – yet resolutely – believe, that doing so could save countless marriages, avoid TOUSANDS of at-risk teenagers and give countless people a concrete sense of well-being.

    The BEST present ANY spouses can offer one another, is the ability to feel TOTAL CONTENTMENT, AT WILL, without requiring ANY outside facilitators; neither mortal nor medicinal.

  38. @Ploni - Excellent citations from Chazal as to how Jewish marriage should be conducted!

    "הא במילי דשמיא והא במילי דעלמא" - This is a critical point. If I understand this Gemara correctly, Chazal is advising that the wife manages the material matters in the house, while the husband manages the spiritual/religious matters.

    @Feminist - Would feminists accept the concept of a marriage based on this Chazal? If not, what is your concept of feminist Jewish marriage?

    @Bunsa, Allan - Can you cite where in Rabbi Arush's books the Chazal just cited is explained to the women?

    1. The Garden of Peace was written exclusively for men. R' Arush wrote a different book for women called A Woman's Wisdom (I own it, too). If you were to read it, I believe you would be satisfied. But, then you would have to amend your opinion about R' Arush.
      BTW, scroll up, and you will see that I wrote that R' Arush said the woman was the general in household matters. You disagreed with me then. What changed your mind?

    2. @Bunsa Bayis - "What changed your mind?" - I did not change my mind.

      R' Arush's metaphor of wife=general, husband=private (even if referring to material matters) does not seem consistent with Chazal. By Chazal both husband and wife are high ranking officers. I believe Rav A. Miller ZT"L referred to the husband as a Captain, and the wife as First Officer. Many times the First Office may operate the ship, but the Captain is not demoted to "private". That's a feminist innovation.

  39. I repeat a question to the feminists that has yet to be answered:


    What does she have to lose?

    1. Absolutely! And way more women are amenable to counseling than men. In fact, most husbands have to be dragged to counseling, kicking and screaming. IMHO, I think that men are in denial about the state of their marriage, and therefore they ignore their wives pleas for counseling. It is only when she wants a divorce that the husband is "shocked" that she suddenly "woke up one day" and decided to end the marriage.

    2. I was discussing a case were the wife was dissatisfied over a long period of time - let's say ten years - but, in order not to harm the children, she decided to hold on to the marriage until the children were grown and out of the house (I think even married).

      I consider it dishonest on the part of the husband not to change his behavior over those ten years and than to cry "marriage counseling" when, after ten years, she finally walks out.

      I understand that after ten years of non-improvement, there is no basis for trust that marriage counseling after she left will suddenly bring improvement.

      If he was so keen on marriage counseling, he should have asked for it ten years ago - and accept that it is too late once the wife walked out.

    3. A wife cannot "decide" to end a marriage.

    4. Machrivayich UmeharsayichJanuary 2, 2014 at 5:20 PM

      Bunsa / Fem,

      What is your opinion about GD's ongoing saga, where the Head of the household recommended counseling yet within the first year. The household without a head painted the conditions of how, where, when and with whom, without consultation of AMW first. GD insisted bemilay dishmaya on the very first Shabbos to be Mekabel Shabbat her way, or else for starters. Is that the TORAH way to be Boneh a Bayis BeYisrael, or 'HORESS' a Bayis? After this incidence, GD downsized her Head of the household to CONTROLLER, on charges of insubordination. After the newly elected Gd ordained alleged Controller directed the self proclaimed upgraded General to a more 'Milay Dishmayadig' Ob/Gyn, Gd lost all self control and world war Three broke out. Since the Controller overextended his Control beyond his Gd given allocated Powers, ways and means, he was charged with abuse of Command and Control, abuse of power, therefore, was downsized and reduced to Rubble.
      Gd then called in ORA's Army to do the dirty job of Character Assassination with a tremendous Chilul Shem Shamayim berabim that alarmed the whole country. You both, bunsa and feminist support such a despicable filthy organization, while you still consider yourself FRUM. This is not a struggle for power, but mamash Shfichat damim, nekama, kinah vesinah of Biblical proportions. Gd fights tooth and nail, to disenfranchise Father of the child, chas veshalom he should have any nachat from his son. Aren't you the one that advocates to sacrifice for the sake of the children not to rock the boat? What is your stand and opinion about ORA's actions and about GD's actions in this specific saga? In the spirit of sports, "it ain't over till it's over", why even after years of having sholom bayis issues, won't you give it another shot for counseling, after all she might have matured and grown up in the process, kvar haya dvarim meolam. All vehicles need some overhaul and lubrication from time to time, why not give peace a chance? And this question is in reference outside of the Gd's case.

    5. If it is true that

      a) AMW never provided an income for his family
      b) tried to tell his wife what to do or not to do with the money she earned
      c) refused marriage counseling before his wife walked out
      d) threatened to divorce her while she was pregnant


      1) I have no pity whatsoever with him
      2) I see no reason whatsoever to withhold a get. He was the first to say that he wanted a divorce.

    6. if I were a Rotschild... biri...biri...biri... baum..January 3, 2014 at 1:40 AM

      FeministJanuary 2, 2014 at 8:00 PM

      If it is true that


      a) since AMW was such a good catch and was given a recorded promisary note (TANAIIM) of weekly

      income for support as NADEN; // a recorded business transaction e.g.Yissaschar and Zevulun

      b) tried to budget his well earned fixed income of allocated funds;

      c) complied to wife's request of going to a Goyishe nonTorahdig therapist only at least on four separate occasions;

      d) pleaded with her not to divulge publicly that the marriage is on the rocks;


      then {

      a,b) he was well within his rights to budget his earned income on living within his means;

      c,d) she is a moredes and has no rights of Get on demand;

      e) she must settle all oustanding issues before Get Krisus is finalized;

      f) she must put down designated funds in escrow to ensure his visitation rights are complied to;

      g) she must cease and desisit defamation of character;

      h) until conditions are met - it is SHE that is WITHHOLDING him;

      i) if she does not comply within a designated time, I don't pity her;

      j) it is highly obvious that she is at fault acting immaturely as a spoiled brat;

      } endif

      // BTW - AMW Never said a bad word about her

    7. MU I have no idea what you're rambling about. Your post was incoherent most of the time. However ine point was clear. You insult me for supporting that "filthy, despicable organization." Scroll back. You will notice that I have NEVER commented on either Weiss Dodrlson or Ora. That's because I try not to be judgmental. Try it yourself sometime. Another poster also made nasty comments revarding Ora and my own personal circumstances even though I have no connection nor expressed support for the org. One positive though. You and the other poster have inadvertently renewed my appreciation for my husband whose midos tovos are far superior to yours, thank Gd

    8. BB
      yehalelucho zor, velo picha
      Klum nachtom meid al isaso
      to each his own
      if you have a comprehension problem
      try to deal with it
      U&F preach pure ORA all over the place
      if it walks like a duck talks like a duck
      quacks like a duck
      guess what... it is a duck
      FYI ur aggressiveness quacks loud n clear

      "That's because I try not to be judgmental."
      scrolled back and found B & F in unison
      doing just that
      constantly on the attack like a rotwiler, name calling
      very aggressive, angry, issues mostly
      with power authority, rights, bias, respect,
      walking out, withholding, oppressed women,
      wife like garbage? leveling the playing field,
      how Torah is out of date,
      shut up and suffer, misogynist posters,
      controlling husband, censorship etc., etc....
      that's all you have been quacking about, quack ...quack
      everything seems so black to you, unfair, unjust
      Let's give it up, Feminist - the best thing yet you have said
      go get a life and stop bickering
      to put it in nutshell
      chaval al hazman

  40. EmesLeYaacov - Thank you for your kind words.

    It’s pretty clear that Chazal are advising that the husband manages the spiritual/religious matters, but NOT because of his moral superiority, but because of the assumption that his being steeped in Torah will avoid the emotional biases of the sort that caused the חטא עץ הדעת and the sins of אחאב. This would be obvious from the fact that the wife of רב חנינא בן תרדיון was punished for NOT standing up to her HOLY husband!

    The disgrace of contemporary society is that emotional health has been debased and misinterpreted as being dependent on Stuart Mills definition of freedom, where “the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant”.

    For Mill and his followers, freedom is essential for the development of each person's individuality, the attainment of truth, and the development of new and more enriching lifestyles. It is, therefore, a most fundamental social value.
    Source: By Claire Andre and Manuel Velasquez

    ANY “power exercised over another” is mischaracterized as “CONTROL”, with all its negative connotations.
    This extreme view is being spread in the most CHAREDEI circles, as an antidote to an equally deficient view of irrational, ego-seeking power plays.

    This is used to justify breaking apart families. It’s a pity – good women are led to BELIEVE that they’re right because they’ve been brainwashed to believe that their autonomy justifies dishonest, cruel, manipulative and a straight-up violation of both Kantian ethics (don’t use people) and the Golden Rule, as well as a pure as crap example of an ends justifies the means life philosophy – not to mention Halacha & Hashkafa. And they miss out on REAL happiness, but on that one – so do the men 

    Nobody in places of influences seems interested in the nuances:

    When is power over another justified and when not. Good people need to be educated. The details DO make a difference!!!

    All of society is full of instances that would be characterized as “control” based on this view:

    We have many laws “controlling” other people – for their own good (justified paternalism):

    A sign prohibiting swimming without a lifeguard on duty,

    Laws against voluntary euthanasia,

    Laws restricting the use of heroine, cocaine, marijuana and other drugs,

    Compulsory retirement savings plans,

    Mandatory seat belt laws,

    A hang glider must wear safety devices although "it interferes with the sensation of flying like bird." …

    1. Well look, if in a marriage you have one spouse who is well-versed in accounting and personal finance and the other isn't, it would be common sense to attribute the supervision on spending etc. to the person who knows how to do it.

      If the spouse who is well-versed happens to be the wife, don't you think it would be counter-productive for the well-being of the family as a whole to attribute the finance supervision to the husband, just because the torah says so?

      Unfortunately, there are some couples who do it and it has catastrophic results.

    2. There is indeed some truth to what you’re saying.

      In the Gemara B”M concerning the division of authority at home which I quoted in an earlier post, I only quoted the opinion that הא במילי דשמיא והא במילי דעלמא, in other words – women’s counsel should be sought by “worldly” matters, while men’s’ purview is in spiritual matters.

      There is, however, an additional opinion (which I skipped for the sake of brevity) that says הא במילי דעלמא והא במילי דביתא – that in worldly matters concerning the HOME the woman’s counsel should be sought, while in other worldly matters the husband is in charge.

      Some say (ספר עין אליהו), that the two opinions don’t actually disagree, but that if the woman is נושאת ונותנת – which would seem to be what you’re saying – she understands financial matters – and the husband doesn’t, then HER counsel is to be valued מילי דעלמא, defined as financial matters. If, however, HE is the one doing business – then he is in charge.

      Based on this, what happens if BOTH know about finances? I don’t know.

      I’ve re-tuned my definition of איתתך גוצא גחין ותלחוש לה based on Rashi - כפוף עצמך ושמע דבריה, which means “listen to her words”.

      Regardless, are you aware of the work of Prof. Christina Hoff Sommers on feminism?

      This is from her Wikipedia article:

      "Views on feminism: Sommers uses the terms "equity feminism" and "gender feminism" to differentiate what she sees as acceptable and non-acceptable forms of feminism. She describes equity feminism as the struggle based upon "Enlightenment principles of individual justice"[15] for equal legal and civil rights and many of the original goals of the early feminists, as in the first wave of the women's movement.

      She describes "gender feminism" as having "transcended the liberalism" of early feminists. Instead of focusing on rights for all, gender feminists view society through the "sex/gender prism" and focus on recruiting women to join the "struggle against patriarchy."[16] A reviewer of Who Stole Feminism characterized gender feminism as the action of accenting the differences of genders in order to create what Sommers believes is privilege for women in academia, government, industry, or the advancement of personal agendas.

      I think lot’s of reasonable people think she’s right. What do you think?

  41. If there is ever a SHEKER then this is it. "Gedolei poskim also recognize that there is no halachic basis to litigate visitation matters in beis din, and that one may go directly to family courts for this." Absolute baloney. please name the gedolei poskim. Even ORA are claiming that Weiss is wrong because he went to arko"oys. I am surprised this post went through I really am.

    1. Watching from the sideJanuary 2, 2014 at 2:38 AM

      If you can connect through the blog master, I will gladly share the information with you. It happens that I had a long discussion with a well known Rov over Shabbos, and that he repeated that to me several times within the same conversation. My pattern is that when one of my clients wants to go to court, regardless of my opinions or prior knowledge of the halacha, I always recommend them to specifically ask the question themselves. Well, that is precisely what happened, and the Rov repeated his message to them.

      I have no clue what was involved in the Weiss case, and what court was petitioned to do. No comment on that.

      While you endeavor to reach me via the blog master, I will give you homework - find a halachic precedent concerning anything at all that governs visitation. Also find me what rights either parent has to maintaining the child in his/her domain while denying access to the other parent. While you're at it, see if you can locate any halachic precedent for the concept of alimony.

    2. Watching from the sideJanuary 2, 2014 at 6:20 AM

      Sorry to bust your bubble. I spent Shabbos with a renowned posek, and I posed the question to him several times. He was emphatic about the response I quoted above. In interest of my anonymity, I suggest you contact the blog master directly who can forward your request of the identity. I will gladly provide it. He stated numerous times that he takes this position and will back it up for anyone that calls him.

      I also spoke to another dayan today on another matter, but also asked him this question. He stated that he felt one should go to beis din first, but out of formality. He admitted that there is no halachic basis to pasken on visitation, and that going to court is not an issur of arkaos. He also stated that if BD could negotiate a settlement, fine. Otherwise, most cases would then be referred to court anyway.

      I have no clue about the Weiss case. Was the going to court about anything else besides visitation?

      Disagreeing with Stan is not Sheker by definition nor baloney.

    3. Blabbling and making claims about some anonymous "renowned posek" who supposedly is "a well known Rov" is without the slightest credibility without a name. In your view Mr. Avi Weiss of Riverdale could be the "a well known Rov". We all know what his views are worth.

      If you can't give a rabbis name don't expect any credibility by burnishing the supposed anonymous rabbi has some kind of credentials.

  42. HaGaon HaRav Avigdor Miller ZT"L (Awake My Glory):

    There cannot be two kings. The marriage relationship is two-fold. 1) The wife is submissive. This is not only Jewish but natural. There can be no harmony when there are two commanders. Without this indispensable condition, the home is disordered. "Arrogance is unbecoming a woman" - Megillah 14B. For a man it is not an ornament, but for a woman it is as if she wore a mustache. 2) The second, but equally essential foundation: a man must always demonstrate respect for his wife. This is "the way of Jewish men that... honor and support their wives in truth" as stated in the Jewish marriage contract. "He honors her more than his own body" - Yevamos 62B, Bava Metzia 59A. He is the captain, but she is the First Mate whose counsel is respected. She cannot be made a doormat, she need not beg for money, she deserves some assistance in the house chores, and the husband sides with her against his kin. He must express frequent appreciation and give words of encouragement, and he should remember his wife from time to time with gifts, big or little. Husband and wife should always say "Please" and "Thank You" and never forget to be always polite to each other.

    Before marriage it is imperative to ascertain the young woman's attitude toward feminism and "women's rights" and careerism. It is out of the question to build a Jewish home, or any home whatsoever, if the prospective wife has been tainted with these anti-natural and anti-social preachings. The woman's career and happiness are in her home: absolutely and entirely. Her husband, her children and her home are the expressions of her personality and her Free Will, and they are her chief forms of serving G-d. The modern orthodox "Rebbetzin" with a college degree and a job in secular professions is a misfit even in a non-Jewish home. The ideas of revolt against a husband's authority and the unrealistic dream of equal leadership in the family, lead only to unhappiness and failure, and very frequently to divorce. A Beis Yaakov girl should be wed soon after or before graduation. Every day after she leaves the Beis Yaakov marks another step away from idealism, for the street and the office and the secular school have an unfailing effect which increases from day to day. It is never a simple matter to achieve harmony in the home; effort and wisdom and fear of G-d are required. But with the additional burden of feminism, all problems become aggravated; and like all the unnatural and anti-social affectations of the libertarians this leads only to failure and unhappiness.

    1. Might be that Avigdor Miller had a bias against career-women.

      Nevertheless, his concept of marriage is one of complete loyalty from the husband to the wife and vice-versa.

      He says, to an audience of men: "there are many korbones of your own ratzon, many times you have to yield your own will, many times you have to keep your mouth closed....".

      This is a far cry from the caricature of torah values presented by many commentators here, who say that a wife should be forced to stay married even if her husband cheats on her, even if he fails to provide for her, even if he constantly disrespects her, even if she tried to make it work for years and years and it failed...

      It has nothing to do with the gross caricatures presented by many commentators here, where a wife should forced to stay married when her husband cheats on her, when he fails to provide for her, when he disrespects her constantly, etc...

    2. @Feminist -

      "fails to provide for her" - Isn't it sexist hypocrisy if a feminist demands that her husband provide for her?

      "הא במילי דשמיא והא במילי דעלמא" - Ploni cited a Gemara above where the rabbis seem to be advising that the wife manages the material matters in the house, while the husband manages the spiritual/religious matters.

      Would Jewish feminists accept the concept of a marriage based on that Gemara?

      If not, what is the feminist concept of Jewish marriage?

    3. Personnally, I do not think that, as a default value, the man should provide for the wife or family.

      However, that is what he promises in the ketuba. A man who promises but does not fullfill is a hypocrite. This is why i feel that hareidi men who do not provide for their families (completely, so that there is no lack whatsover) are hypocrites. In the same vain, I think that hareidi men who never provided for their families and then go on their high horses of male prerogatives to refuse a get are despicable.

      Equally, I think that men who feel they can have complete control over an income they never earned are immoral.

      My view is that both spouses should work and equally contribute to the household while keeping what they can save as long as there are no children.

      As soon as children come into the picture it might be usefull that one of the spouses reduces professionnal activity in order to care for the children. In this case, I think that this spouse deserves a compensation from the other party. In this case, I would propose as a just sharing that they take the sum of the income of the couple, spend what they have to spend and share what remains in equal parts.

      If such a couple divorces, I think that the party who used to care for the children deserves custody (sole or shared, depending on how compatible the couple is), alimony and child support.

      Incidentally, that is more or less how divorce courts rule nowadays.

      If a spouse wants to be protected from having to surrender part of their possesions at divorce, he can make a marriage contract. In my country, there are three possible "sharing" regimens during marriage

      a) the default model is sharing what was gained during the marriage years (except inheritances).

      b) it is also possible to have completely separate assets

      c) or it is possible to completely share all the assents, also those who were brought into the marriage.

      d) apart from those three standard-models, there is also the possibility of agreeing on any other model in a marriage contract.

      I think that those models are quite fair. That's why I can't understand why so many commentators over here rail against those "evil secular courts".

      In fact, I suppose that the concept of marriage contract exists in your country too, and I suppose that it would allow you to protect your assets against unjustified looting on your ex-wife's part - if only you had thought of making one before getting married.

      The concept that the husband should have the sole authority on the wife's spending, including on her income, does not seem fair to me.

      It is interesting that after having repeated over and over again that the husband should have sole authority and sole control over income you suddenly come up with a gemara that seems to say the exact contrary.

      Which shows to me that you can always find a gemara to prove anything and it's contrary if you look for it long enough.

      Which shows me that your earlier assertions about "the torah saying that the husband should have sole authority, etc", does not reflect the full truth.

    4. Halacha is that ALL assets from the marriage, including the wife's income, belong to the husband.

    5. @Feminist - "having repeated over and over again that the husband should have sole authority and sole control over income" -

      As a feminist you're very quick to assume that Torah law is misogynist or inconsistent. I never said that the husband must have sole authority and control over all income. The gemara cited by Ploni refers to a wife managing the material affairs of the household, in which case she might be managing her income and property or her husband's income and property, or both.

      A Jewish wife is allowed to own her own property, and her income may belong to her IF she's not demanding that her husband support her. Its not at all immoral if halacha gives her husband control over her income when she is demanding that he support her.

      None of this contradicts the concept that her husband has a certain authority over her, even if he does not own her property and income.

    6. "As a feminist you're very quick to assume that Torah law is misogynist or inconsistent."

      You and some of your fellow commentators present the torah law as misogynist.

      Personnally, I doubt that you are right.

      I even strongly suspect that some of you are trolls who want to ridicule torah.

      A few examples? Just in this thread?

      "The Torah and Halacha are clear. A man acquires a woman. The wife is in the husband's possession. She is obligated to obey his wishes and commands."

      "Halacha considers Jewish wives who moser their husbands to have no share in the world to come, they are not part of Klal Yisrael, and mitzvas bein adam l'chavero do not apply to these women"
      (this is a general statement with no restriction, i.e. even a wife who obtains an order of protection against a violent husband has "no share in the world to come")

      " Re the issue of who decides on how to spend the money that the wife may bring in - it is pure halacha that the man does."

      "It may not be politically correct, but the halacha is a wife must obey her husband's wishes and requests. And the halacha is she must respect him as her King."

      "Let's even take your biggest extreme example you gave. Yes, he was unfaithful. This is repairable! Yes this terrible situation can and should be fixed. (Assuming there is no incurable STD, in which case I would concede you are correct in that very limited circumstance.)(...) It is NOT a cause for divorce if it is fixable and he demonstrably commits to fixing his problem. You do not need a Rov to insist she remain in that relationship. It isn't a "cause" under halacha to give her the right to a Get."

      "Unless men are completely emasculated (which is the goal of feminists) they normally need to feel they have some authority in their homes."


    7. @Feminist -
      You haven't proved that anything written on this blog was actually "misogynist":

      "Halacha considers Jewish wives who moser their husbands" - Nothing misogynist here. The prohibition of m'sirah (informing on Jews) is gender neutral, see Choshen Mishpat 388. There are exceptions for persons in danger, ask a non-feminist Orthodox rav. I only referred to Jewish wives because its more common for women to abuse the feminist DV laws than it is for men. The video link I provided above is a common case of m'sirah committed by women.

      "they normally need to feel they have some authority in their homes" - There's nothing misogynist about a normal man who leads his family in a reasonable and halachic manner.

      I am not the spokesman for other commentors, but I can say this:

      "this terrible situation can and should be fixed" - There's nothing misogynist about trying to fix broken marriages as opposed to destroying families unnecessarily.

      "how to spend the money that the wife may bring in" - A Jewish wife may keep her income in return for releasing her husband from supporting her, see Rambam Hilchos Ishus 12:4.

      "She is obligated to obey his wishes and commands" - That's correct as long as the husband is not violating halacha, otherwise the wife may protest (see the gemara AZ 18a cited by Ploni). Nothing misogynist here.

      Contrary to feminist imaginations, Torah marriage halacha is mildly "feminist" in the sense that it tends to favor the wife over the husband. In fact the husband has more obligations to his wife than she does to him, see Rambam Hilchos Ishus 12:1.

    8. Intersting how your use of the word "feminist" has evolved from being an insult and synonymous to "lesbian" to an adjective you use to describe the torah.

      I am happy that at least I could show you that your attitude was uncalled.

    9. @F
      Emes backed up all his quotes, gave you the Canadian website of comparison, what are you whining about. You do sound like a loser.

  43. Watching from the side wrote:

    “I do not place blame on either gender. Just at the feet of the perpetrator, regardless of whether the husband or the wife”.

    I wholeheartedly agree. G-d created each gender with both Yetzer HaTov & Yezer Horah, and divorce proceedings can bring out the worst of people, regardless of their gender…

    Nevertheless, I think there are Rabonim who – probably out of ignorance – become accessories to the mud-slinging and manipulations so widespread in separations and divorces. Let me explain how:

    I’ve heard of quite a few cases where women will seek permission to move out of a home or to seek an Order of Protection against their husbands, where even some prominent Rabonim will say something along the lines of, “Based on what you’re saying, it’s Muttar”. The women then goes ahead and follows the Psak, thus starting a wrenching and costly battle in the courts.

    The problem with a Psak like this is that the Psak is ignoring the inherent BIASES & DISTORTIONS – both cognitive and emotional – that skew the woman’s OWN views of reality. Yet, the Posik makes no effort to do FACT FINDING, even in cases where reasonable people willing to donate several hours of their time and willing to listen carefully to BOTH parties - would easily be able to discern many of these biases distortions, which are often hidden from the woman’s own view.

    For an exhaustive list of cognitive biases, please see @

    Furthermore, these biases are widespread & they also effect highly trained, experienced people engaged in their area of expertise, as noted @

    The Wikipedia article also notes many real-life examples.

    I would like to know your opinion about perhaps stemming the heartache and Chilul Hashem of unnecessary divorce proceedings by discussing the phenomenon of bias & distortion with the eminent Rabbonim that you communicate with, with the goal of only issuing Heterim for separations and / or OOP after the aforementioned fact-finding.

  44. “Feminist” decrees “the caricature of torah values … that a wife should be forced to stay married even if her husband cheats on her … fails to provide for her … constantly disrespects her, even if she tried to make it work for years and years and it failed.”

    “EmesLeYaacov” decrees the method of creating "shalom bayis" [that] seems to involve relegating the husband to the level of a private who must follow ALL the orders of his wife the general.”

    Although the two views seem to be diametrically opposed to each others, it could be that what’s going on here can be explained by Newton’s “Third Law”: “To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction.”

    Perhaps Feminist’s experiences are similar to what she writes about; a misogynistic man who feels a sense of entitlement by virtue of his gender and nothing else. These men forget that Kllal Yisroel is also “Chosen” & yet, when we misbehave we’re punished quite severely – as the Tochacho & our History both attest.

    Perhaps Emes LeYaacov’s experiences are similar to what he writes about; the suffering of men made into “karbonos” because of a backlash against ALL men – who are now perceived as “the gender of oppressors”. He’s decrying a movement which was originally meant to level an uneven playing field stacked against women, but has now ended up putting men “on the wrong side of the gender gap”, where ALL men are assumed guilty unless proven innocent.

    Could be this knee-jerk reaction is similar to what Prof. Sommers characterizes as "gender feminism" (see my earlier comment about her theories or see her Wikipedia page) – where inequities against women have brought a backlash of inequities against men.

    Perhaps BOTH could agree with the statement that “Watching by the Side” made earlier:

    “I do not place blame on either gender. Just at the feet of the perpetrator, regardless of whether the husband or the wife.”

    In my humble opinion, the problem is that we’re missing a “First Line of Defense” that could ascertain WHO the perpetrator is & could avoid the escalation of such strife.

    I think that such a “First Line of Defense” might include:

    1) Fact Finding.

    2) Determination of would allow for a Halachic / Hashkafic (that also needs clarification) dispensation allowing for separation & / or divorce, or at least for some type of “censure” against the guilty party. I think we need SERIOUS Poskim to decide on: 2a) what type of behaviors, 2b) over what time frame & 2c) after what types of remedial efforts, what kind of behaviors ….

    Torah based “reason” should reign - at least by the parties not directly involved - and negative emotionality should be relegated to the wastebasket - where it belongs.

  45. Watching from the side. I will contact the blog owner to obtain the indo i seek . However I am very confused. If it is muttar to go to arko"oys as your well respected posek and dayan purport and they can base it in halocho, why are they afraid to articulate it in public. If they can bring halachik case law ie precedents from poskim from prior generations I will even apologize for my strident assertions. However I strongly suspect (again could be wrong ) that sthe argument is as follows: since the NY notorious courts dont accept arbitration with regards to custody bais din is wasting it's time with regards to custody as the arbitration is not binding. Hence its muttar to go to arko"oys. This is an argument I heard from BDA types and is halachikally invalid.

    again if its nuttar to go to arko"oys for visitation why are rhese voices scared to be heard and why was weiss condemned?

    Even james who doesnt believe in bais din never clained that

  46. My dear feminist.................

    ""seldom right, but always certain."

  47. Dear priest ogidiga, Thanks for everything. You are the best among all the spellcasters I tried these last months. They gave me little results but none of them did what you done. I hardly believe this but you just fulfilled my dream. I say it again: You are the best my husband is back. any one look for help should visit him on email him on [M I R A C L E C E N T E R 1 1 0 @ G M A I L . C O M] or whatsapp at + 2 3 4 8 1 8 2 2 6 0 9 8 2
    Monica Fay.


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