Friday, March 7, 2014

Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn's Shalom Bayis lecture in Lakewood on March 6

Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn recently gave a lecture in Lakewood about Shalom Bayis. He discussed invalid Gittin, mamzeruth. In particular he focused on the clash between the Shulchan Aruch and those who feel that the Torah has no right to deprive an unhappily married woman of her freedom and cause her such misery.

The lecture can be heard by clicking here Shalom Bayis lecture

Rabbi Eidensohn was encouraged by the turnout and the interest shown in the program by those attended. The lecture was followed by several hours of serious discussion regarding these issues and the practical steps needed to further a Shalom Bayis Beth Din.


  1. Thanks for sharing. R' Dovid has shared his ideas here on the blog where I pointed out the downside of trying to bribe kids and now fining husbands for bad behavior. Rewards and punishments are essentially the same , just the 2 sides of a coin that in the long term does not buy much. Fining ( husbands ) explains Dan Ariely causes a person to change his mindset from a social or moral one to an economic mindset - the question becomes – how does the fine impact on me , is it worth me paying the fine , or I will find other ways to irritate and make my wife's life miserable without being fined. The question the husband should be asking is my behavior a reflection of my values , of what the Torah wants from me etc. Rewards and bribery just makes kids and adults even more dependent on them to the point that they can't be motivated to do anything without a reward and we- don't have the patience and the skill to sit down with them , and explain the values involved or collaboratively solve the problems that arise on erev Shabbos. Bribing is so much easier and it works - it works in the short to get compliance , but there is a cost in the long term – undermining intrinsic motivation and commitment to and internalization of the values. Rewards motivate kids to get more rewards and demand bigger prizes. Focus on middos by building community as R' Dovid spoke of Knesset Yisroel and not using bribes where the kid focuses on himself , what's in it for me.

  2. Mr. Katz,

    "Locks are made to keep honest people honest."

    What you describe is akin to a crook. To the crook, punishments - or better termed, obstacles - won't help much. He will seek a way around them.

    However, to the non-crook - the guy who would like to be a good husband - setting up an obstacle to behavior is usually helpful. You see that Hashem does punish bad behavior and reward good behavior.

  3. The Shalom Bayis Beth Din has level one basic education about good character, which can begin in early childhood! Level two is responding to complaints of married people without fines or rewards. Level three is when the Beth Din is accepted by husband and wife to have the power to fine someone who is misbehaving after being warned. This fine is crucial because otherwise there is no way to stop a husband or wife from misbehaving. If the husband or wife realize that they can sign one of two documents, one that has no teeth and can easily break down, or one that has teeth, they are faced with living with someone who can turn terrible with nobody to stop him/her except a forced GET that is invalid, or someone who will be so fined eventually that he will have to lose his money or else, see, on his own, that he cannot afford the marriage. At that point, he will either change or else, divorce. But nobody told him to divorce, they just told him to pay. But the end result will be the end of his money or the end of the marriage or the end of his misbehaving. I see no place for any discussions about the value of bribing children, which the Shelo HaKodosh describes as the way he raised his children, who were the senior rabbis of their time. An expert on family told me the key is to make children enjoy the Torah and nothing like bribery does that. Of course, there are various kinds of bribes, and I use them, but if you use your saychel, it doesn't end up as gross as somebody could make it sound. The key is happy children and happily married people. There is nothing wrong with lolly pops for little children and other things for older people. But make life and marriage more than a set of ideas that have various words that can be turned to various uses. Keep it simple. And keep it happy.

  4. R' Dovid Eidensohn ,
    I know this is an old thread , but i was wondering if you have a reference to a seifer , page or a direct quote etc from the Shelo Hakodesh as far as using bribes for kids. Thanks


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