homepage homepage programs

Parashat Beshalah – Is Love a Smooth Ride?


How do you keep your marriage intact?” a young man asked his happily-married friend.

“It’s simple,” answered the friend, “I take care of all the big issues – the war on terror, global warming, government policies – and my wife takes care of all the little issues – what kind of house to buy, what type of car to lease…”

Our rapidly changing society influences not only the world of technology but indeed our personal lives as well; how do we ensure that our deepest relationships endure the ups and downs of life? The Talmud compares the challenge in the union of marriage to the difficulty in the splitting of the sea, which defied nature. Indeed, if man and woman are so different, how can they exist in harmony? Just as it took a power greater than nature to part an ocean, says the Talmud, it takes a purpose higher than our own personal objectives to unify husband and wife.

Think about the view of the world from an airplane window: the smaller things fall away because we’ve transcended them. In the same vein, when we rise above the trivialities that typically distance us from one another, and strive to pursue higher aspirations, we create a space where even the most divergent of forces can come together in harmony. In addition, Kabbalah teaches us that it is in the fusion of two separate entities that the ultimate beauty exists. For like the harmony of two colors that blend together to form a new shade, when we exercise humility and create space to accept another being, our individual value takes on a whole new persona – indeed, we become distinctively beautiful.

Dare to find the true beauty and depth in marriage? Let’s invest our energies in a meaningful undertaking, and in doing so, rise above our differences to achieve a union that is certain to outlast time.

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Mendy