Get The Ring: How to Find & Keep the Right One for Life.
Tziporah Heller - Part 1
Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller, an outstanding scholar of Jewish Studies as well as a gifted lecturer, has been a full time faculty member of Neve Yerushalayim College in Jerusalem since 1980, with her expertise lying in textual analysis of biblical literature and Jewish philosophy. Her unique teaching style combines creative new lines of thought and a disarmingly keen sense of humor and provides practical examples that draw out personal relevance from even the most abstract concepts. She can be reached at www.tziporahheller.com. Rebbetzin Heller will present us with original insights on dating and marriage in a characteristically effortless blend of deep philosophical thought, piercing understanding of human psychology and eminently practical applications.
Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller
The most important decision that anybody will ever make is who they marry. Many of the other decisions that we make in life that are going to affect us for ever are out of our hands. We can’t decide whether we’ll be healthy or sick; we can’t decide how much intelligence we have to begin with; we can’t decide what our family backgrounds will be. These things will affect us enormously, but we can decide who we marry. Because of this, knowing how to go about doing this is enormously important.
TimingIn terms of — How do you know when you’re ready? The decision of determining when the time is, is bigger than people realize. In today’s world people often put marriage all the way on the bottom burner and view it as something to be done after life’s other accomplishments are already in place. So for a young woman, for instance, there’s often times a vision: I’ll finish school, I’ll develop my career, I’ll become secure in my career, then I’ll marry and have children. But oftentimes by that point the marriage market isn’t what they thought it would be. Men are not necessarily equally as interested in meeting a woman in her thirties as they would be meeting a woman in her twenties. Oftentimes the effect of developing oneself through career creates a finished product, and people sometimes want to grow with each other. There’s another thing that women have to be aware of which is, from the age of 27 and onwards a woman’s fertility progressively decreases. Oftentimes the picture — I’ll be there, I’ll have it all — works, but oftentimes it doesn’t So because of this, for a woman I would suggest that she plan her life differently; that she has to decide for herself where children and marriage fit into her priorities; and she has to put it in a place that makes sense in terms of the likelihood of these things occurring.
For men another situation arises. He too sees himself as developing, finishing his education, gaining a career, finding security within his career. And he often isn’t in any big hurry to settle down. This isn’t a puritan society. A man can find female companionship without marriage. And again, what he doesn’t know is that in terms of what he wants to be as a human being, he may have put what he wants the most on the back burner. He wants security; he wants somebody who will care for him; he wants the pleasure of caring for someone; he wants children in his life. The more he neglects these goals, the more neglected, indeed, they are.
So I would suggest that for both men and women, that a great deal of rethinking has to be done if they have their priorities in a different order than so many people do today.
Not so many decades ago, marriage was a given, the automatic step after reaching the age 20 or so was to find a spouse and start a family. What do you think is at the root of the new trend of postponing marriage to a later and later point in life?
Why Marriage Gets Pushed OffOne of the reasons that people push off marriage so long, so far, is fear. Fear of making a mistake; fear of somehow being finished and trapped. I want to talk about these fears.
The fear of being trapped in marriage oftentimes is deep-seated. It doesn’t come from fearing that one has found the wrong person, necessarily. It comes from fear of giving. In a materialist society, giving is a terrible mistake. We all know that materially, the more you give, the less you have. If marriage is going to work at all, it’s based on giving and commitment, and many of us are afraid of it. And again, we have to realize that if we let these fears overcome us, instead of having more, we end up having less of what we always wanted, which is a relationship of depth and meaning. How do you get past these fears? One of the
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