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Rabbi Manis Friedman

Maybe I’ll Never Get Married

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marriage

Banish that thought from your head, right now!

Rest assured that the other half of your soul is out there. G-d originally created Adam and Chava as one body. Their subsequent separation was only for the purpose of their eventual reunification. So too, everyone has their other half waiting for them.

This is why we must shift our perspective. Your spouse is out there, because you are meant to be married to one another. It’s preordained.

Therefore, how much longer can you remain separated? G-d will surely bring you together. It is G-d’s will that it should happen and so it will happen.

In the meantime, stay focused.

Don’t think about marrying a man or marrying a woman. Focus on finding your husband or your wife. The verse in the Torah says “a man leaves his parents and cleaves to his wife” (Genesis 2:24) – not to a woman.

This is why women should not be thinking about men and men should not be thinking about women. It isn’t nice and it isn’t kosher. Your job is only to look for your spouse.

Sure, you can make a list of the qualities you’d like in a spouse. But don’t take your list too seriously.

A shadchan didn’t call you back? Ok, so call another shadchan. It is not up to them. Only G-d can determine whom you marry and when it happens.

The only variable is through which channel your bashert will arrive. He or she might come through this shadchan or through that shadchan or not through a shadchan at all!

G-d has many emissaries, but remember that it is only G-d who calls the shots.

We need to think rationally. Rational thinking means recognizing that I’m probably typical. If the vast majority of people find a spouse, then I will too.

Don’t pay attention to statistics and don’t entertain scary thoughts about never getting married. Trust in G-d and stay focused on your individual mission.

Is There Really a Shidduch Crisis?

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I often hear single people not only complain about being single, but also about the fact that many of their friends can’t seem to get married as well. I can’t get married and she can’t get married and she can’t get married. There must be a crisis! Before we address this subject, I think it is relevant to mention a story that occurred some years ago.

A series of tragedies befell the Montreal Jewish community in a very short time. Numerous people wrote letters to the Lubavticher Rebbe proclaiming that “everything is going wrong.” There seemed to be one misfortune after another. He was asked what could potentially be the cause of this phenomenon. The Rebbe replied that goodness works in groups. Kedusha works in groups. But kelipa – the opposite of holiness – does not cooperate. Bad never cooperates with bad. This teaches us that bad things are incapable of working together. Therefore, we must steer clear of classifying them as part of one unified negative whole. If three bad things happen, they are three independent, separate, unrelated events. One is not connected to the other. There is no “conspiracy” at work. But we’re very prone to suspecting a conspiracy whenever things don’t go our way.

And this brings me back our original topic.

Is there a “shidduch crisis?” The entire question is counterproductive. What would a shidduch crisis have to do with you? It’s not like a group of single women got together and decided: “Let’s make a crisis.” The fact that there are other people who are still unmarried has nothing to do with you. And isn’t it remarkable just how quickly the crisis vanishes once you get engaged? Don’t think of yourself as part of a “crisis” and don’t subscribe to ‘group-think.’ You don’t get married as a group and you don’t stay single as a group. Getting married is not a group project.

It’s time to stop thinking in “crisis” terms and to start thinking as an individual.

Finding your bashert is a private matter that is only between you, your future husband, and G-d.

How to Daven for Your Shidduch

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Many women have complained to me: “I don’t know why G-d doesn’t answer me! I keep praying and pleading and crying to meet a guy and nothing happens.”

Oh really, G-d doesn’t answer? Do you mean to tell me that you have never met a guy before?

 

We need to be more careful with how we speak to G-d.

True, He knows what is in our hearts, but we need to be more mindful of what we say to Him. When we pray we should be a little more conscious about what it is we are asking for.

When you pray to find a shidduch (marriage partner), you need to be specific. Don’t simply ask to meet a “man” or a “woman.” Ask G-d to introduce you to your husband or your wife.

And don’t just ask to meet your spouse. What good is it to only meet someone? You want to be married to your spouse.

And not only married, but settled with a family. That’s how you should pray when seeking a shidduch.

 

I’m reminded of the following story:

A man complained to his rabbi that he doesn’t have enough money.

‘You have to trust in G-d!’ urged his rabbi.

‘I keep praying and asking G-d!’ the man protested.

‘What exactly do you ask for?” the rabbi asked.

‘I ask G-d to find me a job!” replied the man.

 

The man in the story didn’t want a job. He wanted to be rich! If he had only just said so, perhaps G-d would have granted Him his prayer.

We need to work on being honest with G-d. When you pray, just be straight with Him. Don’t be afraid to be blunt. Tell Him the truth.

Don’t ask to meet a man – not even a certain kind of man. Ask to get married to your husband. You’re not a character in a romance novel. You are a Jew who wants to build a home and a life with the other half of your soul.

So, stop wasting your time trying to meet guys. Cut to the chase and ask G-d to give you exactly what you need.

Ask Him to get you married to your spouse.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0m_-qIMrRY

Never ask ‘why?’

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The One Question You Should Never Ask in a Marriage

If I had to write a book about marriage, it would be a very short one. It would consist of a single sentence:

Never ask ‘why.’

 

Why Can’t I say Why?

‘Why’ can be very offensive. This one word can destroy everything you strive to create in your marriage. The ‘W-word’ can even shatter marriages founded with the best of intentions.

When your spouse expresses her needs, wants, fears, likes, dislikes etc., do not ask: ‘why.’ It is not your job to find out why. Your job is to meet the needs of your spouse. No questions asked.

Asking ‘why’ is insensitive and dismissive. Asking ‘why’ means: ‘I’m not impressed or convinced until you give me a reason.’

“Oh, something bothers you? Ok, give me a reason why it bothers you and then maybe I’ll think about not doing that anymore.”

‘Why’ communicates the message that the other person’s opinions are unimportant. It trivializes your spouse’s feelings.

‘Why’ is frustrating, because most of the time, your spouse doesn’t even know why something bothers him or her. He doesn’t know why he needs it this way. It just is what it is. None of us knows why we are the way we are. So, when you force a spouse to explain why, it causes great pain and frustration.

 

What, Not Why:

If you really want to understand your spouse better, don’t ask ‘why.’

Ask: ‘What.’

‘What happened? What are you feeling? What’s going on?’ By asking ‘what,’ you are asking for more information, which stimulates constructive communication.

‘Why,’ leads to a fight. ‘What’ leads to a good conversation.

If you stop asking ‘why’ and start asking ‘what,’ you will start to see an immediate improvement in your marriage.

Try it. It works.

Don’t Marry a Man or a Woman. Marry a Husband or a Wife.

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How to Date the Jewish Way: Don’t Marry a Man or a Woman. Marry a Husband or a Wife.

Are you looking for a man to marry?

I advise you not to.

You see, men don’t really make good husbands.

Men have opinions. And any man you marry will have his own set of wants and needs. He’ll have own

plans. His own schtick. But you yourself already have your own opinions. Your own wants and needs. Your own schtick.

See the problem?

In other words, you’re asking for trouble.

For a marriage to work, you need to find a husband. Not a man. And you need to be a wife. Not a

woman. There is a profound difference.

Today, we’re inundated with unhealthy messages about relationships from the outside world. So much

so that even the most pious of Jews can fall prey to foreign points of view. As a result, most of us wish to meet a man or a woman whom we like and then make this person our

spouse. However, this is the product of assimilated thinking. It’s not Jewish.

The reason it doesn’t work is because you can’t take a “man” and turn him into a husband. Neither can you transform a “woman” into wife.

A marriage can only work when each partner is fully committed to the other.

 

A man or a woman makes his or her own needs primary. ‘What’s in it for me?’ Therefore, since no two

people can agree on everything, men and women clash. And when they don’t feel they are getting what

each of them wanted, they separate.

 

But a husband or a wife makes the needs of his or her spouse primary. The focus is not on meeting

selfish wants and needs. Rather, the goal of a husband and wife is to strengthen their bond through

selfless acts of giving and devoted service to one another.

 

In the old days, people valued the duties and responsibilities that come with marriage. It was

understood that a good marriage requires sacrifice. Today, this idea is far less intuitive for most people.

It’s time we regain our focus.

Do Matchmakers make matches?

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Matchmaker, Matchmaker Make me a Match…Do We Still Need the “Shadchan”?

Most observant Jews use a matchmaker – or a shadchan – to find a spouse. This traditional method of

dating has been the primary way Jews have searched for a marriage partner since the times of the

Torah. But in recent years, many have voiced dissatisfaction with it. I’m often asked if this approach if

Recently someone wrote to me: “For five years I’ve been in touch with numerous shadchanim and I

haven’t received a call from a single one of them. Do you think the shadchan system needs to change?”

Others ask about Shabbat retreats and events held for a mixed crowd of men and women. Perhaps, that

would be a more effective. What can we do to make it easier for singles to get married?

In truth however, the way in which we find a spouse is a total mystery. Sometimes one finds a match

through a matchmaker. Sometimes a match is made through a friend or a relative. At other times it

seems to come about by accident. How it happens and when it happens is something we’ll never

understand. Only G-d knows.

The key thing to remember is that it is G-d who arranges matches.

No one else. This is the mindset you must have when searching for your better half.

All you need to do is put in a little effort. G-d will take care of the rest. You don’t have to figure it all out.

Put your best foot forward and let G-d take it from there.

Because how you find your “bashert” is not up to a shadchan. The matchmaker does not have any

control over when or how you’ll meet your spouse and neither do your friends.

Unfortunately, it’s common for people to blame their prolonged state of singlehood on the

matchmakers. But the matchmakers are not in charge. They do not run the world. Of course, they may

think they run the world, but we know they don’t.

And guess what. Finding your match doesn’t even depend on your behavior. So blaming yourself or

others or your circumstances is not the answer. In fact, it’s completely counterproductive.

You have to believe that every single match is a miracle.

The fact that two halves of one soul manage to find one another in this big, crazy, mixed up world is

nothing short of miraculous. But matchmakers don’t perform miracles. That is not their job. They merely

do what they have to do to help the miracle come about.

Jewish tradition teaches us that the one you are supposed to marry is the one you will marry. No

shadchan – no matter how bad – can stop that from happening.

You are not dependent on a matchmaker. You call them only because you are supposed to make an

effort. You’re just doing what you need to do, but ultimately matches are made in heaven.

Very often, we see matches that seem to make little sense. And that’s because they don’t. Marriage is

not something that “makes sense.”

Matchmakers employ their own logic and reason to figure out whom to set up. But in reality there is no

sense nor discernable rhyme or reason to explain why two people end up together. People marry

exactly who they are supposed to marry simply because that is how it supposed to be. G-d decides who

each of us will marry and He arranges events so that predestined matches take place.

And then even after we get married, we might fail to appreciate that it is G-d who makes matches.

Sometimes we may feel we that have found the perfect match. And at other times we may feel that we

married the wrong one. Perhaps we made a mistake!

This is nonsense. Who we’re supposed to be with is not determined by what we think or how we feel. G-

d knows exactly what He is doing. So let go and trust Him.

A Brief Chanukah Thought

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For eight nights in a row, we light the Chanukah candles. Each of the eight candles we light has a

thought behind it. A story to tell. But there is one candle in particular – the ninth candle known as the

shamesh – which we use to bring light to the others.

The shamesh has no night of its own. An unsung hero, the shamesh lives only to ignite its fellow candles.

It has no agenda. It only concerns itself with spreading the holiness so that it can shine brightly and

illuminate the darkness.

It is the shamesh that should inspire each of us this year to do what we can to light up the world, to

serve our fellow Jews, and to help bring Moshiach, may it come speedily and in our days.

Shanah Tovah! Let Us Welcome 5776!

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Over the past few hours, and upcoming days, as we travel down our Jewish paths, we will wave goodbye to 5775 in our rear view mirrors and say hello to 5776 as it stretches out in front of us. Each of us have a different path to follow, and we prepare in different ways, but the one thing we all have in common is our want, and need for Hashem to grant us health, happiness and prosperity in the upcoming year.

This can seem like a daunting desire. Why should Hashem forgive all the times we did not behave the way we should have? Why should G-d grant us yet another chance to be the people we want to be, do the things were meant to do, and expunge the mistakes that we make year after year?  When we think of all the ways we falter throughout the year, the yamin noraim and impending judgement can be scary.
Or we can choose to look at these days in the way that Rabbi Manis Friedman advices. Rabbi Friedman takes a closer look at the hassdic way to view Rosh Hashanah and the following days until Yom Kippur. Lets say for a moment that Hashem wants to forgive us, maybe even more than we need to be forgiven! Throughout the year, G-d decides. G-d provides for us, protects us, judges us, and decides. Rosh Hashanah, the culmination of the year, isn’t a threat. It’s more of a promise. G-d will continue to run the world in the way that he has for 5776 years! Life is not a jungle, it’s not a roll of the dice. G-d decides. it is the most comforting knowledge to bring in to the new year.
So as we bake out round challahs, and cut our apples to dip and honey, and as we head out to shul to daven with our family and neighbors and friends, we can take comfort in the knowledge that G-d wants to provide for his people. He wants to protect us and give us what we need so that we can continue to bring his godliness in to this world with joy and enthusiasm.
Shanah Tovah V’Metukah to all!

Adar – The Month of Joy

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The month of Joy is upon us.

What are you happy about?

What are you celebrating?

The Purim miracle is hidden in a story of nature. Your miracles are hidden in the “natural” ebb and flow of your life.

Are you looking to be truly joyous this month of Adar?

Take a second look at the daily miracles you are experiencing today and every day.

Boruch HaShem!

Why get married

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Why Get Married?

The problem and confusion today is that people think you get married for “this” or “that.” They really believe that the only reason to get married is for some “this” and for some “that.” A little love, a little friendship – no! Marriage is bigger than that. So if we get this clear in our heads, you don’t marry someone because they are cute. You marry someone because you’re supposed to be married, and if you have a choice, marry the cute one, but not because he’s cute. You marry for the sake of marriage, and you marry the one who is nicer and easier to get along with. But why are you marrying him? To be married to him.

Can you marry anybody?

Theoretically, you can marry anybody….

Let’s look at this: a guy wants to be married for the right reason. What is the right reason? To not be alone, to be connected to another person and become one.

If that’s what he’s dating you for, because he wants to be married, than if you fit, you get along, and you are comfortable with each other, he will marry you. If he’s not thinking marriage, he’s thinking “this” or “that,” and he dates you, and he’s thinking, “Yes, you’re great, you’re fine. Yes, everything I have ever wanted you have.”

“Are we getting married?”

“Well, no.”

“Well, why not?”

“Because who knows? The next girl I meet may be even better.”

What does that tell you? Does he want to be married, or does he want to meet another girl? Does he want to be married, or is he looking for more of “this” and more of “that?”

If a guy comes back from a date and says, “She’s not my type.” Okay, fine! If he comes back from a date and says, “She’s wonderful. I have no complaints, no criticism. She’s everything a person could want, but the next one could be even better, so why should I marry her?” It might be true. It will always be true. What’s wrong with that is he’s not going to get married. Are you looking for who’s out there, or do you want to get married?

If a person says, “I met a very nice girl. She’s very good, but I want to keep looking,” that tells you he’s not focused on marriage – he’s focused on “things.”

When you go out three, four, five times and the guy says, “Yes, I want to marry you,” what is he really saying? I love you? He is saying, “If I marry you, I can love you.” Not, “I already love you, but if I am married to you I could love you.” Sometimes you go out with someone and say, “You know, if I were married to him, I’d commit suicide.” In other words, I can’t imagine ever loving him, so I’m not marrying him. Not, “I already love you, and that’s why I’m marrying you.”

If I marry you, I will love you – that’s what marriage means. Not, “if I love you, I will marry you” but “if I marry you, I will love you.”

So what should you see in a person before you agree to marry that person? Here’s the important thing: you already know that he is a good guy, you already know what he believes and what he thinks (you know that before you even go out). If you don’t, then you find out on the first two dates. On the first two dates, you do not ask yourself whether you want to marry him, because you barely know him. On the first two dates, all you need to know is whether you would enjoy another date (not whether you want to marry him). If you would enjoy another date, so you go out a third time. Would you enjoy spending another hour with him? Go out a fourth time. After four times, it is possible to know whether you can work together – you can know that. What is it that tells you that the chemistry is good? If you can sit with him for fifteen minutes and not say anything, and he doesn’t say anything, and it’s comfortable, that means there is good chemistry. If you feel pressure – you have to say something, or “why doesn’t he say anything?” – it’s not good chemistry. Good chemistry means he makes you comfortable and you make him comfortable. Which means that with him, you don’t have to put on a show. That is so good. So he’s a nice guy, he’s a good guy, he’s a smart guy, he’s a decent looking and makes you comfortable – go for it!

Your objective is to be married, so if all of that is there, marry him. You’ve got a long life ahead of you, and you’ve got to get it started. You want to start a family, you want to be a family – marry him.