In search of love

“What kind of man would I like to marry?” – repeated the girl the question that was asked. “Well, I want someone kind. And smart. But not too kind. And not so smart that he’s arrogant about it. Not a bookworm, but someone outgoing. The leader, the soul of the company, but not one that bothers with his presence. I’d like him to be handsome, but not a smug. I’d like…”

She looked at the rabbi sitting opposite her at the table. He smiled broadly and his eyes sparkled: “It looks like you want to marry more than one person.”

I have told this story to myself and to anyone who wanted to listen hundreds of times. I don’t know who that girl was. But I know another story that happened to Hana Sharfstein.

Hana (then her last name was Zuber) was a young girl living in Boston in the early 50s. Her father moved his entire family there from Stockholm. One Friday night, shortly after moving in, he was brutally murdered on his way home from the synagogue. Then it shocked all of New England.

After losing her father, Khana was adopted by a local rabbi. And six months after the death of her father, she, like the heroine of the previous story, stood in his office.

“Why haven’t you married yet?” the rabbi asked.

“I still haven’t met the one.”

– And what do you think he should be ,like?

The charismatic handsome prince immediately loomed in Hana’s imagination, which she told the rabbi about. He laughed.

“You read too many novels,” the rabbi said, still smiling but becoming more serious. – “Novels are not real life, they are fiction. They are full of romance and passionate love. But this passion is not real. And falling in love is not love.”

“Love is life,” the rabbi continued. “It grows thanks to the small deeds of two people living together. So that over time they cannot imagine life without each other.”

People fall “in love”. Love is built. And love – that indicator of a happy marriage – is 20% dependent on the person you marry and 80% on how you live with him in marriage every day.

“And they will be rewarded with building a house in Israel,” the Lubavitcher Rebbe wrote in the blessing sent to me and my wife Chaya on our wedding day. Home and dwelling place are not the same thing. They say that there is no greater test for a marriage than building a home.

May we all be blessed to build a home – both newlyweds and those celebrating more than the first anniversary of family life. A house built with small deeds. Little by little. Gradually.

Rabbi Shimon Pozner.

Source: В поисках любви – Учение Торы (ejc.ee)

 

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