Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
The 15th of Av that we marked yesterday on Shabbat is much more than a commercial holiday or a collection of couples' photos on social media. It brings before us the difficult, yet most rewarding challenge in life: finding fulfillment in marriage, home, and family. So here at the height of wedding season are two thoughts on the subject:
• Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe once received a letter from a worried woman, a mother and wife, who laid out her troubles before him. The solution to her problems could be summed up in one word: humor. He advised her to become “skilled in humor.” We tend to lose control, he explained, to get into arguments, to magnify little things regarding our spouse and children, and not to relate to them appropriately. A smile, a good word, a light touch, the ability to look at what’s happening at home in the proper context – this is the best medicine for what ails you, he told her, instead of exaggerating and taking every little thing so seriously. Especially someone religious, who is attached to eternity, he claimed, is best equipped to utilize humor.
• Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of “The Little Prince,” wrote about love as follows: “Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” In other words, love is not just about satisfying our romantic needs but rather about a common vision, purpose, and direction in life.
Humor and purpose. May we all find them in this marriage season and throughout our lives.