By Five Towns Marriage Initiative
The Gemara says about KabbalasHaTorah that Hashem took a mountain and placed it over the Jewish people. Hashem told the Jews, “If you keep My Torah then all is good, but if not, this will be your grave.” This means that the Jewish people were essentially forced to accept the Torah. The Gemara explains at the end of MegillasEsther, where the Jews accept upon themselves to commemorate Purim every year, that Bnei Yisrael were actually re-accepting the Torah—which they now accepted from love and not because they were forced.
We see from this that for the Torah to thrive throughout the generations it was necessary for it to be accepted from a point of love and desire. That which is forced upon us does not have the same kind of longevity as that which is accepted out of love.
By accepting the Torah out of love, we show that we will keep the Torah not just because it’s what we have to do, and not just when someone is looking, but even when we are not cognizant of the fact that we are being observed and even when it’s not a clear matter of right and wrong. We are willing to go above and beyond because we willingly chose to accept the Torah anew.
The ideal way to enter marriage is with a sincere desire to spend the rest of your life with the spouse you willingly chose, certainly not because you feel coerced. When we hit rough times, we can think back to the choice we made when we got engaged, recalling all the qualities we saw then that led to our choice of spouse. In this vein, we can reignite the positive feelings and passion in our marriages.
Five Towns Marriage Initiative provides educational programs, workshops, and referrals to top marriage therapists. FTMI will help offset counseling costs when necessary and also runs an anonymous shalom bayis hotline for the entire community Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, 10:00–11:00 p.m. For the hotline or for more information, call 516-430-5280 or e‑mail firstname.lastname@example.org.