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Sholom Bayit Excerpt From Kids at Risk Chapter

Sholom Bayit Excerpt From Kids at Risk Chapter

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Published by binhersh
A look at importance of Shalom Bayit in chareidi circles and tips for maintaining it.
A look at importance of Shalom Bayit in chareidi circles and tips for maintaining it.

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Published by: binhersh on Jan 08, 2010
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01/07/2010

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Sholom Bayit and Kids at Risk – An Excerpt from OneAbove and Seven Below
As some of the most fundamental rules of salesmanship are also the most fundamentalrules of chinuch, they must be applied accordingly.
1
Let us examine the most relevant of these rules and see how we can apply them within the framework of chareidi society:
Rule #1 – The firmer the firm, the firmer the sales
A good salesman for a weak company is like a good jockey on a slow horse. Don’t expecthim to win too many races. In order for the salesman to succeed, the company that herepresents must be rock solid. People tend to avoid doing business with a shaky companyeven if the product is infallible.This brings us to the topic of 
 shalom bayit 
 – tranquility in the home. There is noargument that chinuch starts at home. Every educator and youth professionalacknowledges that a weak home – poor 
 shalom bayit 
 – is the weightiest card in the game.Mrs. Margolese devotes a complete chapter to this issue and it is certainly on target. Themain point is that every human being naturally seeks out a comfortable, stable, and pain-free environment. Ideally, no place fits this bill better than the home. Yet, not all homesare ideal and so, when conditions at home are more explosive than those on the streets,the streets will more than compete with the home for “home field advantage”. Nothing casts our children
off the derech
faster and surer than breaches in
 shalom bayit 
.All of the
bracha
of the Bracha camp goes unnoticed by a young person when it allremains outside his front
mezuzah
and none of it penetrates within. The Talmud intractate Gittin says that “when a man divorces his original wife, even the altar of thesanctuary sheds tears.”
2
Do you know why the altar sheds tears? I’ll tell you. It is becauseall the time that the couple was at odds, there was an endless supply of 
korbanot 
(sacrifices). Now that they finally divorced, the altar is worried that the constant flow of korbanot may finally come to an end.What is the chareidi take on all this?Two things. First, there is a secret to maintaining healthy
 shalom bayit 
which only thechareidim know. Not all of us, unfortunately, but at least the most dedicated chareidim.And from whom do we learn this? Well, from the wisest of all men, of course (and theone with the most wives - although he didn’t exactly bat 1.000, either). King Solomontells us “When G-d is pleased by the ways of a man, even his (the man’s) enemies make peace with him.”
3
The Midrash expounds:
4
 Rabbi Yochanan says, “his enemies” refers to
1
Mrs. Margolese corroborates this concept in a quotation on page 67 of her book. Here, I am merelyelaborating on the idea.
2
Talmud Bavli Gittin 90b
3
Proverbs 16:7
4
Yalkut Shimoni 954
 
his wife as is written “…the enemies of a man are the members of his household.”
5
Thus,we are told that one who goes in the ways that please G-d or, in other words, one who“walks within My statutes…” - yes, we are back to Leviticus 26:3 - is placing an order for an overnite express door-to-door delivery of 
 shalom bayit 
.The second thing is not explicitly mentioned by King Solomon with an accompanyingMidrash so I suppose it may be even a bigger secret. I will credit this concept to RabbiAvigdor Miller, ZT”L. And the big secret is this:The time to work on
 shalom bayit 
is
before
you get married!
6
Remember, that according to chareidi ideology, being Jewish entails a clear objective. Inthis book, I have figuratively called it striving to reach the peak of Mount Neverest. Whatthe objective really is, is to perfect one’s character and gain wisdom and to then work onimproving society and the world at large (and when you’re done with that, you can…).Every individual needs to have to have a plan as to how he intends to approach thisobjective. As I wrote in chapter 2 the Talmud in tractate Berachot
7
offers two valid plans – one sponsored by Rabbi Yishmael and one sponsored by Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai(perhaps there are others, but these are the only two that I am familiar with). And, as thecell phone companies say, you have to pick the plan that’s just right for you.Getting married also entails a clear objective and it will only succeed if the objective for getting married is an extension of the objective to reach your ultimate goal. Otherwise,the objectives will conflict and one will be sacrificed for the other. Thus, when onesearches for a marriage partner, it pays to see to it that he or she shares your ultimateobjective and is suited to your specific plan.Those chareidim that implement these two secrets invariably fare much better than therest of the population in this regard. Yet, there are no guarantees. Even the mostdedicated chareidim are vulnerable. The opening chapters of Job tell us that the moredevout we are, the more we are tested. The higher up we go, the harder the climb. Attimes, when we have the strength to move up, the other members of our team can‘t keepup with us. It is oft times easier to share the objective at a lower level than at a higher one. Furthermore, when we are faced with circumstances that are out of the ordinary wesometimes become different people than those who we ordinarily are. These issues canloosen even the tightest ships in our fleet and be the cause of more
korbanot 
.To deal with this, there is one more chareidi secret presented by one of my all-timefavorite chareidim, King David. This comes from the Talmud in tractate Berachot:
8
 
King David writes, “For this shall a
chassid 
(i.e., chareidi – see chapter 9) pray to you athis time of finding, only that a flood of many waters shall not reach him.”
9
 Rabbi
5
Michah 7:6
6
I know. For many readers it’s too late!
7
Talmud Bavli Berachot 35b
8
Talmud Bavli Berachot 8a
9
Psalms 32:6

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