Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Expectations of the Arranged

Now that we have established that a large amount of observant Jewry do, in fact, have arranged marriages, I found this from Redbook to be quite interesting:

  Would You Be Happier in an Arranged Marriage?

Arranged marriages may sound unromantic, but the women who choose them can teach us a thing or two about how to be happy in love, says Reva Seth, author of First Comes Marriage. "Women in arranged marriages have a more realistic approach toward love and romance — which makes them better able to enjoy the person they're with," Seth says. Here, a few lessons to take to heart.

Find your inner strength.
 
"Women in arranged marriages don't expect their husbands to fulfill all their emotional needs," Seth explains. "They look to their spouse as a life partner, a companion, and a source of support — but not as their only provider of happiness." Instead of relying on their husbands, these women know how to create their own happiness — and as a result, they don't harbor resentment toward their husbands for not fulfilling the impossible. 


Focus on what you love about each other.

 
Because women go into arranged marriages knowing that they have to learn to love their spouse, they focus on his positive qualities and let go of the little things that don't really matter. Instead of dwelling on Why didn't he do that?, they look for what he did right. "It changes the whole relationship dynamic," Seth says. "When you're appreciative toward your spouse, he reciprocates." 


Redefine romance.

 
Since arranged marriages don't arise from traditional courtship, the women who enter them toss their expectations of traditional displays of romance (think fancy, candlelit dinners). They value little acts of love — like when he gives you the bigger half of the piece of cake — which can often be even more meaningful.
 

24 comments:

Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

The ultimate expression is the Gerrer marriage - they see each other on mikveh night, otherwise he gets to hang out with the guys and she's with her girlfriends. And they're all happy!

The Professor said...

If only it were that simple. Ger / the Beis Yisroel has / had some really interesting views on marriage. There was a whole controversy a few years ago with their whole only mikva night situation (especially since its actually even less than that).

Zsuzsa said...

Our marriage was not arranged - but it might as well have been, considering we knew each other for 2 days before we decided to marry and marry we did 3 weeks later. We were pan pals for 2 years before we met. The only thing our meeting established was that we smelled right to one another - there was physical attraction. He became not only my lover, he has been my best friend ever since. Our kids are grown and long gone and we retired 12 years ago. At first we thought we should travel but then we ended up being too busy and stayed at home. Constantly together turned out to be the best of times; we each doing our own thing but together. We have been married for 46 years.

Princess Lea said...

MGI & Prof: I don't think that is a Gerrer given anymore. I've known a few in my time.

Zsuzsa: Pen pals for two years? That is a great commitment, right there! It's like "The Little Shop Around the Corner," or more recently, "You've Got Mail." How lovely!

The Professor said...

It still is rather common. There was a whole thing which Shaulson wrote up on like two years ago (http://bshch.blogspot.com/2012/11/blog-post_6897.html?m=1). I have quite a few gerrer relatives and my moms best friend is ger. It all depends how old school they are. It is most common today among the Israeli ones. My moms friend has a son who studied in Israel and when he got engaged she was freaking out because he subscribed to that ideology which she personally didn't agree with. My thoughts are that if one is a chassis of a chassidus they can't pick and choose what they want to follow. The Beis Yisroel was very clear in his view.

Princess Lea said...

I don't see why not (in terms of picking and choosing). Chassidus is not Torah m'Sinai; it was originally invented in the 1700s, and the various sects that stem from the Besht are even more recent. A person may grow up with the spadik and want to stay somewhat with the familiar but permit some leniencies which are halachically above board. As long one is keeping halacha, what's the problem?

The Professor said...

1) Chassidus is most definitely Torah m'sinai. If it C"v wasnt it would be kfira. The Baal Shem Tov didnt invent anything, he simply took a derech in avodas hashem that had previously been limited to lofty and special people and brought it to the masses.

What you speak of is th difference between a chassid and one who is affiliated with a chassidus. Someone who grows up with a spodik and wants to drop it and other things but still be close to the chassidus and follow some things but not others is not a chassid. He can be a wonderful jew and a "friend" of that chassidus, but a chassid he is not. A chassid means that one gives himself over completely to the Rebbe, as the saying goes "ונפשו קשורה בנפשו". Yes, at times a chassid will "stumble" and do things which are not befitting him and he knows are wrong and against his Rebbe. But his ultimate goal is to do everything his Rebbe demands and he tries his best to reach that goal.

Princess Lea said...

Considering how this is going comepletely off-topic to my original post . . .

I am not a chassid. If anything, my family is the total opposite (although there was a grandmother here or there who was Belzer or Satmar, but the male heritage is not remotely). I cannot argue from a chassidish pro/con standpoint, but considering the conversations I have had with chassidim, I am not sure all of them agree with you as to what makes a chassid.

In the end, who is to say who is a chassid and who is not? You? Me? Who the hell are we to decide? Leave that to a higher court.

The Professor said...

It is not my place to say who us a chassis or not. The Rebbe makes certain demands of his chassidim and those are the qualifications needed to be considered a chassid. For example, in Chabad, the Rebbe demanded that his Chassidim learn a daily shiur of chitas and rambam, not shave their beards, keep cholov Yisroel, etc. Those are some basic things needed in order to "qualify" as a chabad chassid. A person who doesn't follow those directives has no means by which to claim he is a chassid. Why, because he went to farbrengins and dollars and his father was a chasid? Very nice. The black mayor of NY also went to the Rebbe for dollars, does that make him a chassid? Of course not. He can maybe be considered a "friend of lubavitch" and that is about all. An example I like using is if someone buys military fatigues, does that make him a member of the armed forces? Of course not. He can support them, look like them, but until he signs up and completes the required training and follows the required guidelines he is just a regular Joe.


The Professor said...

Side note: unlike judaisim where "yisroel af al pi shechata Yisroel hu", being a chassid is a tiny bit more exclusive. Its like an exclusive club, one either pays their membership or they don't. There is no automatic membership renewal or any of that stuff. It requires constant work to remain eligible.

Princess Lea said...

Golly gee, how un-Jewish of you. If chassidus actually has an aspect of "Unlike Judaism," then it is not Yiddishkeit. There is no such thing as an exclusive club amongst Jews; your blood is not more precious than mine, or anyone else's. I thought that was chassidus, that there is the Eibishter in all of us, that all Jews, ALL, are precious. Isn't that why Lubavitchers do so much outreach? At the Rebbe's behest?

I repeat, even if chassidus is of "VIP status" and requires members' efforts, none of us are in a position to say who qualifies or not. You seem to be quite sure of your own standing, and bully for you. But keep your wagging finger only in your direction, and not at anyone else.

The Professor said...

One thing has nothing to do with the next. Being a chassid means binding ones soul to the Rebbe's in an extreme connection. The Rebbe gave guidelines how to do that. One who does not follow those guidelines is a wonderful Jew, loved dearly by the Rebbe and all, but is simply not a chassid

Again, it is not my place to say what makes a chassid but the Rebbe's. The Rebbe gave clear guidelines as to what he expects from his chassidim. One who does not follow those guidelines is simply put not a chassid.

FrumGeek said...

You are aware that chabad is not the only strain of chassidus there is, right? Or are they all wrong and false?

The Professor said...

That has absolutely nothing to do with anything. They are all separate derachim in avodas hashem. To be a chabad chassid there are certain guidelines and to be a gerrer chassid there are other guidelines.

I am kind of lost though as to what that had to do with anything...

Princess Lea said...

Yes, the Rebbe can say, and the Rebbe alone, even if you are operating under his requirements. I'm sure that, in many cases, there are exceptions.

The Professor said...

There may be exceptions, however, the Rebbe, not the chassid (or wannabe chassid) is the only one who can decide that. ( the only exception would be when the rebbe set a system of mashpiim in place to whom the general public should turn to with questions, such as in the case of the gerrer story above.)

In general, the concept of the chassidim having to work constantly is something mostly unique to chabad. Our philosophy is that the Rebbe is there for guidance but the work has to be done by us. Other chassidic groups think otherwise, that the chassid merely declares his dedication to the rebbe and the rebbe then takes care of all his spiritual needs for him.

Princess Lea said...

That's what I'm saying, dear, that there can be such a thing as an exception, so even if you are privy to the "requirements" of what makes a good chassid, we are back to where we started that it is not up to you to decide who qualifies.

I wasn't talking about Chabad's purpose as opposed to the rest of chassidus. I was talking about how it is impossible for chassidus to contradict basic Judaism: one cannot add, nor subtract, from the Torah. No exceptions.

The Professor said...

Again, while it is not up to me to decide, there still, are general standards. In the story I linked to before, the couple was advised to do something by the person their Rebbe appointed to be the "madrich" for them. Choosing not to listen would constitute a flagrant disregard for their Rebbe's directives and is not the thing a Chassid would do.

There is nothing about such a policy which contradicts Judaism. Someone who has no regard for Torah but is a wonderful person can be a friend of frum Jews but isnt frum. Judaism doesnt allow one to pick and choose what they want to keep. A better example would be a kohen who marries a divorcee, as long as hes married he loses his kohanic status ie. his violation of a law takes away his membership to an exclusive group as long as he continues to disregard a rule.

This happens to be a bit of a "controversial" topic. In my "real life" I wrote an article about this which was carried by the two major chabad websites. It generated over 800 comments, 2 responses and statements issued by two Rabbonim on the issue. The Rabbonim as well as the vast majority of commentors agreed with my standpoint, though there was a large and vocal minority who didnt. Though, i daresay, it was simply due to a lack of understanding of where I was coming from. The concept isnt that malice is shown towards a certain individual or anything of the sort. He is still loved and accepted and all. It is simply that is membership to a very exclusive club is pending renewal.

Princess Lea said...

You said, and I quote:

"unlike judaisim where "yisroel af al pi shechata Yisroel hu", being a chassid is a tiny bit more exclusive."

Chassidus is not supreme over the rest of Judaism. Judaism is supreme over all sects, over all outlooks. In your claim of exclusivity, I can claim my own exclusivity (except I don't choose to). Saying one is exclusive is easy. Being it is another matter.

Only the Eibishter decides who gets that title. Like Dovid HaMelech, the eved Hashem, as so called by Hashem Himself. Unless you have been having nevuah, kindly cease and desist this completely irrelevant topic that I am annoyed became a conversation in the first place.

Altie said...

I once had a teacher who taught us Tanya. She grew up Orthodox but not Chabad, and she 'converted' to Chabad. Sometimes people like that take it to an extreme, and she basically came right out and said that Chabad are better than all other Jews, that we are the best of the best and better than anyone else.

Now, I do not think that 'Chabad' in general carry that view. Most Lubavitchers believe, or were brought up to believe that the Rebbe is moshiach. However, in every generation every person believed/believes that his Rebbe is the moshiach. So, in that sense we do believe that we will be at the forefront of the geulah. But, the Rebbe never promoted the feeling that 'we are better than everyone else'. In fact, some Jews or other chassidim who wanted to become Lubavitch and asked the Rebbe if they should change their livush and the Rebbe never told them to change the livush to look more Lubavitch. The Rebbe was accepting of all Jews from all walks of life, and he accepted them as they were. The Rebbe had tremendous Ahavas yisroel for all Jews. So no, I think that kind of view is very erroneous and mistaken. We are not better.

But, the Rebbe did say that we should spread chassidus to all corners of the world, even to other frum Jews. Chassidus comes from the hidden part of the Torah, and it helps enlighten Torah learning, and teaches new things and deeper levels on the Torah you already know. So yes, we do believe that chassidus is for everyone, however, Chabad/Lubavitch definitely does not encourage the feeling of better, or separate.

In addition, it is not a make it or break it- either you do all the requirements or poof, one day you are no longer a chassid. Just like Judaism, it is a constant uphill battle to do the right thing. If you choose to be more frum you can take a stricter approach, and once you take on a higher level of a mitzvah you shouldn't drop it. But Chassidus is by no means an exclusive club, and anyone who says that has a real problem.

I believe Prof is mistaken on this one, and does not accurately represent Chabad's view in that sense. I do hope you do not get the wrong idea about Chabad based on one person's crooked views. There are a lot of wonderful Chabad people out there.

The Professor said...

Altie, as the proprietor of the blog requested I cease and desist I will refrain from responding to your comment. I will, however, point out that you obviously did not read my comments if you feel your comment was in response to / in argument with mine.

Additionally, I will remind you that when this topic was discussed on the Chabad websites, my view was the one which received overwhelming support by both the general public as well as by the Rabbonim and mashpiim who wrote responses.

Altie said...

Being that PL seems to have gotten a negative view of Chabad from your comments, I merely wanted to point out that not everyone holds the same narrow views, and to show her a positive side to Chabad. I am sure that you did not mean to come across as negative in any way, however, I wouldn't want anyone to get the wrong ideas about a group that I pride myself on being a member of.

The Professor said...

PL, May I? Id like to make a clarification. Not once did I say that Chassidim were any better than anyone else. All that I stated was that being a chossid is not a title that one can simply bestow upon himself or herself, rather, there is a tremendous amount of constant work involved in attaining and retaining the title.

Altie, I am rather afraid you didnt read any of my comments but instead chose to "defend" something which didnt need your defending. I happen not to have even been speaking about Chabad Chassidim rather about the concept of Chossid in general. In fact, the conversation started about Chassidei Ger, not Chabad.

I will also once again point out that my views are by no means narrow and are in fact held by the majority of Chassim and Chassidic Rabbonim. It is you who is in the minority.

Princess Lea said...

Altie: My Zeidy went to the mikva with the Rebbe, and while he still kept with his own background, he admired him greatly (although the Rebbe never seemed to try to "convert" him). So no worries that I may view Chabad negatively; the Rebbe used to incline his head to schoolgirls (including my mother) on Eastern Parkway. In our house, the Rebbe is da bomb.

Prof: I appreciate your abiding (mostly) by my request. It would seem this conversation is doomed to be open-ended.