“Who’s preparing you for the big move?” Rabbi Gold asked his young congregant. “Getting married is no small matter.”
“I’ve been learning the halachos with Rabbi Fischer and we’ve almost completed the pertinent sections of Shulchan Aruch. I’m almost ready,” the chassan said confidently.
“That’s a very important component of your preparation, but you’re building a skyscraper and it needs more than a foundation to stand the test of time,” Rabbi Gold said.
“Skyscraper?” the chassan asked.
“You’re about to embark on building a most important structure,” the Rabbi explained. “It’s called a bayis ne’eman b’Yisrael. It’s meant to last an eternity, so you’ll need to put in a lot of wisdom to make it last.”
Designing a building is a big task. The key to successful planning is to ensure the final product achieves the quality and endurance desired at the outset. A taller edifice needs a more solid foundation than a smaller structure. Materials used in a colder climate must provide more insulation while those for warmer climates should have elements that will provide a cool environment. To insure that the final product will properly serve its purpose, planners hire an engineer to designate which materials should be incorporated in the construction to enhance the design of style and space drawn by the architect. A big structure that’s meant to last for decades must be built with the best components. The engineers must be experts and one should expect them to spend a lot of time finalizing the plans.
A person preparing to wed must learn all the aspects of building a peaceful, successful home from experts in the field — competent teachers — who can engineer the plans to success.
One More Second: Another Thought for the Day
…we can easily see why it’s wrong to steal or lie or cheat. This comprehension should make for obedience, yet we still have a problem with these natural laws of reason because they interfere with our desire to make a dollar. We are afraid that if we are perfectly, scrupulously, unfailingly honest and fair, we’ll go bankrupt in no time. Piety, we decide, is not good business. This is where the drive for money takes us. (Rabbi Yaakov Hillel, Ascending the Path, p. 393)
Rabbi Raymond Beyda serves in the Sephardic Community in Brooklyn, N.Y. He is author of the book 1 Minute With Yourself: A Minute a Day to Self-Improvement, Sephardic Press, 2008.