so many mixed messages about marriage

Two days ago, on Shabbat, we celebrated the upcoming wedding of one of our young men next week, along with that of the newly-married couple from the week before. (I KNOW! We actually had a week off on Sunday! We went back to NJ to visit with our kiddies, some of whom are taking off this week moving to Israel. And getting in a brit this morning for a baby who is also moving to Israel with his family this week.

Two days after a circumcision? Only the mohel knows for sure if this is a good idea. Everybody should be healthy. Really healthy.)

Babies and weddings.

Full of promise.

I hope that all the social media that we’re so beholden to now will help them hold onto the promise and love that they feel now. Keeping on message. You know, remember all the photos and the promises you’ve made. All the ahhs and the likes and the loves.

Because it all turns so easily.

A poignant reminder of this was the same morning in synagogue, when in walks a woman who is holding herself together with a little make-up and a lot of smiling. She managed to get out of what had turned into an extremely abusive relationship a few years ago. She’s still really in shock that it had happened to her; that she has lost so much; that he was and is such a bum.

And that’s a nice word for it.

Why are we raising such boys? Such entitled super-indulged self-indulged boys who will never be real men?

I must say how grateful I am that the boys from our community who are getting married now are not at all that way; they will be greatly attentive and thoughtful to others.

And yes, I am very grateful that our own boys are amazingly attentive and caring about their wives, their families, their friends, and their communities. That includes sons-in-laws, too, of course!

And yes, this should be clear from what we are taught and what we teach; that we are not here for ourselves; that we do not accomplish things alone; that we are part of a community; that you are nothing if not with others.

I am reading this excellent book that our friend had recommended (without Goodreads;) ) that I mentioned back in April, “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success”, by Adam Grant. I’m almost done reading it, but I’m not rushing. Every chapter is a gem. Bottom line; givers rise higher than takers and matchers, but not those who give without knowing what they want to get.

It’s the Giving Tree pushback, par excellence.

You can’t let yourself be used up or taken advantage of, even as you give of yourself without limit.

But chopped down? Not so much.

The best of the positive came today, after the bris of this new baby, when the grandmother, who is not Jewish, said “We were already related by family. Now we’re related by blood.”

She really gets it.

I wish everyone else did.


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