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Thought for the Day: Coming Closer to HaShem Via Shalom Bayis

When there is shalom bayis between husband and wife, the divine presence resides with them.  What's so special about shalom bayis?  Don't get me wrong, I am not knocking it; just wondering how keeping a peaceful relationship with my wife magically becomes an infusion of divinity into my home.

I think it really is magic, actually; and yet another example of the overwhelming kindness with which HaShem treats us.  The world says, "Nothing destroys a good romance like marriage."  Why is that?  Because it is one thing to theoretically profess your everlasting love to a fantasy, and quite another to pick up his socks (year after year after year...)  We proclaim our undying and everlasting love to HaShem at least twice a day.  And we do that even though we have no idea what that really means.  We cannot fathom HaShem and our sages tell us that it is even forbidden to contemplate what the real nature of HaShem is.  Yet we are commanded to love Him with all our might, money, and even our life.

So HaShem gives us a gift: a spouse.  Someone who loves us even though they really know us.  Someone who loves us even though we have caused them real hurt (and they don't even know the half of it).  HaShem tells us that if we will love and cherish our spouse, then He will consider it as if we loved and cherished Him.  Not a bad deal.  And the best part: when I forgive my spouse for some (largely imagined) hurt or slight, HaShem forgives me for my (completely real) hurts and slights.  Given that I have done a lot more rotten things to HaShem (both in quality and quantity) than my wife has ever even dreamed of doing to me... I'd say I am getting an awesome deal.


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