My wife has no sense of humour. She says I make fun of her in public (and she's always happy to tell me just how bad I am - even in public). Shouldn't she be able to take a joke?
Jokes are serious. The line between a friendly jibe and a humiliating stab is often a fine one. You have to question whether the laugh you may get is worth the pain you may inflict. But between husband and wife, humiliation is simply criminal. It goes against everything that a marriage is supposed to be: an exclusive oneness.
In the Jewish wedding ceremony, after standing under the Chuppa, the bride and groom are taken to a private room, known as the Yichud room. Yichud means oneness and exclusivity. By entering this room, a secluded place where no one is present but the couple, they create a sacred space that is theirs and theirs alone.
The newlyweds leave the Yichud room after a few minutes, but in a way they should never leave it. The privacy and oneness of the Yichud room must be taken with them in their marriage. The relationship between husband and wife is a sacred and secluded place, and should stay that way. Any word or action that jeopardises the privacy and unity of a marriage must be erased from our repertoire.
When you make fun of your wife in front of your friends, you have momentarily stepped out of the Yichud room. You have abandoned your soul-partner, leaving her alone and isolated just for a few cheap laughs. To make a joke is fine, but never at the expense of your oneness.
When your wife publicly criticises you, she has allowed strangers into the Yichud room. She is inviting others into a moment that should only be between the two of you. There is a time and a place for criticism in a relationship, but not in the presence of others.
These mistakes are so common that to many they have become acceptable. But it is these little things that can erode a good marriage. For a relationship to thrive it must always remain an exclusive oneness. Once you get comfortable in the Yichud room, you'll never want to leave.
The current bushfires across NSW and in particular in the Blue Mountains and the Southern Highlands have had a devastating impact on thousands of people and are continuing to threaten many homes.
We pray that G-d Almighty has mercy and brings a swift end to this terrible catastrophe, comforts the bereaved and heals the wounded.
"Here at Chabad North Shore we have opened our premises to house people who are in dire need of a place to stay as a temporary home" said Rabbi Nochum Schapiro of Chabad North Shore. "We have 40 bedrooms (each with en suites) which are ready and available to accommodate those in need."
There are a number of people who have already arrived today, among them a mother and two young children who have been forced to evacuate. She said with tears "You don't know how much this means to me!"We are in contact with more people in the area who may need to evacuate in the near future if things take a turn for the worse.
HOW YOU CAN HELP.
Adopt. We are asking assistance to temporarily adopt a cat or a dog.
Volunteer.We are also appealing for Volunteers to assist in a range of tasks required. To help, please contact us via the details below.
Appeal.We have launched an Appeal to help us accommodate these people and make their stay here as comfortable as possible. To make a tax deductible donation pleaseclick here.
Assistance.If you know of anyone who needs assistance or support during this time, please contact us via the details below.
On behalf of the victims we are thankful to all those who have already come forward to assist, and to the range of communal organisations who have offered psychological help, aid, food and Government assistance, including The Jewish House, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Young Adult Chabad, Jewish Aid, Chabad of RARA, The Yeshiva Centre and Our Big Kitchen.
We are shocked and saddened by the loss of life and property resulting from the ongoing bushfires throughout NSW. The Yeshiva Centre is coordinating and assisting relief efforts and call upon all community members to get involved, whether by volunteering or donating.
More than 1,200 meals, soups and Babkas were cooked today at Yeshiva's Our Big Kitchen by dozens of volunteers and will be distributed tomorrow to victims and firefighters.
There will be another special bushfire cook-in on Wed 30th of October at 6.30pm . RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org (Please bring $18 on the night to cover the cost of produce). There will be other opportunities to come in and volunteeer with bushfire relief, so please register your interest with our volunteer co-ordinator Jodi at email@example.com
If you have family or friends in or around Canberra, please inform them that Chabad of the ACT are running a cook-in and toy drive to help the NSW bushfire victims. For more details please contact Rabbi Shmueli Feldman on firstname.lastname@example.org
May our collective efforts bring some measure of comfort to the victims and may G-d Almighty bless the people of NSW with safety, protection and peace.
Rabbi Pinchus Feldman OAM Dean and Spiritual Leader, The Yeshiva Centre - Chabad NSW HQ