Shemu’el bar Yehudah, a rabbi in fourth century Babylonia who was a convert to Judaism, was asked to what he attributed his very long lifespan. He replied that every single day of his married life he thanked God for giving him his wife, and he thanked his wife for giving him God.

If my wife hadn’t influenced me to study Torah with the Rabbis I would not have become a Jew. She enriched my life in ten different ways. I have been blessed to see our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren raised to study Torah and to do Mitsvot.

When I sit at the table on Shabbat and Yom Tov and watch all the generations of pure and holy Jews who have issued from my union with her and with God, I know both a joy and a peace that surely prolongs my life.

Also, each day when I look at my wife, whose loving efforts brought me to Torah and Mitsvot, I see the face of God. My disciple, the great sage Abbayei, learned this from me and that is why he taught, “There are never less than 36 righteous men in the world who (daily) are vouchsafed the sight of the Shekhinah (the feminine presence of God).”

Blessed is every man with a wife such as mine. May every husband always refer to his wife as his home, for it is she who makes her husband feel at home and may every husband always remember these words:

Better life outside the garden with Eve
than inside it without her.
Blessed be the One who brought us
and taught me to know
the goodness of her heart
and the sweetness of her soul!
“Wheresoever she is; there is Eden.”