Marriage- Biblical times and now

After my last blog my wife said to me “Don’t you ever dare write about me or our marriage.” Big Mistake.Talk about waving a red cape in front of a bull

The part of my brain still dominated by a the contrarian three year old Marty said” Don’t you tell me what to write about” and I immediately decided my next blog will be about my marriage.

Thank g-d my sense of self preservation set in and I decided not to write about my marriage and hope that nothing too personal creeps in that might endanger my relationship with my spouse

Let’s start at the beginning. So in the marriage ceremony we say the blessing” Let these loving friends taste of the bliss you gave to the first man and woman in the Garden of Eden” From what I remember from the Bible this did not seem like a very happy marriage so I took a look again. It seems that just a couple of hours after they met Eve went wandering off and met the Snake. Not even a day has gone by and already Eve is bored with Adam. Of course Adam was a bit preoccupied. G-d was bringing him about 17 millions type of species to name in Hebrew. For example G-d brought him a ladybug “ Moshe Rabbeinu’s Cow “ Adam said “Okaay” G-d replies with a quizzical look and then brought him a cockroach “Tikan” Adam said immediately. “perhaps Juke would be a more appropriate name” G-d suggested. “Nope” said Adam it is my call and this is a Tikan. Of course G-d was right. Everybody calls a cockroach a Juke in Hebrew. It is only a Tikan in ( bad pun warning) Ivrit Tikni (formal Hebrew)

Which is why thousand of years later I find myself looking for Juke insecticide and cannot find one even after reading all the cans/ I end up asking a passerby where I can find Spray Jukim while holding a can of Tikan Insecticide, which is one in the same. She looks at me, then looks at the can in my hand and then looks back at me as if I am soft in the head. Thanks Adam.

So maybe Eve didn’t want to stay around but you have to be pretty starved for conversation to want to talk to a snake. They are so creepy. First sign of trouble.

And then the first chance Adam has to be supportive he throws her under the bus. No “So you made a mistake we’ll get through this together” Instead “ The Woman who you gave me, gave me the fruit so I ate” The woman G-d gave him, for Pete’s sake, she is made of your rib, she is 100% your genetic makeup except for some minor modification G-d made along the way (Clarification: Adolescent boys and unenlightened males consider these modification very major not minor). Take some responsibility and be more supportive. First male, first failed husband. Next .

Noah and unnamed wife. First clue. Second clue: Right after Noah leaves the ark he says to his wife he need to go out for a drink. Now for us getting a drinks is going down to the corner tavern, banging on the counter and yelling” Can a guy get a drink around here”.

It was a little bit different for Noah, he had to plant the grapes, harvest them, stomp them, wait for the juice to ferment before he could get a drink. Three years later his wife is still drumming her fingers on the kitchen table “He said he was was just going out a few minutes to get a drink. Next.

Abraham – it took him over 50 years to say to his wife that she looked pretty good. But the next line is the kicker. “ Don’t say you are my wife. Say you are my sister and I can make a ton of money off of you and also save my life. It’d a good think that Husband Sensitivity wasn’t one of his 10 tests otherwise he would have washed our pretty early. Next.

Isaac. Sometimes the seemingly weirdest ( age difference) and most inappropriate ( site of consummation) marriages turn out the best. That may be the case for I saac who in my mind was the most loving husband in Genesis. And also the most clueless. First rule in Marriage: Com-mun-i- cate. Rebecca’s a pretty smart cookie. (She is my personal BAE in Genesis) If you had listened to her a little more you could have saved us all a lot of grief. Isaac’s report card: Love: Pass Communication: Failure- Big Time. Next

Jacob. The problem with love at first sight with Rachel is that you find out things a little late, like does she have a sense of humor and is she easy going. No and No. “Give me sons or I shall perish” Lighten up, Sister. But even worse is Jacob reply “ If there’s a problem here, Rache, it aint me. Look at my track record. I’m as virile as a chimpanzee on Viagra (slight liberties taken in translation). Next.

Judah. The Bible describes the mourning process for his wife Bat Shua ib two words. It probably took that long in reality. The story seems to inply that a few hours after the burial Judah was already on his way to Timna looking for some action.

Er and Tamar. Next. Onan and Tamar. Even worse. Next. Judah and Tamar. Even though they were technically married he never spent another minute with her after the initial encounter. Next. Joseph and Osnat. The shadchan was Pharoah. Need I say more. Next.

Moses. Zipporah his future wife left him standing a the well. The real love affair here was between Moses and Jethro. Zipporah was just the by-product. The result: The first bi-coastal marriage (Red and Dead seas) but without frequent flyer miles. Enough said. You’ve gotten the idea

Why I am telling you all this. Well, Rosh HaShanah is a time of introspection, self improvement. So I examine my marriage. Have I been the perfect husband. Not even close. Isn’t it time to change. Perhaps let look for some spiritual guidance here. The Rabbis say “The ways of the Forefathers is the guidepost for their descendant. So after some intense Bible study I’ve come to a conclusion: I may not be candidate for husband of the year but compared to these guys, I ain’t half bad.

Post script. It was probably a bad I idea writing this blog now. From what I understand G-d is pretty tight with most of these guys. I don’t want to annoy him. But it is meant in good fun I hope he has a sense of humor. I think he does. There is no other plausible explanation for what is going on in American Politics. “ I have this great practical joke I’ve planned” I imagine G-d chuckled to himself ” Just a sec, I wanna get the hair just right”

About the Author
Martin Herskovitz was born in 1955 a child of a Holocaust Survivor. In 1986 he and his spouse made Aliyah. He worked for 30 years in the IDF in Occupational Safety and Health and made early retirement to run his family tzedaka fund which consists mostly on the settlement he and his wife received from the Arab Bank Case.
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