Susan Barth
Advocate for Marriage Education in Israel

Serve yourself a heaping bowl of love

For those who remember the “Mary Tyler Moore” show theme song of “Love is All Around..” , I cannot help but  hear the music this year in particular as  Tu B’AV followed directly by Shabbat Nachamu interjects a heaping message of LOVE into the atmosphere. Love of … fellow Jew, your “significant other, your country, etc. but most of all LOVE OF YOURSELF.

After coming through the dark days of Tisha B”Av replete with the devastating consequences of hatred, now is the time for “comforting ourselves” as a collective unit. Stephen R. Covey, who died a few months ago, was the author of the 15 million bestseller “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. His sequel “The 8th Habit From Effectiveness to Greatness” spoke to this notion of yourself by defining the 8th Habit as “Finding Your Voice and Inspiring Others to Find Theirs” “Voice” being your “unique personal significance”.

This month in particular is full of challenging moments for those parents and their young adult children entering their army service for the first time or starting their sherut leumi service. For these parents and “our sons and daughters “ these moments are full of emotion and outpouring of “love”.

A personal thanks to all these young men and women entering the army and sherut leumi  (and your parents in particular!) for finding your “voices” and saying “yes, we will serve our country” and making a unique significant contribution to Israel.

As a token of gratitude, The Givat Sharett Chesed Committee Simcha Gemach (of Beit Shemesh) in memory of Feigel bat Tuvia Nisan has FREE copies available in Hebrew and English of its “Serving the Nation” Army Preparation Guide and/or  Sherut Leumi Preparation guides. Both can be obtained in pdf form by writing

So let’s turn Tu B’Av and Shabbat Nachamu to being one big “GROUP HUG” and expression of our resilience and capacity to LOVE OURSELVES .

Shabbat shalom

About the Author
Susan Barth is founder and director of Israeli non profit Together in Happiness/B'Yachad B'Osher, promoting stronger, healthier marriages impacting Israeli society. A Project Management Professional (PMP) and businesswoman from the US, Susan sponsored and chaired the First International Conference on Marriage Education in Israel (attended by over 360 professionals) in Jerusalem in memory of her parents and launched I-PREP, an innovative marriage education curriculum. On November 8, 2017, Together in Happiness co-hosted with MK Yehudah Glick a historic Knesset seminar promoting government support for pre-marriage education