Susan Barth
Advocate for Marriage Education in Israel

Which Birth Leaves a More Lasting Legacy?

Truth be told, I too have been glued this week to the outcome of the soon to be announced potential “birth” of a new U.S. President or “rebirth” of the incumbent President – and its ramification for Israel. And then, I reflected on the divine providence which announced the miraculous birth which occurred this week which has reverberated through the ages– the birth of our forefather Yitzhak as related in this week’s Torah portion Vayera. The birth of Yitzhak to our patriarch Avraham and matriarch Sarah has been and will continue to hold the key to Eretz Yisrael’s past present and future in perpetuity.

Time to Focus on our New Baby

The Birth of Yitzhak in effect symbolized the Birth of our Jewish Nation in our Homeland – Eretz Yisrael. The timing of this birth during the same week as the “election of the century” should not be lost as it indicates that regardless of who the leadership of any other country – our fate is in our own hands. We in effect were born this week and it is up to us to continue our legacy and invest in our destiny.

Mother’s Milk for the New Baby

In this week’s portion, a question was raised as to whether Sarah and Avraham were in fact the parents of Yitzhak. After all both Avraham and Sarah were advanced in years, so the raised eyebrows were not totally without justification. So the commentator Rashi stated that on the day of a feast Avraham made in honor of Yitzhak’s weaning, the princesses brought their children with them and Sarah suckled them for they were saying Sarah did not give birth, but a foundling did she bring in from the street.

Education is Our Mother’s Milk

Our survival as a people has been our penchant for being the People of the Book. No matter how many books were burned throughout the ages, the next generation of our people kept our internal sparks aflame with our commitment to educating ourselves and our children. Even in the midst of this virus, we could not wait to get our children back to schools to continue their education.

An Educational Anniversary to commemorate

Today the Hebrew date of Cheshvan 19, exactly three years ago, my non- profit Together in Happiness/B’Yachad B’Osher co -hosted a Knesset Seminar on Pre Marriage Education in the Knesset.

As cited in a previous blog, A Historic First in the Knesset, for the first time in history pre marriage education was presented as a preventative response to the rising number of divorces. The necessity for government involvement in education the next generation of new couples was demonstrated by expert presentations. However, to this date, there still is no governmental response to providing pre-marriage and newlywed marriage education.

A National Imperative for The Village

Marriage is a life change on an enormous scale which requires preparedness beyond an intimate conversation with a mother, father, rabbi or kallah teacher. Marriage and its foundations have the ability to strengthen or rock the very core of our society from our collective happiness to our employment productivity. Through efforts at community levels to corporate and governmental echelons, we have an obligation to ourselves and our children to provide tools and techniques to strengthen their chances of a successful marriage.

Together in Happiness has authored The Case for Marriage Education, and produced five white papers to highlight the topics raised in the historic document. These documents in Hebrew and English are featured on our newly updated website . We invite you to download any of these five documents:

Model for Expanding Marriage Education in Israel

Be a part of the vision of strengthening Israeli society

The Financial Effect of Divorce

The Effects of Divorce on Health and Wellbeing

The Impact of Divorce on Children

Our focus on advocacy for promoting marriage education is our response to sustaining the birth of our nation celebrated in our Torah portion.

Join the Movement

We invite you to join the movement for advancing marriage education and ensuring the legacy of Yitzhak and demonstrating that no matter who the elected officials are of other countries – our commitment to our own survival is of paramount importance. We have the obligation to make the sacrifice of our patriarch Avraham and his wife Sarah described so vividly in these Torah portions worth it. We are the proud inheritors of that sacrifice.

Let me hear from you.

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
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