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Learning A Mishna

The Mishna in Kiddushin teaches us that there are three ways to marry a woman - Kesef [money or something with monetary value], Shtar [document] and Bi'ah [relations]. I believe that these are also three methods to SUSTAIN the marriage and not just to create the bond in the first place.

1] Kesef - I once heard that the secret to "Shalom Bayit" is: You want Shalom? Tell your wife - "buy it". Marriage means being generous, as the Rambam says [when talking about how to treat a wife], "kifee kocho" - commensurate with ones financial means. We know that a man can even marry a woman with a sheveh prutah - a nickel. If that is all he can afford, such a sum is also significant. But if he can afford more, he should certainly give her more. The important thing is that he is GIVING.

2] Shtar – A marriage is ALSO like a business partnership. He must remember that he has obligations towards his wife [to support her etc.] and she also has obligations towards her husband [in the olden days it meant to grind flour and spin wool as the mishna says in Kesubos. Today it means to prepare dinner and keep house]. Marriage is not just fun but also places serious obligations upon each party and they must not be derelict in the fulfillment of their duties.

3] Bi'ah – Experts [I have sources but for the sake of modesty I will not quote them] say that if a couple has a successful intimate relationship it will carry over to other areas of their marriage and they will be happy together. If not – oy va'voy! One must not underestimate the importance of this area.

In addition, in order to get married, the man must DECLARE "Harei at mekudeshes" etc. He must SPEAK to his wife in order to marry her. This is the basis of their marriage in the future as well. Good communication is indispensible. A man must learn how to talk to his wife. Women, by nature, are usually better communicators, but she too must learn how to talk to him. Many marriages break up because of a lack of proper communication. People just don't know how to talk to each other. Each spouse must remember that one doesn't speak to a man as one speaks to a woman and vice versa. I learned this from my daughter [among others]. I used to like punching fists [gently of course] with my kids. My boys did it with simcha while my daughter didn't like it. It's a "guy" thing. Guys aren't girls and girls aren't guys and this is not just a physiological difference but a psychological one. Communication is an ART that one must learn. For some it comes more naturally than for others but everyone must master it. [For a lomdishe shiur on amira you can click here].

May we all merit to have success in all areas of human relationships - UMEIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love and blessings!

Were you my chavrusa in Bais yisroel in 8u9 or 90?

-Yechiel Berkowitz

Yes! You can email me at allyatika@gmail.com and we can get reacquainted!

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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