A pair of lectures on shalom bayis attracted hundreds of attendees on May 13 and 14 at Nessah Synagogue. The lectures, part of an ongoing series of talks on shalom bayis, were arranged by Dr. David Stoll, a local dermatologist with an interest in promoting marital harmony.
Monday night, May 13 featured Mrs. Rivka Malka Perlman from Baltimore. Mrs. Perlman has an extensive background working in kiruv, and currently is a life coach guiding people to connect with their inner selves. Mrs. Perlman really had the audience spellbound for her hour talk. She began with the question of “Who am I? What do I bring to this marriage?” She then emphasized the role of emunah, stating that marriage is made up of three partners – the husband, the wife, and Hashem himself.
Addressing the reality of today’s Jewish woman, Mrs. Perlman described the impossible task of working, running a household, and being the perfect wife and mother. Perfect, she emphasized, does not exist. And women should not mentally beat themselves up if they are not perfect. Self accusations and lies against one’s self, she related, not only are harmful, but contrary to halacha. Mrs. Perlman encouraged people to delight in the goodness of life, be it food, sunshine or simply taking a shower. The attendees were riveted to their seats to the very end of the lecture. Many women stayed afterward to speak with Mrs. Perlman. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rabbi Efraim Stauber came all the way from Israel to address the men on Tuesday night, May 14. Rabbi Stauber’s most recent passion is the development of an online community called eKehilla.com, replete with lectures, divrei torah and connecting people from all types of backgrounds in the online kehilla. He is also a certified marriage counselor. Rabbi Stauber spoke to the men about analyzing the underlying reasons why we act the way we do with our spouses.
Men, he pointed out, need respect whereas women need to feel safe and not abandoned. Trust is the biggest element of marriage because it means that we are exposing our needs and inadequacies to someone who will keep that information guarded. Rabbi Stauber encouraged the men to work on a better understanding of themselves as well as their spouses. He can be reached at eKehilla.com.
Both speakers also spoke in the Valley at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Azzi and Alia Silkoff. The Valley crowds were just as enthusiastic with the lectures staying way beyond their speaking times to address questions from the audience.
Dr. Stoll hopes to put together more lectures on the general topic of shalom bayis in the future. If you are interested in more information, please email email@example.com. For those who were unable to attend the lectures, they are available to be viewed online at torahanytime.com.