Los Angeles – Sholom Bayis Lectures
Hundreds of women and men gathered for another informative round of lectures on the topic of shalom bayis (marital harmony). Two popular speakers shed light on the subject to audiences at a private home in the Valley and at the Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills on November 4th and 6th. The lectures, part of an ongoing series of talks on shalom bayis, were arranged by local dermatologist Dr. David Stoll.
The women were treated to a talk by Jackie Bitton, who was so well received when she spoke in April that she was brought back by popular acclaim. In his introductory remarks, Dr. Stoll pointed out that Rebbetzin BItton has worked as the dean at several girls’ yeshivas in New York, most recently at a very special high school for girls who have fallen through the proverbial cracks of the yeshiva system. He highlighted her dedication to the Jewish community, stating that she “doesn’t just talk the talk, but she also walks the walk”.
Mrs. Bitton followed with a funny and informative speech punctuated with heartwarming stories of how men and women should show empathy for each other. She also stressed proper communication as a key to marital bliss. One of the stories that she related was about her brother who was born with a severely debilitating disease. Viewing his challenges, Mrs. BItton was able to have a true appreciation for life itself and how to view others. She implored the crowd to be accepting of their spouse’s shortcomings and explained how to work with those shortcomings to effectuate a proper loving home.
Rabbi Nachman Seltzer, author of 30 books, addressed the men on Tuesday evening at Nessah. A New York native who has since moved to Israel, Rabbi Seltzer gave a Torah perspective on the marital relationships of the patriarchs and matriarchs. Abraham, he pointed out, was an extrovert. His wife, Sarah, was an introvert. And yet, they were able to blend their personalities into a beautiful relationship. On the other hand, Isaac was an introvert, while his wife Rifka was an extrovert, and once again formed a true loving relationship.
Rabbi Seltzer also stressed the importance of empathy towards one’s spouse. Even if a situation has no clear answer, such as the interaction between Rachel and Yaakov when she cried out to him because she was barren, one should respond with empathy.
Both speakers entertained questions after the speeches. Dr. Stoll promised to keep the lecture series going with other informative and enlightening speakers to follow in future months.