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Questions in Obligations to Your Spouse
I have a question that I need to have cleared up. Since I was a little girl, I have not wanted children. I don't feel comfortable around them, and I just cant seem to wrap my head around kids at all. The problem comes in with the commandment of "be fruitful and multiply." What should I do and what does Judaism say about this situation? [Administrator's note: a related question is found on JVO at http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=185.]
I have a question concerning sexuality: My wife likes harder sex and other things like that from time to time (but nothing extreme). What to do?
Reading your website concerning cremation, it appears the more liberal sects in Judaism discourage it, but tolerate the wishes of those who choose it, while the more observant or strict sects absolutely discourage or prohibit it, on various grounds. My thought was that cremation would be a way to be in solidarity with those who died in the WWII ovens, 9/11 and so forth, that their death circumstance was not a dishonor to them. A cremation, in my view, would dignify their situation. I do understand that the circumstance was not their choice, but nonetheless, it is their factual situation. Also, cremation would solve a problem for me personally. I'm a widow with two spouses buried in two states. Having two cremation urns would allow me to spend eternity with my two basherts, which would save me from making a choice of whom to be buried near. Any thoughts? Given what I read on your site about what Judaism says, is there any leeway? What Jewish values might help me to decide this issue, and resolve my problem concerning choosing which husband I should be buried with?
If three people are in love and respect, and accept not being in a monogamous relationship, can they have that relationship in Judaism? Would that be accepted by halachah? Our patriarchs were not monogamous. Why them do we understand only monogamy as the acceptable practice today? Would not acceptance of non-monogamous relationships help to address and reduce the pain of betrayal, which is unfortunately so common, because we are subjected to the ideology and restrictions of monogamy? Is it time to return to the idea of a concubine or pilegesh within halachic Judaism?
Whats does Jewish law and thought say to a woman whose father never provided for her a husband? Even though I know that modern society tells her that she is to find her own husband? I am now 44, and I have been led astray by lust, yearning for love and companionship. I had a child: now if I were to find a potential husband I couldn't offer him the opportunity to have a first born son. What should I do????
Should my wife be buried with her family at their family plot or should we buy two new plots and be buried side by side?
What are three questions I can ask on a date or in a relationship if I'm seeing someone who isn't Jewish to understand how compatible or incompatible our values are? For example, I know I'm uncomfortable with the symbol of a crucifix, but I'm not really sure why. I am hoping for questions I could ask or scenarios I could present that really flush out the core value differences between Jews and non-Jews.
I met a girl that I would like to marry. Her mom converted through an Orthodox process. I come from a community that doesn't accept converts - or maybe we do - but my parents wouldn't let me marry a convert. How can I convince them, and my whole big family, that this girl and her family are Jews just as much as we are, and this should be okay?
A few months ago, I accidentally discovered that my wife of almost 3 years (the complete love of my life) was having an affair with another man. The circumstances were just horrific. I was just stunned and devastated to learn all this. I had no idea of my wife's frustrations, and no idea she was someone that was even capable of doing such a thing. We have been to regular counseling for months now, and even now my wife is still at a loss to completely explain what happened and how it evolved. Here is my question... Now, 3-4 months removed from the affair, I am still occasionally dealing with hurt and pain that I may never fully get over 100%. Nonetheless, I have forgiven my wife and chosen to stay with her. In spite of what occurred, I do love her tremendously. I do believe she is my beshert/soulmate. I am happiest when I'm with her, and I still see my future with her, and I believe that she feels the same way about me. Tears beyond tears have been cried by both of us, and my wife has expressed an enormous amount of regret, remorse, and an appropriate amount of self-loathing, all of which I judge to be genuine. At times, she has even suggested attending Shabbat services at our local synagogue to atone and ask G-d for forgiveness. For sure, I am not fully over what happened, and I may never be fully over it altogether. Likewise, she may never be able to get over the fact that she committed adultery and betrayed and acted against someone she loves. It is a terrible tragedy in both our lives that can never be undone. But I'm pleased to say that my wife and I are currently in a very good place. We are extremely happy with one another and extremely in love. And ironically, the communication which has resulted since the affair (which should have come prior to the affair) has taken our relationship to an even far better place in so many ways than where I perceived it to be prior to the affair. In short then, I have forgiven my wife. I hope that she can eventually forgive herself. Will G-d do the same? What does Judaism say about this situation?
A non-married Jewish man, in a seriously committed relationship with the woman whom he loves with all his heart and plans to marry, made the biggest mistake of his life and committed one physical incident of infidelity with no emotional component, and which did not include any form of intercourse, but did involve pleasureful contact, when he was solicited by another woman, and acted in this way in a moment of weakness. If that man later confessed most of the pertinent details of the incident to his significant other, but minimized the full extent of the physical contact in his confession by lying about it, would Jewish ethics and values indicate that he must confess the rest of the details, and also that he lied to his significant other in the earlier confession? The S.O. has already moved forward and forgiven him for what he has revealed. Is the rest of the information irrelevant if the woman knows that she was betrayed and nearly the full extent of the contact? This man wants nothing more then to remain 100% committed to their relationship with all his mind, body and soul, but feels like he has kept something from her that she deserved to know and is suffering from guilt. Is this genevat daat (stealing the mind - deceit/deception/fraud)? Does this fall under preserving shalom bayit (peace in the home)? At this point further confession will only lead to more hurt, mistrust, pain to the innocent partner and deterioration of the relationship, with little benefit from the additional information to either party, and only feed her doubts. What should this man do, and can he repent and do teshuva for his unfortunate conduct? He has shown genuine remorse and vowed to never betray his significant other ever again.
There seems to be a tension between the Jewish mitzvah (commandment) concerning marriage (and subsequently being fruitful), and the concept of love (specifically romantic love, as defined in terms of western thought and literature). In times and places where arranged marriages are/were the norm, this was not a concern, but in modern day America, it seems to be a live issue. Is it the view of Judaism that it is more important to marry to fulfill the commandment - even if one does not love that mate, or should one not marry without love even though the mitzvah seems clear that it is obligatory? What does Judaism say, not only halachically (in Jewish law), but ethically and in terms of Jewish values?
Does a Jewish mother name her daughter after herself? [Administrators note: Similar and related questions have been asked in past and can be seen on the JVO website by entering the following links into your browser: http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=59 http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=184 http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=237 http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=298 http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=523 http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=870]
I'm a single male Jew, 35 years old, well established in my career. I am now at the point where I am considering dating for marriage. I know intermarrying is wrong. However, I am terrified of dating a Jewish girl for fear her family would inevitably discover my entire family is dead, and that I woul