Soulmates

Jewish Secrets to Meaningful Relationships

Romantics of all ages have waxed poetic on the notion of “soulmates,” seeking to grasp what makes love and passion so potent, what drives the inexplicable magnetism between two people, and what makes true love last. Yet millennia of Jewish text and tradition are rich with insights on this very topic, from the mystical and spiritual to the no-nonsense and practical. Whether you are currently married, considering someday tying the knot, or simply seek to better understand the spiritual root of love and marriage, Soulmates is a seven-session course drawing on timeless Jewish wisdom that will forever change how you think about the important relationship in your life, in all its beauty and complexity.

 

Lesson 1
Two Halves, One Whole
The Cosmic Root of Love

Is love as simple as mutual chemistry, or is there something more than the force of attraction that connects two people? Is marriage really necessary, if we can reap its benefits without entering into a life-long commitment? What is the true definition of a “soulmate,” and how does this impact our relationship? This fascinating lesson uncovers the mystical root of love and marriage according to Jewish thought.

Lesson 2
Behind Closed Doors
Judaism’s View of Intimacy

Is G-d comfortable in the bedroom? Is sexual intimacy holy? Profane? Mundane? Holy, but only as a means to procreation? What does Judaism have to say about sexuality and how to enhance the intimacy between husband and wife? This lesson taps into Judaism’s vast reservoir of wisdom, both practical and kabbalistic, on a topic your Hebrew school teacher likely never broached.

Lesson 3
Beloved Friends
Synergizing and Sanctifying Love and Desire

We all start out starry-eyed, but is “passionate marriage” realistic in the long-term? How can one relationship give us the comforting security we crave from commitment as well as the spark of novelty and mystique that fuels desire? The mitzvah of taharat hamishpachah, or “family purity,” has long been shrouded in mystery and misconception. Yet these laws may just hold the secret to synchronizing--and sanctifying--these paradoxical aspects of marriage, while also revealing an unparalleled connection between us and G-d.

Lesson 4
Respecting Your Other Half
Navigating Gender Differences

Let’s face it: men and women are different, especially when it comes to their needs in a relationship. All too often, from these differences emerge conflict, and the universal question: “Will he ever change?!” In this lesson, we explore the Torah’s perspective on what a wife really needs, what a husband really needs, and how to cultivate true respect for one’s spouse.

Lesson 5
Becoming a Better Half
Jewish Insights into Preserving Marital Harmony

Ironically, it is often only once we are married that we come face to face with our real selves, for better or for worse. Yet, the very essence of being human is having the ability to rise above--no matter the situation. When negative emotions escalate in the heat of the moment, how can we control our reaction? Jewish text and tradition is rich with effective tools, tips, and meditations to let our “humanness” shine and turn the rough patches of our marriage into catalysts for becoming a better half.

Lesson 6
Sacred Space
Defining Marriage’s Boundaries

We are naturally loath to take any chances when it comes to our health or our business, but are we nearly as protective of our marriage? We may all agree that marriage requires boundaries to protect its exclusivity, but the question of where those lines should be drawn can spark heated debate. Judaism shows us not only how to thwart temptations that threaten our marriage from the outside, but how to enhance it from within by expanding the exclusivity of our relationship.

Lesson 7
Happily Ever After?
The Challenge of Divorce, and What it Teaches About Marriage

Sadly, “happily ever after” is not the case for many marriages today. Yet, while Jewish law allows room for divorce, it also likens it to the tragedy of an amputation. What constitutes grounds for divorce according to Jewish law? How far must one go, and how much must one tolerate, to make a marriage work? When and how is it appropriate to meddle in another’s marital conflict? This lesson gives us insight into the sensitive issue of divorce, and what it teaches us about the unparallelled value that Judaism places on shalom bayit, peace in the home.