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Chemistry Is Important

(39 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by yitayningwut
  • Latest reply from OneOfMany

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  1. yitayningwut
    I have no idea wut this screen name means. Do YOU know what this screen name means?

    In an article appearing in the news section,* Rabbi Daniel Schneierson makes the case that romance is essentially not a concept consistent with traditional Judaism. He also asserts that ahava is a word that primarily has nothing to do with what is generally associated with the emotion called love, but rather connotes one’s desire to be a giver. This, he claims, is what the Torah and Chazal refer to when they speak of a man’s ahava to a woman, this is true love, and this is something which one only becomes receptive to after marriage.

    Rabbi Schneierson is incorrect, as even a cursory analysis of many statements throughout Tanach and Chazal prove.

    The two famous cases of rape in Tanach are those of Shechem with Dinah and Amnon with Tamar. Regarding the first, the Torah tells us (Bereishis 34:3) “and he loved (וַיֶּאֱהַב) the girl.” Regarding the second, the navi writes (Shmuel Beis 13:4) “and Amnon said to him: Tamar, the sister of my brother Avshalom, I love (אֲנִי אֹהֵב).” Does Rabbi Schneierson think that Shechem and Dinah were feeling something akin to his description of “true love”? I highly doubt it.

    Furthermore, in the latter case we find an interesting pasuk. After the incident we read -וַיִּשְׂנָאֶהָ אַמְנוֹן שִׂנְאָה גְּדוֹלָה מְאֹד כִּי גְדוֹלָה הַשִּׂנְאָה אֲשֶׁר שְׂנֵאָהּ מֵאַהֲבָה אֲשֶׁר אֲהֵבָהּ. “And Amnon hated here a very great hatred, for the hatred that he hated her was greater even than the love that he had [originally] loved her.” The pasuk clearly contrasts the love of a man and a woman with hatred. Obviously it makes most sense if we are talking about simple emotions; love being a very strong attraction or desire to connect, and hatred being the opposite. Rabbi Schneierson’s pshat would seem very convoluted here.

    If we look through Chazal we find numerous statements which idealize the romantic connection between a man and a woman. In Niddah (31b) the Gemara famously ascribes the purpose of the seven day Biblical separation between a man and his wife each month to the idea that a little distance makes the heart grow fonder. Even Rabbi Schneierson acknowledges that we find such a concept, as he writes:

    “This rejection of romance should not be confused with attraction, which Chazal fully support. A man shouldn’t be repulsed but should be attracted to his own wife- (Gemarah in Kiddushin 41A) Sefer Hachinuch in explaining the reason behind the Mitzvah of “Viseemach Es Ishto Asher Lakach”- Shanah Rishonah- says: A man should establish such a strong bond with his wife by the end of the first year of marriage that others should look like strangers to him – and not be attractive- but rather his wife should look like the most beautiful woman in the world to him. Ha-shem gave us this as a Brachah- otherwise almost every man would want to marry the one absolute prettiest woman in his town and the world wouldn’t function btznius, in an ehrlich manner.”

    I am confused, however, by his opening sentence there. He says that we should not confuse attraction with romance, but he doesn’t explain the difference. To me, Chazal are saying the opposite, and he is splitting hairs. They are saying quite clearly that a romantic connection is important in a marriage.

    Of course it is essential to any relationship not to have unrealistic expectations. I can certainly agree that Disney and others tend to promote ideas of romance that are foolishly unrealistic. People are different and need to learn, first and foremost, how to live together in harmony despite those differences. No one should enter a relationship thinking they will not have to work for it. This is all true, but it doesn’t negate any of the above. Romance can still be good. Ahava can still mean what regular people call love; plain and simple.

    As for Rabbi Schneierson’s main point that one should not be concerned about chemistry when searching for a future spouse, in my opinion he is wrong. Even he admits, as I quoted above, that what he calls attraction is important. His argument about the definition of ahava is not relevant, because regardless, he still believes attraction is good, and attraction comes from what we call chemistry.

    Bottom line: if after dating a few times you don’t feel anything, it probably isn’t a good shidduch.

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/General+News/155833/Mailbag%3A-Is-%22Chemistry%22-Important%3F.html

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. oomis
    Best Bubby EVER

    Why go so far as Shechem and Amnon? "Vaye-ehav Yaakov es Rachel."
    Real love develops with time after marriage, but for most of us the beginning of that emotion starts initially with some feeling of attraction that enables the couple to want to get to know each other better for purposes of getting married in the first place. Certainly Hashem built into the concept of continuation of all life human or not, some chemistry between the two individuals involved.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. yitayningwut
    I have no idea wut this screen name means. Do YOU know what this screen name means?

    Agreed. I brought Shechem and Amnon merely because they are such extreme cases that no one (I assume) would try to squeeze in some explanation about altruism, but your example from Yaakov and Rochel is just as good.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. on the ball
    Member

    Absolutely. The atomic composition of all matter would be unfathomable without it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. OneOfMany
    Today, the Impressively Arbitrary Nymphadora the Purple is sporting One Of her Many eyebrow colors, as well as her Morgul-blade ^_^

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are in my opinion the most remarkable example of Hashem's hand as demonstrated through biochemistry.

    definitely

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. slurpy
    Member

    @yitayningwut Therefore are you saying that there is a possibility that someone can love another person before they know each other properly (FOR EXAMPLE yaackov and rochel), this would be contradicting the original view that a man can only love a women when he has given of himself to her?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. yentingyenta
    Member

    OOM, and why prion disease?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. truthsharer
    Blocked

    You can go back earlier than Yaakov. In Chayei Sarah, Yitzchok saw Rivkah and it sais "he loved her."

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. MDG
    Member

    There are different types of love. Some are more like infatuation, a taking love which Amnon had; and some are more deep and long term and giving, like Yaacov and Rachel.

    I think that the author of the OP-ED was talking about infatuation. We are striving for the deep and long term love (like Yaacov), not the flash of infatuation. I agree that the allure of infatuation can lead to a long term love; we see that even with Shechem; he still wanted her afterward. All too often it backfires, like with Amnon.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. yitayningwut
    I have no idea wut this screen name means. Do YOU know what this screen name means?

    slurpy - right.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. yitayningwut
    I have no idea wut this screen name means. Do YOU know what this screen name means?

    ♦ MDG ♦ -

    I think that the author of the OP-ED was talking about infatuation. We are striving for the deep and long term love (like Yaacov), not the flash of infatuation.

    But in that case the point has nothing to do with the definition of the term ahava, and the argument based on that definition is false. If he were making a point about being realistic and about not falling into the trap of a momentary infatuation then I would agree (as I wrote), but he seemed to be taking it further than that.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. OneOfMany
    Today, the Impressively Arbitrary Nymphadora the Purple is sporting One Of her Many eyebrow colors, as well as her Morgul-blade ^_^

    Heyyyy look who I got out of hibernation. ^_^

    Because it's clearly a defense implemented against cannibalism, and present in a number of species. Like, you might not get hit by a lightning bolt if you eat from McDonald's, but your brain will turn into a sponge if eat another human being. Or cow, if you are a cow, etc.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. yentingyenta
    Member

    :) classes are taking up a lot of my time

    not WILL, only if infected. I guess what your saying is right. what fascinates me is the fact that prions are basically mutated proteins.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. popa_bar_abba
    Incorrigible; eccentric; somewhere between mean and average; sometimes only a bit over the top; arbitrarily engaged in cynicism.

    I like the example from כי גדולה השנאה אשר שנאה.

    You might have argued that the Torah is using the term ahava loosely, and is not referring to an intense emotion of ahava. But then it uses the previous ahava to show how strong his hatred was.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. oomis
    Best Bubby EVER

    You can go back earlier than Yaakov. In Chayei Sarah, Yitzchok saw Rivkah and it sais "he loved her."

    True, but actually the Torah teaches us a very different and more important lesson about marriage from Yitzchak and Rivkah. The Torah states that he loved her, AFTER he had married her and brought her to his mother's tent (Breishis Perek 24 Posuk 67). The specificity of his loving her AFTER it says he took her as his wife, which is the reverse order that most of us thing of in getting married ("first comes love, then comes marriage...") has most meforshim stating that this is to show that the love is most important when it FOLLOWS the marriage and is developed and nurtured for a lifetime commitment.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. Torah613Torah
    (613)Torah²

    OOM, I agree that prion diseases are a fascinating example of seeing halacha in the natural world.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. OneOfMany
    Today, the Impressively Arbitrary Nymphadora the Purple is sporting One Of her Many eyebrow colors, as well as her Morgul-blade ^_^

    yentingyenta: Lol, I posted that first comment approximately 30 seconds after my Biology had class ended. just couldn't resist. and prions rock. ^_^

    torah613: halacha?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. Veltz Meshugener
    K'shmo kain hu

    We in the frum world have a tendency to conceptualize and abstract everything to the point where it can get divorced from reality. An article that seems to claim that liking ones partner before getting married (because that is, after all, what chemistry is) is not important tests the limits of reasonableness and is unlikely to result in anything good.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. oomis
    Best Bubby EVER

    Anyone who does not LIKE his/her partner before they get married, is taking a REALLY big chance, IMO.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. yentingyenta
    Member

    lol. but *I* remembered prions from 10th grade bio.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    OK Fine, from microbiology for my RN degree :)

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. OneOfMany
    Today, the Impressively Arbitrary Nymphadora the Purple is sporting One Of her Many eyebrow colors, as well as her Morgul-blade ^_^

    I remember prion diseases from when I was about eight and my family used to gang up on my hypochondriac brother and try to give him panic attacks.

    ha ha I beat you ^_^

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. Sam2
    The Even-Keeled and Erudite Shmuely Wollenberger from Las Vegas

    Also Rashi Kesuvos 7a D"H Reim Ha'ahuvim, I think.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. just my hapence
    a penny for your thoughts, minus some change

    I remember prions from the BSE outbreak here in England when I was about 7. Running around primary school saying "BSE stands for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy" was so much fun. And it didn't make me look Iike a nerd at all.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. OneOfMany
    Today, the Impressively Arbitrary Nymphadora the Purple is sporting One Of her Many eyebrow colors, as well as her Morgul-blade ^_^

    Argh, you need to stop out-nerding me before I bring shame to my entire family... -_-

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. ThePurpleOne
    OMG!!! i got like a delciously purpleberrylicious subttl. this is lik totaly x normal

    wowww ya this is getting ultra geeky!!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. OneOfMany
    Today, the Impressively Arbitrary Nymphadora the Purple is sporting One Of her Many eyebrow colors, as well as her Morgul-blade ^_^

    Nerdy, not geeky. For that you would have to check out the "Post to Post - NOT" thread. ^_^

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. Torah613Torah
    (613)Torah²

    LOL, I learned about it in college. I was aware of BSE before then but didn't know the whole concept of prion diseases.

    Back to the thread topic, I definitely believe that chemistry is somewhat important, of course it mostly develops later but you need to like the person somewhat! That's why you can't marry a girl off without at least letting her see the chasan.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. OneOfMany
    Today, the Impressively Arbitrary Nymphadora the Purple is sporting One Of her Many eyebrow colors, as well as her Morgul-blade ^_^

    and yes that comment was nerdy. :D

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. YW Moderator-42
    Life, The Coffee Room, and Subtitles.

    I don't feel like commenting on either discussion here but I would like to point out the meforshim say that although the initial kidnapping was obviously out of lust, Shechem actually did love Dinah for the "right reasons" at the end when they approached Yaakov (I can't remember who says this but I definitely saw it a few weeks ago when it came up in the parsha)

    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. DaasYochid
    a singular mind

    I read the article, and I'm not sure the author is really saying what's being ascribed to him. He is rejecting the notion that if there are no "fireworks" after three dates, the shidduch is doomed to failure. He is not rejecting the notion that there needs to be attraction, nor that there needs to be some degree of "ahavah", although he is claiming that the ultimate ahavah can only be achieved after marriage.

    He writes, "Rather those in Shidduchim should focus on getting to know the other person and his/her middos and try to give to the other person in a permissible way."; obviously, he wants the ahavah to begin to develop even during the dating process.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  31. OneOfMany
    Today, the Impressively Arbitrary Nymphadora the Purple is sporting One Of her Many eyebrow colors, as well as her Morgul-blade ^_^

    <serious>
    I read the article too, and I have no idea what the author was trying to say. This is what I got: First, he equates chemistry/romance (which are automatically linked?) with physical attraction, which isn't important according to a bunch of sources, but still is important when we call it "attraction," not "romance," then ends off with some vague, unrelated platitudes about "ahava" (love? romance? CHAS V'SHALOM) being generated by giving. Because that is EMES [insert arbitrary ma'amarim about emes]. And romance = Hollywood because the word comes from the ROMANS.

    To me this sounds like someone got so caught up in decrying a particular terminology that they ended up losing any point they were trying to make along the way. Something that it seems a lot of people have a problem with when the words "love" and "romance" are put on the table (http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/whats-the-torah-way-for-finding-a-spouse).
    </serious>

    Posted 1 year ago #
  32. just my hapence
    a penny for your thoughts, minus some change

    OOM - In fairness to your nerdiness, I didn't actually have a clue what it meant when I was 7, just what it stood for...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  33. Torah613Torah
    (613)Torah²

    YW Moderator 42: Yes, that comes from the phrase "ארץ רחבת ידים", the word רחבת stands for רב חנינא בן תרדיון whose neshama came to the Jewish people because of what happened between Shechem and Dina. Basically the nitzotzos of kedusha, or whatever we call it, that were stimulated by that happening, brought out some kedusha in the world, and that's why it had to happen. So that's how we know that Shechem wasn't entirely bad.

    It's a bit like Yaakov Avinu not marrying Timna, some say he should have and that would have prevented Amalek.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  34. yitayningwut
    I have no idea wut this screen name means. Do YOU know what this screen name means?

    Sam2 - Good tzushtell (again). For those who do not know what he is referring to, Rashi says that the words ריעים האהובים in the sheva brachos refer to the groom and the bride "because they are friends who love each other." It's 8a by the way.

    DaasYochid - The bottom line of the article seems to imply that feelings are not relevant in a shidduch. I quote:

    So the Answer is that when many younger guys and girls think that there needs to be “chemistry” by the second or third date in order to continue, they are WRONG. Instead, follow our Chazal, who state repeatedly that when looking for a spouse a person should look for Middos, Middos, Middos, Torah, Yiras Shamayim and similar. Singles in shidduchim should remember that the root cause of Ahavah is giving. In Aramaic the middle of the word Ahavah “hav” means to give. True Ahavah can only be attained by giving and giving and giving to another person. That is why parents love their children more than anyone else in the world – because the parents give so much to their children over their lifetime.

    Sorry to the Romantics out there, but true Ahavah can only be achieved after marriage! So when dating, couples do not need to reach chemistry by the 2nd or 3rd date – unless they want to work in a Medical Lab together! Rather those in Shidduchim should focus on getting to know the other person and his/her middos and try to give to the other person in a permissible way.

    Even if the author did not mean what he is implying, the fact of the matter is that when people read this they get that impression. That gives me enough of a reason to respond the way I did.

    OneOfMany - I couldn't have said it better.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  35. Veltz Meshugener
    K'shmo kain hu

    Excellent post, OneofMany.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  36. interjection
    in·ter·jec·tion noun 1. an abrupt remark, made esp. as an aside or interruption

    There are different forms of chemistry. For example one can feel connected, even if just through recognition of commonality, without having feelings of infatuation.
    Not feeling anything after extended dating, but still taking it further, is taking a huge risk.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  37. Torah613Torah
    (613)Torah²

    OOM, I didn't say it before, but I completely agree with you and that was a great post.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  38. OneOfMany
    Today, the Impressively Arbitrary Nymphadora the Purple is sporting One Of her Many eyebrow colors, as well as her Morgul-blade ^_^

    just my hapence: *phew* ^_^

    yitay, Veltz, torah613: Thanks. ^_^

    Posted 1 year ago #
  39. OneOfMany
    Today, the Impressively Arbitrary Nymphadora the Purple is sporting One Of her Many eyebrow colors, as well as her Morgul-blade ^_^

    <more seriousness>
    I think that the problem is that these confused people don't have a very definite conception of what "love" is (for clarity's sake, let this include any and all vague distinctions), yet also have this vague idea that whatever it is must only exist in the context of marriage. So they develop the belief that the developed and committed love based on lots of trust, respect, and yes, giving, etc. that exists in the context of marriage is the only form in which "real love" can exist.

    My opinion on the matter: Love is just a raw emotion that can be channeled negatively in the form of superficial lust or emotionally unhealthy relationships, or positively in committed, healthy relationships (i.e. marriage), but generally begins in a more or less neutral capacity (which I would call chemistry, I guess). Also, marriage won't magically make the "real love" (here I mean positive love) happen - it just sets up the framework in which it is most ideal for "real love" to develop. Likewise, chemistry before the marriage won't necessarily make the "real love" automatically happen.

    So really there isn't any point in arguing either way, because it's not like there is a magic formula that everyone must follow to make it work.

    just my thoughts

    Posted 1 year ago #

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