Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Joyous Divorce

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A Joyous Divorce

Midrash Rabbah, Shir HaShirim 1


PrintE-mail Discuss (13) A woman was married for many years to her husband, but had not had children. Her husband decided to divorce her, so he went to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, of blessed memory.

Rabbi Shimon told him that just as they had celebrated with joy their mutual bond when they got married, so should the severance of their mutual bond be celebrated in joy.

The husband therefore prepared a great feast, at the height of which he called his wife and asked her in his joy to choose whatever she desired of his possessions to be hers, and said that he would not refuse her anything.

What did she do? She served him so much wine that he got drunk and fell asleep on his bed. She then told her servant to take him on his bed into her bedroom in her father’s house.

The following morning, when he awoke and found himself in his wife’s home, he asked her why he was brought there—wasn’t it clear that he intended to divorce her? She replied, “Didn’t you tell me that I could take whatever I wanted? I desire not gold, nor silver, nor precious gems, nor pearls. All I want is you. You yourself are the sole object of my desire.”

When the husband heard this, he became once again enamored of his wife, and took her back as before. And in this merit the Holy One, blessed be He, granted them children.

Midrash Rabbah, Shir HaShirim 1

Excerpted from The Mystery of Marriage by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh

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