Rabbi Yossi's Blog

Welcome to Rabbi Yossi's Blog; where you can expect to find thoughts on current events, Torah learning and Jewish spirituality. And of course, some good Jewish humor.

Addressing Infidelity

Guest post by Rabbi Simcha Backman of Chabad of Glendale. Rabbi Backman is a participating columnist on the Glendale News Press weekly feature "In Theory". Below is his most recent article. Click here for previous columns.

Infidelity is in the news with the recent development of Jenny Sanford — wife of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford — filing for divorce after 20 years of marriage. The world’s No. 1 golfer, Tiger Woods, also admitted to infidelity. It’s not new in the celebrity world, but what does your faith teach about infidelity? Are we truly damned if we cheat on our wives or husbands?

Infidelity is not only a problem among celebrities, but is fairly prevalent among the general population as well.

One factor contributing to this sad trend is the pervasiveness of overt sexual imagery and innuendo that regularly inundates us all. Whether it’s plastered across billboards or relayed through the Internet, television or print media, many advertising campaigns routinely portray explicit promiscuity and self-indulgence.

Every day, these messages reach all of us — including our impressionable children. Over time, this desensitizes society and obscures the deeper purpose and essential significance of intimacy, and can lead people to consider their marriage vows expendable.

According to Jewish thought, the institution of marriage is extraordinary since it symbolizes on a physical plane a much deeper spiritual reality.

We are taught that husband and wife were originally one soul, which was split into two. When they reunite in matrimony, their bond is unique because it represents the recreation of a single entity — this is the definition of a “soul mate.”

Infidelity causes the tearing apart of this spiritual union, and creates irreversible hurt and pain within the family unit. With true remorse and a sincere commitment to future faithfulness, it is possible to keep together such a severely damaged marriage. However, chances are that the wounded partner will forever be scarred and will carry the injury within for the rest of his or her life.

I would hope that following the recent rash of highly publicized stories of infidelity, national advertising agencies would recognize their moral responsibility by toning down the sexuality of their marketing approaches.

Regardless of whether there is any change of heart on Madison Avenue, however, each of us has an important duty to help educate society about the intrinsic value of remaining faithful. We can do our part to point out that marriage represents a sacred trust — and that a betrayal of that trust always carries painful, lasting consequences.

Talking with Radicals...

Actually, it's former radicals... This video of Dr. Hamid Tawfik is quiet an interesting eye-opener!


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