Taking Marriage Off Autopilot


“In a way that a person conducts themselves on Shabbat in the beginning, so shall the entire year proceed.” (From Chabad Rebbes’ sayings)

It All Starts Here

There’s a famous saying about Shabbos Bereishis that essentially says the way I act on this Shabbos will influence my behavior for the entire year.

So, what makes Shabbos Bereishis so special?

Many other holidays, like Pesach and Shavous, may seem more central and fundamental to Jewish life.

The answer lies in the fact that on this Shabbos, we read the parsha that describes the creation of the world.

When we deeply meditate on and internalize the deeper meaning of this story, it has the power to strengthen my avodas Hashem throughout the entire year.

Continuous Creative Process

The story of creation begins with “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

The Ramban explains that the word ‘creation’ signifies the emergence of something from nothing, or ‘yesh meayin.’

And the Baal Shem Tov adds that for the created world to remain in existence, Hashem must continuously recreate it, moment by moment.

The Alter Rebbe explains that this is secret of the verse: “לעולם ה’ דברך ניצב בשמים”, “Hashem’s word forever stands firm in the heavens.”

Meaning that the Divine utterance, “Let there be a firmament,” which formed the heavens, continues to sustain them.

And If Hashem were to cease this Divine utterance, the heavens would instantly revert back to nothingness.

The implication of this is that the world has no independent existence. The only true reality is the Divine statement itself.

In its true essence, all of creation is nothing and emptiness. The entire existence of the world is nothing but the Divine statement that creates and sustains it every moment.

Thus, creation itself is not the true reality, but rather the Divine statement that projects it into existence.

This is why Shabbos Bereishis is so crucial.

It gives us the right mindset when engaging with the world.


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The World Can’t Stop You

Life is full of difficulties and distractions.

The need to integrate the principles of the Torah into the reality of life, into our actions and endeavors, can sometimes seem contradictory.

The Torah tells us, “In the beginning, Hashem created,” indicating that the reality of the world is nothing but the Ten Utterances in the Torah.

And the same Torah says, “I am Havaya, Elokecha,” and reveals the 613 mitzvos.

Hence, there cannot be a contradiction between the two; the world cannot interfere with the fulfillment of the commandments.

When I approach the entire year with this understanding, I won’t perceive worldly matters as hindrances to the Torah.

On the contrary, even when engaged in worldly affairs, I can still speak words of Torah and do mitzvos and good deeds.

Thus, the entire year will be successful both materially and spiritually.

Take Marriage Off Autopilot

These lessons also apply to my marriage.

First, just as Hashem continuously creates and sustains the world, I too must continuously work on my marriage.

I must always remember that it doesn’t exist by itself. There’s no such thing as putting my marriage on autopilot.

If I’m not actively infusing new life, energy, and light into my relationship with my wife, it will fade into nothingness.

And just as the real existence isn’t the world but the Divine Light sustaining it, the state of my marriage isn’t what’s real, but what you invest in it.

This means that no matter how difficult and challenging marriage is there’s nothing that can stop you from making it into a kli for the shechina to dwell in.

Recognizing that you are in control and have the power to shape the fate of your marriage is one of the first things it takes to becoming a Marriage King.


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Chassidic Sayings

Chassidic Sayings

"That which is above, (is) from you."

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