Saturday, October 11, 2008

When to Listen to your Wife

Several talmidim of Rav Shach, zt”l, came for a visit shortly before Sukkos. The moment they were ushered in, the Rebbetzin received a call. The caller was very happy to inform them that he had located a lulav that was completely free of any suspicion of being from the growth of the shemittah year. Since that year was motzei shvi’is, this was no small achievement.
When she told the Rosh Yeshivah, he was immediately consumed with a powerful longing to rush and obtain the lulav. On the other hand, what of the guests? It was certainly incorrect for him to leave them stranded waiting for his return. Not surprisingly, Rav Shach found a way around this. He asked the group, “Perhaps you would care to join me as I go to meet the person bringing my lulav?”
The Rebbetzin said, “But why go at all? He is bringing it here and will arrive in just a few minutes!”
The Rosh Yeshiva would not be moved. “Even just to go to some trouble for the sake of a mitzvah is itself a mitzvah. When it comes to a mitzvah I can’t wait even an instant! I rush to fulfill any mitzvah!”
As they was walking to meet the man bringing the lulav, Rav Shach explained further, “Although I always listen to my wife and am willing to go to almost any length for her, I could not listen in this matter. This is an issue that relates to my ruchniyus, my spiritual life. Although Chazal taught that one should consider his wife’s opinion in anything relating to the material, in spiritual matters one should not necessarily listen to his wife if she tries to deter him from ruchniyus by telling him not to bother making an effort. While it is true that even in ruchniyus one must ensure that his decisions do not adversely affect another person, it is still his own responsibility to decide what is fitting and do it promptly!”

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