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Kind and Generous…First With One’s Family!

Published on Sunday June 13th, 2021

Home is a place where people are more likely to get angry.

People can be absolutely delightful in public because they unconsciously hope to gain benefit from their flawless behaviors toward strangers. As an attempt to boost their ego or to receive praises, people tend to be patient and always exhibit a positive attitude. However, once at home their mindset often shifts and they suddenly lose their mannerism and temper.

People have a lot of obligations for their family and friends. What they do for their family is considered as something natural with neither compensations nor praises expected in return. That’s why within their private circles, people get angry more easily.

Nonetheless, this behavior is unconscious and simply comes out of anyone behaving in such a way. If only people could understand the tricky mechanism behind such a demeanor, they would be willing to work on themselves and to control their anger. On the one hand, our Sages teach us that men have to respect their spouses more than themselves. If this is underlined by our Sages, it is to answer a clearly paradoxical situation.

On the other hand, women benefit from a great sensibility which requires a very strong emotional understanding from men. Men are not ready to respond to this need as they do not get any direct benefit from it. (Rambam, Hilchot Ishut 15,19).

Our Sages have commanded men to respect their wives more than they respect themselves, and to love them as they love themselves. If one has a lot of money, one should share it with one’s wife. It’s crucial not to generate fear and to talk calmly to one’s spouse who should never feel sad or angry”.

“Men should make sure not to hurt their wives as they cry easily” (Baba Metsia, 59a).

The Maharal of Prague explains this teaching as: men can get upset at complete strangers, who could certainly be affected by such a reaction. However, this comes across as irrelevant compared to what spouses can feel when their husbands get upset. A spouse has to be “standing at her husband’s side” and be the perfect collaborator in the smooth running of the home.

If one’s husband shows a lack of respect towards one’s spouse, this will have very devastating consequences as she tends to be sensible and quite vulnerable.

The Rav Wolbe writes in his book: Let’s take the case of a charitable man, who is very kind to his fellowmen, easily lends or gives money, rejoices the sick and elderly in hospitals and comforts the widows.

Such a man should rejoice when the day of Judgment comes because he would have accumulated much joy from all his charitable acts. However, he will also be judged on the way he has behaved toward his spouse. If during the course of his life, he has behaved nicely towards her, all his merits will be taken into consideration.

If, on the other hand, he has made her sad and has been incapable of showing her any sort of kindness, this behavior will result in a negative balance on the day of Judgement.  All the kindness and Chesed he has done will not be taken into consideration.

The Torah-Box Team - © Torah-Box Account

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