Category Archives: Relationships

Critic’s Choice: How to Rebuke Effectively

Besides being a critical mitzvah, to rebuke or criticize someone who is acting improperly is a vital skill that every leader (boss, parent) needs to know how to wield effectively. Our sages tell us that there are two ways to criticize, one that works and one that does not. The critic can only choose one.

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The Ten Commandments of Parenting for Contemporary Parents

Parenting is the most rewarding – and difficult – job we will ever have. Thankfully the Torah teaches us how to be effective parents. Listen and learn the top ten critical elements of successful pedagogy.


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Twitter: @RabbiWolbe

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On Love and Relationships: Lessons from the Torah

What does the Torah have to say about love? How can we be required to love God? Why is there an additional mitzvah to love a convert? This class was given in Cypress, TX at Shalom Cypress.

Illuminating and Practical Ancient Wisdom that can save your Relationships

While humans have seemingly progressed, improved and evolved in many areas of life, in the arena of relationships we are comparatively neanderthals, and we are regressing. Surprisingly, a 3300 year old document will succinctly instruct and guide us in four sentences more successfully than all the relationships and self help books in Barnes and Noble.

Breakneck through the Bible – Spouse Selection (Genesis Chapters 24-25)

Spousal selection is a perplexing and vexing part of life for most people; at least if the rates of failure in marriage are indeed what they are reported to be. The average person does not now where to start, what to do, what to look out for and how not to make a grievous and costly mistake by making a poor selection. The result is a convergence of an enormously important decision and an utter lack of knowledge of how to go about making that decision. For guidance and direction in this area of life we turn to the Almighty’s book of life instructions (a good idea for any difficult situation) and analyze the Torah’s exhaustive description of the vetting and selection of a spouse for Isaac – focusing on the minutiae of all the small details – and attempt to draw insight and instruction that is as relevant today as ever.

The Three Loves

Three times in the Torah we are commanded to experience the emotion of love:

  1. “Thou shall love your fellow as yourself” (Leviticus 19, 18)
  2. “Thou shall love the foreigner, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10, 19)
  3. “Thou shall love Hashem your God with all your hearts, with all your soul and with all your resources” (Deuteronomy 6, 5)

These commandments are deeply troubling. How can God command us to have an emotion like love? You either love someone or something or you do not? Seemingly, it cannot reasonably be forced upon someone? It is also a deviation from the textual integrity to posit that the Torah is telling us to act  to our fellow in a loving manner because the words cannot be clearer: Thou shall love your fellow. Likewise, the quantity of love appears to be impossible. How can I love anyone as much as I love myself? Listen and learn how the Torah is teaching us incredible lessons in what love is and how to achieve it.

The 5 C’s of every happy and harmonious marriage

It is well documented that modern humans fail at marriage at alarming rates. In the United States for example, in any given year the amount of divorces are roughly half the amount of marriages pegging the divorce rate around 50%. Shockingly, 5 out of 10 couples who commit to stay married to each other “until death do us part” renege on their vow. This staggering percentage does not include all couples who are dissatisfied in their marriages. Some couples have miserable marriages but remain married because of the legal costs and hassles of divorce, or to avoid the religious or social stigma associated with divorce, or even to protect their children from the pain and suffering of a family torn apart. These couples, while technically married, may be permanently separated as is the case by 15 percent of separated couples who don’t divorce nor reconcile rather remain separated permanently,  or they may even live together but have separate bedrooms, separate TVs, separate bank accounts and separate lives. Thus the true rate of failed marriages is significantly greater than the quantifiable divorce rate.

Can anything be done to ensure that our marriages succeed? The Torah outlines five principles of great marriages –  each beginning with the letter C – all you need to do is follow the instruction laid out and you are guaranteed to have a wonderful marriage.

The Ten Commandments of Parenting

A parent who brings a child to this world has accepted upon himself/herself the responsibilities of raising that child to be a happy, healthy and stable adult. This axiomatic idiom has been an unfortunate causality of today’s society. In America today only 63% of children grow up together with both biological parents. As Jews we heed the Torah’s requirement to educate our children but also benefit from the Torah’s guidelines of how to educate them. In this presentation we have selected ten of the Torah’s core pedagogical lessons. Namely:

  1. Thou shall parent.
  2. Thou shall individualize your parenting as per the unique nature of your child.
  3. Thou shall parent with the long term view.
  4. Thou shall love your child and express it.
  5. Thou shall boost your child’s self esteem.
  6. Thou shall teach by example.
  7. Thou shall discipline and demand infrequently but with consistency.
  8. Thou shall collaborate with your partners.
  9. Thou shall not make your parenting an arena for your own negative character traits.
  10. Thou shall not be obstinate.

Come and hearken to the presentation that caused one participant to exclaim: “I wish I heard this seven years ago”.

Adam and Eve: A Model Marriage?

In several places in Jewish Literature and practice we present Adam and Eve as a prototype of a relationship worth emulating. There is only one slight problem with that – Adam and Eve did not seem to have a stable relationship, much less an idyllic and harmonious one. What could the Torah possibly mean when we are instructed to act like Adam and Eve in pursuit of positive long term relationships?