By COLlive reporter
Another way to solve the shidduch crisis?
A grassroots effort is working to fund the reprinting a set of books based on the works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe on dating, finding a soul-mate, engagement, wedding and an ever-lasting successful marriage.
The 3 volumes of “Eternal Joy,” published by Sichos In English in February 2000, has recently been out of print. $3,600 needs to be collected in the coming month to send it to print.
The first book is “A Guide To Shidduchim & Marriage,” the second discusses “From the Time of Engagement Through the Wedding Day” and the third deals with “Married Life and Shalom Bayis.”
“The Rebbe’s guidance is invaluable in all areas of life but particularly this one, where people get swept up in the emotion of the moment and need to be brought back to common sense and yiras shomayim, is critical,” said Rabbi Yitzchok Turner who works with Rabbi Yona Avtzon at Sichos in English.
The reprinting campaign, with the hopes of assisting singles, chassanim and kallahs and newlyweds, was initiated by the Beis Medrash Women’s Circle in Crown Heights and the N’shei Chabad Newsletter.
All amounts are welcome and donors will be invited to a private party for their participation. Join the campaign today at SichosInEnglish.org and note “In Honor of: Eternal Joy.”
The following is an interview with the author Rabbi Sholom B. Wineberg conducted by Chanel Lipskier:
* When and how did you first get the idea to collect and translate some of the Rebbe’s letters on dating, engagement and marriage and publish them in three volumes?
There was a need. There was so much material from the Rebbe on shidduchim, weddings and shalom bayis. There were already Hebrew volumes featuring the Rebbe’s letters on these topics, but they were not complete, especially since with the passage of time more and more answers were revealed.
And there was definitely a need for a compendium of the Rebbe’s responses about these topics in English. There’s so much on the topic throughout the Sichos and Igros, I felt it would be beneficial to bring it lipundik echad- in one place.
I also emphasized in both Healthy in Mind Body and Spirit as well as in Eternal Joy what the Rebbe stressed about personal answers: (Paraphrased) “It’s known that my answer to one does not necessarily serve as my answer to someone else because it depends on the questioner and their circumstances.”
The idea behind Eternal Joy was that by compiling all the answers, patterns emerge from which you can learn the Rebbe’s perspective on many things.
* Were there thousands of letters to choose from, or was it a pretty easy job?
I tried to incorporate everything, unless it was the same answer again and again. There are mafteiches to the Igros, which is very beneficial. There were also some mafteiches to Sichos at that time, especially Likutei Sichos. So that made the information much more accessible. And you can do word searches! With the help of computers, it’s not that difficult.
The majority of the work was dividing the material into subjects and headings and putting it into book form. I want to add there have been more answers revealed in tshuros and other places since the books came out. And I’m sure even when I wrote it there were things that I missed. As the Rebbe says “hafuch ba v’hafuch ba vkula bu” (Pirkei Avos) meaning- there’s always more to find. The volumes are by no means complete. If someone wants to take the time to supplement the new printing with additional answers, that would be wonderful.
* How did you decide how long the books should be?
When I began, I thought all the excerpts would be printed in one book. But as I discovered more and more material, I realized we needed to break it up. The different subjects lent themselves to three different volumes. First: Dating and engagement up until marriage. Second: The chasunah itself. Third: Shalom bayis after the wedding.
* What made you choose the title Eternal Joy?
I think it’s self-evident. The chasunah creates an eternal bond between the couple. And I had in mind what the Rebbe said about the Rebbetzin during shiva. (Paraphrased) “A couple’s marriage is called binyan adei ad. And even after the passing of a spouse there’s still the everlasting kesher between husband and wife- something that continues eternally.”
* Have any Eternal Joy readers gotten back to you with any feedback that you could share with us?
In the general sense, I know many chasanim and kallahs use it as a primer for going out. I’ve received numerous calls from couples saying the shalom bayis section has been beneficial to their marriage. The feedback has ranged from general thank you’s to specific and personal ways that it has helped couples. I also get calls asking what the Rebbe says about a particular situation; but of course, just because I wrote about the subject does not make me a dayeh zuger. But I try to find an answer from the Rebbe that would help the caller make the right decision.
* What is your favorite letter or letters from Eternal Joy, and why?
One letter that stands out because of it’s practical advice is about the girl who complains to the Rebbe that she found some fault with the boy she’s going out with- basically she realized that he’s not perfect. The Rebbe answered (paraphrased) “Until Moshiach comes there’s no perfect individual in the world. I dare say that you yourself are not perfect. So if the ikrim are there, do not seek perfection… the rest can follow.”
I think it’s very important. Too many girls and boys are going out looking for The Perfect Individual. Either they’re naïve or they can keep looking for perfection and wait for Moshiach to get perfection. Hopefully it will be very soon, but we’re supposed to operate b’derech hateva.
Join the campaign today at SichosInEnglish.org