A few days ago on August 8th, we reached our Golden Anniversary. When I started sharing with you some of the “secrets,” of our marriage last week, I realized that I actually have some additional thoughts, which might help you on your life journey.
We got married on August 8th, 1967. We did not have a big celebration. After our registration in the City Hall in our home town Riga, Latvia, we drove to the countryside where our family gathered to honor us. There were no special festivities, however, what was special there (and still is), was our love for each other. We were twenty years young, and though we both started working when we were fifteen, our life experience was limited. I moved in with my wife, to my new mother-in-law’s apartment which had four bedrooms. Each of us had a room — my wife Elfa and I, her mom, Elfa’s brother, his wife and their daughter, and another family of three adults. We all shared one kitchen and one bathroom. Hot water was not always available. The laundry was washed in the bath tub. When our daughter Alona was born, our loads of laundry increased, since diapers had to be washed every day. Regardless of all the problems, issues, discomforts and a lack of basic necessities, we lived a happy life. After a while we were able to exchange our apartment for another one (they were government-owned). This apartment came without neighbors, but it needed a lot of work. Since I was good with my hands, I started to remodel. It took me three years. At the end, when a government official saw our apartment and wanted it for himself, we finally received permission to emigrate to Israel. As years passed and after living in three different countries (and working in four), owning and managing a company with twenty employees for over thirty years, having two loving daughters, and being happily married for fifty years, I might say that I’ve learned a thing or two about life. If I could summarize my successful life experience in one word, the word would be CARE, and the care starts with you.
When you learn how to take care of yourself, you can take care of your significant other. This idea actually comes from the Torah. When God created human beings, he made them as one person. “God created man in his images, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27). Only after “God blew into his nostrils the soul of life, a man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7). The next step was to separate them into men and women “from man was she taken” (Genesis 2:23). “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24).
The traditional Jewish belief is that, forty days before child is born his/her significant other is pre-destined. However, we have to move through life to identify our soul mate.
And when we do, we have to take care of the body, which carries our soul. And this is exactly what my wife Elfa and I have been doing for each other in the last fifty years. During those years as a caring wife, Elfa allowed me to be the head of the family, and I always got the last words, which are “Yes, Dear.” She also reminds me that as a head, it is my responsibility to solve all the major problems, like peace in the world, securing the borders, the problems with refugees and the homeless, and economic reforms, while she deals with all the minor issues – what we will have for dinner, paying our bills on time, which concert or show we are going to see and what is our next travel destination. Of course all of those are jokes; actually in our family we jointly decide on everything because we care for each other.
P.S. While you are reading these lines, we are celebrating our Golden Anniversary in Berlin together with Elfa’s brother and his family, and our daughter Tamar and our son David (Tamar’s husband). You know that you will receive my report upon my return. Meanwhile, enjoy images of couples I encountered in San Francisco, who express their care and love with the kiss.
P.P.S. You can express your care for your family and friends by buying them something special, like my photo-story book “42 Encounters in San Francisco” on Amazon.com.
Enjoy and Share.
Do Not Keep Me As A Secret!
Smile And Please SHARE It With A Friend!