Each Jewish holiday presents special opportunities to explore, nurture, or heal one’s relationships, sometimes in ways that resonate out into the world. Illuminating these opportunities is Judaism for Two, a guidebook geared for couples of every stripe: married, intermarried, gay, empty nesters, couples with kids, and DINKS (double income/no kids).
Different holidays represent different facets of a relationship to work on. Cleaning is a theme during Passover and a potentially huge theme in everyday life. Just ask the neat-nick who is married to a packrat.
Purim focuses on laughing and playing, on taking risks, and on hiding and revealing (as Queen Esther first hid then revealed, at great risk to her own life, that she was Jewish). One of the biggest risks any of us will ever take is stepping into an unknown future with another human being, the authors, both rabbis, point out. Laughing also is risky. When your partner doesn’t think a situation is funny, does he or she at least honor your take on the absurd?
Each chapter weaves in snippets from coupledom, pieces of ancient and modern Jewish texts, and insightful narratives that encourage couples to appreciate each other more and to treat their lives together as a spiritual work in progress. The authors provide a plethora of celebration rituals and social justice activities that couples can do together.
Because Jews have historically studied in pairs, each chapter includes provocative discussion questions keying off a piece of text as a prompt.
This book can be a great anniversary or wedding gift, but buyer please beware: engaging in this book together could bring hidden conflicts to the surface. If the relationship is troubled to begin with, using this book without the support of a good therapist might make things worse, not better.