(also shlom bayis
) is the Jewish religious concept of domestic harmony and good relations between husband and wife. In a Jewish court of law, shalom bayit
is the Hebrew term for marital reconciliation.
As a Jewish value
Throughout the history of the Jewish people, Jews have held an ideal standard for Jewish family life that is manifested in the term shalom bayit
. Shalom bayit
signifies completeness, wholeness, and fulfillment. Hence, the traditional Jewish marriage is characterized by peace, nurturing, respect, and chesed
The Hebrew noun khesed or chesed is the Hebrew word for "kindness." It is also commonly translated as "loving-kindness," or "love." Love is a central Jewish value, and leads to many particular commandments. Chesed is central to Jewish ethics and Jewish theology...
(roughly meaning kindness
, more accurately loving-kindness
Loving-kindness is a term coined by Myles Coverdale for his Coverdale Bible of 1535, as an English translation of the Hebrew word chesed ; in that text it is spelled "louinge kyndnesse". It is also used in this sense in the American Standard Version and various other versions of the Bible...
), through which a married couple becomes complete. It is believed that God's presence dwells in a pure and loving home
In Jewish culture, a marriage is described as a "match made in heaven," and is treated as a holy enterprise. For example, the Jewish betrothal ceremony
Erusin is the Hebrew term for betrothal. In modern Hebrew, "erusin" means engagement, but this is not the historical meaning of the term, which is the first part of marriage ....
is referred to in classical rabbinic literature as Kiddushin
). By declaring the marriage union sacred, a couple stands sanctified before God. It is in a relationship where both husband and wife recognize each other as creations in God's image and treat each other accordingly that true sanctity emanates forth. Moreover, this sanctity of the marital union reminds the Jewish husband and wife to express their holiness through marriage and to build a home based on mutual love, respect, and chesed.
The greatest praise the Talmudic rabbis offered to any woman was that given to a wife that fulfils the wishes of her husband. The husband too was expected to love his wife as much as he loves himself, and honour her more
than he honours himself; indeed, one who honours his wife was said, by the classical rabbis, to be rewarded with wealth. Similarly, a husband was expected to discuss with his wife any worldly matters that might arise in his life.
Tough love is an expression used when someone treats another person harshly or sternly with the intent to help them in the long run. The phrase was evidently coined by Bill Milliken when he wrote the book Tough Love in 1968 and has been used by numerous authors since then.In most uses, there must...
was frowned upon; the Talmud forbids a husband from being overbearing to his household, and domestic abuse by him was also condemned. It was said of a wife that God counts her tears
Tears are secretions that clean and lubricate the eyes. Lacrimation or lachrymation is the production or shedding of tears....
In the Midrash
In Jewish thought and law, domestic harmony is an important goal; to this end, an early midrash
The Hebrew term Midrash is a homiletic method of biblical exegesis. The term also refers to the whole compilation of homiletic teachings on the Bible....
argues that a wife should not leave the home too frequently
The goal may even warrant engaging in a white lie
. According to the Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....
, when God tells Sarah
Sarah or Sara was the wife of Abraham and the mother of Isaac as described in the Hebrew Bible and the Quran. Her name was originally Sarai...
she will give birth to a son, she expresses disbelief, saying: "After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my husband being old also?" But when God speaks to Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...
, he says: "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?" (Genesis: 18:12-13). The rabbis comment that God omitted Sarah's mention of Abraham's age out of concern for their shelom bayit