When a couple gets married in a Jewish wedding ceremony, their souls become one.
It is like a spiritual operation that takes separate beings and fuses them into
a new whole. The Jewish divorce ceremony is the reverse of this. It is a
spiritual amputation, severing one part of the united soul from the other,
creating two separate beings.
Divorce, like an amputation, is a tragedy, but sometimes it's the right thing to
do. Our attitude to divorce parallels our attitude to the amputation of a limb
in several ways:
Divorce, like an amputation, is a tragedy, but sometimes it's the right thing to do
It is painful. When a limb becomes so diseased that it endangers the rest of the
body, the patient is faced with a horrible choice: to face the pain of
amputation, or risk worse suffering by leaving things as they are. If the future
risks are high enough to clearly outweigh the present pain, the right thing to
do is cut off the limb. Similarly, divorce is painful for all involved, but it
is the right choice when remaining in an unhealthy relationship will only cause
more damage, suffering and heartache.
It is a last resort. We do everything possible to avoid needing to amputate. If
there is a remote chance that the limb can be salvaged, even with great effort
and expense, it is worth a try. Only after exhausting all other possibilities
would we resort to amputation. Same with divorce--it is only considered after
counselling and sincere efforts to change prove fruitless.
It is not just a "Plan B". Amputation is not taken lightly. It is not seen as an
option if things don't work out. No one would recklessly experiment on their
body, saying ,"If anything happens to my limbs, I can always amputate."
Similarly, we don't enter marriage saying, "If things don't work out we can
always get a divorce." Divorce should not be a factor in the decision to get
married. Marriage is forever. There is no Plan B.
Prevention is better than a cure. Amputees can live a happy and fulfilled life.
They may be far better off after their operation than before. But if they could
live life over again, they wouldn't choose to go down that path a second time.
So too, divorce may sometimes lead to happiness, and true love and contentment
may come after the dissolution of a relationship. But if we can reach that point
without the pain of divorce, surely that would be preferable.
Often when a couple splits up, the question is not, "Why did they get
divorced?", but rather, "Why did they ever get married in the first place?"
In many cases, people are getting divorced for the right reasons, and married for the wrong
reasons. High divorce rates should not scare us away from getting married, but
rather strengthen our resolve to take marriage seriously, and ensure that we are
choosing our partners for the right reasons. What are the right reasons? That's