A woman wanted to marry a Kohen, but the marriage was prohibited by Torah. We looked for a loophole, but there was none. After explaining all this to her, I continued (name changed to protect privacy):

Since, besides being a rabbi that answers question, I'm also a fellow Jew who cares for you and feels your plight, I need to add the following:

Our Torah is called Torah Ohr--meaning "a teaching of light". And there is a simple meaning to this: When a person is in the dark, she can be frightened by things that pose no danger and grasp onto those things that are truly hazardous. As soon as the lights go on, she sees for herself that what she is holding is dangerous and what she was running from is good.

Our own senses and perception, without Torah, are in the dark. We can only see the moment, with a vague memory of the past. The future lies behind a closed door, and never fails to surprise us. We see only the surface of things, but not their inner purpose and meaning—and so we often end up misappropriating life for the wrong purposes in the wrong direction.

Torah shines a light that illuminates each object and event so that you can see why it is here and what it is to be used for. Shabbat is not just another day, but a day for rest, spiritual growth and enjoyment. Bacon may taste great, but it hurts the soul. On marriage, as well, Torah sheds its light and illuminates our way.

All this is to lead up to a simple point that I know may be hard for you to accept, but is true nonetheless: If the Torah says, "Dear sweet daughter, this relationship is forbidden to you," the Torah is not out to hurt you, G_d forbid. The Torah is showing you a path of light and steering you away from danger. It is saying, "This may look delicious, but it is not healthy, not for you, not for this man you love, and certainly not for the child you wish to raise as a strong, pure soul. Stay away from it. Better things are to come."

We all like to think we are smarter and know better and can play our games to get around the counsel of the Torah. But we are only fooling ourselves—and stealing from ourselves and others by doing so.

Carolina, it is hard, but choose light. It will be a great sacrifice, but the profit you will gain in this world and the next is immeasurable. Do that which is best for you, for this man and for your child and choose life.

And since Rosh Hashana is approaching, let me wish you a good, sweet year along with all our people and friends.

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman