Do Jewish Husbands Have It Tough?
There are many jokes about the Jewish husband including, “Why does a Jewish man wear a kippah?” “To hide his wife’s thumb print.” And, a man tells the joke about how his Rabbi gave him the best wedding advice: That his wife should be in charge of small decisions and he, the big ones. He then acknowledges that in 30 years, there have been no big decisions.
We were away camping upstate this past weekend and the guys were applauded for being “real men” when they made a great fire or BBQ and did other manly stuff. On Monday, we woke up to pouring rain and a forecast that said rain all day…so at 8 a.m., we both decided to pack up and leave. By 10 a.m., the sun was shining and I wanted to stay and swim and bbq – both wives wanted to stay and the men just wanted to leave. The ladies won and my friend’s husband commented that the men are “just suckers”.
Well, I had the opportunity to swim in the beautiful lake and while I was doing laps, I was thinking about our Jewish men and how lucky we Jewish girls are. I have a close friend who is Jamaican. Through her interaction with me, she has been invited to a few Shabbat tables at homes of my friends. After her 1st Shabbat dinner, she left me a long voicemail at 11 p.m. Friday night. She was astounded that my friend sat at the table and gave her husband orders that included changing diapers and put the baby to sleep. In spite of this, he still sang a song to her – a love song (aishet chayil) and seemed to adore his wife.
She said in her world, if a woman gave her husband orders publicly, she would get a slap not adoration. We only have to watch the mass media to know that being a wife in many cultures means being someone’s property or slave. While on the occasion we may complain, we are lucky that our men are influenced by Jewish values. We are the woman of valor; we have held highest post in Jewish history. Like Devorah the judge, the woman are acknowledged in Torah for saving the Jews in Egypt or learning about the Immots (Sara, Rivka, Rachel and Leah) from the youngest age at school. The value of women is celebrated in our teachings and ingrained in our culture.
When I was dating my husband, I went to his family for Shabbat and Saturday morning there was a knock on my door. His father brought me a tray of breakfast in bed. I knew my husband had a good role model. In fact, in 18 years of marriage, I still get flowers every Shabbat and you all know that I have avoided changing diapers for three kids and Gavin has done the lion share. Thank you to my husband for being more than a “real man” but my Jewish prince.
Metroimmas, tell us about your Jewish prince. What has your husband done to shine in your eyes?
Originally published: May 31, 2011