Your Money or Your (Religious) Life: A Back-Door Device to Extend Local Authority

June 1, 2010 by Yitzchok Adlerstein

Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, according to some accounts, worked out an unusual pre-nup with his bride-to-be.  They divided up their married life into two universes, agreeing that each should be the ultimate authority in one of them. Mrs. Salanter would direct all the pedestrian matters of the household, including raising the children that would hopefully follow.  R. Salanter, the iconic founder of the Mussar Movement[1] in 19th century Europe, would be the final voice regarding “matters of Heaven.”  Asked years later how it all had worked out, the Rebbetzin remarked wistfully, “He kept to the agreement.  Somehow, though, every decision that came up always turned into a matter of Heaven.”  Similarly, centuries earlier a number of decisors came up with a [....] Read More…