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Sunday, 28 December 2014

Finding the strength to leave the abuse

Daf Yomi Yevamos 85

Rena was in a terrible relationship.  Her boyfriend was constantly verbally abusing her and one time he even pushed her physically against the wall.   The Rabbanit had tried to convince her to leave the relationship but she was just too used to life with Serge.  How do you convince someone to leave an unhealthy situation?

The Mishnah states: If a widow married the High Priest, or a divorcee or chalutzah married a regular cohen, (when they divorce) they nevertheless receive the kesubah payment (despite the fact that these unions are forbidden).

Rabbi Elazar asked Rabbi Yochanan: In these cases, is she entitled to sustenance during the marriage or not?
The Gemara asks: What are we talking about here? If we’re saying that she is living with him, we should tell them to divorce! 
The Gemara answers: We must be dealing with a case where he went overseas and she borrowed money to live.  Do we say he’s responsible for repayment?  On the one hand, sustenance is a requirement of the kesubah.  If the Mishnah states that she is entitled to the kesubah, then perhaps she is also entitled to sustenance?  On the other hand, the kesubah payment is an incentive for her to separate, whereas sustenance is an incentive to stay! 
Rabbi Yochanan responded: She is not entitled to sustenance.

Sometimes you find yourself in an unhealthy situation but you are too timid to extricate yourself from it.  You might be with someone or you might be keeping certain friends.  You know that they are wrong for you, but you are too scared to leave the relationship for who knows what the future will bring?  Or maybe you’re in an abusive employer-employee relationship that you are too apprehensive to leave. 

Rabbi Yochanan teaches us that if the relationship is wrong, you need to get out.  The payment on the way out far exceeds the payment for staying.  It’s not easy to make that move but you know when you need to.  Don’t stay with friends who are dragging you down spiritually or emotionally.  Don’t stay with an employer who is putting you down constantly.   The Almighty has great things in store for you if you can just pull yourself out of the bad relationship you’re currently in.


Fear of the unknown can be crippling.  You know it’s time to get out and move on with your life but you don’t know how to.  Take that leap of faith and you will find happiness in your life.  May the Almighty shine His countenance upon you, and may you have the merit to discover the right people and the right relationships in life!