Beit Midrash

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To dedicate this lesson

Memories of Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu zt”l


Elyakim Levanon

Counselling couples in order to make peace between husband and wife requires broad knowledge in Halacha and a correct approach in guiding the couple. A non observant couple contacted me and discussed their problems, especially about issues related to intimacy. I wondered if I was allowed to help and guide them or was I causing them to sin, since the they didn’t keep the laws of Taharat Hamishpacha (family purity). I turned to Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu zt"l for advice. He answered that of course I should try to bring peace between them, and perhaps it will also influence the family purity.
A serious case came in front of me, also with a couple that were not observant. The wife did not remain faithful to her husband, and with his knowledge, she had a forbidden relationship with another man. The husband was angry with her, and thus she turned to me for help. According to the Halacha, the woman is forbidden to her husband, and certainly counseling would cause them to commit an offense. I again approached Rav Eliyahu zt"l and he instructed me to send the woman to the Jewish court. There, he told me, the Dayanim will shout at her and say she is not telling the truth. She says that she didn’t remain faithful to her husband only because she had her eyes on someone else". To me he told to go ahead and try to make reconciliation.
I remember one time I was dealing with a case where there were large gaps between the husband and wife. It seemed to me it might be better to advise them to separate. Rav Eliyahu zt"l instructed me that: "As long as there is a slight chance to bring to reconciliation, it is my duty to make every effort in this direction, and not to bring to family dissolution.
These pieces of advice include real-life insights, arising from the Torah. Although some seem to contradict the Torah, here is revealed the power of a great scholar, who considers the Torah, the words of our sages, and the correct way to bring Torah into practice.
These words of advice have been a guiding light for many years.
How privileged we are to have had such a light in our generation, and how sad are we for the loss.
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