Two holocaust survivors were one of ten couples competing for the “World’s Greatest Love Stories.” In 2011, Live! With Regis and Kelly, a nationally syndicated TV show, ran a competition where the audience voted on whose love story was the greatest.
Howard and Nechama Kleinberg’s miraculous story of survival and home building helps demonstrate how the secret to a beautiful and loving marriage is found in Yom Kippur.
Yuma, literally meaning “the day,” is the Talmudic tractate that discusses Yom Kippur. The first Mishnah opens with what seems to be a counterintuitive law: Seven days prior to Yom Kippur the High Priest separates from his home, wife and family. On the holiest day of the year, why is the High Priest obligated to leave and separate from the ones he loves the most?
More perplexing: from this very law we learn that the High Priest is obligated by divine decree to be married to perform the service. How is it that from the very law that commands separation from one’s spouse we learn that the High Priest must be married?
Why does the entire, Yuma, “day,” referring to the holiest day of the year, open not with love and marriage and holiness, but separation from the one the High Priest loves most?
How does this embody the holiest day, Yom Kippur? And how does this embody the holiest institution, marriage?
The secret to a happy and everlasting marriage is found in the answer to this dichotomy.