Posted by: chnightlife | May 12, 2010

Rabbi Manis Friedman – Thursday May 13

Man & Woman Or Husband & Wife

by Two Nightlife Advocates

NYC can be overwhelming for a born and bred Brooklynite, just as well as any out-of-towner. Between work and errands, bridal showers and dating, life in the city gets pretty hectic. However, once a week, there is an oasis in time when young adult women can get together to kick back and relax. No, this is not our holy Shabbos, which is just as anticipated, but rather, a tastefully transformed lounge where one can unwind, surrounded by fellow peers from all backgrounds. Enjoy a warm dinner and scrumptious treats in a cozy ambiance created by low ottomans and glowing candles. Catch up with friends not seen all week. Have an intellectual conversation with complete strangers as though old friends. Soak in words of wisdom from Rabbis, professionals and mentors.

This is Nightlife.

An inviting safe haven from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind.

Not long ago, Nightlife hosted an event featuring world renowned lecturer Rabbi Manis Friedman. Nightlife always has a nice crowd, though on this particular evening there was standing room only as more and more Nightlifers kept coming to hear the ‘truth about men and women.’ In anticipation for Shavuos, the Nightlife staff put out a dairy spread complete with lasagna, blintzes, all kinds of cheesy delicacies and a myriad of cheesecakes (special shout out to Kingston Bake Shop).

Rabbi Friedman began his speech with a shocking statement: A man and a woman cannot sustain a lasting marriage. (Wait till you hear the rest before jumping out of your seat.) To understand this, we must first explain what it means to be a man; what it means to be a woman…When does a man feel most like a man? When he plays the role of mashpia, complete and unconditional giving. A woman is a true woman when she is open and uninhibited, trusting and receiving: a mikabel. The roles must compliment each other to attain achievement. A true man will give that feeling to a true woman and vice versa. This unique connection takes place through marriage, when the ultimate man and the ultimate woman become husband and wife, totally in tune and one, completing each other. No, a man and a woman cannot hold a selfless relationship; yet united and committed as a husband and a wife they create a solid marriage.

Being that the majority of the audience consisted of single young women (there were a few ‘marrieds’, too) looking for their better half, Rabbi Friedman offered some practical advice we could work on now: A common fixation among singles, both men and women alike, is worrying about whom they are going to marry; their appearance, occupation, strengths or weaknesses…but that’s already been decided long ago by G-d. What one should be concerning him/herself with is what kind of spouse he/she will be. This time of ‘limbo’ is the perfect opportunity to work on bettering oneself before meeting a soul mate, which in turn will allow one to fulfill his/her proper role when the time comes.

After the lecture, Rabbi Friedman walked around addressing personal questions while everyone milled around having another go at the cheesecake, discussing and digesting all they’d just heard. Stepping back onto the moonlit city street, filled with new vigor, these girls left, with a greater knowledge of themselves, where they are and where they are headed…

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