Recently I was at a wedding where at the chuppah the rabbi said that the kallah should also give a ring to the chosson. What do you think about that idea?
You know there used to be a time when they used to announce with pride, “A double ring ceremony!” as if it’s a knocker. A double ring ceremony! It’s so silly, so ridiculous; she wants to, so she gives a ring to the chosson. It’s silly as can be.
Let’s understand. What is marriage? Marriage is an organization. An organization has to have a president and a vice-president. If it has two presidents then it won’t stand. He gives her a ring; he’s the president. She accepts the ring, she’s the vice president. Suppose you have a ship with two captains. Two captains? No, that’s no good. There will be mutiny. It’s impossible.
That’s why modern marriages don’t last. You can’t have two heads of family. There must be one who is the authority of the family. Of course he has to respect his first mate. You have to respect the vice-president; very important. That’s his test in this world. If he doesn’t respect his vice-president, it’s big trouble. He must mechabed es ishto yoser meigufo; he has to respect his wife even more than himself. But if the wife says, “I’m the same as my husband; I’ll make kiddush, I’ll be motzee everyone with kiddush,” then goodbye house. It can’t have any kiyum and it breaks up. You must have one person who is a leader.
Recently there was an announcement by the Southern Baptists that the wife should be submissive to the husband. And it was considered a big chiddush; all the newspapers were up in arms: “Whoa! Whoa! The wife is submissive to the husband?!” But I was thinking, “That’s news?! That’s human nature!” The husband has to be in charge of the house.
Of course, when he gets into the house he shouldn’t stick his nose in the kitchen and say “Cook this” and “Cook that.” His wife is in charge of the house things. But the head of the family has to be the husband and no question about it. If there are two heads, it’s finished. A person who is born with two heads, he’s a treifeh. And therefore a family with two heads is not a family.
TAPE # E-147 (July 1998)