With heartfelt gratitude to G‑d, we hereby present the third and concluding volume of Eternal Joy, a Guide to Shidduchim & Marriage, based on the Rebbe’s teachings.

The present volume encompasses the Rebbe’s directives and advice concerning matters that are relevant to married life — with emphasis on those matters that ensue during the first year of marriage — and Shalom Bayis: peace and harmony in the relationship between husband and wife.

The Rebbe has spoken about the issues of marriage and Shalom Bayis in many farbrengens (public gatherings), and has responded to the questions asked of him by numerous individuals in his Igros Kodesh, as well as in personal responses during Yechidus (personal audiences) and through his secretariat.

By studying these sources, it is possible to appreciate some of the fundamental elements of the Rebbe’s approach to married life and Shalom Bayis.

As we have done in the first two volumes, in this volume as well we have collected1 and translated selections from a variety of the Rebbe’s letters, sichos, and personal responses regarding married life and Shalom Bayis.

It is worth reiterating the caveat stated in each of the Forewords to the first two volumes of this collection:

Firstly, the collection and the translation are our own; it is not a guide to marriage and Shalom Bayis authored or edited by the Rebbe.

Secondly, it is not all-encompassing. There certainly is considerably more material from the Rebbe regarding married life and Shalom Bayis than has been collected here.

And finally, while the Rebbe’s public directives pertain to all, it is entirely possible that the personal advice the Rebbe gave one individual may notbe appropriate for another. Moreover, some of the responses to individuals are not necessarily the Rebbe’s final word on the matter.

What we have done to try to resolve this latter difficulty is to quote a variety of letters and sichos, even though some may appear different from others. The dates or sources cited may be of benefit in discerning the Rebbe’s later responses. So, too, by noting that numerous answers are in the same vein, we have an indication of the Rebbe’s general approach to a specific issue or matter.

Nevertheless, it must be borne in mind that the Rebbe’s answer to one individual does not necessarily apply at all to another, as the Rebbe has pointed out on a number of occasions. To quote but two:

“I have already expressed — and have done so numerous times: My answer to one individual does not constitute a directive — it doesn’t even constitute a response — to a second individual.2

On another occasion the Rebbe writes:

“It is patently obvious that a directive to an individual does not serve at all as a directive to the multitude, even when the issues are the same. This is particularly so when this is written as a private letter to him.

“For most often this depends on the conditions of the life of that individual, his personality and temperament, the possibilities that exist for him concerning that which he wrote [to me about] in his letter, and more, and more [reasons, not enumerated here].” 3

In instances of doubt, etc., one would therefore do well to remember the Rebbe’s exhortations to “ask one’s mashpia or rav” and “seek the counsel of wise and discerning good friends.”

May the marriages that are currently taking place herald and hasten the coming of the ultimate marriage celebration, the marriage and supreme union of G‑d and the Jewish people.

As the Rebbe states: “The marriage of every couple … is connected to the ultimate marriage between G‑d and the Jewish people that will be consummated in the Era of Redemption.”4

And at that time, “We will again meet with the Rebbe on this earthly plane, and he shall redeem us.”5

To conclude on a personal note:

This Sefer is dedicated to my very dear friend and long-time Torah study partner, Mr. Neil N. Sosland, and his esteemed wife Blanche. Their beautiful marriage is a sterling example of true Shalom Bayis.

May G‑d continue to grant them much nachas from all their wonderful children and grandchildren, and many, many more happy and healthy years together.

Sholom B. Wineberg
Overland Park, Kansas

Chof-Ches Shvat, 5761