Marriage Made in Heaven
By Nathan Drazin
Bloch Publishing Co, 1958
Second edition 1961, 144 pages
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - May 3, 2010
Nathan Drazin (1906-1976) was bravely way ahead of his time. While his colleagues in the Orthodox Jewish rabbinate criticized him for giving the close to a thousand couples that he married during his thirty-one year service as a rabbi in Baltimore, Maryland advise on sex and relationships before he married them and warned him not to publish a book on the subject, he recognized the need to discuss the subject openly. He saw the rampant rise of divorces, the all-to-many cases of sexual misconduct, and the many instances of dissatisfaction with life because of unsatisfactory marriages. He held not only a regular rabbinical degree from Yeshiva University, he was also ordained as a judge, called yadin yadin, and he had a Masters Degree in psychology from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in education from Johns Hopkins University. He was perfectly suited for this task.
Drazin addressed his critics in his book. "My answer to these learned and well-meaning colleagues is that they seemingly live in a different age and that unfortunately they are completely unaware of the great misery, misfortune and wretchedness that prevail in so many homes and families in their own congregations. If they only knew even a small part of the terrible misery so many men and women endure, or knew the ravaging scars they bear on their hearts, these rabbis would of course not speak this way."
Despite the warnings of these nay-sayers, his book sold in two editions. Then it was translated into Hebrew and remarkably sold well even in the most right-wing conservative circles in Israel. Now, the cycle has turned back. Right-wing Judaism, like the conservative elements of other faiths, seeks to ban books giving advice on sex and relationships between men and women. They are once again doing all they can to imprison both the behavior and mind of women, and see women as subservient to men. This is remarkably sad since this new age is one where sexual misconduct is rampant and there is a need to reread Drazin's well-written and informative book.