Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My Valentine's Day Post

I just overheard the following from a non-Jewish co-worker:

I heard that you can never gain ground in a relationship on Valentine's Day. No matter what you do, it always ends up in some disappointment of "is that it?" On the other hand, you can certainly lose ground in the relationship. So you have to do your due diligence...

To me, this is exactly the wrong approach to take with relationships. Allow me to explain.

I don't celebrate Valentine's Day. Not at all - no flowers, no candy - nothing. My wife knows this and kids me about it from time to time. I don't want to go into whether or not it is halachically permissible to celebrate the day -- even if it's OK to do so, it just doesn't feel right to me to celebrate a day connected to two Christian martyrs, even if the day has lost it's religious significance.

On the other hand, I try my utmost to make Eeees feel special every day so that every day is, in effect, Valentine's Day. I'm always looking for things that will cheer her up, ways to surprise her, unique gift ideas, etc. Likewise, she always does things for me to make me feel special. We don't *need* a Valentine's Day because, for us, every day is a day where we show our love for each other.

The result? Well, we've been married for over fifteen years and people still call us "the newlyweds."

So, men, take a hint. Valentine's Day isn't all that important. If you try your best year-round, you can safely skip the Feb 14 follies.

The Wolf


Jewish Atheist said...

And if you're good all year round, you can skip Yom Kippur. :-)

PsychoToddler said...

every day is a day where we show our love for each other

Great Balls of Matzoh that is the oldest cop-out in the book!

And she falls for this??

The Hedyot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Hedyot said...

Is that a heter to ignore the anniversary and birthday too? :)

Seriously though, if it would make her feel extra special by doing something out of the ordinary on that day, you should do it, regardless of how wonderful you may be all year round.

BrooklynWolf said...


Of course not. Birthdays and anniversaries are prime opportunities to score points in the romance department... and they don't run afoul of my distaste for pseudo-Christian holidays.

If there was an opportunity to do something special and it happened to fall on Valentine's Day, I would take it... but I'm not going to do anything out of the ordinary for it.

The Wolf

Anonymous said...

i agree with psychotoddler above. would you tell your mother you don't need to do anything for her on mother's day because "everyday is mother's day"?

to draw an analogy from judaism, we strive to be close to god all the time, but there are certain times we make an extra effort (at tefillah, on shabbat, etc.)

all this having been said, i don't think valentine's day is the day for us to show our wives we love them. that's what tu be-av is for.

see my posts on this at

-ari kinsberg

Anonymous said...

Those who celebrate Valentine's day go insane trying to make that ONE day special..that ONE day that someone else has attached significance to. On the other hand, my Wolf makes it his business to make me feel special just because he feels that I am. And not just one day a year , but all 365 of them. I don't think that I'm the one losing out here ;).
I kinda wonder what the spouses/significant others of those who commented here would day, or all year long.

Michael Koplow said...

Brooklyn, I'm with you on this. My wife and I aren't shomer Valentines. A retired judge civilly married us at a pizzeria (he wouldn't take money, but he shared the pizza) at the end of a Gregorian year for tax purposes, and our real wedding was in Feb (although he did say to me, "This is your real wedding, young man"). Our minhag is to wish each other "Happy Anniversary Season" every day between the two dates, and if we don't miss a day (and we haven't yet), we get to be newlyweds for another year. And we act and feel like newlyweds.

Jewish Atheist: I'm not good enough to skip Yom Kippur. But I do spend most of my time saying "bli neder," and then I stay home from Kol Nidrei.