Co-Habitation Covenant

Having previously affirmed and agreed to the contents of this Co-Habitation Covenant in July 1985, when we moved into our first shared home; in August 1986, when we were married; and again in the Fall of 1993, after seven years of marriage; and having spent time reading and reviewing this document with each other at least three times a year, for the past fifteen years, today, the 31st day of August, 2000, in celebration of fourteen years of marriage, we

GEELA RAYZEL ROBINSON RAPHAEL

and

SIMCHA STEVEN PAULL RAPHAEL

do hereby re-affirm our commitment to one another and, agree to abide by the following principles of Co-Habitation (based upon the Kabbalistic model of the Four Worlds).

SPIRITUAL

  • We recognize that God, the Source of Creation – “the Holy One who ordained and saw all things from their beginning” – operating in consort with hosts of heavenly angelic messengers, is the force to bring us together.
  • We affirm that our primary commitment for each of us individually is our relationship to the divine, the Cosmic Source of Life, known to us by many different names including Shechinah and Rebbono shel Olam.
  • We affirm that through sharing the journey of spiritual evolution, dedicated to serving the divine, we will stay together, grow and deepen our partnership. We also acknowledge that we express our individual spiritual identity in both similar and different ways, and agree to share with each other the process of the unfolding of our spiritual life.
  • We agree to work on ourselves, on our individual healing and transformation, as part of our spiritual commitment to each other.
  • We agree to support each other in serving the Holy One of Blessing and offer active and conscious support for each others yetzer hatov (positive inclincation). We recognize that the ways in which we offer and require support changes over time.
  • We affirm our intention to do spiritual practices together including: davennen’‘ (prayer), berachot (blessings) , chanting, meditation, making Shabbos and yontif, tzeddakah (charity), niddah, tantra, Torah study, Tarot cards, intentional dialogue, dancing, Yoga, massage and other body/mind/soul practices.
  • We are committed to making our house a home, a spiritual environment in which our neshomos (souls) can grow, and a place in which we can explore Jewish wisdom and experience individually, together, and with our family and friends.
  • We are committed to the renewal of Jewish spirituality and its expression in community.
  • We aspire to uphold the values of honesty, faith, compassion, trust, respect, love, concern for family, social justice, tikkun olam (fixing of the world) , peace, feminism, ecology, universalism, and other principles which have been affirmed by the legacy of Jewish tradition. We agree to continually find intentional ways to live by these values within our home, family life and community, and to teach them to our children.
  • We are committed to working for world peace and for the realization of the eternal vision of the Jewish People – the complete redemption of Zion and Jerusalem.

INTELLECTUAL

couple

  • We recognize the creative spark in each other and agree to encourage its development and expression.
  • We are committed to growing intellectually, learning new things, and inspiring each other to greater depths of knowledge.
  • We are committed to studying or sharing Torah together, which we understand in a broad sense as the legacy of Jewish wisdom transmitted through the generations from the lineages of Miriam and Moses.
  • We recognize that we are each other’s teachers.
  • We recognize that we are each other’s students.
  • We affirm our intentions to be teachers and ritual facilitators together.
  • We honor each other professional aspirations, and agree to support each other’s process of clarifying and manifesting our individual vision(s) for our work in the world.
  • We are committed to being allies to each other’s creative projects, be it writing, music, art, etc.
  • We are committed to supporting each other, to the best of our abilities, in our work in the world as Rabbis.
  • We are committed to exploring the multi-faceted dimensions of Jewish genealogy.

EMOTIONAL

  • We affirm love, romance, joy and laughter as the basis of our relationship.
  • We affirm our commitment to a sexually exclusive relationship, and are committed to keeping our sexual relationship creative, healthy and holy. We also agree to avoid using sex, or the denial of sex, as a manipulative or retaliatory action against the other.
  • We are committed to being sensitive to and hearing each other’s feelings and needs. We are also committed to taking responsibility for our own feelings. We agree to eliminate criticism and all forms of abuse and co-dependence in our relationship.
  • We are committed to learning more about the energetics of our emotional interactions with each other, and to taking responsibility for ways in which we impact on each other psycho-physically and emotionally.
  • We recognize that our relationship is a vehicle for our individual emotional healing and for the healing of our nuclear family as a whole. To further this end, we agree to utilize professional help of therapists, healers and couple workshops, as needed, to support the well-being and healing of our relationship.
  • We are committed to intentionally affirming each other’s self-esteem and sense of well-being.
  • We are committed to communicating as effectively as possible and to becoming more skilled at understanding each other’s communications.
  • We agree to do our best not to go to sleep angry at each other, however, we recognize that a good night’s sleep, or cooling off time may serve to help resolve a conflict .
  • We recognize that short intervals of time apart from each other may serve to re-vitalize our relationship. However, we also recognize that time apart necessitates compensatory time together for re-connection, and we agree to intentionally schedule such time as needed.
  • We agree to process any conflicts which may arise between us, as necessary; and to let go of conflicts and forgive or declare a truce when we can. We also agree to do all we can to keep our hearts open to each other even when we are hurting.

PHYSICAL

  • We affirm our intention to live together harmoniously and cooperatively in a spirit of Shalom Bayit (a home of peace), respecting that we are different people and have different ways of doing things and of being in the world.
  • We affirm our commitment to share physical space with each other and agree to honor each others need for boundaries. We also agree to care for the aesthetics our home.
  • We are committed to sharing time together that is both qualitative and quantitative, and cooperating on calendar scheduling.
  • We agree to share personal property with each other. We also agree to respect each other’s property.
  • We are committed to sharing financial responsibility for the upkeep of our home and family, and agree to create an equitable system for financial management, budgeting consciously and retirement planning. We agree that we will seek help to deal with these issues, if we cannot do so on our own.
  • We are committed to sharing responsibility for the upkeep of our home and always negotiating chores and family management tasks. We agree to continue to seek an optimally-efficient and harmonious system for kitchen management.
  • We are committed to a kosher, healthy, primarily vegetarian food lifestyle, and honor that we each have different needs and metabolisms.
  • We are committed to making our home a holy space in which we can create Jewish spiritual community, sharing time, energy, love and consciousness with other people.
  • We agree that we have shall support each other in caring for our elderly parents.
  • We agree to share responsibility for parenting our children, and agree to abide by the principles outlined in our Co-Parenting Document.

We agree to review this Co-Habitation Covenant three times a year, around the time of Jewish holiday celebrations and our anniversary. We also agree to re-evaluate and re-negotiate this document, God-willing, at the time of our twenty-first wedding anniversary.

SIGNED BY

Geela Rayzel Robinson Raphael     Simcha Paull Raphael