A Beautiful Torah Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

last for eternity. Man and woman were to ponder their shared creation and realize the importance of building a deep relationship between them. Hashem created them from one body to teach them to work together to become like one! Their serving Hashem together by following His Torah and Mitzvos and treating each other with sensitivity and respect makes them into one! (based on Gra in Mishley 9:10)

Like One

R’ Yaakov Yosef Herman was once waiting in an office together with his wife and newly married daughter and son-in-law, R’ Chaim Pinchus Scheinberg. R’ Scheinberg was sitting next to his own wife and his in-laws were on the outer ends of the two of them. He joked with his father-in-law saying, “I’m closer to my wife that you are to yours!”

R’ Herman chuckled and then retorted with his own quick rebuttal, a lesson that would last a lifetime: You just got married, so for now, in order for you to be close to your wife, you must sit right near her, but my wife and I have been married for years and are so close and connected in our hearts that no physical distance can ever separate us! Thus, I am closer to my wife!

This is the Torah’s perspective on marriage. Intimate closeness in heart and soul.

Bone and Flesh

One more point and then we will tie our original verse about Adam together!

The verse stated that the woman was created from Adam’s “bone” and “flesh.” We understand the reference to his bone as the verse earlier stated explicitly that Hashem created Chava from one of his ribs, hence she comes from his bone. But what is the “flesh” referring to? Where do we see that Hashem built Chava out of any flesh of Adam?!

Chazal (Pirkey D’R’ Eliezer 11) were perplexed by this exact question and thus explained the following. Hashem took flesh from Adam’s heart and used it in the construction of Chava! The depth here is that one’s wife has the power to capture his heart and this in fact is Hashem’s plan for marriage! A deep and loving bond should permeate their lives together!

To Summarize

Hashem desires for man and woman to connect and work together to grow. He set them up to unite and help each other. Their job is to become one and thus be a helpmate for one another in serving Hashem to their fullest. A derivative of this proper bonding will be that they will have children and their love for each other will then pour forth upon their children and inspire them too with an appreciation and dedication to the service of Hashem!

Selfish Spouse

Someone who gets married for selfish reasons does not appreciate this. He simply wants to marry for his own self-pleasure. He seeks to get and to take whatever he can from his spouse and has no plan for caring or sharing. He is thus failing to see that Hashem created man and wife to become one. He cares not for lofty goals, all he wants is personal gratification. He cares nothing of connection, only for fulfilling his desires! This is not the correct approach and his plan will surely fail. He cannot find happiness when he does not follow the Torah’s prescription for fulfillment. Inevitably, he will get tired of her and will not feel very good about his life. This is because he neglected to serve Hashem. It is a tragic and vicious cycle. Very often, he will start to terribly mistreat her and show no appreciation as his only focus and desire is to fulfill his own wants, not caring about the needs of others. His marriage will be painful and his family will become dysfunctional. His children will be turned off from what he claims to believe in as they lack a proper role-model. This is not always the case, but it is the general course that a selfish person is on. How tragic indeed. Only one who follows the Torah approach will have much enjoyment and fulfillment waiting for him.

To Put It All Together

We now understand what it means to marry for the sake of Heaven. To see marriage as an opportunity for growing and encouraging Avodas Hashem together! To appreciate how Hashem created her from his bone and heart so that they can connect! As the Raavad writes, “the beauty of marriage is to be like one single body and entity, connected and working together.”

The Maharal (Ohr Chadash p. 114) states that this is what it means by “if one marries L’Shem Shamayim, she is like your daughter.” A daughter is built from you, she is an extension of you. The Torah wants you to view your wife as an extension of yourself. This is the most productive and beneficial outlook. It is meant in the most positive way, to be truly connected and close.

This is the exact meaning of marrying for the sake of Heaven and the explanation and benefit of considering her your daughter, your connection!

Our original verse is stating this as well. The verse began by stating that Esther was a most beautiful and attractive young lady! We know that her looks and charm even made her the winner of Achashvayrosh’s beauty contest. But this was not the sole focus of Mordechai. He married her for her qualities. She was someone to work and grow with. He viewed her as his daughter, an extension of himself, fulfilling Hashem’s plan for marriage!

What is the Bayis?

But still why do Chazal use the word bayis, house? The answer is that this ties everything together!

The Gemara quoted by the Ben Ish Chai stated that when a girl is born first this is good for the children who follow. He stated that if you marry L’Shem Shamayim you are considered to have had a daughter first already. What does this all mean?!

The Gemara there explains the benefit of this firstborn girl. As the oldest, she will care for and nurture all of her siblings under her! This is the benefit for her family! They will have a second loving and caring mother!

There is nothing that a parent would not do for their child. So if one asks what is the most important thing that I can do for can my children to prepare them for success? The answer is: the best thing you can do for your children is, love their mother! When children grow up in a warm and healthy environment this puts them at a great advantage for life!

If two people marry L’Shem Shamayim, to grow with their spouse in service of Hashem, they have shown that they will work together and be kind and considerate towards each other. They realize that she is his daughter, connected as one! Hence, they will work hard to have marital harmony. They will have the benefit of a loving and nurturing mother for she will be happy and encouraged by her husband who loves and believes in her. Their children will benefit from the “firstborn daughter” who cares for them so affectionately and carefully! A truly heartwarming and inspirational home! This I believe is the intention of the Ben Ish Chai and this I believe brings everything together.

Because she is the bas, they will have a beautiful bayis! May we all achieve these beautiful goals! The opportunity to live with this perspective is available every day!