Aizer Kinegdo and the Meaning of Kallah

No sheva berachos is complete without the mention of the verse in Bereishis, I will make for him an eizer kinegdo.

What is fascinating is the words that Targum Unkelos and Yonasan state, “samich likabley” For all those talmudic scholars, these words are quite interesting.

Samich means support, something to lean on, like we say in the verse, “Someich Hashem lichol hanoflim, Hashem supports those who fall.” This is a nice goal, to give support to our spouse. But the real power is in the next words, “likabley.” The simple reading is that it simply means, opposite him, just as the Hebrew “kinegdo.” However, the word likabley can have another meaning as well. The word kabel means “to accept.” Kabbalas Hatorah, the accepting of the Torah, kabbalas ol malchus shamayim, accepting the yoke of heaven. The Targum is explaining that to be a good spouse, you must be samich, someone who gives support, but even deeper, it must be true support, likabley, with full acceptance. The ultimate support is that which comes with no judgement and is pure acceptance.

I often quote the Pirkei D’Rebbe Eliezer which says that the woman was created etzem miatzamai ubasar mibsari, a bone from my bone and flesh from my flesh. We all know that bone refers to the rib, where Chava eminates from, but what is basar, flesh, where was this taken from Adam? Chazal answer, that she was carved from a piece of his heart, that is the flesh that is being referred to. The bond between husband and wife is strong and meaningful. We are sensitive to one another and care deeply about one another. That is true support.

Finally, someone asked me why Judaism doesn’t respect women. I said, it’s interesting, because in English, the word “bride” means “to cook”. It is a Germanic word and the implications of this word are clear and disrespectful. In Hebrew, we call her the “Kallah.” The root of that word means, “complete and whole.” They view her as a chef and we view her as the one who completes and make whole the home. Arizal writes that Kallah (chof-lamed-hey) stands for chof- ki, lamed- lahashem hey-Hamelucha, to God is the Kingdom. The Jewish Kallah brings the Divine Presence into the house with her holiness.

Tell me again who isn’t showing respect?!

Leave a Reply