- Man and Woman
- Rivka Olenick
- The Raavad says: "Marriage is man's natural state. Without a
mate, human beings are incomplete; through marriage man's completion
is achieved. Marriage and family are essential to God's divine plan
and reflect an important part of man's nature. They are not arbitrary
institutions created by society." The above statement hits you
right in the face; let's analyze what it says. "Marriage is man's
natural state." And in Genesis 2:18, it says: "It is not
good for man to be alone, I shall make him a help meet unto him."
The Raavad's statement certainly supports what is said in Genesis. If
man was not meant to be alone, then his natural state must be
marriage. And it seems that the "good" (Genesis 2:18) refers
to woman. Wouldn't every man want the good?
- Without a mate, human beings are incomplete. Man was alone for a
time, but became frustrated. There was no one for him to identify
with. So, woman was created from him and brought to him. Man needed to
identify with her physically and psychologically. He needed to see
part of himself reflected in her existence and to realize that without
her, he was lacking and not complete. Let's ask: What about her?
- Rabbi Shimshon Raphael Hirsch says that: " only through his
wife does a man become a Man," Hirsch continues to say:
"Only husband and wife together are "Adam", a task
which is too great for one person must be divided, and just for the
accomplishment of the whole of Man's mission, God created Woman for
Man." "I shall make a help meet unto him." (Genesis
2:18) Hirsch continues to say: "And this woman is to be azer
kenegdo, help meet." This statement expresses the whole dignity
of Woman. It does not contain the slightest reference to sexual
relationship, she is placed purely in the realm of Man's work, it was
there that she was missing, she is to be azer kenegdo, help meet. And
azer kenegdo expresses no idea of subordination, but rather complete
equality, and on a footing of equal independence. Woman stands to Man,
kenegdo, parallel, on one line, belonging together, at his side."
Man's work, is the work of mankind. Together they fulfill the will of
- What woman does not realize from the above statement how essential
she is in God's plan for mankind's existence? Could any
"feminist" challenge these ideas with any other proof that
is more objective and true?
- In Genesis 2:24, we read: "Therefore shall a man leave his
father and his mother and cleave unto his wife and they shall be one
flesh." This follows immediately after Eve's creation, a next
step. Until man "cleaves" he is still alone, and that is not
"good". So by cleaving to woman, he acquires the good and he
becomes "whole". Although originally, they were created, man
and woman, separate; in marriage they now become "one", in
mind, heart and body. By conforming their efforts and strengths to
God's will they can now live harmoniously and fulfill their potential
in a more perfected state.
- These ideas are beautiful and profound. They are the purpose of
man's (man and woman) existence, of mankind.
- If we could become more aware of our true purpose in life we could
break out of the traps society has set up. The trap on our psyche and
emotions; that has convinced so many that only romance and love at
first sight is real love. If we spent a little more of our
"bittle zman", spare time actually thinking about what is
important for our perfection in marriage and in life, and what is
required to be complete.