by Rabbi Nussbaum
VOLUME 98 NUMBER 1
October 16, 2020
TISHREI 28, 5781
Candlelighting Time 6:00 PM
We begin a new year with anticipation and concern that it will be safe, successful and peaceful. It should be the will of Hashem that we merit partnering with Him in this endeavor!
Clearly Adam was destined to have a wife, Chava, however, we need to delve in to the origins of his marriage and how this shiduch came about. Hashem said that it is not good for Adam to be alone, therefore I will provide him with a helpmate. Rashi explains that Hashem is unique in the upper realms of the universe and man is singular in the lower regions of the world, therefore Chava was created to differentiate between Hashem and Adam. However, Rashi later on comments that when all the animals were brought before Adam to name, he noted that they were all paired and he was not and that lack motivated him to want a wife. Seemingly, the motivating factor was because he sensed the need for a wife, it was not on account of distinguishing between Adam and Hashem.
Or Hachama understands that the two explanations go hand in hand. Initially, Rashi explained that since Hashem and Adam are both unparalleled in their respective roles, one might possibly equate the two ‘superpowers’. Adam initially was so spiritually infused that even the angels mistook him as Hashem, they were unable to discern the difference between him and Hashem. However, therein lies the fallacy which was eliminated by the existence of a wife. Adam was created deficient. Although he may have been at the apex of what a human being can attain, nonetheless, his physicality by definition mitigated to some degree his godly essence. If one is complete unto himself, then a helpmate would be superfluous. The mere fact that assistance at some level was required, clearly determines the limitations of the individual. And that was how the above notion was obviated.
This theme was born out by the fact that each and every animal that was brought to Adam had a mate. This signified to Adam that there is a fundamental tool one must use in order to function properly. And that is each person must recognize his inborn talents and certainly his germane inadequacies. Because, in the final analysis, this is indeed the purpose of one’s creation and sojourn in the world, to expunge those deep-rooted imperfections that are detrimental to accomplishing our goals to reach Hashem to the utmost of our capacity.
Therefore, as we examine the pure nature of the creation that Hashem has set in to operation, we can clearly appreciate the kindness of Hashem. For we should realize that the entire universe was placed before us to utilize for this very purpose. Adam stopped short of his goal because he erred in a very solemn manner. He attempted to intensify the challenge by introducing the evil inclination in to his very being thereby creating a more significant difficulty. Indeed, the Talmud states that before one marries he is not viewed as a complete person. There is so much more that one can achieve as part of a team, and intimately so with one’s life partner. However, the opportunity certain is present in any situation where one is part of a group seeking to attain an objective that only can happen with combined effort and struggle.
A BYTE FOR SHABBOS
We sing Friday night about the Woman of Valor, referring to the Torah but to one’s wife as well. She only contributes to her husband’s well being, also alluding to the Torah which enhances one’s life both here in this world and in the next world.