Join our weekly Peninim on the Torah list!

[et_bloom_inline optin_id="optin_1"]

לא טוב היות האדם לבדו אעשה לו עזר כנגדו

It is not good that man be alone; I will make him a helper corresponding to him. (2:18)

Download PDF

The Torah clearly states that woman was created for the specific purpose of helping her husband. There are two ways to provide help for a person: the individual in need of assistance is aware of his need and understands that he cannot do it alone; the individual is unaware of his need– in fact, he thinks that he needs nothing and no one. In the latter circumstance, the helper must first make the individual aware of his own needs.

Likewise, there are two forms of challengers and challenges. In one situation, the individual perceives the challenger as a threat and reacts accordingly. In the second scenario, the challenger is actually attempting to help him, much like a trainer in a gym, who works opposite his client in an attempt to spur his positive development.

Hashem created man with an enormous potential for achievement. Being alone, however, can destroy one’s potential. One is either challenged to maximize his potential or it will remain dormant. Someone alone on an island does not have to open a business, since there is no one present but him. Yet, even in a challenge, some challenges and challengers work to harm the other person. They are not trying to help him, but rather, to destroy him. Man’s overwhelming awareness of his capabilities can cause his downfall. He fears failure; thus, he shies away from competition. Others have no idea that they have capabilities. No one has told them. In both situations, being alone can catalyze the individual’s lack of growth – and even his downfall.

Hashem saw that the man He had created with incredible potential was either going to allow that potential to lie dormant or – worse – indulge in behaviors that would block the awareness of his potential. If one does not rise to the challenge, he cannot fail. These two scenarios presented themselves. Hashem created woman/wife who would serve in a twofold capacity. She would possibly be an eizar, helping her husband, working with him side-by-side as he reaches his capacity for growth. In those circumstances, when man/husband is either unaware of his abilities or refrains from reaching out for fear of failure, then the woman becomes k’negdo, opposite him, subtly challenging, politely goading, respectfully encouraging, to the point that he overcomes his fear and achieves success.

There is another drawback to levado, being alone: One does not feel the need to be overly accountable to anyone for his actions. He acts as he pleases with total impunity and lack of conscience. This could have devastating consequences for a person. Accountability is not only important – it is a requisite for life. One must be aware that his actions beget reactions, that life is about consequences. A person who lives alone, by himself – and, especially for himself –develops no sense of accountability. One who lacks a sense of accountability ultimately loses his fear of Hashem.

Chavah was created to augment Adam, so that he should not be alone. Adam alone was lo tov, not good. He would neither grow as a human being, nor would he develop properly as a spiritual person. He would either – out of lack of confidence – shy away from challenge or – out of a sense of unbridled arrogance – renege against his Creator. Chavah saved the day. This is the essence of marriage.