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ויאמר ד' אלקים לא טוב היות האדם לבדו אעשה לו עזר כנגדו

Hashem Elokim said, “It is not good that man be alone; I will make him a helper corresponding to him.” (2:18)

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The words lo tov, not good, tell it all. Man was independent and self-sufficient. Procreation was an ability with which he was created. So, why did he require a helpmate? A life alone is “not bad,” but it is also “not good.” For man to achieve his primary function, he needs the companionship, support and challenge inherent in every good marriage. Hashem wanted the children born to Adam and his future mate to be born from and raised by a father and mother. Interestingly, prior to the creation of woman, Hashem brought every species of animal – wild beast and fowl – to him to see what names he would give them. A name defines an individual’s essence: his character; personality; personal drive; and sense of mission. Adam studied all of these creations and gave them names. The Torah then adds that, unlike the other creations, Adam did not have a female counterpart. Rashi explains that Adam looked up to Hashem and said, “Each one has a ben zug, partner, with whom to share their life – everyone but me.” At that point, Hashem placed Adam into a deep sleep and created Chavah for him.

Why was it necessary for Adam to meet every creation before Hashem created Chavah? Why did Hashem not simply create Chavah? In the sefer, Im Levavi Asichah, the author quotes an adam gadol who explains this beautifully. Veritably, Hashem said that “it is not sufficient that I know that without a wife one cannot achieve tov, it is necessary that Adam realize that he is missing something.” Only then will he sense the incredible act of chesed, kindness, which Hashem did for him.

A husband must realize and acknowledge what he is missing and how deficient he would be without his wife. Otherwise, the marriage is missing its most vital component – Hashem. Only when a husband realizes how fortunate he is, does he properly appreciate the kindness Hashem bestowed on him. One who thinks that he is the be-all and the end-all views marriage as nothing more than self-gratification. It will not be a relationship; it will not be a partnership; he will not have companionship. Hashem will not be a part of it, and it will revert to being “lo tov,” not good, because essentially the man is still levado – alone.

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