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ויצא יעקב מבאר שבע וילך חרנה

Yaakov departed from Beer-Sheva and went towards Charan. (28:10)

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Chazal (Bereishis Rabbah 68) address the concept of Heavenly intervention with regard to shidduchim, matrimonial matches. We derive from Yitzchak Avinu’s shidduch that mei’Hashem yatza ha’davar; “The matter stemmed from Hashem” (Ibid. 24:50). The Midrash states: “There are those for whom their zivug, pair/spouse, comes to them (as was manifest in the case of Yitzchak Avinu), and there are those who must go to their spouse (as was evinced with Yaakov Avinu, who had to travel to Canaan to seek his designated spouse). What is Chazal teaching us with this statement? It is a fact of life that some people find their designated spouse more easily than others. Yitzchak did not have to travel to seek his wife. Rivkah came to him. Yaakov, their son, experienced a much more difficult shidduch process. He had to travel to find his future wives and work twice for seven years before his actual match was confirmed. This was not a case of “like father, like son”; Yaakov’s shidduch was not an easy journey. What novel idea is Chazal introducing when they say: Some travel to their spouses; for others, their spouses travel to them?

Horav Baruch Dov Povarsky, Shlita, explains that this documents mei’Hashem yatza ha’davar, “The matter stemmed from Hashem.” Not only is the identity of one’s spouse Heavenly determined and designated, but even how and where the shidduch will achieve fruition is all from Hashem. Hashem has His reasons for every bit of “angst” that is intrinsic to shidduchim. It is all Heavenly-mandated and included in the story of the shidduch of these two people.

The Rosh Yeshivah explains why Hashem has arranged life this way. Secular culture asserts that the successful marriage of two people is the merging of two personalities and characters that are able to interface harmoniously, together with their physical attributes and appearance. As the Rosh Yeshivah asserts: Certain colors blend perfectly with other colors. In the case of a shidduch, too, it is an aggregate of varied natural and physical components that blend together as one. It is not so simple. In fact, it has very little – if anything – to do with a physical, natural standpoint. A shidduch is a spiritual cohesion of two nefashos, spirits/souls; the synchronization of the neshamos of two individuals, male and female, who were originally counted as one – separated – and now have come back together. The spirits of this man and woman must conform to one another, as they establish a spiritual congruence to set the foundation for a successful marriage. Only Hashem can accomplish this.

Each zivug is different. Some require very little action to complete their zivug.  For a couple, it was not necessary for Yitzchak Avinu to go out “in search” of Rivkah Imeinu. Instead, she came to him. Our Patriarch Yaakov required considerable toil in order to set up his home. He was destined to travel to Charan, to live there for years with his family. Furthermore, his time in Charan spanned fourteen years, during which he learned in the yeshivah of Shem and Ever. This, too, was part of the spiritual perfection process of his shidduch.

Why does marriage have to be so spiritually accurate? Simply, because through the vehicle of marriage, one is granted the opportunity to bring down a neshamah, soul, from Heaven – a soul that is implanted within the physical container (the child) comprised of the DNA of both parents. Thus, the spiritual correlation of the parents will impact future generations, as their descendants build their homes upon the foundation of Torah values. A deeper reason exists, however, for the perfection of the spiritual coalescence of man and woman in matrimony.

Chazal (Pirkei Avos 5:1) state, “By means of Ten Utterances, the world was created.” Pirkei D’R’Eliezer (3) states that the tenth maamar, utterance, is, Lo tov he’yos ha’adam levado; ee’se lo eizer k’negdo, “It is not good that man be alone; I will make him a helper corresponding to him” (Bereishis 2:18). Thus, the creation of Chavah, the first woman, was a complimentary creation that perfects the Ten Utterances. Indeed, in the sheva brachos, seven nuptial blessings, two blessings conclude with the words, yotzeir ha’adam, the creation of man. One is for Adam, and one is for Chavah. We wonder why the syntax of the tenth utterance differs from that of the first nine. Hashem begins with (sort of) a preface: “It is not good that man be alone.” Why did Hashem not present a similar preface to the previous creations, such as, “It is not good that darkness be in the world,” etc. Each of the creations could have been preceded with a reason for their creation. The only one that stands out is the creation of woman. Why is this?

Rav Povarsky explains that yetziras Chavah, the creation of the first woman (and, subsequently, all of womanhood), completed the creation of Adam. From the standpoint of the creation of humans, Chavah was not a new creation. She, too, was a human being, no different from Adam, but her creation comprised the hashlamah, conclusion/completing, of Adam. This creation occurred when Adam betrothed and married her. She then became his wife, his eizer k’negdo. At this point, Adam completed himself. Hashem served as the agent who facilitated their union by creating Chavah. In the tenth utterance, in the last aspect of Creation, Adam “partnered” with Hashem, as he completed the last component in Creation.

We understand now why Hashem prefixed the tenth utterance with the words, lo tov, while the others did not have a prefix. Any creation which Hashem performed by Himself does not require a “reason” prior to its creation. The last act of Creation, which allowed for Adam’s participation, required an explanation, so that Adam could understand its reason and purpose. With this in mind, we have a deeper appreciation of the spiritual link between two souls in matrimony. As husband and wife unite through marriage, the husband becomes complete, his creation having achieved its full perfection. A simple, physical merging of two units/people would not generate such spiritual unity. Thus, husband and wife would be deprived of their oneness.

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