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 the Creator.
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.

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