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I Will Write It In Their Hearts - Volume 1
Letters from the Lubavitcher Rebbe

The roles of a husband and wife in marriage; the importance of tzedakah in preparation for marriage

Translated by: Rabbi Eli Touger

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No. 119

This letter was sent to Rabbi Yosef Wineberg.
Tuesday, 24 Kislev, 5704

Greetings and blessings,

On the occasion of your marriage ... I am sending you my blessing that it be an everlasting structure on the foundation of the Torah and its mitzvos....

The body and the soul are like a man and a woman, one corresponding to the other (as stated in the Zohar, Vol. I, at the beginning of Parshas Chayei Sarah, p. 122b ff., and p. 181b). Their conduct must reflect our Sages' counsel (Yalkut Shimoni, Shoftim, sec. 42): "There is no proper woman ... other than one who performs her husband's will," i.e., the body must carry out the will of the soul....

[Similarly,] to carry out his mission in the world, a man needs "a helper corresponding to him." This applies in a simple physical sense (see Yevamos 83a). And also with regard to this, when a man and a woman merit, the Divine presence rests between them.

In this manner, a person acquires his portion in the world, refines it, and illuminates it. This portion [in the world] can also be described with the analogy of a woman when compared to the person carrying out the service who is called the man and the master. See Yalkut Shimoni, sec. 743, [which describes the comparison of Eretz Yisroel to other lands] with the analogy of a person who set out to marry a woman.

The person carrying out this service receives his portion first - in a spiritual sense. And through his wife, it is drawn down in an actual physical sense, "to bring blessing upon your home."[1] See our Sages' statements Yevamos 62b, explained in Likkutei Torah, the conclusion of Parshas Zos HaBerachah.[2]

But even in the Divine service of the man, there must be something resembling - and which serves as an arousal from below for - drawing the influence down to the lowest levels. This is the labor of tzedakah, as the Alter Rebbe explains in several [Epistles] in Iggeres HaKodesh. This involves tzedakah in a simple sense, and also tzedakah in a spiritual sense, to show mercy to a person who possesses neither the Torah nor its mitzvos. Of such a person, only deed would be expected, without any understanding, love, or fear. (See Iggeres HaKodesh, Epistles 8-9, et al.) Moreover, because the person has sinned and transgressed, he descended even lower than the realm of Asiyah.[3] [It is spiritual tzedakah to] arouse such a person to the Torah and its mitzvos and draw down vitality to him, as he exists on that very low level, and thus raise him from this deep pit. [In this vein,] the verse:[4] "When you see a naked person and clothe him," is interpreted [figuratively, referring to a person bereft of mitzvos]. (See Sichas Purim, 5691, based on Tanna D'vei Eliyahu Rabbah, ch. 26.)

The general thrust of the matter is that when these two "women" are "proper" and "do the will of their husband," then this woman, the person's portion in the world which was created only to serve him,[5] will perform the will of its "husband." As it is written:[6] "If you will advance in My statutes ... I will grant your rains in their season ... and you shall dwell securely in the land."

With the blessings of mazal tov, and [with the blessing,] "Immediately to teshuvah, immediately to Redemption,"

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson
Chairman of the Executive Committee

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) [Yechezkel 44:30.]

  2. (Back to text) [In Yevamos, our Sages state that a man who does not have a wife lacks blessing. In Likkutei Torah, the Alter Rebbe explains that man is given wealth for the sake of his wife (see Bava Metzia 59a), i.e., she is the conduit through which Divine blessings flow.]

  3. (Back to text) [I.e., he has already become attached to the realm of kelipah.]

  4. (Back to text) [Yeshayahu 5:7.]

  5. (Back to text) [See the conclusion of the Mishnayos of Kiddushin.]

  6. (Back to text) [Vayikra 26:3-5.]


  The roles of a husband and wife in marriage; marriage as a phase in a man's personal developmentTable of contentsWorking with Machne Israel and Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch to spread Jewish outreach  


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