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Commandments Two and Seven: Ultimately, you will be no more and no less faithful to your spouse than you are to your G-d -- and vice versa

The Jealous Lover

The Jealous Lover


G‑d talks to us in many voices: benevolent, authoritative, wrathful, romantic. Romantic? Just read Isaiah 54, or Song of Songs. Or listen to Him reminisce on our honeymoon: "I remember the kindness of your youth, your bridal love, following after me in the desert, in an unsown land..." (Jeremiah 2:1).

And like a jealous lover, He insists that ours be a monogamous relationship. Indeed, our sages regard the Seventh Commandment, "You shall not commit adultery" as the extension and mirror-image of the Second Commandment, "You shall have no other gods before Me." (According to the Midrash, the first five Commandments correspond to the second five — see last week's Comment.) We're married to each other, G‑d is saying; the loyalty I expect from you is no less than that which you expect from your spouse.

Conversely, G‑d is also saying: human love is divine. Love between a man and a woman will attain its most glorious heights and richest depths only when it is true to its divine essence — when their place in each other's hearts and lives is as unequivocal as the Creator's place in His creation. When they can no more betray each other than a man can betray his G‑d.

By Yanki Tauber; based on the teachings of the Rebbe.
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shirley valencia, ca April 27, 2011


Judith Driver Kailua, HI/USA via January 12, 2006

The Second Commandment You make a beautiful analogy of the relationship etween man and G-d and man & wife. Would you please also discuss the prohition against "graven images " as it applies to today's technology (photography, films, drawings and paintings of ordinary people). Thanking you in advance, shalom. Reply

Anonymous Fort Collins, CO/USA June 21, 2005

Jealous Lover Please explain to me if G-d wanted man to be monogamous, he allowed the patriarchs and King David to have many wives? Reply

"A-ha! from Minneapolis" Minneapolis, Minnesota/U.S.A. June 7, 2005

The Jealous Lover Dear Mr. Tauber:

You hit me in the soul with a board and two stone tablets! How obvious it seems, and I marvel at the time in my life I did not see, that the first five commandments relate to the last five, and have such strong connections. I learned the d'varim as ten. How much better, and how much we, our children, and our children's children will see the correspondence between the first five d'varim, which address G-d, and the last five, which address humans. This reminds me of Heschel's statement in "The Sabbath," that G-d liberated us from an external tyrant with an outstretched hand and mighty arm, and now each one of us must fight for freedom from internal tyrants. And your article makes it so clear.

I have so much to answer to G-d for failed relationship with G-d and women. Now I see. At least I have a chance to get it right from now on. Reply

Anonymous FL April 29, 2005

Lovely article! Reply

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