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Marriage: An anthology

Marriage: An anthology

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Before there were men and women there was a man and a woman, and they got married. And even before that there was the Kabbalah of marriage -- the cosmic bonding of the divine masculine and feminine energies emerging from the Infinite Light to generate existence, a world, and life.

There are two central marriage narratives in the Torah. In the first human marriage, Adam and Chavah (Eve) are initially created as "a single, two-faced body." The single being is split in two -- a man and a woman -- creating the essence of sexual tension: a primal memory of original oneness, countered by the strangeness of otherness and difference. The shadchan is G‑d: He personally beautifies, perfumes and bejewels the bride and presents her to the groom. Like every groom, he's apprehensive; he wants to keep his options open. Married, he sees the light. "This is it!" he proclaims. "A bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh... Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."

To become one. If man and woman would have simply remained the "single being" that they initially were, there would have been no alienation, no mystery, no reunion, no marriage. If they would have been initially created as two distinct beings, the gap of difference would have been insurmountable -- there would be no way for them to become truly one. It is their intrinsic oneness, coupled with their acquired distinctiveness and difference, that is the secret of marriage, of creation, of life.

The second narrative is the story of the marriage of Isaac and Rebecca. Here the focus is on the search: the particular qualities to be sought in a spouse; the many pathways along which Divine Providence leads two destined souls, born in different cities and cultures, along the story line of their reunion; the "love at first sight" that blooms at an initial meeting, and its grounding and deepening after marriage; the insight (3,600 years before Freud) that in his wife a man finds solace over the loss of his mother.

It is primarily from these two narratives that our grandfathers and grandmothers -- more than a hundred generations of them -- have drawn the wisdom, enchantment and devotion they invested in the Jewish marriage. The following 30 essays and stories are but a scratch of its surface.

Insights & Essays:

Tzimtzum
based on the writings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe

Man & Woman
by Tzvi Freeman

Whom to Marry
by Yanki Tauber

Why Do We Fall in Love?
by Simon Jacobson

The Monthly Marriage
by Manis Freidman

Love at Second Sight
by Yossi Goldman

The Mikvah
by Rivkah Slonim

The Grammar of Love
by Yizchak Ginsburgh

Love at First Sight: Five Biblical Examples
by Yizchak Ginsburgh

Moses vs. Freud
by Yisroel Susskind

The Loving Friends
by Yaakov Brawer

A Bouquet of Roses
by Chana Weisberg

Bachelors in Heaven
by Yanki Tauber

The Jealous Lover
by Yanki Tauber

I Love You More Than You Love Me
by Yanki Tauber

Love, Marriage & Hakafot
by Yanki Tauber

Souls in the Rain
by Yossi Jacobson

Are You Happily Ever After?
by Moshe Wisnefski

What If You Mess Up?
by Manis Freidman

A Friend's Divorce
by Jay Litvin

Stories:

Waiting
by Jay Litvin

Uncle Irv
by Jay Litvin

Mikvah Time
by Roni Leob Richter

A Joke Made in Heaven
by Yrachmiel Tilles

A Pittsburgh Miracle
by Miriam Sokal

A Rebbe Goes Shopping
by Yrachmiel Tilles

A Jew in Brooklyn
by Aaron Dov Halprin

A Dialogue on Intermarriage
Rabbi "Gershon Abrahamson and "Juan"

The Beautiful Bride
from the Chassidic Masters

The Man who Mistook his Wife's Foot for his Own

From the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe:

Partner

Ring, Round and Roof

The Mathematics of Marriage

The Dancing Maidens of Jerusalem

Yes and No

The Intimate Estrangement

Readings:

Adam and Eve
Genesis 1:27; 2:7-25

Isaac and Rebecca
Genesis 24:1-67

From the Writings of our Sages
selected excerpts from the Talmud and Midrash

Arranged Marriages
by Shlomo Yaffe

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vivienne havalantdt Republic of Ireland October 29, 2015

Deep in my soul I have always adopted this stance when it comes to a life partner. Some how being a human the cosmic area appears initially but then the realization of not acknowledging the flawed humanity in one's partner causes breakdown. Though one doesn't give up. We learn to recognize our short falls simply because we are not perfect. But what if a partner is so unforgiving and bears grudges? Bearing grudges and anger simmers away inside and destroys. So I ask myself who is really to blame for our separation after 25 years? By the way thank you for this subject, I've been unable to speak to anyone since 9th February. Reply

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