"And G‑d created man in His image, in the divine image He created him, male and female He created them." (Genesis 1:26)

At creation, male and female were one entity; in the words of our sages, "a single individual with two faces." But immediately afterward, G‑d proclaimed that "It is not good for man to be alone." For as a single individual, man was without match, without challenge, without potential for growth and creation. So G‑d divided "man" into two entities, male and female.

Why, then, did He not create them as two in the first place?

Because as twooriginally and intrinsically twoeach would be trapped in the exclusivity of his or her identity. Their encounter would be a "relationship" at best, a war at worst. Neither would have it in them to transcend the individuality into which they were born. Two would remain two, however integrated.

So G‑d created them one, and then split them into two. Thus man searches for woman and woman yearns for man. Thus each has it within their power to look into their splintered self and uncover their primordial oneness. Thus man and woman can cleave to each other and become onein a oneness that is not a lonely singularity but a dynamic and creative union.

Freely adapted from the works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe,
Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory.