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

Implicit in this description is the fact that, at creation, male and female were one entity ("male and female He created them"); in the words of our sages, "a single individual with two faces." But immediately afterward, G‑d declared 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. And then joined them in marriage.

Why, then, we must ask, did G‑d not create them as two in the first place?

Because as two — originally and intrinsically two — each would be trapped in the exclusivity of his or her identity. Their encounter would be a contest of egos; at best, a "relationship". 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 one — in a oneness that is not a lonely singularity but a dynamic and creative union.