Parashat Bereshit

Parasha Thoughts

By Shemuel Akhamzadeh

עַל־כֵּן֙ יַֽעֲזָב־אִ֔ישׁ אֶת־אָבִ֖יו וְאֶת־אִמּ֑וֹ וְדָבַ֣ק בְּאִשְׁתּ֔וֹ וְהָי֖וּ לְבָשָׂ֥ר אֶחָֽד׃
Hence a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, so that they become one flesh.

We live in a society where marriage is seen as a tool of pleasure, either physical, emotional, or any other type of pleasure. If these expectations of achieving pleasure are not met, separation is the obvious alternative even with the children’s lives on the line. Seeing marriage in this light is comparable to viewing the purpose of food as only for the pleasure that our taste buds feel and disregarding all the essential nutrients in food that enable our bodies to perform their necessary functions. To eat only for taste will jeopardize our health.
Judaism sees a higher purpose to marriage that is more essential to the pleasures that every good marriage could bring with it. Marriage is a way for two souls to join and serve each other with the best of their abilities regardless of how much pleasure they receive. Just as diamonds have rough edges, every person has his or her imperfections. The only way to remove the rough spots on a diamond is by polishing it with another diamond to make it smooth and bring out its real beauty. The same goes for every person. In order to remove the rough spots and bad traits, marriage is essential. Every relationship naturally has its frictions. This is where the polishing happens and where it becomes possible to bring out one’s real shine. Rabbenu Chaim Vital, the main disciple of Ari Za’l, writes that, “The ultimate purpose of man’s creation is to break his bad traits and humble himself.” Marriage is the primary tool to reach our ultimate purpose in life, as long as we understand how to use it in the right manner.

Shabbat Shalom