Self Mastery: A Study of Michtav M’Eliyahu – Giving and Taking

Hashem created man in His image. Just as He “Noten lechem l’chol basar,” gives sustenance to all of his creations, we should train ourselves to become givers.

In Kuntres Hachesed, the Michtav M’Eliyahu speaks about the love a man should have for his wife. The Gemara in Yevamot says that one should love his wife as much as he loves himself and respect her more than himself. The Torah already commanded, “V’ahavta l’reaicha kamocha.” Why is ahavat ishto a unique obligation? The Michtav M’Eliyahu explains that it’s a means of expressing gratitude for all the good a wife does. Is this really the purpose of marriage?

The Gemara says, an unmarried man lives without simcha (joy), bracha (blessing), andtova (good). The highest level of simcha can only be attained through a wife. Brachacomes through the home. It says, “Lo tov heyot ha’adam l’vado.” It is not good for man to be alone. In order to grow and work on himself, a man needs a wife. He can only come to sheleimut (perfection) through marriage. Each spouse complements the other. Completion in marriage is achieved through love, and love entails giving.


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