Thursday, November 11, 2010

Finding a Spouse (I Gave This the Weekend I Got Married)

In this weeks parsha we have the romance between Yaakov and Rachel (Rochel). It was a very intense relationship with many fine details and peculiar situations, but there is another question that I wanted to raise. What was it about Rochel that attracted Yaakov? How did Yaakov decide that Rochel should be the one? He just ran up and kissed her, but how did he really know she was the one he should be with?

Surprisingly enough I discovered something interesting in the Midrash Tanchuma. It says in the Midrash Tanchuma that there was no one more beautiful than Rochel and that is why Yaakov wanted to marry her. This is a very interesting point. Are we to believe that our forefather Yaakov was attracted only by superficial reasons to Rochel? Did he really only care that she was attractive and that is why he wanted to marry her?

To answer this question we must refer to the Vilna Gaon in Mishlei in the Chapter of Eishes Chayeil (A woman of Valor). He explains "beautiful of appearance" is referring to the kavannah (intention) of the heart. A mitzvah that requires performance of an action has two parts to it. The action and the kavannah. When a person performs a mitzvah with the proper kavannah, he or she "beautifies" it. Therefore, when the Torah refers to Rachel as "beautiful of form and beautiful of appearance," it is praising her actions AND intentions. They are what make her beautiful. Now we can truly understand why and how Yaakov fell in love with Rachel and no longer be confused.

In every good marriage there are two aspects, a physical attraction and an emotional attraction. When a man falls in love with a woman there is a physical attraction, but, more importantly, there is an emotional attraction that connects the man to the woman. A man and a woman are, to repeat an overstated phrase, two parts of a whole. However, this union is only successful if the physical attraction leads to a deep emotional love for one another. 

This was the union of Rachel and Yaakov. Yaakov saw that she was beautiful, but when he got to know her, that is when he truly fell in love. He saw that she was kind, giving and loving to all people. Yaakov immediately fell in love with the girl that was not just physically appealing, but emotionally appealing as well.

When looking for a spouse, this is something that we all must have in mind. Physical attraction is nice, but the emotional attraction, the bond that exists between husband and wife that lasts eternally, that can only come through a deep love for one another. This love is one that works based on compatible character traits and values. Yaakov found the girl with the values that meant most to him and fell in love with her character traits and personality, that is why she is referred to as beautiful.


b said...

nice drasha. yasher koach

E-Man said...

Thanks b.