Olami Resources is happy to present the second in a series of free installments of Tod Jacob’s and Peter Lynn’s (aka Rabbi Avraham Yitzchok Jacobs & Rabbi Yosef Lynn of Machon Yaakov) highly acclaimed new book, Not A Partnership: Why We Keep Getting Marriage Wrong & How We Can Get It Right. This week we are featuring the chapter, Back to the Beginning: What is Marriage?
Tom Rath, #1 New York Times bestselling author of “Are You Fully Charged” and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of “StrengthsFinder 2.0,” strongly endorsed Not A Partnership: “A compelling and comprehensive work on marriage. I love the ideas and practicality of the entire book. I learned a lot along the way!” Stewart D. Friedman, Professor of Management Practice at The Wharton School & author of “Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life” also wrote, “Jacobs & Lynn bring wisdom that is timeless, practical and human to a subject about which you can never be too smart.”
Our sincere thanks to the authors for sharing this vital publication with the rabbis and educators subscribed to OlamiResources.com. Purchase a copy of Not A Partnership on Amazon.
Back to the Beginning: What is Marriage?
Before we learn how to apply research, experience, and wisdom as guides to marriage, let’s take a journey back to the beginning. The essential answers to the questions of what marriage is and why marriage is can be found in the world’s oldest book, in its description of the very first marriage in the history of man. At the peak of the process of building the world, the Creator made Adam and Eve. A closer look at the story will reveal something quite astonishing. When Genesis describes the making of man, the verse states that “male and female He created them.” The first human being was, quite literally, a unified person who was both male and female.
The English word “Adam” fails to capture the nuance of the original Hebrew. The Hebrew word “Adam” is not a proper name, nor does it translate as “male.” “Adam” simply means human. In fact, it is not until a full chapter later that “God cast a deep sleep upon the human…and He took one of his sides and…fashioned the side that He had taken from the human into a woman.” Ultimately, and for some reason (as we’ll see), the two parts of the original human entity needed to be separated into two individual and different beings, man and woman. With Eve removed from Adam, each part was left with a certain lack that only the other would be able to fill. Adam, from whom an essential part had been removed, was left incomplete. Eve, created from a part of the original person, was left incomplete. They became two physical beings, each lacking an emotional and spiritual piece held by the other. Yet those two physical beings were first created as one.