Holy Matrimony – Parashat Ki Teitzei

September 15, 2016 at 2:12 AM , , ,

“……..When a man takes a wife… “(Devarim 24:1)

כי יקח איש אשה ובעלה והיה – דברים כד, א

Once the Torah was given, the Jews were commanded that when a man desires to marry a woman, he must acquire her as a wife in the presence of witnesses and only after this does she become his wife. This is stated in the verse: “When a man takes a wife…” —Rambam, Hilchos Ishus 1:1

Ki Teitzei

The Torah commands us here in the mitzvah of Kiddushin, to betroth and “consecrate” a woman before living with her as a married couple. As analyzed in the Talmud, the effectiveness of Kiddushin is on two fronts, simultaneously. The “Kiddushin – consecration” designates the woman as the wife of this specific man, as well as ‘rendering her prohibited to the rest of the world, resembling Hekdesh, goods consecrated to the Beis Hamikdash’ (Kiddushin 2b).

G-d and the Jewish people are compared to a husband and wife in the scriptures and the teachings of our Sages. The Baal Shem Tov therefore taught that the rules of Kiddushin between husband and wife can also be interpreted in terms of the Jew’s relationship with G-d (see Keser Shem Tov, 10). Accordingly, this relationship can be said to comprise of both above-mentioned aspects of Kiddushin. This Kiddushin is a union with G-d, as well as a severance from anything that could distract or complicate the pure dedication of this relationship – namely, earthly passions and lusts. Kiddushin

The two components in Kiddushin between the physical man and woman are spontaneous and inextricable, and they are likewise inseparable in the Kiddushin between G-d and the Jewish people. In the words of the ethical classic Chovos Halevavos, “It is impossible to implant love of G-d in our hearts while love of this world resides within us.”


—Likutei Sichos, vol. 19, pp. 217-218

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