Marriage

The Teachings of Our Sages on Marital Harmony

"The sages have ordered that a man must honor his wife more than he honors himself and love her as much as he loves himself. He must spend money on her so she can do good things for herself. The more money he has, the more he must spend on things that will benefit her. He must never be intimidating, depressed or angry with her. He must always speak to her gently"

testArray ( [type] => article [id] => 172684 [title] => The Teachings of Our Sages on Marital Harmony [short_text] => "The sages have ordered that a man must honor his wife more than he honors himself and love her as much as he loves himself. He must spend money on her so she can do good things for herself. The more money he has, the more he must spend on things that will benefit her. He must never be intimidating, depressed or angry with her. He must always speak to her gently" [content] =>

Rabbi Yishmael taught: Great is peace, as the Holy One blessed be He allowed His Name, which was written in holiness, to be erased by water in order to create peace between husband and wife.

(Derech Eretz Zutta, chapter 11)

Chizkiya said, great is peace because all commandments are associated with it.

When you see; When you meet; When you encounter; When you build’…

When a mitzvah presents itself to you, you are obligated to fulfill it, but if it is not readily available, you are not obligated to fulfill it. However, in the case of promoting peace, it says: Seek out peace and pursue it.[1] Seek it in your place and pursue it in another place. (Translation: text.rcarabbis.org)

(Derech Eretz Zutta, chapter 11)

Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel said, when a person infuses peace within his home, its as if he has infused peace upon each one of the members of Israel. And a person who instills jealousy and competition within his home, its as if he has instilled jealousy and competition upon each one of the members of Israel - as each individual is a king in his own home.

(Avot DRabbi Nathan 28:3)

A person who delves deeply into this matter will be able to tolerate a great deal when he demands peace in his home. And he should avoid arguments, even with the members of his household who lack understanding and cause him distress. He should convey his message in a pleasant manner so that he may be pleasant before his G-d.

(Orot Elim, 89)

Rabbi Akiva expounded: When husband and wife are worthy, the Divine Presence rests between them (as G-d divided His name and gave the man the letter Yod and the woman, the letter Hey); when they are not worthy, fire consumes them (when G-ds name is removed from them, their names turn into Esh' - fire).

(Sotah 17a)

At the School of Rabbi Yishmael it was taught: Great is the cause of peace. Seeing that for its sake even the Holy One, blessed be He, modified a statement; for at first it is written[2], My master is old(Sarah said about Avraham), while afterwards (when G-d spoke to Avraham) it is written, And I am old(G-d changed the words for the sake of peace).

(Yevamot 65b)

It says about a man who loves his wife the way he loves his own body, and respects her more than he respects his own body:[3]You will know that your tent is at peace.

(Yevamot 65b)

The prayers of a pursuer of peace will never return to him unanswered.

(Yevamot 65b)

A man must be humble in his home.

(Tanna DRabbi Eliyahu Rabbah, chapter 13)

And they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, behold, she is in the tent.[4] This is to inform us that Sarah was modest. The Ministering Angels knew that our mother Sarah was in the tent, so why did they ask? In order to make her pleasing to her husband. Here, the Torah is teaching us manners, that a guest should always inquire about his host.

(Baba Metzia 87a)

Our sages taught: if a person is insulted, he must never return the insult - especially to the members of his household.

(Tanna DRabbi Eliyahu Rabbah, chapter 4)

We have learned about doing certain permissible activities that make a woman more endearing to her husband. Therefore, a bride is allowed to wear her jewelry thirty days after her wedding (if she is mourning a parent) and is even allowed to wash her face on Yom Kippur in order that she should not become repulsive to her husband. For this reason, a woman in Niddah is allowed to embellish herself.

(Beit Yechezkel p.31)

A man should increase his affection towards his wife instead of merely trying to avoid arguments on the eve of Shabbat etc. This is a sign of the spreading of the light and the holiness of the Divine Presence.

(Bait Chadash - siman 280)

If they have peace between them during the six days of the week, they should increase their affection on Shabbat by adding words of endearment.

(Tikunei HaZohar 64b)

A home in which conflict exists will eventually be destroyed. A synagogue in which conflict exists will eventually become a place of idol worship.

(Derech Eretz, chapter 9)

The way to protect the home from conflict is by not being so stingy with the expenses of the household.

(Pele Yoetz - Ahava) 

The first step in preventing an argument is to explain to her in a pleasant manner where  his financial situation stands and what the limit is to how much he can give her - even though he would normally love to give her more. The second step is for him to take a look at himself and remember that all his blessings stem from her. And as our sages have said: A man must be careful with the honor of his wife, as no blessing is found in a mans home without the merit of his wife.[5] If so, how can he be stingy with her if shes the one who caused him to have the little that he does? And he should not be stingy with every penny, for if he is, the heavens will be stingy with him accordingly.

(Beit Yechezkel p.37)

What does a woman desire? Jewelry.

Meaning, the man must recognize the fact that a woman has needs beyond food and clothing. He must therefore understand her position and address those needs.

(Ketuvot 65b)

Another good tip for maintaining a loving home is for the husband to never go away for a long period of time - even if it is necessary.

(Pele Yoetz, Ahava) 

A woman must never tell her parents or siblings that she is sad or unhappy in her marriage, as they will become enraged and fight with her husband. This will make him  hate her and want to upset her even more, saying that she had broken his trust by revealing private information about the two of them etc. It is better for her to pleasantly confront him at an opportune moment. This will certainly be more productive.

(Pele Yoetz - Ahava) 

Rav Huna says: Strife is compared to an opening made by a rush of water that widens as the water presses through it. (Translation: come-and-hear.com)

If the opening is not fixed and closed up immediately it will widen from the water current until it becomes irreparable.

(Sanhedrin 7a)

Rabbi Yehuda said: One should always take heed that there be corn in his house, for strife is prevalent in a house only on account of corn [food], as it is written[6], He makes peace in your borders: He fills you with the finest of the wheat.

(Baba Metzia 59a)

A man should never terrorize his household. The concubine of Gibea was terrorized by her husband and she was the cause of many thousands being slaughtered in Israel.[7]

(Translation: come-and-hear.com)

(Gittin 6b)

The way to behave with a woman is by rejecting with the left and embracing with the right.

(Sotah 47a)

My son, do not praise your wife in front of your friend for he may come to hate his wife or desire yours. And do not praise your own virtues (when your friends wife is present) for she may come to hate her husband and desire you.

(Shevet Mussar, chapter 16)

Two married brothers should not live in the same house (as their wives may quarrel), nor should a woman live with her mother-in law.

(Pele Yoetz - Machloket)

Rabbi Meir used to say: If a person marries his daughter off to an ignoramus, it is as if he has caught her and put her before a lion. Just like a lion tramples and eats and has no shame, so too an ignoramus hits and has relations without any shame.

Rabbeinu Tam has added: An ignoramus does not wait until the person is appeased.

(Pesachim 49b)

The day of the immersion is a day in which one prepares for holiness. One should promote peace on this day and avoid conflict. It is extremely crucial to fully reconcile and not leave any ill feelings unresolved. Submissiveness and  asking for forgiveness is a difficult thing, but it is worth it, as it is in  that merit that the Divine Presence rests.

(Netivot Tohar p.76)

Friday afternoon is a time when arguments and fights between husband and wife are prone to occur. In addition, the sitra achra (lit. the other side [Satan]) toils to initiate strife in the home and therefore, one must consciously suppress his urge to create controversy and must instead, seek peace.

The Ben Ish Chai writes that when a person is in the midst of a quarrel with his/her spouse, each side strongly feels that he or she is in the right. We must realize that this is the work of the Satan who tries to create strife in the home, and is not done intentionally by our spouses or our children. Therefore, he advises that a sensible person must be aware of this and not fall into the trap that was prepared for him by the Satan, but rather keep quiet. The Ben Ish Chai says that we must ask ourselves: Is there anybody who can fight Satan and win?

(Translation: midrash.org)

Therefore, any man who sees a problem or deficiency within his household, must not blame his wife or servants and fight with them. Instead, he should forgive them in his heart, as that is the correct approach. He should remain silent and not become angry or argumentative. This will bring him good in this world and in the world to come.

(Ben Ish Chai on Vayera in the words of the Chida)

Rabbi says: A man should not invite too many friends over to his house. It has been taught: A man should not appoint a steward over his house, for had Potiphar not appointed Yosef as steward over his house, he would not have fallen into the trouble that he did.

(Translation: come-and-hear.com)

(Brachot 63a)

Any man without a wife has no joy, no blessing, no goodness, no dwelling place, no Torah, no barriers, and no peace. And Rabbi Eliezer said: He who has no wife is not a man, and by marrying a woman he refrains from sin.

(Beginning of Even HaEzer on Yevamot 62b)

The first thing is to recognize that a man and a woman are partners in one soul even though they are two bodies in this world. The adherence of the couple is the binding of their upper soul, as they were first created as one body with two faces and one soul. And even after they were divided into two bodies, the spirit of G-d infused the two of  them and made them one - and that is the meaning of true adherence and genuine love. This way, if they are unfaithful to each other, the unfaithful soul will be cut off from the source of where it was carved from.

(Chatam Sofer, end of Gittin)

G-d had decided to create the woman from the rib (side) of Man. He did not create her independently the way He had created the female animals. This is because aside for the sexual aspect, the female animals are not attached to their male counterparts. They are fundamentally separate from the males and do not have anything to do with them. But the human female on the other hand, is designated as the helper of man in all areas and must therefore be connected to him in order to love him and defend him. This is why G-d used one of Mans ribs to construct the woman.

(Abarbanel, Bereishit 2:1)

And He said: It is not good for man to be alone…’ Meaning, alone like an animal, as the female animal is not set aside for only one male. Therefore, a man must love his wife the way he loves his body. He must have compassion for her and protect her the way he would have compassion and protect one of his own limbs. While the wife must exert much effort for him and love him like she loves her own soul, because it is from him that she was taken.

(Introduction of the Rabad - Baalei HaNefesh)

Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife - and they shall become one flesh.[8] When a woman marries a man and he becomes her partner, he becomes her destiny. For this reason, love and amicability should exist between them.

(Chukei Nashim - RYosef Chaim of Bavel, p.24)

There was a woman whose parents had a fight with her husband. Her father said to her:   listen to me, my daughter, it is my will that you divorce your husband. Would you comply? Replied the daughter: My father, G-d has married us off and you want to split us apart?  After all, we were both united even before my mother had given birth to me! And even if you manage to separate us physically, you will not be able to separate us spiritually. Please leave me alone, my father. My husband is my flesh and blood and I will never replace him with any other man. He is my husband and no one else is pleasing to me; I will not replace him with any family member. Upon hearing her words her father said: I applaud you my daughter, I applaud you my daughter. You have defeated me with your words.

(Chukei Nashim - RYosef Chaim of Bavel, p.24)

A man is obligated to honor his mother and father in-law. The reason is because a man and a woman are considered one body, so the parents of one are like the parents of the other.

(Sefer Charedim p.84)

They need to be regarded in a way where she is him, and he is her.

(Shevet Mussar, chapter 24)

The sages have ordered that a man must honor his wife more than he honors himself and love her as much as he loves himself. He must spend money on her so she can do good things for herself. The more money he has, the more he must spend on things that  will benefit her. He must never be intimidating, depressed or angry with her. He must always speak to her gently.

(Rambam Hilchot Ishut 16:19)

There are people who avoid harming others because they love them and respect them. But when it comes to their own wives, they hate them and humiliate them claiming that they are husband and wife and are one and the same. But their sin is grave, for why would a persons wife not be included in the verse: Do not hate your fellow in your heart[9]? And their punishment is even more severe as the wife is a part of his flesh, as it says:[10]A cruel person troubles his flesh. And he may not deceive his wife or upset her with his words etc. or distance himself from her, as that will make her feel distraught and abandoned and may lead her to become deviant.

(Sefer Habrit, p.174)

There is much benefit to a man who distances himself from his wife for a short while (this pertains to the days of Niddah). This break will make her more desirable to him, as spending too much time together creates aversion and may lead them to look at other people - as commonly seen among the nations of the world.

(Sefer Hachinuch, mitzvah 166)

I have never referred to my wife as my wife, rather, as my home’’. Rashi comments:
As she is the main aspect of the home (the homemaker).

(Shabbat 25b)

Rav said: On, the son of Pelet, was saved by his wife. She said to him, 'What difference does it make whether the one [Moshe] remains master or the other [Korach] becomes master, either way you will be a disciple.' He replied, 'But what can I do? I have taken part in their counsel, and they have sworn me [to be] with them.' She said, 'I know that the congregation is holy etc. [So,] she proceeded, 'Sit here, and I will save you.' She gave him wine to drink, intoxicated him and laid him down within [the tent]. Then she sat down at the entrance thereto and loosened her hair. Whoever came [to summon him] saw her and retreated. Meanwhile, they were swallowed by the earth and he was saved.

In the meantime, Korach's wife joined the rebels and said to him [Korach], 'See what Moshe has done. He himself has become king; his brother he appointed High Priest; his brother's sons he had made the vice High Priests. If terumah is brought, he decrees, let it be for the priest; if the tithe is brought, which belongs to you [i.e., to the Levite], he orders, give a tenth part thereof to the priest. Moreover, he has had your hair cut off, and makes sport of you as though you were dirt; for he was jealous of your hair.' Said he to her, 'But he has done likewise!' She replied, 'Since all the greatness was his, he said also, Let me die with the Philistines. Moreover, he has commanded you, Set [fringes] of blue wool [in the corners of your garments]; but if there is virtue in blue wool, then bring forth blue wool, and clothe your entire academy therewith.

Thus it is written[11], A wise woman builds her home  — this refers to the wife of On, the son of Peleth; but the foolish will destroy it with her own handsthat refers to Korach's wife. (Translation: come-and-hear.com)

(Sanhedrin 109b)

Theres no one else like her, she is the dignity of my home. Compared to her, all the other women are like monkeys in comparison to humans.

(Zohar HaKadosh part A, p.49)

If your wife is short, bend down and hear her whisper.

(Baba Metzia 59a)

The MaHaram of Rothenburg had written:[12] A man is obligated to respect his wife more than any other person, as this matter was commanded with regard to her and no one else. The Maharal in Netivot Olam had made a similar statement.

A man must never wrong his wife and bring her to tears- this refers specifically to the wife, as she is ruled by her husband and therefore cries more easily than any other individual who would not typically come to that emotion. But a distinguished woman who submits to her husband is easily stirred - and that is why she cries more easily.

(Beit Yechezkel p.32)

One should eat and drink below his means, dress within his means, and honor his wife and children above his means, as they are dependent on him and he is dependent on the One who created the world.

(Chulin 84b)

Rav Chiya was constantly tormented by his wife. Nevertheless, whenever he obtained anything suitable, he would wrap it up in his scarf and bring it to her. Said Rav to him, 'But, surely, she is tormenting the Master!' 'It is sufficient for us', the other replied, 'that they raise our children and deliver us from sin.

(Yevamot 63a)

It is not the teaching thats important, it is the deed, and by means of marrying a woman, a man can observe all the mitzvot of this world and the world to come, aside for saving himself from sin.

(Sefer Likutim LMaharchu - Parshat Ekev)

How does a woman help a man? The other replied: If a man brings wheat, does he chew the wheat? If he brings flax, does he wear the flax? So does she not then, bring light to his eyes and put him on his feet?

(Yevamot 63a)

Divorce is evil in the eyes of G-d, as G-d is the witness between you and your wife who you are unfaithful to - she is your companion and the woman you made a covenant with etc. And our sages have said, it is enough for us if our wives save us from sin and raise our children. Therefore, a man should not leave his place or do even the slightest thing without her permission.

(Sefer Habrit, p.174)

It is said about RSimcha Zissel of Kelm that every time hed enter his home after the evening prayers of Shabbat, hed stand next to the door and look at the table settings and beautiful arrangements in amazement as a way of expressing his appreciation for his wifes efforts. 

(Meorot HaGedolim p.95)

A man is not allowed to upset his wife with words, let alone to raise a hand against her. The Ari zl had written that anyone who raises a hand against his wife will not have the  Divine Spirit rest upon him even if he was worthy. It will not rest upon him until he repents.

(Kaf HaChaim Palagi 1:11)

And he who hits his wife must be dealt with more harshly than he who hits his fellow. His fellow, he is not obligated to honor, whereas his wife, he must honor. And G-d forbid any Jew should do this. And if he does, he must be excommunicated, denounced, lashed, and given all sorts of punishments - his hand should even be cut off if he does this habitually.

(Q&A MaHaram of Rothenburg - Part 4, siman 81)

Rabbi Meir used to say: Why did the Torah ordain that the uncleanness of menstruation should continue for seven days? Because being in constant contact with his wife [a husband might] develop a loathing towards her. The Torah therefore ordained: Let her be unclean for seven days in order that she shall be beloved to her husband as at the time of her first entry into the bridal chamber.

(Niddah 31b)

The days of separation make the wife beloved to her husband. A mans nature seeks renewal. Even nice and pleasant things, when they become routine they lead to repulsion. As Shlomo HaMelech says in Mishlei:[13]When you find honey, eat what is sufficient for you, lest you be satiated and vomit it up.

The numerological value for honey (Dvash) is the same as woman (Isha).

(Netivot Tohar, p. 34)

When a man is mourning his deceased wife, but has already married another woman, no one should enter his house to comfort him at all, and if someone encounters him in the street he should comfort him only with short, curt words. (This is all out of consideration for the feelings of the new wife.)

(Moed Katan 21a)

It is better for a man to request an evil woman, as he who marries an evil woman does not see the face of Gehenom. This is only for a person who can withstand the test.

(Pele Yoetz, Ahava)

Its been said in the Midrash that a wise woman once commanded her daughter: Stand before him like you would stand before a king and serve him. And if you become his maidservant, he will be your slave and and will honor you like a lady. But if you try to overpower him, he will become your master against your will.

(Menorot HaMaor, ner 3,  part 4, chapter 2)

Woe is to a father who keeps silent when he hears that his daughter has shamed her husband - and then goes to tell his wife: We were luckyto have a daughter who rules over her husband, whose husband is afraid of her, and who does what she desires  without asking him. And woe is to an evil woman who will see bitter days in which she will have to pay her dues. And as she defiles her father, people will say: Cursed is the man who raised this girl. Rather, a man must raise his daughter to love her husband and honor him. And her father will say to her: If you listen to him, he will love you strongly and you will attract his heart, and he will fulfill all your wishes and you will rule him…’ Every father must teach this to his daughter, from the time she is a child to when she becomes a young adult.

(Sefer HaBrit, p.164)

A proper woman is one who fulfills the wishes of her husband.

(Tanna Dbei Eliyahu Rabbah, 9)

What was so good about Yael that a great salvation came forth from her to the nation of Israel? It was said that she was a kosher woman who did the will of her husband. From here it was said that a proper woman is one who fulfills the wishes of her husband.

(Yalkut Shimoni, Shoftim siman 247)

And even if they are poor and have no clothes, still, the tired rags that she wears must be clean and free of any stain.

(Shevet Mussar, chapter 24)

When he is angry, his wife should calm him down. When he is troubled, she should talk to him. When he is in a bad state, she should comfort him. Even if she is worried, she should hide her worries so as not to make him sad. Her clothes should always be clean, she must honor his father and his family, even if they are shameful. She should show that she is happy with his gifts and that she possesses everything even when she possesses nothing. And she must pray for the success of her husband every day.

(Shelah - Shaar HaOtiyot, Derech Eretz)

And if she is ill, she must hide the level of her pain before her husband - she should strengthen herself before him. All of this should be done to make her dearer to him (as he will see that she is trying to make him feel more at ease). This will cause him to think about her constantly.

(Shevet Mussar, chapter 24)

And if she sees that her husband is depressed about his livelihood, she should not ask him for too many things, even if they are necessary for the needs of the household, still, she should limit herself. How will her demands help anyway? And if she stresses him out so much that he is embarrassed by her, she may give him the urge to steal.

(Shevet Mussar, chapter 24)

When a man directs his anger at his wife, she must assume that he is not upset with her at all, he is simply stressed from the market and is unintentionally taking his stress out on her. He doesnt actually hate her at all.

(Pele Yoetz, Ahava)

A woman should neither be lazy with the matters of the house nor the requests of her husband. For laziness causes poverty and uncleanliness in the home, which eventually turns into an unbearable burden. And even when there are clothes and utensils at home, because of laziness, they will become torn and dirty and resemble the clothing and utensils of the poor. And when the husband comes home from the street, even if he enters in high spirits, when he sees that in every corner there is dust and garbage and plates from last nights meal, he will come to desire the house of his fellow, and from this he will come to desire the wife of his friend who is careful about keeping her house clean, and it is the lazy wife who causes the husband to covet his neighbors house whose wife maintains the cleanliness of the house.

(Shevet Mussar, chapter 24)

Her nails and hair should be clean at all times and if she has some blemish, she should hide it from her husband as much as she can - for she may become repulsive to him.

(Shevet Mussar, chapter 24)

A woman whose lot has fallen in with a husband who is harsh in character and opinions not because of this should his honor be demeaned in her eyes, and he be despised in her heart, Heaven forbid. For he is to her as a decree of the ultimate matchmaker, King of the UniverseAnd her reward will be great when her deeds are pointed in that direction. (Translation: mishpattsedek.com)

(Pele Yoetz, Ahava)

A woman must always be fond of her husband. He is her lot and her fate. Her husbands onion shall be more desirable to her than thousands of almonds and nuts. She should eat her husbands bread with more love than peach jam. She should be happier about eating her husbands vegetables than about eating apples and candied fruit.

(Chukei HaNashim - Rabbi Yosef Chaim of Bavel, p.42)

A woman who is clean and organized for her husband is praised, as he will not be repulsed by her. And she should always dress in a proper and clean way. It is better for her to wear clothes that are simple and clean than clothes made of silk that are dirty. A long, simple robe is better than a short robe embroidered with gold. Clothes made of fabric that are closed are better than decorated clothes that are open. A woman is obligated to think about the way she appears before her husband; she must embellish and adorn herself. And even if her husband does not seek such things, she is still required to adorn herself and be clean. Her morning routine should consist of washing her face and mouth, thoroughly covering her head and straightening out her clothes. She must try as hard as she can and not deviate from any one of these ways. A woman who does the housework on her own, must make sure to maintain the cleanliness of her hands at all times. She must wash them, especially if she handles onions, garlic, or anything else that has an unpleasant odor. She should wash them with a substance that will remove the smell so that she does not become repulsive in the eyes of her husband.

(Chukei HaNashim, p.50)

The cleanliness of the house and its furnishings is left up to the woman - as that is her responsibility. First, she must clean out the dirt of the house. Then, on hot days and cold days, she should open the windows to ventilate the home and allow fresh air to enter. This kind of management brings peace of mind and physical health.

(Chukei HaNashim, p.51)

G-d will prolong the days of a woman who does not become irritated by the guests that her husband invites and who does not show that they are burdensome to her. She must value the guest and honor him according to her husbands will. And if she brings out something deficient before him, it will cause her husband to feel embarrassed, humiliated and degraded. A miserly woman will humiliate herself and her family and will become a laughing stock. Her shame will become known.

(Chukei HaNashim, p.53)

Israelite women owned mirrors, which they would look into when they adorned themselves. Even these [mirrors] they did not hold back from bringing as a contribution toward the Mishkan, but Moshe rejected them because they were made for temptation [i.e., to inspire lustful thoughts]. The Holy One, blessed is He, said to him, accept [them], for these are more precious to Me than anything, as it is through them that the women set up many legions [i.e., through the children they gave birth to] in Egypt. When their husbands were weary from back-breaking labor, they [the women] would go and serve them food and drink. Then they [the women] would take the mirrors and each one would see herself with her husband in the mirror, and she would seduce him with words, saying, I am more beautiful than you. And in this way they aroused their husbands desire and would copulate with them, conceiving and giving birth there, as it is said:[14] Under the apple tree I aroused you. This is the meaning of[15]the mirrors of those who set up legions. From these mirrors, the washstand was made, because its purpose was to make peace between a man and his wife.

(Translation: chabad.org)

(Rashi, Shemot 38:8, and the Holy Zohar - Shemot)

The whole reason the women wear jewelry is so that they do not become denigrated by their husbands. Meaning, a woman should adorn herself inside her home in order to please her husband, unlike the flawed custom of those who adorn themselves specifically when they go out to the marketplace - which is forbidden.

(Beit Yechezkel, p.32)

We find in the Zohar that relations between a man and his wife on the eve of her immersion, are on the same lofty level as the relations of Shabbat eve. This is a wonder; how can a weekday compare to Shabbat? The reason is that if the couple has observed the impure days in the proper way, and have separated themselves from each other according to the law, then in turn, the outer shell (the impure side) will also separate itself and remove itself from the side of holiness - measure for measure. Therefore, in this merit, when the woman immerses herself in the proper way, and clings to her husband (which is holy union), then G-d, in His kindness, will illuminate their roots with the great illumination formed by the upper union of the Spheres on the level of the holy Shabbat along with their specific rootsTherefore, how careful must the woman be with every single one of the laws of Niddah, as it is through them that she will receive this great illumination. 

(Ben Ish Chai, Shemini)

The reason why women were exempt from the time-bound mitzvoth, says Rabbi Shimshon Refael Hirsh, is not because of any deficiency in the woman, but on the contrary, it is because of her superior quality and importance. The woman does not need certain mitzvoth like the time-bound mitzvoth, to motivate her to connect to the Creator of the world. Women possess a holy inspiration for the service of G-d, and as a result of this, they are constantly connected to Him.

(Netivot Tohar, p.61)

The contribution offered by the days of separation is to increase the value of the woman. During the separation phase, the woman resembles the holy Chanukah candles which we do not have permission to use - we may only look at them so we can express our gratitude. Meaning, the days of separation act as a way to enhance the value and dignity of the woman in the eyes of her husband.

(Netivot Tohar, p.129)

Regarding that which Rabbi Yitzchak said[16] about a man who stumbles upon a sin that is punishable by death in the hands of heaven, if G-d has mercy on him and wants him to atone for the sin, how would the atonement occur? By the death of his cow, the loss of his chicken, the breaking of his dishes or by a bleeding cut on his finger - as a little bit of the Nefesh equates to the whole of the Nefesh. But clearly, this would not happen if he was angry and if he blamed his wife, children, or servants for causing him these damages, as he should know that they are only messengers of G-d who were appointed by Him to cause him damage and should therefore accept it with love, as G-d wanted this to occur for his atonement. But if he would have gotten angry and started a fight in his house, not only would he not be atoned by these damages, but he would also add more crime to his sin, G-d forbid. And according to the teachings of our sages who are completely just, he must be happier about losing than about winning, as there is no atonement in a gain. But if he is forever winning and never losing, then hes essentially consuming his world in this lifetime.

(Orot Elim, 194)

There are three things a man must say in his house on the eve of Shabbat at sundownand he must say them in a peaceful manner.

(Shabbat 34a)

Even if he is poor, she should regard him as a wealthy man. She should not condemn his actions, and expose his thoughts. She should honor his family and be fond of those who are close to him.

(Chukei HaNashim, chapter 9)

One must know that theres a great purpose in the perfection a man can achieve through his wife - specifically the woman who G-d had designated for him to marry. As our sages have said: We learn from the Torah, Prophets, and Writings that a husband and wife are a match from G-d. And had a man married another woman, he would not have been able to merit this great purpose. The reason for this can be seen in the Rabads introduction to the book Baalei Nefeshwho explains with great detail how a man and his wife are not separate entities that have settled together (like animals), rather, they are one physical entity that was divided into two parts. This is how G-d created the first Man - as one body, and then from that body he created Eve, his wife, as his helper.

(Shalom BOhalecha p.4)

If he possesses angry traits, she should not become upset with him, and if he yells at her, she should not hold a grudge in her heart. Even if his aggression makes her angry, she must immediately calm him down. She should not react to anything he does during his anger fit. And if he says bitter words to her, she should respond with sweet words. If she persists in this manner, he will come to regret his actions and straighten his ways on his own.

(Chukei HaNashim, chapter 9)

If a man comes home from work tired and tense, she must greet him with a pleasant face. She should not be sad or preoccupied. If her husband is a businessman who manages many undertakings, he may occasionally experience obstacles concerning money, business, or difficult people in the marketplace. And the nature of a person when he is stressed, even if he is stressed by something small, is to become agitated when dealing with his wife and kids - and when he faces a certain trouble or hardship, his mood will be ruined. Therefore, I am telling every single woman, that if she finds her husbands actions to be strange, and he is not dealing with her in the proper way, or he seems angry and aggressive with his words, she should not misinterpret his behavior or make all sorts of assumptions, rather, she should calm him down no matter what state he is in and align herself with him according to his mood. And eventually, when his troubles will pass, he will have a pleasant disposition and return to the relaxed state he was previously in.

(Chukei HaNashim, chapter 9)

Rabbi Chaim Vital had written: There is almost no other place or possibility for a man to correct and perfect himself as much as his home and the way he conducts himself there. And for each man, G-d designates the perfect woman to help him achieve that completion.

(Beginning of Shaarei Kedusha)

There is no doubt that he who learns to bear the offenses of his family members and avoids retaliation, will acquire the trait of humility in his heart concerning all matters.

Because if he is can bear the offenses of his household where he is the authority, then how much more so will he be able to bear the offenses of other people

(Reishit Chochma, gate of humility, 83)

Therefore, even if a person sees that he has great challenges in his home with regard to marital harmony, he should not fear. On the contrary, the greater the challenges, the more he should realize that there are great virtues in store for him for overcoming these challenges. This should motivate him to correct his character.

(Shalom BOhalecha p.6)

There is nothing more encouraging and favorable to a woman than a kind word or expression of gratitude from her husband. This makes her feel like she is pleasant in his eyes. It serves a great purpose to the husband as well, not only because it trains him to bestow good onto another person, but also because it shows his wife that he appreciates what she does etc. And in turn, she will feel more and more motivated to do the will of her husband and make him happy in all matters of the household, as this will lead to a greater level of love and peace between them.

(Shalom BOhalecha p.13)

A man should try to avoid criticizing or making comments regarding the matters of the home - as that would engender haughtiness, G-d forbid.

(Shalom BOhalecha p.14)

One of the great students of Maran RElazar Menachem Man Shach ztl who used to counsel young married men on marital harmony, once told me, that there is only one way to achieve a peaceful marriage: To give in, give in and keep giving in (this is in complete opposition to many senseless people who think that the only way to achieve compliance at home is by NOT giving in. On the contrary, if the peacefulness in their home is crumbling and deteriorating, G-d forbid, then specifically by giving in, the woman’s heart would soften up and she would begin to accommodate her husband and fulfill his wishes).

(Shalom BOhalecha p.18)

And even if he had already sinned and upset his wife, he can quickly correct the matter by lowering his pride and appeasing his wife with a sincere and humble heart asking for her forgiveness - even if he must do so numerous times a day. On the contrary, he needs to know that his wife hopes for and anticipates his appeasement and apology each time, and she too wishes to forgive and appease him with all her heart, and there are no words to describe the peacefulness and joy the forgiveness of a woman brings. This is a true kindness that can almost never be matched. 

(Shalom BOhalecha p.32)

A man should never compare his wife to other women he knows, as each woman has her own nature.

(Shalom BOhalecha p.32)

Be of the disciples of Aharon--a lover of peace, a pursuer of peace. And Rashi comments: If a man told his wife in a fit of anger: I forbid you from deriving any pleasure from me until you spit in the eye of the high priest, Aharon would approach the woman and say that he was suffering from an eye ailment, he would ask her to spit in his eye, as if her saliva had some medicinal value. (Translation: chabad.org)

(Avot 1:12)

So shall you say to the House of Jacob[17] says Rashi: These are the women whom you must speak to with a soft tongue. Here, G-d reveals to us through his Torah, that a soft tongueis the way in which one must speak to a woman - that is the only way she will accept the words being spoken.

(Shalom BOhalecha p.14)

So says the Torah: [18]Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife and they shall become one flesh- one organism. The first woman was taken from the rib (side) of the first man. This is an example for generations to come, as the foundation of a Jewish home is that wonderful kingdom called, the family. And the akeret habayit (the homemaker) is the heart of the family. She gives warmth, radiates goodness of spirit, and inspires a softness of grace and kindness with all that G-d has granted her within her extra measure of wisdom. She embroiders the delicate threads of the family ties as a vision and a reality, and strongly casts the molding of the home into her own image. Therefore, the integrity of her qualities is within the parameters of her character and beauty; they are holy to the great structure, the most wonderful of all structures - the structure that stands forever. 

(Taharat Hamishpacha, p. 332)

 

Notes and Sources

[1] Tehillim 34:15

[2] Bereishit 18:12

[3] Iyov 5:24

[4] Bereishit 18:9

[5] Baba Metzia 59a

[6] Tehillim 147:14

[7] As recounted at the end of the Book of Shoftim

[8] Bereishit 2:24

[9] Vayikra 19:17

[10] Mishlei 11:17

[11] Mishlei 14:1

[12] MaHaram of Rothenburg - Q&A siman 81

[13] Mishlei 25:16

[14] Song of Songs 8:5

[15] Shemot 38:8

[16] Midrash Kohelet Rabbah, chapter 7

[17] Shemot 19:3

[18]  Bereishit 2:24

Adapted from "The Keys to Life" by Rabbi Zamir Cohen

[pic] => 18384 [date_created] => 2015-11-09 20:06:00 [writer] => 54275 [tags] => |41309||51349||53720| [categories] => 46995 [category] => 46995 [classname] => [is_active] => 1 [is_woman] => 0 [override_link] => [pic_text] => [seo_title] => [item_type] => article [item_id] => 172684 [list_type] => mgz_cat [list_id] => 46995 [link] => https://www.hidabroot.com/article/172684/The-Teachings-of-Our-Sages-on-Marital-Harmony [top_section] => 46994 ) 1
| 09.11.15 | 20:06
The Teachings of Our Sages on Marital Harmony

Rabbi Yishmael taught: Great is peace, as the Holy One blessed be He allowed His Name, which was written in holiness, to be erased by water in order to create peace between husband and wife.

(Derech Eretz Zutta, chapter 11)

Chizkiya said, great is peace because all commandments are associated with it.

When you see; When you meet; When you encounter; When you build’…

When a mitzvah presents itself to you, you are obligated to fulfill it, but if it is not readily available, you are not obligated to fulfill it. However, in the case of promoting peace, it says: Seek out peace and pursue it.[1] Seek it in your place and pursue it in another place. (Translation: text.rcarabbis.org)

(Derech Eretz Zutta, chapter 11)

Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel said, when a person infuses peace within his home, its as if he has infused peace upon each one of the members of Israel. And a person who instills jealousy and competition within his home, its as if he has instilled jealousy and competition upon each one of the members of Israel - as each individual is a king in his own home.

(Avot DRabbi Nathan 28:3)

A person who delves deeply into this matter will be able to tolerate a great deal when he demands peace in his home. And he should avoid arguments, even with the members of his household who lack understanding and cause him distress. He should convey his message in a pleasant manner so that he may be pleasant before his G-d.

(Orot Elim, 89)

Rabbi Akiva expounded: When husband and wife are worthy, the Divine Presence rests between them (as G-d divided His name and gave the man the letter Yod and the woman, the letter Hey); when they are not worthy, fire consumes them (when G-ds name is removed from them, their names turn into Esh' - fire).

(Sotah 17a)

At the School of Rabbi Yishmael it was taught: Great is the cause of peace. Seeing that for its sake even the Holy One, blessed be He, modified a statement; for at first it is written[2], My master is old(Sarah said about Avraham), while afterwards (when G-d spoke to Avraham) it is written, And I am old(G-d changed the words for the sake of peace).

(Yevamot 65b)

It says about a man who loves his wife the way he loves his own body, and respects her more than he respects his own body:[3]You will know that your tent is at peace.

(Yevamot 65b)

The prayers of a pursuer of peace will never return to him unanswered.

(Yevamot 65b)

A man must be humble in his home.

(Tanna DRabbi Eliyahu Rabbah, chapter 13)

And they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, behold, she is in the tent.[4] This is to inform us that Sarah was modest. The Ministering Angels knew that our mother Sarah was in the tent, so why did they ask? In order to make her pleasing to her husband. Here, the Torah is teaching us manners, that a guest should always inquire about his host.

(Baba Metzia 87a)

Our sages taught: if a person is insulted, he must never return the insult - especially to the members of his household.

(Tanna DRabbi Eliyahu Rabbah, chapter 4)

We have learned about doing certain permissible activities that make a woman more endearing to her husband. Therefore, a bride is allowed to wear her jewelry thirty days after her wedding (if she is mourning a parent) and is even allowed to wash her face on Yom Kippur in order that she should not become repulsive to her husband. For this reason, a woman in Niddah is allowed to embellish herself.

(Beit Yechezkel p.31)

A man should increase his affection towards his wife instead of merely trying to avoid arguments on the eve of Shabbat etc. This is a sign of the spreading of the light and the holiness of the Divine Presence.

(Bait Chadash - siman 280)

If they have peace between them during the six days of the week, they should increase their affection on Shabbat by adding words of endearment.

(Tikunei HaZohar 64b)

A home in which conflict exists will eventually be destroyed. A synagogue in which conflict exists will eventually become a place of idol worship.

(Derech Eretz, chapter 9)

The way to protect the home from conflict is by not being so stingy with the expenses of the household.

(Pele Yoetz - Ahava) 

The first step in preventing an argument is to explain to her in a pleasant manner where  his financial situation stands and what the limit is to how much he can give her - even though he would normally love to give her more. The second step is for him to take a look at himself and remember that all his blessings stem from her. And as our sages have said: A man must be careful with the honor of his wife, as no blessing is found in a mans home without the merit of his wife.[5] If so, how can he be stingy with her if shes the one who caused him to have the little that he does? And he should not be stingy with every penny, for if he is, the heavens will be stingy with him accordingly.

(Beit Yechezkel p.37)

What does a woman desire? Jewelry.

Meaning, the man must recognize the fact that a woman has needs beyond food and clothing. He must therefore understand her position and address those needs.

(Ketuvot 65b)

Another good tip for maintaining a loving home is for the husband to never go away for a long period of time - even if it is necessary.

(Pele Yoetz, Ahava) 

A woman must never tell her parents or siblings that she is sad or unhappy in her marriage, as they will become enraged and fight with her husband. This will make him  hate her and want to upset her even more, saying that she had broken his trust by revealing private information about the two of them etc. It is better for her to pleasantly confront him at an opportune moment. This will certainly be more productive.

(Pele Yoetz - Ahava) 

Rav Huna says: Strife is compared to an opening made by a rush of water that widens as the water presses through it. (Translation: come-and-hear.com)

If the opening is not fixed and closed up immediately it will widen from the water current until it becomes irreparable.

(Sanhedrin 7a)

Rabbi Yehuda said: One should always take heed that there be corn in his house, for strife is prevalent in a house only on account of corn [food], as it is written[6], He makes peace in your borders: He fills you with the finest of the wheat.

(Baba Metzia 59a)

A man should never terrorize his household. The concubine of Gibea was terrorized by her husband and she was the cause of many thousands being slaughtered in Israel.[7]

(Translation: come-and-hear.com)

(Gittin 6b)

The way to behave with a woman is by rejecting with the left and embracing with the right.

(Sotah 47a)

My son, do not praise your wife in front of your friend for he may come to hate his wife or desire yours. And do not praise your own virtues (when your friends wife is present) for she may come to hate her husband and desire you.

(Shevet Mussar, chapter 16)

Two married brothers should not live in the same house (as their wives may quarrel), nor should a woman live with her mother-in law.

(Pele Yoetz - Machloket)

Rabbi Meir used to say: If a person marries his daughter off to an ignoramus, it is as if he has caught her and put her before a lion. Just like a lion tramples and eats and has no shame, so too an ignoramus hits and has relations without any shame.

Rabbeinu Tam has added: An ignoramus does not wait until the person is appeased.

(Pesachim 49b)

The day of the immersion is a day in which one prepares for holiness. One should promote peace on this day and avoid conflict. It is extremely crucial to fully reconcile and not leave any ill feelings unresolved. Submissiveness and  asking for forgiveness is a difficult thing, but it is worth it, as it is in  that merit that the Divine Presence rests.

(Netivot Tohar p.76)

Friday afternoon is a time when arguments and fights between husband and wife are prone to occur. In addition, the sitra achra (lit. the other side [Satan]) toils to initiate strife in the home and therefore, one must consciously suppress his urge to create controversy and must instead, seek peace.

The Ben Ish Chai writes that when a person is in the midst of a quarrel with his/her spouse, each side strongly feels that he or she is in the right. We must realize that this is the work of the Satan who tries to create strife in the home, and is not done intentionally by our spouses or our children. Therefore, he advises that a sensible person must be aware of this and not fall into the trap that was prepared for him by the Satan, but rather keep quiet. The Ben Ish Chai says that we must ask ourselves: Is there anybody who can fight Satan and win?

(Translation: midrash.org)

Therefore, any man who sees a problem or deficiency within his household, must not blame his wife or servants and fight with them. Instead, he should forgive them in his heart, as that is the correct approach. He should remain silent and not become angry or argumentative. This will bring him good in this world and in the world to come.

(Ben Ish Chai on Vayera in the words of the Chida)

Rabbi says: A man should not invite too many friends over to his house. It has been taught: A man should not appoint a steward over his house, for had Potiphar not appointed Yosef as steward over his house, he would not have fallen into the trouble that he did.

(Translation: come-and-hear.com)

(Brachot 63a)

Any man without a wife has no joy, no blessing, no goodness, no dwelling place, no Torah, no barriers, and no peace. And Rabbi Eliezer said: He who has no wife is not a man, and by marrying a woman he refrains from sin.

(Beginning of Even HaEzer on Yevamot 62b)

The first thing is to recognize that a man and a woman are partners in one soul even though they are two bodies in this world. The adherence of the couple is the binding of their upper soul, as they were first created as one body with two faces and one soul. And even after they were divided into two bodies, the spirit of G-d infused the two of  them and made them one - and that is the meaning of true adherence and genuine love. This way, if they are unfaithful to each other, the unfaithful soul will be cut off from the source of where it was carved from.

(Chatam Sofer, end of Gittin)

G-d had decided to create the woman from the rib (side) of Man. He did not create her independently the way He had created the female animals. This is because aside for the sexual aspect, the female animals are not attached to their male counterparts. They are fundamentally separate from the males and do not have anything to do with them. But the human female on the other hand, is designated as the helper of man in all areas and must therefore be connected to him in order to love him and defend him. This is why G-d used one of Mans ribs to construct the woman.

(Abarbanel, Bereishit 2:1)

And He said: It is not good for man to be alone…’ Meaning, alone like an animal, as the female animal is not set aside for only one male. Therefore, a man must love his wife the way he loves his body. He must have compassion for her and protect her the way he would have compassion and protect one of his own limbs. While the wife must exert much effort for him and love him like she loves her own soul, because it is from him that she was taken.

(Introduction of the Rabad - Baalei HaNefesh)

Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife - and they shall become one flesh.[8] When a woman marries a man and he becomes her partner, he becomes her destiny. For this reason, love and amicability should exist between them.

(Chukei Nashim - RYosef Chaim of Bavel, p.24)

There was a woman whose parents had a fight with her husband. Her father said to her:   listen to me, my daughter, it is my will that you divorce your husband. Would you comply? Replied the daughter: My father, G-d has married us off and you want to split us apart?  After all, we were both united even before my mother had given birth to me! And even if you manage to separate us physically, you will not be able to separate us spiritually. Please leave me alone, my father. My husband is my flesh and blood and I will never replace him with any other man. He is my husband and no one else is pleasing to me; I will not replace him with any family member. Upon hearing her words her father said: I applaud you my daughter, I applaud you my daughter. You have defeated me with your words.

(Chukei Nashim - RYosef Chaim of Bavel, p.24)

A man is obligated to honor his mother and father in-law. The reason is because a man and a woman are considered one body, so the parents of one are like the parents of the other.

(Sefer Charedim p.84)

They need to be regarded in a way where she is him, and he is her.

(Shevet Mussar, chapter 24)

The sages have ordered that a man must honor his wife more than he honors himself and love her as much as he loves himself. He must spend money on her so she can do good things for herself. The more money he has, the more he must spend on things that  will benefit her. He must never be intimidating, depressed or angry with her. He must always speak to her gently.

(Rambam Hilchot Ishut 16:19)

There are people who avoid harming others because they love them and respect them. But when it comes to their own wives, they hate them and humiliate them claiming that they are husband and wife and are one and the same. But their sin is grave, for why would a persons wife not be included in the verse: Do not hate your fellow in your heart[9]? And their punishment is even more severe as the wife is a part of his flesh, as it says:[10]A cruel person troubles his flesh. And he may not deceive his wife or upset her with his words etc. or distance himself from her, as that will make her feel distraught and abandoned and may lead her to become deviant.

(Sefer Habrit, p.174)

There is much benefit to a man who distances himself from his wife for a short while (this pertains to the days of Niddah). This break will make her more desirable to him, as spending too much time together creates aversion and may lead them to look at other people - as commonly seen among the nations of the world.

(Sefer Hachinuch, mitzvah 166)

I have never referred to my wife as my wife, rather, as my home’’. Rashi comments:
As she is the main aspect of the home (the homemaker).

(Shabbat 25b)

Rav said: On, the son of Pelet, was saved by his wife. She said to him, 'What difference does it make whether the one [Moshe] remains master or the other [Korach] becomes master, either way you will be a disciple.' He replied, 'But what can I do? I have taken part in their counsel, and they have sworn me [to be] with them.' She said, 'I know that the congregation is holy etc. [So,] she proceeded, 'Sit here, and I will save you.' She gave him wine to drink, intoxicated him and laid him down within [the tent]. Then she sat down at the entrance thereto and loosened her hair. Whoever came [to summon him] saw her and retreated. Meanwhile, they were swallowed by the earth and he was saved.

In the meantime, Korach's wife joined the rebels and said to him [Korach], 'See what Moshe has done. He himself has become king; his brother he appointed High Priest; his brother's sons he had made the vice High Priests. If terumah is brought, he decrees, let it be for the priest; if the tithe is brought, which belongs to you [i.e., to the Levite], he orders, give a tenth part thereof to the priest. Moreover, he has had your hair cut off, and makes sport of you as though you were dirt; for he was jealous of your hair.' Said he to her, 'But he has done likewise!' She replied, 'Since all the greatness was his, he said also, Let me die with the Philistines. Moreover, he has commanded you, Set [fringes] of blue wool [in the corners of your garments]; but if there is virtue in blue wool, then bring forth blue wool, and clothe your entire academy therewith.

Thus it is written[11], A wise woman builds her home  — this refers to the wife of On, the son of Peleth; but the foolish will destroy it with her own handsthat refers to Korach's wife. (Translation: come-and-hear.com)

(Sanhedrin 109b)

Theres no one else like her, she is the dignity of my home. Compared to her, all the other women are like monkeys in comparison to humans.

(Zohar HaKadosh part A, p.49)

If your wife is short, bend down and hear her whisper.

(Baba Metzia 59a)

The MaHaram of Rothenburg had written:[12] A man is obligated to respect his wife more than any other person, as this matter was commanded with regard to her and no one else. The Maharal in Netivot Olam had made a similar statement.

A man must never wrong his wife and bring her to tears- this refers specifically to the wife, as she is ruled by her husband and therefore cries more easily than any other individual who would not typically come to that emotion. But a distinguished woman who submits to her husband is easily stirred - and that is why she cries more easily.

(Beit Yechezkel p.32)

One should eat and drink below his means, dress within his means, and honor his wife and children above his means, as they are dependent on him and he is dependent on the One who created the world.

(Chulin 84b)

Rav Chiya was constantly tormented by his wife. Nevertheless, whenever he obtained anything suitable, he would wrap it up in his scarf and bring it to her. Said Rav to him, 'But, surely, she is tormenting the Master!' 'It is sufficient for us', the other replied, 'that they raise our children and deliver us from sin.

(Yevamot 63a)

It is not the teaching thats important, it is the deed, and by means of marrying a woman, a man can observe all the mitzvot of this world and the world to come, aside for saving himself from sin.

(Sefer Likutim LMaharchu - Parshat Ekev)

How does a woman help a man? The other replied: If a man brings wheat, does he chew the wheat? If he brings flax, does he wear the flax? So does she not then, bring light to his eyes and put him on his feet?

(Yevamot 63a)

Divorce is evil in the eyes of G-d, as G-d is the witness between you and your wife who you are unfaithful to - she is your companion and the woman you made a covenant with etc. And our sages have said, it is enough for us if our wives save us from sin and raise our children. Therefore, a man should not leave his place or do even the slightest thing without her permission.

(Sefer Habrit, p.174)

It is said about RSimcha Zissel of Kelm that every time hed enter his home after the evening prayers of Shabbat, hed stand next to the door and look at the table settings and beautiful arrangements in amazement as a way of expressing his appreciation for his wifes efforts. 

(Meorot HaGedolim p.95)

A man is not allowed to upset his wife with words, let alone to raise a hand against her. The Ari zl had written that anyone who raises a hand against his wife will not have the  Divine Spirit rest upon him even if he was worthy. It will not rest upon him until he repents.

(Kaf HaChaim Palagi 1:11)

And he who hits his wife must be dealt with more harshly than he who hits his fellow. His fellow, he is not obligated to honor, whereas his wife, he must honor. And G-d forbid any Jew should do this. And if he does, he must be excommunicated, denounced, lashed, and given all sorts of punishments - his hand should even be cut off if he does this habitually.

(Q&A MaHaram of Rothenburg - Part 4, siman 81)

Rabbi Meir used to say: Why did the Torah ordain that the uncleanness of menstruation should continue for seven days? Because being in constant contact with his wife [a husband might] develop a loathing towards her. The Torah therefore ordained: Let her be unclean for seven days in order that she shall be beloved to her husband as at the time of her first entry into the bridal chamber.

(Niddah 31b)

The days of separation make the wife beloved to her husband. A mans nature seeks renewal. Even nice and pleasant things, when they become routine they lead to repulsion. As Shlomo HaMelech says in Mishlei:[13]When you find honey, eat what is sufficient for you, lest you be satiated and vomit it up.

The numerological value for honey (Dvash) is the same as woman (Isha).

(Netivot Tohar, p. 34)

When a man is mourning his deceased wife, but has already married another woman, no one should enter his house to comfort him at all, and if someone encounters him in the street he should comfort him only with short, curt words. (This is all out of consideration for the feelings of the new wife.)

(Moed Katan 21a)

It is better for a man to request an evil woman, as he who marries an evil woman does not see the face of Gehenom. This is only for a person who can withstand the test.

(Pele Yoetz, Ahava)

Its been said in the Midrash that a wise woman once commanded her daughter: Stand before him like you would stand before a king and serve him. And if you become his maidservant, he will be your slave and and will honor you like a lady. But if you try to overpower him, he will become your master against your will.

(Menorot HaMaor, ner 3,  part 4, chapter 2)

Woe is to a father who keeps silent when he hears that his daughter has shamed her husband - and then goes to tell his wife: We were luckyto have a daughter who rules over her husband, whose husband is afraid of her, and who does what she desires  without asking him. And woe is to an evil woman who will see bitter days in which she will have to pay her dues. And as she defiles her father, people will say: Cursed is the man who raised this girl. Rather, a man must raise his daughter to love her husband and honor him. And her father will say to her: If you listen to him, he will love you strongly and you will attract his heart, and he will fulfill all your wishes and you will rule him…’ Every father must teach this to his daughter, from the time she is a child to when she becomes a young adult.

(Sefer HaBrit, p.164)

A proper woman is one who fulfills the wishes of her husband.

(Tanna Dbei Eliyahu Rabbah, 9)

What was so good about Yael that a great salvation came forth from her to the nation of Israel? It was said that she was a kosher woman who did the will of her husband. From here it was said that a proper woman is one who fulfills the wishes of her husband.

(Yalkut Shimoni, Shoftim siman 247)

And even if they are poor and have no clothes, still, the tired rags that she wears must be clean and free of any stain.

(Shevet Mussar, chapter 24)

When he is angry, his wife should calm him down. When he is troubled, she should talk to him. When he is in a bad state, she should comfort him. Even if she is worried, she should hide her worries so as not to make him sad. Her clothes should always be clean, she must honor his father and his family, even if they are shameful. She should show that she is happy with his gifts and that she possesses everything even when she possesses nothing. And she must pray for the success of her husband every day.

(Shelah - Shaar HaOtiyot, Derech Eretz)

And if she is ill, she must hide the level of her pain before her husband - she should strengthen herself before him. All of this should be done to make her dearer to him (as he will see that she is trying to make him feel more at ease). This will cause him to think about her constantly.

(Shevet Mussar, chapter 24)

And if she sees that her husband is depressed about his livelihood, she should not ask him for too many things, even if they are necessary for the needs of the household, still, she should limit herself. How will her demands help anyway? And if she stresses him out so much that he is embarrassed by her, she may give him the urge to steal.

(Shevet Mussar, chapter 24)

When a man directs his anger at his wife, she must assume that he is not upset with her at all, he is simply stressed from the market and is unintentionally taking his stress out on her. He doesnt actually hate her at all.

(Pele Yoetz, Ahava)

A woman should neither be lazy with the matters of the house nor the requests of her husband. For laziness causes poverty and uncleanliness in the home, which eventually turns into an unbearable burden. And even when there are clothes and utensils at home, because of laziness, they will become torn and dirty and resemble the clothing and utensils of the poor. And when the husband comes home from the street, even if he enters in high spirits, when he sees that in every corner there is dust and garbage and plates from last nights meal, he will come to desire the house of his fellow, and from this he will come to desire the wife of his friend who is careful about keeping her house clean, and it is the lazy wife who causes the husband to covet his neighbors house whose wife maintains the cleanliness of the house.

(Shevet Mussar, chapter 24)

Her nails and hair should be clean at all times and if she has some blemish, she should hide it from her husband as much as she can - for she may become repulsive to him.

(Shevet Mussar, chapter 24)

A woman whose lot has fallen in with a husband who is harsh in character and opinions not because of this should his honor be demeaned in her eyes, and he be despised in her heart, Heaven forbid. For he is to her as a decree of the ultimate matchmaker, King of the UniverseAnd her reward will be great when her deeds are pointed in that direction. (Translation: mishpattsedek.com)

(Pele Yoetz, Ahava)

A woman must always be fond of her husband. He is her lot and her fate. Her husbands onion shall be more desirable to her than thousands of almonds and nuts. She should eat her husbands bread with more love than peach jam. She should be happier about eating her husbands vegetables than about eating apples and candied fruit.

(Chukei HaNashim - Rabbi Yosef Chaim of Bavel, p.42)

A woman who is clean and organized for her husband is praised, as he will not be repulsed by her. And she should always dress in a proper and clean way. It is better for her to wear clothes that are simple and clean than clothes made of silk that are dirty. A long, simple robe is better than a short robe embroidered with gold. Clothes made of fabric that are closed are better than decorated clothes that are open. A woman is obligated to think about the way she appears before her husband; she must embellish and adorn herself. And even if her husband does not seek such things, she is still required to adorn herself and be clean. Her morning routine should consist of washing her face and mouth, thoroughly covering her head and straightening out her clothes. She must try as hard as she can and not deviate from any one of these ways. A woman who does the housework on her own, must make sure to maintain the cleanliness of her hands at all times. She must wash them, especially if she handles onions, garlic, or anything else that has an unpleasant odor. She should wash them with a substance that will remove the smell so that she does not become repulsive in the eyes of her husband.

(Chukei HaNashim, p.50)

The cleanliness of the house and its furnishings is left up to the woman - as that is her responsibility. First, she must clean out the dirt of the house. Then, on hot days and cold days, she should open the windows to ventilate the home and allow fresh air to enter. This kind of management brings peace of mind and physical health.

(Chukei HaNashim, p.51)

G-d will prolong the days of a woman who does not become irritated by the guests that her husband invites and who does not show that they are burdensome to her. She must value the guest and honor him according to her husbands will. And if she brings out something deficient before him, it will cause her husband to feel embarrassed, humiliated and degraded. A miserly woman will humiliate herself and her family and will become a laughing stock. Her shame will become known.

(Chukei HaNashim, p.53)

Israelite women owned mirrors, which they would look into when they adorned themselves. Even these [mirrors] they did not hold back from bringing as a contribution toward the Mishkan, but Moshe rejected them because they were made for temptation [i.e., to inspire lustful thoughts]. The Holy One, blessed is He, said to him, accept [them], for these are more precious to Me than anything, as it is through them that the women set up many legions [i.e., through the children they gave birth to] in Egypt. When their husbands were weary from back-breaking labor, they [the women] would go and serve them food and drink. Then they [the women] would take the mirrors and each one would see herself with her husband in the mirror, and she would seduce him with words, saying, I am more beautiful than you. And in this way they aroused their husbands desire and would copulate with them, conceiving and giving birth there, as it is said:[14] Under the apple tree I aroused you. This is the meaning of[15]the mirrors of those who set up legions. From these mirrors, the washstand was made, because its purpose was to make peace between a man and his wife.

(Translation: chabad.org)

(Rashi, Shemot 38:8, and the Holy Zohar - Shemot)

The whole reason the women wear jewelry is so that they do not become denigrated by their husbands. Meaning, a woman should adorn herself inside her home in order to please her husband, unlike the flawed custom of those who adorn themselves specifically when they go out to the marketplace - which is forbidden.

(Beit Yechezkel, p.32)

We find in the Zohar that relations between a man and his wife on the eve of her immersion, are on the same lofty level as the relations of Shabbat eve. This is a wonder; how can a weekday compare to Shabbat? The reason is that if the couple has observed the impure days in the proper way, and have separated themselves from each other according to the law, then in turn, the outer shell (the impure side) will also separate itself and remove itself from the side of holiness - measure for measure. Therefore, in this merit, when the woman immerses herself in the proper way, and clings to her husband (which is holy union), then G-d, in His kindness, will illuminate their roots with the great illumination formed by the upper union of the Spheres on the level of the holy Shabbat along with their specific rootsTherefore, how careful must the woman be with every single one of the laws of Niddah, as it is through them that she will receive this great illumination. 

(Ben Ish Chai, Shemini)

The reason why women were exempt from the time-bound mitzvoth, says Rabbi Shimshon Refael Hirsh, is not because of any deficiency in the woman, but on the contrary, it is because of her superior quality and importance. The woman does not need certain mitzvoth like the time-bound mitzvoth, to motivate her to connect to the Creator of the world. Women possess a holy inspiration for the service of G-d, and as a result of this, they are constantly connected to Him.

(Netivot Tohar, p.61)

The contribution offered by the days of separation is to increase the value of the woman. During the separation phase, the woman resembles the holy Chanukah candles which we do not have permission to use - we may only look at them so we can express our gratitude. Meaning, the days of separation act as a way to enhance the value and dignity of the woman in the eyes of her husband.

(Netivot Tohar, p.129)

Regarding that which Rabbi Yitzchak said[16] about a man who stumbles upon a sin that is punishable by death in the hands of heaven, if G-d has mercy on him and wants him to atone for the sin, how would the atonement occur? By the death of his cow, the loss of his chicken, the breaking of his dishes or by a bleeding cut on his finger - as a little bit of the Nefesh equates to the whole of the Nefesh. But clearly, this would not happen if he was angry and if he blamed his wife, children, or servants for causing him these damages, as he should know that they are only messengers of G-d who were appointed by Him to cause him damage and should therefore accept it with love, as G-d wanted this to occur for his atonement. But if he would have gotten angry and started a fight in his house, not only would he not be atoned by these damages, but he would also add more crime to his sin, G-d forbid. And according to the teachings of our sages who are completely just, he must be happier about losing than about winning, as there is no atonement in a gain. But if he is forever winning and never losing, then hes essentially consuming his world in this lifetime.

(Orot Elim, 194)

There are three things a man must say in his house on the eve of Shabbat at sundownand he must say them in a peaceful manner.

(Shabbat 34a)

Even if he is poor, she should regard him as a wealthy man. She should not condemn his actions, and expose his thoughts. She should honor his family and be fond of those who are close to him.

(Chukei HaNashim, chapter 9)

One must know that theres a great purpose in the perfection a man can achieve through his wife - specifically the woman who G-d had designated for him to marry. As our sages have said: We learn from the Torah, Prophets, and Writings that a husband and wife are a match from G-d. And had a man married another woman, he would not have been able to merit this great purpose. The reason for this can be seen in the Rabads introduction to the book Baalei Nefeshwho explains with great detail how a man and his wife are not separate entities that have settled together (like animals), rather, they are one physical entity that was divided into two parts. This is how G-d created the first Man - as one body, and then from that body he created Eve, his wife, as his helper.

(Shalom BOhalecha p.4)

If he possesses angry traits, she should not become upset with him, and if he yells at her, she should not hold a grudge in her heart. Even if his aggression makes her angry, she must immediately calm him down. She should not react to anything he does during his anger fit. And if he says bitter words to her, she should respond with sweet words. If she persists in this manner, he will come to regret his actions and straighten his ways on his own.

(Chukei HaNashim, chapter 9)

If a man comes home from work tired and tense, she must greet him with a pleasant face. She should not be sad or preoccupied. If her husband is a businessman who manages many undertakings, he may occasionally experience obstacles concerning money, business, or difficult people in the marketplace. And the nature of a person when he is stressed, even if he is stressed by something small, is to become agitated when dealing with his wife and kids - and when he faces a certain trouble or hardship, his mood will be ruined. Therefore, I am telling every single woman, that if she finds her husbands actions to be strange, and he is not dealing with her in the proper way, or he seems angry and aggressive with his words, she should not misinterpret his behavior or make all sorts of assumptions, rather, she should calm him down no matter what state he is in and align herself with him according to his mood. And eventually, when his troubles will pass, he will have a pleasant disposition and return to the relaxed state he was previously in.

(Chukei HaNashim, chapter 9)

Rabbi Chaim Vital had written: There is almost no other place or possibility for a man to correct and perfect himself as much as his home and the way he conducts himself there. And for each man, G-d designates the perfect woman to help him achieve that completion.

(Beginning of Shaarei Kedusha)

There is no doubt that he who learns to bear the offenses of his family members and avoids retaliation, will acquire the trait of humility in his heart concerning all matters.

Because if he is can bear the offenses of his household where he is the authority, then how much more so will he be able to bear the offenses of other people

(Reishit Chochma, gate of humility, 83)

Therefore, even if a person sees that he has great challenges in his home with regard to marital harmony, he should not fear. On the contrary, the greater the challenges, the more he should realize that there are great virtues in store for him for overcoming these challenges. This should motivate him to correct his character.

(Shalom BOhalecha p.6)

There is nothing more encouraging and favorable to a woman than a kind word or expression of gratitude from her husband. This makes her feel like she is pleasant in his eyes. It serves a great purpose to the husband as well, not only because it trains him to bestow good onto another person, but also because it shows his wife that he appreciates what she does etc. And in turn, she will feel more and more motivated to do the will of her husband and make him happy in all matters of the household, as this will lead to a greater level of love and peace between them.

(Shalom BOhalecha p.13)

A man should try to avoid criticizing or making comments regarding the matters of the home - as that would engender haughtiness, G-d forbid.

(Shalom BOhalecha p.14)

One of the great students of Maran RElazar Menachem Man Shach ztl who used to counsel young married men on marital harmony, once told me, that there is only one way to achieve a peaceful marriage: To give in, give in and keep giving in (this is in complete opposition to many senseless people who think that the only way to achieve compliance at home is by NOT giving in. On the contrary, if the peacefulness in their home is crumbling and deteriorating, G-d forbid, then specifically by giving in, the woman’s heart would soften up and she would begin to accommodate her husband and fulfill his wishes).

(Shalom BOhalecha p.18)

And even if he had already sinned and upset his wife, he can quickly correct the matter by lowering his pride and appeasing his wife with a sincere and humble heart asking for her forgiveness - even if he must do so numerous times a day. On the contrary, he needs to know that his wife hopes for and anticipates his appeasement and apology each time, and she too wishes to forgive and appease him with all her heart, and there are no words to describe the peacefulness and joy the forgiveness of a woman brings. This is a true kindness that can almost never be matched. 

(Shalom BOhalecha p.32)

A man should never compare his wife to other women he knows, as each woman has her own nature.

(Shalom BOhalecha p.32)

Be of the disciples of Aharon--a lover of peace, a pursuer of peace. And Rashi comments: If a man told his wife in a fit of anger: I forbid you from deriving any pleasure from me until you spit in the eye of the high priest, Aharon would approach the woman and say that he was suffering from an eye ailment, he would ask her to spit in his eye, as if her saliva had some medicinal value. (Translation: chabad.org)

(Avot 1:12)

So shall you say to the House of Jacob[17] says Rashi: These are the women whom you must speak to with a soft tongue. Here, G-d reveals to us through his Torah, that a soft tongueis the way in which one must speak to a woman - that is the only way she will accept the words being spoken.

(Shalom BOhalecha p.14)

So says the Torah: [18]Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife and they shall become one flesh- one organism. The first woman was taken from the rib (side) of the first man. This is an example for generations to come, as the foundation of a Jewish home is that wonderful kingdom called, the family. And the akeret habayit (the homemaker) is the heart of the family. She gives warmth, radiates goodness of spirit, and inspires a softness of grace and kindness with all that G-d has granted her within her extra measure of wisdom. She embroiders the delicate threads of the family ties as a vision and a reality, and strongly casts the molding of the home into her own image. Therefore, the integrity of her qualities is within the parameters of her character and beauty; they are holy to the great structure, the most wonderful of all structures - the structure that stands forever. 

(Taharat Hamishpacha, p. 332)

 

Notes and Sources

[1] Tehillim 34:15

[2] Bereishit 18:12

[3] Iyov 5:24

[4] Bereishit 18:9

[5] Baba Metzia 59a

[6] Tehillim 147:14

[7] As recounted at the end of the Book of Shoftim

[8] Bereishit 2:24

[9] Vayikra 19:17

[10] Mishlei 11:17

[11] Mishlei 14:1

[12] MaHaram of Rothenburg - Q&A siman 81

[13] Mishlei 25:16

[14] Song of Songs 8:5

[15] Shemot 38:8

[16] Midrash Kohelet Rabbah, chapter 7

[17] Shemot 19:3

[18]  Bereishit 2:24

Adapted from "The Keys to Life" by Rabbi Zamir Cohen

Most Read
https://www.hidabroot.com/