In case you haven’t noticed, there is an all-out war against marriage going on today.
By ‘marriage’, I mean the holy union of a man and a woman.
I was translating some stuff from Rav Berland yesterday on shalom bayit, which gives the deeper kabbalistic reasons for why marriage and good shalom bayit are the foundations for rectifying our own souls, and the world.
The contrast with what is apparently being taught in Gur, and with all the LGBT123+++whatever stuff was so overwhelming, I decided to post up a big part of it, here.
And it really helps us to understand that when these forces are ‘going against’ marriage between husband and wife, AND also ‘going against’ good shalom bayit between a husband and wife – they are truly destroying the world.
You can’t serve Hashem if you aren’t married
What was Nadiv and Avihu’s sin? ‘And they sacrificed before Hashem a strange fire’.
Nadav and Avihus were such righteous, holy, pure tzaddikim, that every moment they made was only for the sake of Heaven. How is it, that they ‘sacrificed a strange fire’? And why is this called ‘a strange fire’?
The Zohar says (Parshat Shemini, 37): Says Rabbi Pinchas, every Kohen in the world, each and every Jew, if he isn’t married, or if he’s married and he doesn’t have shalom bayit, if he’s a Kohen, he shouldn’t approach to do his holy service.
It’s not written in the Torah that a Kohen needs to be married, but we’re learning that every Kohen who is not married should not approach to do his holy work. And the same thing is true for everyone.
The wife of the Maggid of Mezritch passed away in the month of Elul.
So, after Simchat Torah, the Chozeh [of Lublin] sent to the Maggid of Mezritch: None of your prayers ascended. You were without a wife, so you should know that all the prayers you prayed, none of those prayers ascended above.
And this was even though he’d prayed with deep dvekut, as he did each year.
The woman is malchut
The woman is the sefira of malchut. And the man is called ‘Zeir Anpin’. Zeir Anpin is from the sefira of chochma until the sefira of yesod – these are nine sefirot.
But when a man is without the sefira of malchut, so then nothing ascends above.
Not only that nothing ascends above, rather everything goes to the waste matter, all his mitzvot go to the Sitra Achra (dark side). When a person doesn’t have shalom bayit, it’s the same thing. Everything that he does, everything goes to the Sitra Achra.
All his prayers, all his learning, instead of driving away the evil, everything goes to the Sitra Achra.
And this is what Rabbenu explains (Lesson 41), that the role of Nadav and Avihu was to drive away the dark side – but they did exactly the opposite. Because if you aren’t married, then the Zohar says: That all their holy work throughout all the years went to the waste matter, and they even strengthened the waste matter.
And it’s the same thing, for anyone who isn’t married, or who doesn’t have shalom bayit. Everything goes to the dark side.
And this is what happens when there is no ‘connection’ between the first nine sefirot, and the sefira of malchut.
Both sides need to be connected
It’s like when a person takes an electric cord, but he doesn’t plug it into the appliance, so then it’s just a cord, and the appliance also doesn’t work.
In order for the appliance to work, the appliance has to be connected to the two wires: one wire is to introduce the flow of electricity, and the second wire closes the electrical circuit within the appliance – and only like this, can the appliance work.
It’s like a battery, that has a plus end and minus end, cathode and anode, that if the wire from the bulb only touches one side, then it won’t light up. And it’s only when you connect the bulb also to a second wire, that connects it to the second end of the battery, that you’ll close the electrical circuit and the bulb will light up.
And without this, there just won’t be any current. Even if you connect it up to the most awesome 100,000 kilowatt turbine – this won’t help at all.
If there’s no current, there’s no output
It’s the same principle with a human being.
Man and woman, this is the nine sefirot, plus the sefira of malchut. This is what creates the closed circuit, the current, this creates the circuit that can then perform all the tikkunim within all the sefirot.
And when a person doesn’t join together [with his wife], he doesn’t have a connection, which is to say that he doesn’t have shalom bayit, then he should know that no mitzvot are ascending above.
The malchut is not being communicated with.
And in every place where the ‘male’ and ‘female’ aspects are not both found, a person isn’t making any tikkun (spiritual rectification). The malchut, knesset yisrael, isn’t dwelling between them at all.
And so, HaKadosh Baruch Hu warned, “And with this Aharon should come to the Holy”. What is ‘with this’? It’s referring to the sefira of malchut, that if a person doesn’t have the sefira of malchut, or in other words, if he doesn’t have a wife – then he should know that none of his spiritual endeavors will ascend above.
The wife fixes everything
So, it’s only when there is a man and his wife; and, when the man descends to the sefira of malchut, and he’s prepared to really connect with the sefira of malchut, that it’s possible to work tikkunim (spiritual rectifications).
And so, if the Kohen HaGadol doesn’t have a wife, it’s forbidden for him to enter the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur, which is the day which is supposed to rectify the whole year, the day that is going to decide the whole year.
Doesn’t this explain so much, so awesomely?
And doesn’t it show, that so much of what is going on right now, both within our apparently ‘orthodox’ world and without, is mamash destroying God’s creation, spiritually?
The ‘dark side’ knows how the world really operates much more than we do. And it’s using our spiritual ignorance against us to sow destruction and suffering.
But now we know:
Only the union of a man and a woman, in the holy bond of marriage, can fix the world.
And only when that man and woman are really ‘connecting’ to each other, and have good shalom bayit, does all the rest of their spiritual work – the prayers, Torah learning and mitzvot – start to ‘work’, instead of just going straight to the dark side.
So that is why there is a war against marriage and shalom bayit going on.
I had some email correspondence about this piece with someone who was extremely unhappy with the idea that a single man’s mitzvot, Torah learning etc don’t build the world, and just go to the dark side.
So, I wanted to just clarify a few things, here.
First, these statements are not ‘Rav Berland’s ideas or opinions’ – they are firmly sourced in the Zohar and the Gemara, amongst other things.
That’s part of what makes them so powerful.
At the same time, this comes from a book on shalom bayit aimed at men, so it’s coming from the perspective of encouraging people who are already married to work on their shalom bayit.
Also, the Gemara and the Zohar often make very ‘strong statements’ that sound very ‘out there’, but in other places they soften them down, or even contradict themselves. This seems to be how ‘Jewish learning’ is done, and this subject is no different.
Lastly, I asked my husband what he thought, and this is what he sent me:
My own view – for what it’s worth (obviously, it’s not necessarily correct as I don’t have enough knowledge) – is that this is a ‘lav davka’ situation. Meaning what the Rav spoke about is true, from one perspective, but perhaps not the complete picture, as I agree that non-married people can still daven, do mitzvot and generally help rectify the world.I think the Rav used this Zohar to make a point, but sometimes statements in the Zohar are not so ‘black and white’ and there could well be more to it than just this.
The Rav argues subjects in a way that is very similar to many of the discussions in the Gemara.
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