We already spoke a little about how marriage needs to be guided by Torah and that men and women’s degree of spirituality influence how well a marriage will play out. We also saw how prayer is one of the most essential tools available to us in order to bring salvation. The study of Torah, each one according to his level, remains the single most important occupation, since this what will most improve the power of prayer as Rebbe Nachman teaches in Likkutey Moharan 1:1.
Here we will discuss a little how middos matter in marriage. Basically, Middot are character traits. The Ba’al Shem Tov in Tzava’at HaRivash teaches us that there are only 6 main middot (sephirot) as we’ve seen before: lovingkindness, sternness, beauty, victory, splendor and foundation. All character traits that are revealed in people therefore flow from one of the six. For example, someone who’s stingy has a defect on “sternness”, because he withholds the good that he could’ve been giving. In a similar vein, someone who lusts has a blemish on “foundation” since his desire for connection (an offshoot of foundation) is misguided.
A deeper look into Middot
Rav Chaim Vital writes in Sha’arei Kedusha that a person who fixes his middos will easily perform all the mitzvos. Surprisingly, he adds that part of the judgment in the afterlife is precisely how well a person fixed his middos vis a vis how much was expected of him. This is because the rectification of middos is what will unite a person’s desires and liberate his inner power.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise since, as a person goes higher and higher spiritually, he begins to feel less desire for food, power, money, pleasures, and honor. The more a person is closer to Hashem, the ultimate source of good, the more he desires less of this world.
This is what Rav Chaim Vital writes in Sha’arHaGilgulim that a few sages, including Eliyahu HaNavi, Pinchas, and Rabbi Yehuda were called by the appellation “Malach” (angels) and ascended to Gan Eden while alive.
Hashem’s calculation for marriage
Most of the people cannot fathom a drop of Hashem’s calculation to define how events happen. Very few can make sense of why certain things happen in the past and even less can see how the future will (likely) play out. But we know from tradition that certain things can speed up the salvation we desperately pray for.
For those who are looking to get married, it’s important to realize that the degree of purity and prayer will greatly influence how fast they find their spouse. This is because marriage is indeed the next quantum step of spiritual evolution a person goes through in life. Our sages already taught that “Hashem does not withhold his goodness from anyone who walks in his paths in wholeness”. While a person is steeped in sin, the Kategor (accusing angel) prevents him from receiving the good he is supposed to receive, at least until he does a sufficient level of Teshuva. This goes for both Jews and non-Jews.
Likewise, it’s well known that marriage is one of the most difficult challenges in life. This is valid for both men and women, as dedication to Hashem’s service is crucial to achieving peace and blessings. Marriage is not a division of work and benefits but the full dedication of two people giving their best to each other. For this reason, the Rabbis enacted many rules and guidelines such as obligating men to work and forbidding in very stern language when either men or women cheats. While biblically speaking only a woman is forbidden from cheating, the Rabbis pronounced a special curse for a man who cheats.
The important takeaway is that Hashem is closer the more we rectify ourselves, and our prayers can also help us fix our middos. In the end, it is our effort that counts, since the results really are in His hands. May we merit all the blessings from the Torah in our homes!
This article was written and published in the zechut of all Emuna Builder Partners. May they have complete emuna and continue spreading emuna!