Vayetzei: Bring Joy to Your Wife

A man should be vigilant not to upset his wife.

Rabbi Yehuda HaKohen,

 Rabbi Yehuda HaKohen
Rabbi Yehuda HaKohen
INN:YH

"Rachel saw that she had not borne children to Yaakov, so Rachel became envious of her sister; she said to
HaShem took Yaakov to task for the insensitivity he displayed toward his wife.
Yaakov, 'Give me children - otherwise I am dead.' Yaakov's anger flared up at Rachel, and he said, 'Am I instead of G-d who has withheld from you fruit of the womb?'" (Bereishit 30:1-2)

These verses illustrate a major distinction in the personalities of Rivka and Rachel. Throughout twenty years of barrenness Rivka never once complained to her husband. Even during the troubles with her eventual pregnancy, she took her problems directly to HaShem. As a result, the love between Yitzhak and Rivka grew.

Rachel, on the other hand, took her grievances to Yaakov, who in turn responded harshly. Although this might indicate a character flaw in Rachel, our sages teach that HaShem took Yaakov to task for the insensitivity he displayed toward his wife: "Is this the way to answer an aggrieved person? By your life, your children (by your other wives) are destined to stand humbly before her son Yosef!" And so it was in Egypt that all of Yosef's brothers did in fact bow before him.

The Talmud (Ketubot 62b) relates the story of Rabbi Rachumi, who would learn Torah with his teacher Rava for long periods of time and would only come home to his wife on the eve of Yom Kippur. One year, he became so preoccupied with his studies that he neglected to return home. His lonely wife, waiting expectantly for his return, eventually became grief stricken and began to cry. As the first teardrop left her eye, the roof of the study hall collapsed and her husband was killed.

This story teaches a valuable lesson. A woman's tears are swiftly avenged by HaShem and a man should be vigilant not to upset his wife. Because Rabbi Rachumi neglected his wife, it appears that G-d in turn neglected the merit of his learning when passing judgment. We can derive from this tale the supreme importance of bringing joy to the women in our lives. By hurting one's wife, a man is in fact endangering himself. Because HaShem is so
It must be on a man's agenda to shower his wife with perpetual happiness.
sensitive to a woman's tears, it must be on a man's agenda to shower his wife with perpetual happiness.

A man is a channel of life, happiness, health and blessing from above; and if he chooses to be an open channel, then he is constantly giving joy while receiving it from HaShem. But if he closes the channel, then everything shuts down and life becomes difficult.

While other mitzvot are certainly important, serious attention must be shifted to the happiness of our women. Only by learning to make the individuals in our lives happy can we become capable of giving love to the entire Jewish Nation. And only once we are able to feel a limitless love for all Am Yisrael can we shine blessing to all of humanity as the kingdom of priests and holy empire that we are destined to become at the apex of history.






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