Every man needs a wife

Advice for shalom bayit

The importance of having a wife

Excerpt of a shiur given in Bet Shean, December 2018, by Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita.

[The Rav begins his shiur with an excerpt from the Nusach Pidyon Nefesh, which can be found in Rebbe Nachman’s writings on Tractate Yevamot 62b, where it states that the root of judgements is to be found in Binah, and explains how to sweeten harsh judgments at their root.]

If we want to sweeten the [harsh] judgments, everything depends on the woman.

The woman, the wife, is the root of all the judgment. The woman is Binah[1], the man is Chochmah, and chochmah, wisdom, only comes through learning the Gemara.

A man wants to have wisdom, if he wants that there won’t be two women in the house[2], then the whole thing depends on a woman not marrying another ‘woman’ [i.e. a man who hasn’t attained the proper measure of chochmah, or wisdom.] This is not going to work!

So, we need to see to it that the woman will act like a woman, and that the man will act like a man.

The woman, the wife, is Binah, and the husband is Chochmah, and this is the way that they can both become elevated up to [the spiritual level of] Keter.[3]

The whole wedding is only in order to become elevated up to the level of Keter. This is what frees (lit: reaps) the trapped ‘Mem’ (= 40)[4]….It’s impossible to cut away the Mem, other than by the woman placing her finger inside the [wedding] ring, and then [according to the laws of Kiddushin] she is acquired – dafka, it has to be with a ring.

It’s possible to lekadesh (sanctify) a wife with 10 shekels, too, but acquiring is dafka done with a ring, because then it’s possible to free the Mem…

The whole aspect of peace, it only comes by way of the woman.

If a man doesn’t have a wife, then he also has no peace – he has no peace internally, with himself….So, it’s assur (forbidden) for a man to be without a wife for a single moment.

[A man who is in an] unmarried state has no peace, and no happiness, and no Torah, either. His Torah has no way of ascending. If a man learns Torah but he doesn’t have a wife, his Torah has no way of being elevated up. His Torah all goes to the klipot (the dark side).

That’s why it says in the Gemara (Yevamot 62b), that a man in an unmarried state has no Torah, no happiness, and no Shechina.

The wife is the Shechina. The wife is not a ‘body’, we need to cover up the body, we need to conceal the body, because the wife is only the Shechina. She’s only the neshama (soul).

Translated and adapted from the Shivivei Or Newsletter #74


[1] Binah is one of the 10 Kabbalistic sefirot, or worlds. Chochmah is another of these 10 worlds. Kabbalistically, ‘Binah’ is always associated with the women, with the feminine side, Chochmah with the masculine side. The relationships between men and women in our lowly world are ‘representations’ of what is occurring in the spiritual, or Kabbalistic domain.

[2] I.e. he wants to be have the spiritual aspect of acting as a man, instead of behaving spiritually like a woman.

[3] The Kabbalistic level of Keter, or crown, is the most elevated of the 10 sefirot.

[4] See Lesson 1:30 in Likutey Moharan: “Now, one must see to it that the Malchut is severed and separated from the Four Exiles, and lifted up out of there, which is mainly accomplished by way of kindness, as in: ‘The throne will be established with kindness’ (Isaiah 16:5), as in, ‘Reap according to kindness’ (Hosea 10:12). Through kindness, one ‘reaps’ and cuts away the dalet [= 4], the Malchut, and separates it from them, raising it up to the Light of the Countenance.”


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