The time: the sixth day of creation. Adam, man, had just been created, and G-d
"Lo Tov Heyos Haadam Levado, Eeseh Lo Ezer Knegdo"
It is not good for man to be alone, I will make for him a helper against him.
This, of course, refers to Woman.
Rashi asks the obvious question: why does the Passuk use the contradictory phrase, ezer
kenegdo, helper against him, to describe Woman?
As an answer he brings a Gemara (Yevamos), which succinctly states :
Zacha - ezer. Lo Zacha - Knegdo.
If he is worthy, she will be a helper. If he is unworthy, she will be against him.
But a question still stands. From the Gemara, it sounds as if the passuk is talking of
two separate men - one who is worthy, and one who is not. However, from the passuk it is
obvious that there is only one man. Why does the Gemara take the passuk out of its simple
meaning? An additional question on the passuk is, why is it not good for man to be alone?
Chazal state: "Ayn tov ela Torah"- there is no good other than Torah. The
"lo Tov" in this passuk refers to Torah. Meaning to say, man cannot reach the
state of perfection which is required by the Torah, alone.
The passuk in Mishlei says: "Ki kol derech ish yashar beynav"- A
mans every way is right in his eyes. Human nature is such that a man doesnt
see his own faults. And when he receives criticism from someone else, he disregards it
since he doesnt believe that the other person really has his own good in mind. True,
he does want to perfect himself and reach his potential, but alone this is impossible,
since he does not see his shortcomings and does not know in which areas he must improve.
Thus, man is held back from achieving personal perfection.
Therefore, Hashem said, "Eeseh lo ezer knegdo" I will make for
him a helper against him.
Meaning - I will give him a wife, who will have two qualities. On the one hand, she is
kgufo, a part of him, and thus, man cannot suspect that she does not have his own
good in mind. This is the meaning of Ezer, a helper. On the other hand, she is a separate
being, Knegdo, and such, she can behold his shortcomings. The job of the wife is to
use the quality of Knegdo, the fact that she is a separate being, as an Ezer -to
help man perfect himself by pointing out his faults and guiding him how to correct them.
- Sources: Yalkut Lekach Tov, from Zichron Meir
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