There’s an idiom, marriages are made in heaven. This idiom comes from the Talmud, which states, “Heaven decrees that this woman is to be the wife of this man.”
Not only does G-d bring couples together, but He can also bring a man and a woman together from opposite ends of the world. In fact, every match is like the creation of a new world (see Made in Heaven - A Jewish Wedding Guide, page 2).
A Rabbi once said something very profound:
“One doesn’t marry someone because they love them. Rather, one loves someone because they are married to them. Yet, a person loves a lot of people. Why should he limit himself to one person? Love everybody. Nevertheless, you only marry one person.”
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan zt”l has a different perspective on love. He notes that the Hebrew word for love, אַהֲבָה, has the numerical value of thirteen. This is the same as the numerical value of the Hebrew word אחד meaning “one.” In its deepest sense, love takes two people and makes them into one (Made in Heaven - A Jewish Wedding Guide, page 8).
Love between parent and child exists because parent and child feel like one. They are part of the same family and feel a bond of unity. The bond between man and woman reflects this. However, until a person marries, his strongest love is naturally directed toward his parents. After marriage, it is directed toward his soulmate (Made in Heaven - A Jewish Wedding Guide, pages 11-12).
However, until a person marries, his strongest love is naturally directed toward his parents. After marriage, it is directed toward his soulmate.
[See ArtScroll Sotah 21a, note 43]
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan zt”l states:
“I recall a conversation that I had many years ago with a man who had recently celebrated his fiftieth wedding anniversary. He said, ‘Young couples think that they are in love. But they don’t know what true love really is. After fifty years of marriage - then you know what it means really to be in love!’” (Made in Heaven - A Jewish Wedding Guide, page 15).
The Maharal says that marriage celebrates the total commitment of two parties to each other – he’s not referring to the democrat and republican parties. The obligations of a Jewish marriage arrangement are recorded in the כְּתוּבָּה, document. The set monetary settlement allocated to a maiden was 50 silver shekels – equivalent to 200 dinars in Mishnaic currency. This sum finds its perfect parallel in the giving of the Torah, where the contractual duties of our nation’s wedding day came into effect on the 50th day after leaving Egypt (Jewish Wisdom in the Numbers by Osher Levene with Rabbi Y. Hartman, page 306).
Where does this need to get married come from?
Why did אָדָם feel the need to have a helpmate?
What does man do? Rebbe Shimon says he pursues her:
A woman is not as aggressive about finding her soulmate as a man.
Why is that so?
Why do a man and woman both need each other to thrive?
Rav Yisrael Meir HaKohein Kagan says the following:
The word אִשָׁה, woman, sounds similar to אׅישׁ, man. From here we see that the world was created with לשון הקודש, the Holy Tongue – Biblical Hebrew (Chafetz Chaim on the Torah – volume 1, page 76)
G-d removed one of אָדָם’s ribs to create חַוָה; man, always seeks its return through marriage, as he becomes whole once again by joining with his “lost possession,” whose assistance he needs to fulfill all of his needs and aspirations. Therefore a man shall... cling to his wife and they shall become one flesh (Kleinman Ed Midrash Rabbah: Bereishis Vol 4 Parshiyos Vayeishev – Vayechi, Parshas Mikeitz, 17:8, note 81)
Why does he want to get married? The Bavli, a Tosefta, Medrash Rabbah and Medrash Tanchumah all give the same answer:
Everyone has a different reason for getting married. Once he decides that he wants to get married, the Seforno says the following:
Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler says:
“I always say to a couple at their wedding, ‘Make sure, my dear ones, that you always desire to give happiness and pleasure to one another, as you feel at this time. And know, that the moment that you start making demands from each other - behold, your happiness has already left you’” (Seek Peace and Pursue It by Dr. Dovid Lieberman, page 180, note 1)
Gerald Brenan would say, “In a happy marriage it is the wife who provides the climate, while the husband provides the landscape.”