Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Rav Dessler: Free-will & creation of Adam

Rav Dessler (Michtav M’Eliyahu 4:116): Free-will of men and women and its relationship to Adam being created with two faces (partzuf). It states in Eiruvin (18b) in the beginning Adam and Eve had a single body (guf) except they had two faces (partzuf) and later they were separated. The term “guf” is refering to lower part of the nefesh (as I explain elsewhere). That is where man has free-will. This that originally that Adam and Eve had a single “guf” that means that originally woman was only created as a means that Adam could reproduce but not that each one of them had separate free-will. Rather their free-will i.e., “guf"  was the same. It is clear that Adam was a very wise person as we see that his comprehension was in truth great  because he gave names to all the animals. His ability to give names means that he perceived the essence and true purpose of each creature. In addition the Torah says that the name he gave was in fact its name i.e., his understanding of the animals agreed with that of G‑d (Chizkuni). Adam himself never sinned in any matter and in fact it never occurred to him to sin to the slightest degree. This can be seen from that he did not eat from the Tree of Knowledge [to transgress G‑d command] but simply to listen to his wife. Because his understanding was so great when there was only one decisor it was impossible for Satan (devil) to seduce him.  In other words, originally his good inclination was not equal in strength to his evil inclination [but was greater]. Therefore G‑d separated the woman from him. That means He gave her independent free‑will. By doing so it strengthen the power of the evil inclination and thus equated the power of the good inclination to that of the bad inclination. (It is to be understood that all of this is referring to the level of Garden of Eden as we discuss in volume II page 137). The reason why man was originally created as one entity and then separated in order that there should be no entry for at all for  the evil inclination – was in order to establish the foundation of the good aspect and that man should have his awareness of truth strengthened. This would provide significant help for him after he was seduced by his evil inclination. In the original condition the woman was simply an appendage for the an without any independent free-will of her own (as we mentioned previously). In true also now after the separation - that the woman’s free-will is to be an instrument for the man. As it says in Sanhedrin (22a), A woman is unformed matter (golem) and she does not establish a covenant except with the one who made her a utensil. The nature of a women is that a women experiences her honor and importance in the honor and importance of her husband. That is because the purpose of the woman is from the aspect of “the mitzva is a candle” while that of her husband  is from the aspect of “the Torah is light” (See Zohar Terumah 161a). In other words the free will of the woman is to correct the material aspect of existence regarding mitzvos and good deeds and to prepare the candle (the material means i.e., the home). While the free will of the man is to ascend in Torah and to light the candle with the light of Torah in order that the light of the spiritual Torah fill the home. This is similar to the fact that a candle without a flame is nothing and so is a flame without a candle can not provide illumination (Zohar there). In other words the free will of the man and that of the woman complement each other. [ see here for the Hebrew text ]


  1. does any of this make sense? does it in anyway correspond to reality?

  2. So why is the consent of the bride necessary for a wedding? since the husband is the one who knows what has to be done, he should just choose a wife and take her, without asking first.

    I suspect that requiring consent of the wife is not torah-true, but a later, modern addition.


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