"When a man marries a woman..." (Deut. 22:13)

The Torah states many laws related to marriage.

The Hebrew word for marriage is Kiddushin, which can mean 'holiness,' or 'set apart.' Thus, marriage is about both holiness and excluding other people from the relationship between a man and woman.

Divine Energy needs to be flowing constantly in the Process of Creation for the world to exist. Spiritual levels called Zeir Anpin and Nukva cause Divine Energy to flow by interacting in a way that corresponds to the interaction between male and female.

Zeir Anpin and Nukva are known as the "son and daughter". When they interact, they also cause the higher levels of Chochma and Bina, known as "father and mother", to interact as well. These interactions cause an abundant flow of Divine Energy that bring blessing and Holiness to the world.

These interactions are driven by people observing Torah and Mitzvot with feeling.

These four levels, Chochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin, and Nukva (Father, Mother, Son, Daughter) correspond to the four letters of G‑d's most holy name Havaya / י — ה — ו — ה.

When a husband and wife engage in relations in a warm, supportive, relationship, they emulate the interaction in the Process of Creation that keeps Divine Energy flowing to the world.

Thus, marriage reflects the flow of Divine Energy through the Process of Creation.

Since there are twelve ways the four letters of Havaya can be arranged, a man who gets married is exempt from the army for twelve months.

Just as their bodies interact in this world and become as one, their souls interact in Heaven and become as one.


From Shenei Luchot Habrit (Shelah) by Rabbi Yeshaya Halevi Horowitz (1560-1630) on the five books of Torah, Talmud, and Jewish themes. It explains Torah and Midrash from a perspective of Kabbalah. Rabbi Horowitz was a rabbi in cities in Europe and then Israel, including Prague and Jerusalem.

Rabbi Chaim Kosofsky is a Chabad shliach for Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy (LYA) in Longmeadow, MA. He teaches classes for adults and makes pastoral visits to homes and offices. He is the author of Much, Much, Better (Hachai, 2006).