Tuesday, December 30, 2008

“In the End They Were Created As One…”

An American avreich living in Yerushalayim once went to HaRav Yaakov Yisroel Fischer, zt”l, with what he perceived to be a big problem. “When my wife is expecting and nearing her due date, my mother comes to visit in anticipation of the birth but she stays with one of my siblings in a different area. Since she is very nervous about my wife’s condition, she calls the house often to check up on my wife. If, for some reason, my wife doesn’t pick up the phone, she calls me and insists that I make efforts to verify that she hasn’t gone to the hospital. My mother often tries to get me to call my neighbors to check on my wife and report back to us. As the Rav can imagine, all of this is very trying and makes a tense situation all the more difficult. I feel duty-bound to obey my mother, but every time I call my neighbor, my wife is understandably incensed. It is perfectly within her right to leave the house on occasion or lie down to rest—or ignore the phone, for that matter. My mother wants one thing and my wife another—what can I do?”
HaRav Fischer answered, “When your mother asks you to find out your neighbors number, explain to her that you can’t.”
The avreich protested, “But I can always call information to find someone who lives nearby!”
HaRav Fischer said firmly, “So forget the number. Or don’t find it, or discover that it’s busy. Or that they’re not at home. Kol tuv.” And he immediately dismissed the avreich by calling in the next questioner. “Arayn! Next!”
The young man was confused about why his wife’s needs should take precedence over his mother’s demands. He decided to ask his Rav.
The Rav explained, “The Gemara in Kesuvos 8a states that Hashem originally intended to create Adam and Chava separately but decided to create them as one being instead. The Rashbah explains that this was so that they would actually be one, that they would experience a closeness that surpasses the bond between a child and a parent. What Dayan Fischer was trying to tell you was that your mother has no right to cause discord between you and your wife, especially over such a trivial matter!”

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