||THE CENTRALITY OF TRUST IN
MARRIAGE, PART THREE
- Thursday, January 11, '01 - Parshas Vayechi 5761
[The Maharal analyzes the midrash, starting
with strong words.]
You must know that these two things, the weasel and the well, correspond to male and
The weasel corresponds to the male. This is corroborated by the fact that weasel [in
Hebrew, CHuLDaw] is from the same root word as thrusting [in Hebrew, CHaLawDaw], and by
the related fact that the nature of the weasel is to dig. The digging, thrusting, active
connotation represents the male.
The well is the opposite, being an open receptacle, corresponding to the female.
The male-female relationship is the same as the relationship of Heaven to earth. In
each case, there is an active provider (Heaven, or, the male) and a receiver (earth, or,
the female). Both are relationships of faith, meaning:
* that each (the provider and the receiver) must be entities of total, unchanging,
unending faithfulness, so much so
* that either one may always have total, unchanging, unending faith in the other.
When the weasel and the well were the witnesses enforcing the sacred covenant to marry,
they were each designated to be witness to their corresponding corollary:
* the weasel - male, and
* the well - female,
towards the end that the faithfulness between the man and the woman be ensured so that
this faithfulness would endure permanently.
You must know that the man and the woman have a relationship together exclusively based
on faith. Any falsity, breach of integrity, is antithetical to the union of husband and
wife. Marriage and violation are mutually exclusive.
When the weasel and the well were designated as witnesses to enforce the union of the
man and woman, it constituted designation of the marriage relationship as a relationship
of trustworthiness; with each partner:
* to be faithful and
* permitting the other partner to have faith,
mutually and together. Therefore, the children born to the first wife had to be lost
specifically through a weasel and a well, precisely because the weasel and the well were
the enforcers of man-woman faithfulness [the first marriage was a breach of faith to the
first young woman].
Understand that the reason that the young woman remained faithful is that the female is
naturally inclined to more faithfulness than the male. We see that the female corresponds
to faith by virtue of the fact that "faith" [in Hebrew, "emuna"] is a
feminine-gender word. The male corresponds to "truth" [in Hebrew,
"emess"], a masculine-gender word. The female is less inclined to truth than to
faithfulness, and a male is less inclined to faithfulness than is the female [end of
Maharal's essay]. To be continued, applying the Maharal's writings to the practical