there is no between

A post over at ASimpleJew had me thinking. He quoted the Chidushei HaRim:
Perhaps the real truth lies within the words of Rebbe Yitzchak Meir Alter of Ger, who once said, "There are only two who truly know you: G-d and your spouse."
I never liked that distinction between God and spouse. Simply because I want to give all that I am to both God and my wife. How can one divide oneself between two things? How could either be more important than the other. My only solution is to devote myself totally to my wife because God was the one who brought her to me. How could it be any other way?

The Notzer Hesed (which I also brought in my comment to the linked post) says that a man is always between two women, the Shechinah and his wife.

The Zohar (which I again brought in my comment) says that a man's proper conduct with his wife at home ensures that the Shechinah accompanies him on his journeys.

Just as it is important to appropriately prepare your house to welcome the Shabbath, it is important to treat your wife (lehavdil) the way you would treat the Shechinah so that the Shechinah is welcome to dwell upon her.

On the other hand, we have a chevruta, or should at least, now this person also knows you intimately, but in a completely different way. How does that square and how does that relate to your other relationships, with the Shechinah and your wife?

Rebbe Nachman explains that when two people are sitting and learning, it creates a vacuum between them that is akin to the vacuum created by the original TzimTzum into which God injected His light and created the world.

From here we see that the relationship of the Chevruta is one of pushing apart from one another, emptying out a space in the middle of which the Torah of your learning can create worlds consumate with your efforts in your study.

The relationship with one's spouse is a union negating all parts and resulting in something even beyond a world. What comes out of the union of a marriage is the ribui, the amassing, of infinite potential to create endlessly.

The relationship of the Chevruta can be related to Olam haZeh, this finite world, whereas the relationship with one's wife is more correctly related to Olam haBa, the world to come which has no end.


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