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Love #3: One But Seperate

"Therefore man shall leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife AND THEY SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH." [Breishis 2/24]

"Although the act of nurturing another's spiritual growth has the effect of nurturing one's own, a major characteristic of genuine love is that the distinction between oneself and the other is always maintained and preserved." [M. Scott Peck]

On the surface Mr. Peck's [wouldn't it be great if his first two names were Woody Wood] assertion seems to be contradicted by the Torah. But if we look at Rashi on the pasuk we see that he doesn't understand it to be teaching us that a husband and wife are literally one [see there and also see the other major commentaries]. So of course a husband and wife should be super-close and enjoy an intimate spiritual, emotional and physical bond [in that order] unmatched by anyone else. But part of love is appreciating and respecting differences and allowing the significant other to be his or her unique self.

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Spiritual before emotional?

Rav Ally,
Did you actually read "The Road Less Travelled"? It is the best secular mussar book I have ever read (not that I read so many!)

I was really in awe of the genius of the author - until I read the sequal ("Further along the road less travelled") in which the author revealed something about himself that contradicted everything he "preached"!

Nevertheless, I think it is definitely a book to be learned from.

Dear Blackbelt

I did read it years back.

Full disclosure: I also fail to live up to some of the ideals that I write and speak about! We are only human and are allowed to have failings. The important thing is to strive for perfection and to correct our past mistakes.

How is that for a limud zchus for M. Scott?!

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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