Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ezer Kenegdo

What does the phrase "ezer kenegdo" mean? Does it mean man and women are facing each other? Confronting one another? One serving the other?

We find the answer in parshat Vayishlach.

[Esav] said: "Let us go and travel, and I will walk lenegdecha." (33:12)

Esav is suggesting that he and Yaakov walk together, side by side, to a common destination. Not that one walks normally while the other awkwardly backpedals in front of him!

Similarly "ezer kenegdo" means that the husband and wife are walking side by side. Not coincidentally, that's the way that couples normally do walk. So when you next see a man and woman walking side by side, think: that is how God intended them to relate to one another, and how God defined their relationship.

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