Sunday, December 20, 2009

First Chapter: "Kedusha veZniut" by Rabbi Daniel Frish


The first chapter of Rabbi Daniel Frish's book "Kedusha ve'Zniut - Holiness and Modesty" mainly deals with the commandment to get married and have children. A male has to get married in order to fulfill the first Torah commandment "Be fruitful and multiply". Those who do not marry at a certain age and, instead, waste their semen (zera), cause the Shechinah (G - d's presence) to move further away from the Jews.

A man without a wife is not called MAN.
It says in the kabbalistic Zohar that a man not fulfilling the commandment "Be fruitful and multiply" causes the Shechinah to move away from the earth. Meaning, the further G - d's presence is moving away, the more our planet is vulnerable to catastrophes such as earthquakes, Tsunamis, wars, etc.

The Mitzvah for a man to "Be fruitful and multiply" does not only apply to Jews but also to Gentiles and even to animals. The Shechinah (G - d's presence) only spreads through Neshamot (souls) which were created in the upper spiritual worlds (Beriah). Those Neshamot are being send down in a human body into our physical world. When a man does not have children, he does bring down those Neshamot into our material world (Asiah). Rabbi Frish's commentary on this subject is quite threatening because he sees a man without children on a lower level than a kosher animal. It goes without saying that there are men in this world who are unable to have children (due to various medical reasons) and those people are exempt from the Mitzvah.

Through having children, man is like G - d because he creates a new human being. The world is not only for enjoying oneself and sleep, eat and drink. Following a materialistic lifestyle is selfish and humankind was created to listen and follow its creator.

When a man is getting married, he causes the Ge'ulah (redemption) to come closer, as it says in Talmud Yevamot 62b: "There won't be a (Meshiach) ben David until all created Neshamot will be / have been brought into this world".

Singles only have half of the body because they are not complete (with their soul mate).

This all sounds very frightening but, nevertheless, as humans, we run against all kinds of laws and commandments. In the Jewish religious world it is more than common that people get married at a young age. Haredim sometimes even earlier than national religious Jews.
I have nothing against a marriage but one has to find the right match. I am not just running around in order to catch someone and have children in order to fulfill the Mitzvah (although the Mitzvah applies to men only). The older you get, the higher your expectations of a future spouse. When you are young, well, what do you want ? Maybe someone studying Torah or men dream of an "Eshet Chayil - Righteous Woman".

It is not that easy to fulfill this Mitzvah; especially when you did not get married as a teenager. But even if, divorce is always possible.
I may have this Hollywood mentality with love and things but in my eyes, a marriage has to be a successful one and then you think of children. My parents were divorced and I know how it is growing up in a home falling apart. So, I think twice and even three times before I ever get married

Does the Mitzvah "Be fruitfull and multiply" above happiness and love ? Maybe the Toldot Aharon (and later Toldot Avraham Yitzchak) Rabbi Daniel Frish may have thought this way. In his circles, people, of course, do not give too much about love but more about a common goal. You get used to each other and build a family. You have children and they make your life.

Nevertheless, when I read all his opinions and even the definitions in the Talmud, my "selfishness" is coming out and telling me about LOVE. And, like Hollywood, I do believe in it.


  1. Shalom...
    yes, this is a ticklish subject. If you abnegate your will in favor of G-d's will, you act accordingly. Not easy for us modern Westerners.
    There is a part of me that longs for that unity of marriage. But my "selfish" part insists that I wait for the "right" person!

  2. Says in the gemara that if a man doesn't get married by 18 or 19, he will have dirty thoughts the rest of his life, even if he does marry after!

    Just as an aside, do chassidim generally have very long engagements? An 18 year old I know got engaged last month, but the wedding is next August.