What lies behind the interest between the sexes? Is the love story, the music and the mystique and the moonlight, only nature’s way of hoodwinking women and men to copy?
In this post, I want to examine two approaches. One is the, modern, scientific strategy that is common. And we’ll compare the Torah strategy and it – particularly, the Kabbalistic Chassidic view on Torah.
There are, needless to say, numerous lay-scientific theories of sexuality. From this standpoint, our interest derives in the fact the perpetuation of the species is reached through a physical relationship between a female and a man. The man will, therefore, seek for the female who’s fertile and will produce the healthiest offspring; the female will seek for a man who will shield the young, is the most virile, and supplies the most wholesome seed.
This theory explains why women and men seek out and mate with each other. Also, it clarifies that certain characteristics are incredibly enticing to the opposite sex because they suggest signals of health or fertility which might be significant for the perpetuation of the species.
What this theory says is that behind the sensuality of love quotes and the beauty, there exists a power that is primal: the demand to perpetuate that existence and to exist. Individuals will not be prepared to think of themselves simply as children to be born by generation machines, so biology and development have conspired to imbue the physical marriage not only with a mystique that compels them along the journey that is intimate, but also with joy.
Gazing into a family member’s eyes across a candlelit table-for-two, one may presume he or she’s risen above a survival of the fittest manner of existence, but, in truth, this “growing higher” is simply nature’s way of packaging that drive. Two human beings are basically the same as two bees. The accouterments of human courtship– the moonlight, the love affair, the blossoms, the music –are actually only nature’s way of getting two people together.
Nature is callous. Nature must predominate. So nature finds the means to get a female and a male to mate. This, essentially, is the scientific method of physical attraction. Why don’t we now compare this with the strategy of the Torah?
The Torah’s concept of human sexuality is entirely different: we’re driven to hunt for our quintessential self, for our divine picture.
They are not half people; a guy is a full fledged girl and character is a full-fledged character. But there are components within their persona that are transcendental that remain incomplete if they do not locate each other. There is something lost in each of them; they were part of a whole that is greater.
To get it in more mysterious terms, they are actually seeking to become one with G‑d.
The human race is, essentially, one thing, a male-female singularity.
The teachings of Kabbalah take this a step farther, seeing the male-female dynamic not only as two sexes within a species, but instead two types of energy: a projective energy and an internal energy. Manly energy and female energy coexist in every part of nature and in every man.
Even G‑dliness is occasionally described in the feminine and occasionally in the masculine.
So what we have here is a break of a yearning and two energies. When a guy is brought to a girl to a man, or a girl, it might appear to be an incredibly biological impulse, but from a Jewish, Torah view, it is simply a real symptom of an incredibly heavy, religious interest.
This can be not to say the Torah’s concept of sexuality just isn’t intrinsically tied directly into the goal of creating new life. It definitely is. But perpetuation of the species just isn’t the only end of our interest.
So there’s something divine about the marriage itself. If the physical union was only the mechanism for childbearing, one might claim, “Hey, no perpetuation of the type, what is the purpose of marriage and closeness? Only a selfish enjoyment? Where is the holiness?”
The solution: In and of the unity of male and female, itself is a divine encounter, a divine action.