Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education and Research Institute
If you look at the spiritual roots of men and women, you will find it amazing that we can even see each other, much less communicate. So what can we do? Just that – communicate, but do it right, for a change
In the film What Women Want, Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson) is a chauvinistic womanizer who suddenly, by an unusual accident, gains a unique ability: to “hear” women`s thoughts. As a result, Nick becomes a man who can fulfill women`s wishes even before they ask him to. In the hands of a womanizer, this “talent” will more than likely be misused; but what man would not like to know women`s thoughts so he could (finally) understand them, and what woman would not like her man to fulfill her wishes before she even asks?
So how come men and women are so different? Biologically, the only difference between the sexes is a single chromosome. Can such a tiny difference explain such a chasm? And even if it can, is there a difference for such a difference in the personalities and modes of thoughts between men and women? Couldn`t the physical difference suffice for the continuation of the species? Why can`t we understand each other if we are meant to raise our offspring together? Wouldn`t it make more sense if nature made us understand each other`s needs?
Well, Kabbalah explains that nature did make understanding, but our detachment from nature – our human nature – has made us blind to the other gender`s needs. To understand each other, we must first understand where we come from and the purpose of our being here. So let`s get back to the roots.
The first thing to keep in mind is that there is only one force in reality. This force created life and sustains it. Hence, Kabbalists (aptly) name it: “the Creator.” This force is benevolent in its nature; otherwise it wouldn`t create anything to begin with. And to realize its desire to give, it created one, common soul. The only task of this soul is to receive the abundance, the goodness and delights that the Creator wants to give it. According to the Kabbalah, the Creator, the giving force is the spiritual root of the male part of reality, and the soul`s desire to receive the abundance is the feminine root of the female part of reality.
But this isn`t the end of the story, only its beginning. To give the (single) soul the intended abundance, the soul must become Creatorlike. In doing so, it will have everything that the Creator has – infinity.
For the soul to achieve a Creatorlike state, it must first be detached from the Creator, so as to subsequently achieve that state by itself. If it doesn`t achieve it by itself, it will be the Creator`s work, not the soul`s, and the soul will not have achieved anything in this way.
To teach the soul about giving and receiving and how to reconcile between them, the Creator splits the soul into two halves – a feminine half and a masculine one. Subsequently, these halves are further divided and shattered into billions of pieces. Each such piece is “implanted” into a woman or a man in this world. The feminine pieces are the roots of women`s souls in our world, and the masculine pieces are roots of men`s souls.
All this leads to one conclusion: the difference between men and women is as the difference between the Creator and the creation, the soul. This essentially different root dictates the essential difference between men and women, physically, emotionally, and in our outlook on life. Put differently, men and women belong to essentially different spiritual systems, and hence we will never bridge the gap between us, as long as try to do it only at the level of this world. To unite, we must unite our roots – Creator and creation.
But Kabbalah doesn`t leave you stranded. Instead of continuing to hit our heads against the wall, we can build such relationships between men and women, which emulate the spiritual system. In other words, we can build the same kind of relationships as the one that exists between the Creator and the soul. In this case, the very differences that have so far separated us will become the basis of our unity.
How is that done? In spirituality, the most important element, the motivating force behind spiritual processes is the desire. Without a preexisting desire, the Creator cannot give the soul the abundance that has been made ready for it. And the minute a need to be filled with pleasure appears in the soul, it opens up a hidden “spiritual faucet,” and the bounty begins to flow. The problem is that the male part, the giving part of the soul needs something to evoke it into action. Without it, it remains dormant, like the Creator, wanting to give but waiting for a receiving part to ask for it.
This is where the feminine part of the soul becomes active. Its role is to make the masculine part to want to advance toward the Creator and be filled with the pleasure that the Creator wants to give. Only if both parts of the soul work together toward that common goal, can the two parts of the soul bond into a complete spiritual structure where they complement each other and are filled with delight.
Therefore, in our world, a man cannot advance without a woman. And vice-versa, a woman cannot be filled with spiritual delight without a man. Thus, men and women are interdependent and complement each other.
When men and women work together toward the spiritual goal, they build their connection at an entirely different level – a spiritual level. In doing so, they transcend their mundane conflicts and differences, since they have a higher goal that fills their lives with content. When a man and a woman bond for the purpose of attaining a higher goal, they create a spiritual vessel between them, which doesn`t exist in reality. This vessel is neither feminine nor masculine, but a new vessel, in which they receive the sublime abundance – eternal and complete.
Such a life is unattainable alone. Couples who understand that mutual spiritual growth is the most precious gift that they can give to one another are the happiest couples. Their relationship acquires a deeper and genuine meaning, and they march together on a path of happiness and fulfillment.