God, Woman, and Man by David Gertler


אשה כי תזריע וילדה זכר, “A woman, when she conceives and gives birth to a boy” (12:2).

Many have pointed out that if you take the wordאיש  and the word אשה and take out the lettersי and ה, respectively, you are left with אש, fire.  From here we see that taking Hashem (י-ה) out of the marriage can only lead to disaster.

Theחיד"א  writes that a woman should not feel as if she does not need her husband, and if she feels this way, she will have an unhappy marriage.  Why would a woman want to get married?  Women in groups are much stronger than men in groups; each woman gives love and support to each member of the group, creating a sense of unity.  However, men in groups still act as individuals and not as a group. 

This question has two answers.  First, Rabbi Mark Smilowitz explained that according to human psychology, each child ideally has two parents while growing up.  When the child reaches adulthood, the child replaces one parent and chooses a partner to replace the other parent.  Second, many women would like to have children, which requires them to get married.  From here we see the three way bond of marriage, in which the husband, wife, and Hashem must be present and compliment each other in order to make a happy marriage.

Theחיד"א  writes that the initial letters of כי תזריע וילדה זכר spell the word זכות.  By the זכות, merit, of the mother, the path of the child shall be determined.  Rabbi Munk writes that theמספר קטן  of אשה is nine.  Nine is very special; it is considered an eternal number because itsמספר קטן  cannot be changed (9x2=18, 1+8=9; 9x34=306, 3+0+6=9; etc.).  It is the same מספר קטן as אמת and חי.  The חיד"א writes מצה אשה מצה טוב.  He adds that the Gematria of מצא is equal to the Gematria of ,ענוה modesty.  Rabbi Munk writes that the ה of אשה represents modesty as well.  He cites a proof from the following Pasuk: ויאהב את הנערה וידבר על לב הנערה (Bereishit 34:3).  This Pasuk, taken from the story of the rape of Dina, shows that Dina "went out" (34:1) and was acting in an improper manner; the ה from the word נערה was taken out to show this.  We see that one should look for a proper, modest woman to be his wife, in order to have an eternal loving relationship.

As a last note, the חיד"א writes that אשה in Gematria is equal to דבש honey.  אשה מתוקה במדות טובות ונאות.

We should all have the merit of learning many valuable lessons from the women around us

Remembering Our Origins by Avi Shteingart

Childbirth; Is It a Sin? by Zevi Goldberg