Between Men and Women: Kabbalah’s Perspective

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.

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