ONE WITHOUT A WIFE [line 4]
(R. Elazar): One without a wife is not called Adam - "Male and female he created them, and he called their name Adam".
(R. Elazar): One without land is not called Adam - "... And the land he gave to Bnei Adam".
Version #1 (R. Elazar) Question: How do we explain "I will make for him a helper against him"?
Answer (R. Elazar): If he merits, she helps him. If not, she is against him.
Version #2 - Contradiction (R. Elazar): It is written "k'Negdo" (without a Yud, which allows us to read Nagdaso (she lashes him)), but we read (k'Negdo, which tolerates a Yud, i.e. as if it said) "Kenigdo" (opposite him)!
Resolution: If he merits, she is k'Negdo (an appropriate companion or helper). If not, she lashes him.
Question (R. Yosi): "I will make for him a helper" - how does a woman help a man?
Answer (Eliyahu): A man brings (home) wheat and flax, but he does not chew wheat and wear flax! We see, she enlightens his eyes and stands him on his feet!
(R. Elazar): "This time, a bone from my bones, flesh from my flesh" - this teaches that Adam came to every animal, but his mind was not settled until he came to Chavah. (Gur Aryeh - he considered each animal as a possible mate. He did not have relations with them.)
FARMING [line 20]
(R. Elazar): "V'NiVReCHu (will be blessed) through you all families of the earth" - Hash-m told Avraham 'I have two BReCHos (graftings) to graft onto you - Rus the Moabite and Na'amah the Amonite;
"All families of the earth" - even families which dwell in the ground are only blessed because of Yisrael; (Ya'avetz, Torah Temimah - this alludes to those who do not dwell in houses, e.g. cavemen.)
"All nations of the land" - even ships that come from Galya to Aspamya are only blessed on account of Yisrael.
(R. Elazar): In the future, all craftsmen will become farmers - "All oarsmen will descend from their ships and all ship captains will stand on the ground."
(R. Elazar): There is no lower profession than farming. It says "They will descend".
R. Elazar saw a farmer plowing his field widthwise. He told him, 'Even if you will also plow lengthwise, business is more profitable.'
Rav went among the sheaves; the wind was blowing them. 'As much as you can wave, business is more profitable.'
(Rava): One who has 100 Zuz invested in business, can afford meat and wine every day. One with 100 Zuz of land will eat salt and fodder. Further, he must sleep on his land [to guard it], and comes to quarrels.
(Rav Papa): Plant your own food, rather than buy it. Even though the price is the same, what you grow will be blessed;
Sell what is in your house [and invest the money], and do not wax poor;
This applies to things like carpets. Do not sell your cloak, lest you not find another one that fits.
Seal a hole, without widening it [to make a nicer sealing]. If you insist that it look nice, widen it and seal it, but do not destroy and rebuild the wall, for anyone who builds is in danger.
Be quick to buy land, but do not rush to marry a woman.
Marry a woman below your standing; pick a friend above your level.
(R. Elazar bar Avina): Punishments only come to the world because of Yisrael - "I cut off nations, made desolate their towers, and destroyed their markets". "I said that you should fear Me; learn a lesson from this!"
AN EVIL WIFE [line 39]
R. Chiya (to Rav): Hash-m should save you from something worse than death.
Question (Rav): Is there such a thing?
Answer (Rav): Yes! "I find a wife harsher than death."
Rav's wife used to pain him. If he would ask her to make lentils, she would make legumes, and vice-versa. When Rav's son Chiya grew up, he told his mother the opposite of what Rav requested.
Rav: Your mother has improved (she fulfills my request)!
Chiya: I switched your request.
Rav: This is as people say, you will learn from your children! (I should request the opposite of what I want.) However, you should not do so (lie about what I said) - "They trained their tongues to speak falsely..."
R. Chiya's wife used to pain him. When he would find something (that she would like), he would wrap it in his turban and bring it for her.
Rav: Why do you do this? She pains you! (Rav wanted to learn how R. Chiya was able to return good in place of evil.)
R. Chiya: It suffices for us that our wives raise our children and save us from sin.
Rav Yehudah taught to his son (Rav Yitzchak) "I find a wife harsher than death".
Rav Yitzchak: Who exemplifies this?
Rav Yehudah: Your mother does.
Question: Rav Yehudah also taught to his son that a person finds peace of mind only from his first wife - "Rejoice in the wife of your youth". He told Rav Yitzchak that his mother exemplifies this!
Answer: She instigates, but she is easily appeased.
Question: What is the case of an evil wife?
Answer #1 (Abaye): She prepares the food, and a mouth (of curses).
Answer #2 (Rava): She prepares the food, and turns her back. (Rashi - she does not eat with him. Tzitz Eliezer - the Rambam explains that this is a euphemism for withdrawing at the time of Bi'ah.)
(R. Chama bar Chanina): When a person marries a wife, his sins MisPaKekin (are plugged up and do not prosecute against him) - "Motza Ishah Motza Tov v'YiFaK Ratzon me'Hashem."
In Eretz Yisrael, when a man married they would say to him 'Motza or Motzei';
Motza - "One who found a wife, found good";
Motzei - "I find the wife worse than death." (Chasam Sofer - the message is that even if she will pain him, he found good, for wives raise children (enabling him to learn) and save their husbands from sin.)
(Rava): It is a Mitzvah to divorce an evil wife - "Divorce the scoffer, expel quarrels and disgrace." (Chasam Sofer - Rav and R. Chiya did not divorce their wives because they were righteous in other respects.)
(Rava): The solution for an evil wife with a large Kesuvah is to marry a Tzarah, like people say, 'another woman (a Tzarah makes a wife fix her ways), and not a thorn'.
(Rava): An evil wife is as bad as a day of hail and wind - "The drip annoys on a day of hail, and a quarrelsome wife is as bad.
(Rava): See how good is a good wife, and how bad is a evil wife:
If "One who found a wife, found good" discusses a good wife, the verse praises her;
If the verse refers to Torah, this shows that a good wife is a parable for Torah!
If "I find the wife worse than death" discusses an evil wife, the verse disparages her;
If it refers to Gehinom, this shows that an evil wife is a parable for Gehinom!
(Rav Nachman): "Behold I bring an evil you cannot escape" refers to an evil wife with a large Kesuvah.
(Rav Chisda): "Hash-m put me in the hands of one from whom I cannot get up" - this is an evil wife with a large Kesuvah.
In Eretz Yisrael they say that this is one who must buy (for he does not grow) his food.
PUNISHMENTS [line 26]
(Rav Chanan bar Rava): "Your sons and daughters are given to another nation" - this is the wife of the father. (She will raise his children from a previous wife.)
Opinion #1 (Rav Chanan bar Rava): "With Naval (a repulsive) nation I will anger them" refers to an evil wife with a large Kesuvah;
Opinion #2 (R. Elazar): It refers to Tzedukim - "The Naval said in his heart, there is not Hash-m".
Opinion #3 (Beraisa): These are the people of Barberiya and Tartenai, who walk unclothed in the market. There is nothing more repulsive to Hash-m than this.
Opinion #4 (R. Yochanan): These are Chaverim (Tosfos and Rashi elsewhere - an ethnic group that corrupted the Persians).
When they told R. Yochanan that Chaverim came to Bavel, he bent and fell.
When they told him that they accept bribes, he straightened up.
(R. Yochanan): Malchus Bavel made three decrees. They corresponded to three sins of Yisrael:
They decreed not to eat slaughtered meat, because Yisrael did not give Matanos (the foreleg, jaw and stomach) of slaughtered animals to Kohanim;
They decreed against bathhouses, because Yisrael were not careful about Tevilah;.
They dug up graves, because Yisrael rejoiced on pagan festivals.
(Rabah bar Shmuel) "The hand of Hash-m will be upon you and your fathers" - this is the digging up of graves;
They dig up the dead due to sins of the living.
Question (Rava): If "They will not be gathered and will not be buried; they will be as fertilizer on the ground", how can it be that "Death will be preferred to life"?
Answer (Rabah bar Mari): Death is better for the wicked, so they will not live and sin in this world and fall in Gehinom.
(Sefer ben Sira): A good wife is a good gift to her husband; Good will be given in the lap of one who fears Hash-m;
An evil wife is Tzara'as for her husband. His cure is to divorce her and heal himself.
Happy is the husband of a good wife! His days are doubled.
Hide your eyes from a charming Eshes Ish, lest you get caught in her trap. Do not befriend her husband, for many were corrupted and killed by her.
Perfume peddlers incite immorality like a spark ignites a coal. They have many wounds (from irate husbands). Their houses are full of deception like a nest is full of fowl.
Do not worry about tomorrow, for you do not know what the day will bring. Perhaps one will not be alive tomorrow, and he worried over a world which is not his!
Do not allow the multitude into your house. Many should seek peace with you, but reveal your secrets to only one out of 1000.
THE GREATNESS OF HAVING CHILDREN [line 45]
(Rav Asi): "Ki Ru'ach mi'Lefanai Ya'atof" - Ben David will not come until all Neshamos in 'Guf' are completed.
(Beraisa #1 - R. Eliezer): If one does not engage in procreation, it is as if he spills blood. "One who spills man's blood..." is followed by "V'Atem Peru u'Rvu."
R. Yakov says, it is as if he diminishes the Divine image - "(Hash-m) made man in Hash-m's image" is followed by "V'Atem Peru..."
Ben Azai says, it is as if he spills blood and diminishes the Divine image - "V'Atem Peru u'Rvu..." (follows both of the above verses).
Rabanan, to Ben Azai: Some expound and fulfill nicely. Some fulfill nicely and do not expound nicely. You expound nicely and do not fulfill!
Ben Azai: What can I do? My soul desires Torah! (I cannot separate from it to fulfill marital obligations.) Others can populate the world.
(Beraisa #2 - R. Eliezer): If one does not engage in procreation, it is as if he spills blood - "One who spills...; V'Atem Peru u'Rvu...";
R. Elazar ben Azaryah says, it is as if he diminishes the Divine image;
Ben Azai says (as above, and he had the same dialogue with Rabanan as above)