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Please help me understand the meaning of this phrase (Gen 2.24:

עַל־כֵּן יַעֲזָב־אִישׁ אֶת־אָבִיו וְאֶת־אִמּוֹ וְדָבַק בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ וְהָיוּ לְבָשָׂר אֶחָד׃
Hence a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife so that they become one flesh.

As I don't see any source that a man should cling to his parents in the first place, the only possible connection that links kids to their parents is the commandment to honor them (inexistent with Gentiles), so I don't understand the meaning of leaving them.

So, besides the trivial and natural leaving the house, what is the meaning of "leaving his father and mother"?

  • Look at Onkelos and Ramban for explanations – robev Oct 27 at 0:24
  • I assume you’re looking for a pshat explanation, and not the Gemara which expounds each part of this passuk as excluding certain types of marital relations from being permissible to non-Jews? – DonielF Oct 27 at 0:24
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Rav Hirsch explains that this shows that a man is not complete until he marries and becomes a an independent being with a partner of his own. Until that occurs, he is part of the family unit and subject to the control of his parents.

Therefore, because as long as man was alone it was not yet "good", and because once the division had been made, it was no longer possible for the man to fulfill his calling by himself, because his wife was to be עזר כנגדו, without her he was only half a man, and only together with her did he feel himself a whole man, therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and attaches himself to a wife, and they become one body.

  • Perhaps, implied in this answer, is the halachic notion that frequently where there is a conflict, such as Shalom Bayit vs. Kibud Av, he may be allowed / required to appease his wife first. If this is true, it would support this point. – DanF Oct 27 at 0:25
  • @DanF I'd suggest you post it as a separate answer, nothing in R"H suggests that – Al Berko Oct 27 at 0:29
  • I don't in the quote understand where he provides the reason for leaving the parents. – Al Berko Oct 27 at 0:30
  • @AlBerko Your question doesn't seem to ask for the reason for doing it. Only what the phrasing means. This seems to answer it. – DanF Oct 27 at 0:34
  • @AlBerko Rav Hirsch points out that until he is married he is not a complete man even staying with his parents. Thus, he must leave his parents and marry to become a complete human being. – sabbahillel Oct 27 at 0:51

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