I remember learning something like the following in Gemara shiur.

That if the man is not good and his wife is good, he will be good

And that if the man is good and his wife is not good, he will be not good

Please help me with the source (and the exact statement).

  • 1
    Is it possible you're referring to the Talmud Bavli in Sotah 2B where it states in the name of Resh Laqish that a woman is paired with a man according to his deeds (אין מזווגין לו לאדם אשה אלא לפי מעשיו)?
    – Lee
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 20:40
  • @lee thank you, but it is not this
    – hazoriz
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 20:41
  • 2
    I see it referenced here jewfaq.org/women.htm but without a source. I will keep looking.
    – rosends
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 21:06
  • @danno thank you, yes this is it, The Talmud says that when a pious man marries a wicked woman, the man becomes wicked, but when a wicked man marries a pious woman, the man becomes pious.
    – hazoriz
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 21:08
  • found this Genesis Rabbah 17:7
    – rosends
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 21:09

2 Answers 2


I believe this is it:


Genesis Rabbah 17:7

A story [is told] of a pious man and his wife who could not have kids. They said: we are of no benefit to the Holy of of Blessing, so they divorced. He went and married a wicked woman, and she made him wicked; and she went and married a wicked man, and she made him righteous. Thus: everything is from the woman.

  • but on the other hand "a woman is influenced by her husband." halakhah.com/zarah/zarah_39.html#39a_32
    – hazoriz
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 21:23
  • 2
    Do the kiruv professionals know this trick? Commented May 28, 2015 at 21:26
  • Can you explain the middle portion to me? "He replied: at first, He created her, and Adam saw her full of secretions and blood. He kept her away from him, and went back and created her a second time. She said to him: I will add further, I was meant to marry my mother's brother, but because I grew up in the same house as him, I was unattractive in his eyes, and he went and married a different woman, who is less attractive than I am."
    – Aaron
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 21:28

סנהדרין קט: וקי

The Gemara there describes how קורח was influenced by his wife against his better judgement, and how און בן פלת was saved by his wife contrary to his initial plans.

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