The Rema writes in Yoreh De'ah 185:3

מי שרוצה להחמיר על עצמו, שלא להאמין לה, מדת חסידות הוא

One who wants to be stringent on himself and not trust his wife, this is characteristic of Hassidim.

Do Hassidic Jews have some way to compensate for the marital stress that probably results from the husbands not trusting their wives?

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As the Gemara (Eiruvin 65a) says "נכנס יין יוצא סוד -- in vino veritas," so some use alcohol to try and increase the trust they can place in their wives, but that just makes them a חסיד שותה.

  • they are also in violation of midvar shikur tirchak – Jay Dec 15 '16 at 2:07

This situation is not limited to the Chassidim - most pious Jews do not trust their wives. They are only learning from the example of Isaac and Rebecca. She helped Jacob fool her husband in his infirm old age when he could barely see(Genesis 27 has the sordid details). If Isaac had the proper mistrust, his children, and their later generations, would have probably gotten along better, and not hated each other, prophesizing against each other(Obadiah, for example), and even to the point of declaring war between the countries of Judah/Israel and Edom(II Kings 14, etc). Tanakh plainly shows us that a little healthy mistrust of your wife can save a LOT of trouble later on. As far as compensating for the stress, as the Talmud(Nedarim 20b)says "the husband can do whatever he wants to with his wife". The wives know they deserve it, since when they misbehave and earn their husband's mistrust and retribution(often finding themselves bent in odd positions), they are contradicting HaShem's words of Genesis 3:16"he shall rule over her."

Actually, come to think of it, Genesis 3 is another perfect example, also the first, of where a little mistrust could have avoided a lot of problems:

"Hmm-HaShem says don't eat it, but you and some snake-in-the-grass say it's just fine? I don't THINK so!!!" But no, he trusted her instead of HaShem, resulting in all sorts of problems for us humans from then on--pain multiplication, banishment, and, amongst some non-Jews, the source of a "doctrine of Original Sin". A little healthy marital mistrust then could have avoided a LOT of later problems for all of us!

PS - This IS Purim Torah! I fully trust and love my wife more each week!


You are misreading the Rema.

מי שרוצה להחמיר על עצמו

Should be read as a reflexive verb להתחמר -- to make an ass of oneself. Try not trusting your wife and see what happens.

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